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The decline of benchmark hunting.

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I fear it's the "handwriting on the wall". Geocaching.com keeps downgrading benchmark hunting--even though NGS gave the site a lot of recognition and praise, a few years ago.

 

Meanwhile, NGS started stretching the upload intervals. We went from 30 days to 60 days, to 90 days, to what.....never?

 

I used to feel we were performing a public service. Today, are we? If NGS does not post our finds to the national data base so they can be utilized by professional surveyors, why bother?

 

The size of the photos on geocaching.com.......the broken link to the Forum (where we support each other and train newcomers)......moving the benchmark link to the bottom of the home page, in tiny print.....I think we can figure out where we rank with the site owners.

 

Meanwhile, NGS says not to report recovery of a mark more than once per year. However, we have no way to know if a mark has been submitted by another user because the reports are stuck in the "bucket" for months at a time.

 

Hunting benchmarks is still a cool hobby. But so is looking for cache's [edited by moderator]

 

Five seconds to update, vs. five months or more for benchmarks. Which level of feedback will keep users interested and encourage new participation?

Edited by Keystone
removed impermissible references

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Paul,

 

I hope that the situation you have mentioned does not herald the decline of benchmark hunting. The Groundspeak relegation of the benchmark link to the bottom of the home page is not a good thing, but we will work around it. The picture sizes on the geocaching website have been returned to their previous size, which is a good thing. The NGS is still enthusiastic about our participation. I have been in correspondence with Dave Doyle, and he still sounds very upbeat about our participation. We never know when the NGS will update the datasheets, but when I checked the other day, datasheets had been updated at least through January 2 of this year. We now have DSWorld for submission of pictures and recovery reports to the NGS, and there is a Webinar about DSWorld on Thursday, February 16 at 1:00 p.m. Let's see some participation in that! I love hunting for benchmarks, and I will continue hunting, with enthusiasm!

Edited by shorbird

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"....datasheets had been updated at least through January 2 of this year."

Thanks. It had been so many months that I stopped checking. I had hoped to give Gary Thompson at NCGS a year-end report, but the data was not posted in time.

We're in a high-growth area (over 100 persons moving into Wake County per DAY!), and construction is taking place everywhere. Even brand-new marks sometimes are destroyed within a few months. I've been making the rounds and filing reports, especially near new roads and subdivisions, but I got really discouraged during 2011 when I realized that the info was not getting to the End Users--professional surveyors.

The other problem created by delayed updating is that all of our "benchmark" maps are stale. Whether you look at Scaredy Cat, GoogleEarth, or the NGS site, you don't know if you are going to be hunting a mark which already was reported as "found" or "destroyed" within the past year. With time and resources at a premium, volunteers (those who report to NGS) want to get the most "bang for the buck" by avoiding duplication.

That said, here's my question about DSworld. Do reports go into the data base, or do they still land in Deb's bucket, awaiting review? I asked this in the previous DSworld thread, but nobody had an answer. Now that some folks have been using it for a while, what's the scoop?

-Paul-

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That said, here's my question about DSworld. Do reports go into the data base, or do they still land in Deb's bucket, awaiting review? I asked this in the previous DSworld thread, but nobody had an answer. Now that some folks have been using it for a while, what's the scoop?

 

Paul, they are not automatically updated when using DSWorld. I don't really have an answer as to what is happening behind the scenes after you use DSWorld to submit recoveries, coordinates, county corrections, photos.

 

In my experience with DSWorld, it seemed like photos and HH2 Coordinates get updated fairly fast when submitted that way. It also seems that DSWorld tries to keep everyone in the loop with what is going on. In DSWorld, click VIEW>DSWorld News. You'll then be able to read about what has been happening like I copied below. I don't really know what a "backlog" photo is.

 

 

12/14/11 - November DSWorld submittals:

858 hand held positions loaded

85 mark recoveries loaded

 

12/22/11 - Almost 3000 digital photos loaded! All photos submitted to DSWorld

through 12/20/11 plus over 2800 backlog photos!

 

12/24/11 - Did you know that the photo editor in the latest update of DSWorld

will allow you to correct the LOGO and Mark Type for a point?

 

01/12/12 - 2739 Backlog and DSWorld submitted photos loaded.

 

01/20/12 - 1576 Backlog photos loaded.

 

01/24/12 - 840 Backlog photos loaded.

- 373 DSWorld photos loaded.

 

I am still awaiting the recovery reports and photos submitted for CQ1271 and AF8375 to show up. When they do, then maybe I can answer your question better, since I have a log of when they were submitted in DSWorld.

Edited by LSUFan

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"There were only 2 datasheets updated with new GEOCAC recovery logs. The most recent recovery added to the datasheets as of February 1 was dated December 18. The two datasheets were both for Shorbird -- recovery reports for AA8856 and KY0953 in Ohio."

 

This seems to confirm my original post, and it is the same thing I see when checking North Carolina marks by Load Date. I have been searching one month at a time, but I have not seen any of my submissions appear for many months.

 

Thanks for the tip about DSworld News. It appears that the emphasis has been on photo uploads rather than recovery reports.

 

Maybe we need to dip into the treasury and send a Valentine card to Deb.

Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

Empty the bucket

And we'll love you!

 

-Paul-

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This seems to confirm my original post, and it is the same thing I see when checking North Carolina marks by Load Date. I have been searching one month at a time, but I have not seen any of my submissions appear for many months.

 

Thanks for the tip about DSworld News. It appears that the emphasis has been on photo uploads rather than recovery reports.

 

Maybe we need to dip into the treasury and send a Valentine card to Deb.

Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

Empty the bucket

And we'll love you!

 

-Paul-

What seems to happen is that a couple of states get a lot of updates for some reason unrelated to recovery reports, and a few GEOCAC reports get carried along for the ride. I normally pull all the datasheets that are "loaded" in the prior month, in this case from January 1 to January 31. There were about 1100 datasheets that were updated in some manner in that month, however, only 2 of them contained new GEOCAC recoveries. There majority of the datasheets were in Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington. There were a handful in Pennsylvania, Alaska, Alabama, and Arizona. Most of them weren't updated because of new recovery reports, they were updated for some other reason.

 

Taking one example, DF6515 in Minnesota, it was updated in order to add "DYNAMIC HT" and "MODELED GRAV" to the datasheet.

Edited by holograph

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Yes, I've also noticed the updating for corrections/additions. Also, NCGS sometimes files a recovery report from several years ago--which gets interesting if I have filed one for a more recent recovery. When they are changing the mark from SCALED to ADJUSTED coordinates, it is gratifying to see that my HH2 figures are pretty close. [Chuckle.]

 

You'd think that waiting a few months for NGS to load updates shouldn't be a problem for me because the backlog at my State's geodetic survey is so great. smile.gif

 

-Paul-

 

"Oh Lord, give me Patience.....and do it RIGHT NOW!"

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I don't really have an answer as to what is happening behind the scenes after you use DSWorld to submit recoveries, coordinates, county corrections, photos.

 

 

The DSWorld submissions go into a queue and have to be manually reviewed before they're added into the system (according to Dave Doyle, NGS' Chief Geodetic Surveyor). I suspect with the popularity of benchmark hunting growing, they get quite a backlog of submissions.

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I don't really have an answer as to what is happening behind the scenes after you use DSWorld to submit recoveries, coordinates, county corrections, photos.

 

 

I am about to release an App for finding benchmarks. It's target audience is land surveyors but would work for this as well. The reason I bring it up is that it will work in "real" time as it queries when you tell it to and then you can post recovery information and pictures that will go to the NGS AND USGS right away in their format. They love the recoveries they get from geocachers since there are more of them than land surveyors. I'm not pimping the APP since I won't give the name but I think you and other benchmark hunters are doing the government a service by checking on their properties. When I'm not working I love stumbling across a benchmark and I always point it out to my wife. The coolest one I have seen is at the front of the bureau of engraving in DC. Like caching I wouldn't have gone there if it wasn't to see the benchmark. Happy hunting

 

The DSWorld submissions go into a queue and have to be manually reviewed before they're added into the system (according to Dave Doyle, NGS' Chief Geodetic Surveyor). I suspect with the popularity of benchmark hunting growing, they get quite a backlog of submissions.

Edited by Crask422

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