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Wintertime

Problem with accessing NGS DB from mobile devices?

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Some friends and I were in central California last week and I was trying to find the location of the California Center of Population marker. I had forgotten to load the coords from the NGS website, but I thought it would be easy to find at the rest stop. When I didn't find it after looking for a few minutes, I asked my friends to use their iPhones/iPad to search the NGS database. We got into the site okay, but whenever I searched for part of the station name, the results came up empty. As soon as we got to our destination and I tried on my MacBook, I got results just fine. Does anyone have any idea why we might have had trouble accessing the database via a mobile device? Has anyone else had this problem? I don't think NGS is using Flash, but even if they were, that would affect our ability to use the site, not its ability to search the database. It was a very weird problem...I suppose it could have been a temporary problem with the database that happened to clear up by the time we got to our friends' house, and thus had nothing to do with the devices we were using.

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The NGS datasheet pages don't use flash, they use Javascript and AJAX. Testing the website out on my Android phone, the results list which normally is a big box with headers and the search results comes up looking like an empty one line box. But by scrolling all the way to the right I saw the drop down box indicator, and clicking the seemingly empty box popped up the expected list, headers and all, as a list of checkbox items. Selecting an item and clicking get datasheets then worked. Maybe something similar happened with the iphones/ipads, and it was working but just didn't look like it.

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Hi, Edrick.

 

Aha, you're right! There's a line on the results page that says, "0 Items," so I, well, thought it had zero items. :laughing: But just now I tried touching the ellipsis at the far right of it, and darned if that didn't open a drop-down menu with the expected results.

 

We couldn't even get to the NGS website at first until one of my friends realized that we needed the "www" at the beginning of the URL. Most websites these days have aliases so that users don't need to include that part, but apparently NGS doesn't, sigh...

 

BTW, piggybacking on my mobile-device issue, I can't seem to submit a recovery from either my iPod or my desktop computer. I keep getting the error, "Program message: Could not open Sybase connection to NGS Server NGSBASE. Exiting from the program." Anyone else seen that error today?

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Hi, Edrick.

 

Aha, you're right! There's a line on the results page that says, "0 Items," so I, well, thought it had zero items. :laughing: But just now I tried touching the ellipsis at the far right of it, and darned if that didn't open a drop-down menu with the expected results.

 

We couldn't even get to the NGS website at first until one of my friends realized that we needed the "www" at the beginning of the URL. Most websites these days have aliases so that users don't need to include that part, but apparently NGS doesn't, sigh...

 

BTW, piggybacking on my mobile-device issue, I can't seem to submit a recovery from either my iPod or my desktop computer. I keep getting the error, "Program message: Could not open Sybase connection to NGS Server NGSBASE. Exiting from the program." Anyone else seen that error today?

 

I got that same error trying to do a report earlier. (Around the time I posted I think.) That sounds like something is down on their end. (Maybe a database server is down for maintenance or something?) I'm going to try and do my report at another time. (Unfortunately it is a Not Found/Presumed Destroyed report that, while I don't have the disc and don't know where it is, is still a pretty sure thing that the mark is gone for good.)

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Aren't we still supposed to have disk in hand to make a NGS DESTROYED recovery?

 

And I don't think that a hurry up field NGS RECOVERY is a good idea. I frequently see things on a big screen photo that helps me write an accurate recovery. MEL

 

A couple of C/P's from a previous thread- some emphasis added:

 

[1]Here's how NGS defines condition:

 

GOOD = an undisturbed mark. No evidence of tampering or movement (subsidence, frost heave, etc.)

POOR = poor condition, a disturbed mark. Damage or movement excessive for the designated stability &/or accuracy.

NOT FOUND = mark not found. Description insufficient or existance doubtful. Recovery unlikely without extraordinary effort.

DESTROYED = mark found but destroyed. Irrefutable evidence of destruction. Absent such first-hand evidence, report as "not found"

 

[2]Don't know if you have yet looked at the NGS Recovery page:

 

(portion)

Note: For destroyed marks do one of the following:

 

1) If you have found the actual marker separated from its setting, you can report the point as destroyed. To do so please send the report on the destroyed mark as an email to Deb Brown (Deb.Brown@noaa.gov). If you send this email, please do not submit the current form, Deb Brown will submit the report for you. In addition, please submit proof of the mark's destruction via actual disk, rubbing, photo, or digital picture (preferred) to Deb Brown:

 

Deb Brown, N/NGS143

National Geodetic Survey, NOAA

1315 East West Highway

Silver Spring, MD 20910

 

2) If you did not find the actual marker, then you should enter notes concerning evidence of its possible destruction as text records and select "Not recovered, not found" as the condition of mark.

 

NGS Recovery Entry

 

Pretty straight forward instructions.

 

Or this in the information on the GC Benchmark Hunting home page.

 

"

What do the choices "Found It", "Didn't Find It", "Destroyed", and "Post a Note" mean?

 

You can log "Found it!" if you see the marker and know that it is the correct marker. If the marker is a survey disk, you must read the disk. The designation (its name) stamped on it must match the Designation in the description. Reading the disk is necessary because another disk could have been set within a few feet of the one you're looking for. If the station has reference mark disks, they don't count as the find; you must find the station disk itself.

If you searched carefully, and could not find the marker, you should log "Didn't find it!" so that other benchmark hunters will know that the mark is going to be difficult or impossible to find. There is nothing wrong with doing a good job of looking and not finding the marker, since many of them are actually gone and many others are buried under dirt, asphalt, concrete, etc.

"Destroyed" means that you know that the benchmark cannot be in its original location because the structure it was on is gone. Don't log as destroyed unless you are absolutely 100% sure. If there is any doubt at all, it's best to refrain from using this option and let someone else have a chance at finding it. Remember, you can always seek advice from more experienced hunters by posting a message, which may enable you to increase your chances of success!

"Post a Note" is good for letting other benchmark hunters know about some special problem they may encounter looking for the benchmark, for an update on the benchmark's status, etc. Many experienced benchmark hunters use the "Post a Note" function to indicate that a benchmark is inaccessible (cannot be safely or legally searched for) because it is in a restricted area or on private property (and the owner withholds permission to access).

 

I looked for a disk in the place described in the datasheet but the disk is gone and only the stem remains. How should I log this?

This 'diskless stem' situation is a difficult one and requires a lot of experience to help you make sure you've found actual evidence of the mark you're looking for. The most obvious features are the brass metal stem and the circular evidence of a disk having been mounted there. Often there is a circular indentation that held the disk and some of the mounting cement might remain. These situations should be reported as "Found It" instead of "Destroyed" since the stem of the disk could possibly still be used for some types of surveying. If you're not really sure you've found the correct remains (more than one disk could've been mounted in the immediate area, there are many holes in cement but few of them are where benchmarks were), report your findings as accurately as you can and log "Didn't find it". In all cases of diskless stems, photographic evidence in your log is extremely helpful.

"

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And I don't think that a hurry up field NGS RECOVERY is a good idea. I frequently see things on a big screen photo that helps me write an accurate recovery. MEL

Have some folks here been filing reports on the fly while they're out hunting? I agree with you; I wouldn't want to do that even if I had the capability.

 

On a related note, the same friends I was with when we were trying to find the CPOP mark had put some benchmark app on their iPhones that included a button to log a find. I haven't gotten a look at the app yet to see whether it logs on the Gc.com site or actually submits a recovery to NGS. I'd certainly be skittish about the latter, if people don't understand the protocols involved with NGS reports.

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If you were referring to me, I'm not going to do a destroyed recovery report but a not found report with presumed destroyed in the text. A benchmark in the step of a building is not usually that hard to find, especially with pictures available indicating it's location. However when the entrance isn't in the same spot, and the stairs are completely different and obviously relatively new, there are pictures on here showing that the building suffered a fire and might be replaced, and the building that currently exists is entirely different then the one that used to be there, then it's pretty evident the mark is gone. However, without the actual disc, I would not do a destroyed report. (I suppose, in theory, it could be buried underneath the new steps/entryway, but that seems a bit unlikely and in any event it would still not be usable.) I do kinda wish I'd taken a picture of the new building, but here is a Street View pic of the new building under construction:

 

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Berkeley+Springs,+Morgan,+West+Virginia+25411&hl=en&ll=39.626894,-78.227732&spn=0.000528,0.001321&sll=38.298345,-77.489887&sspn=0.068841,0.169086&t=m&geocode=FVSjXAIdAFpW-w&hnear=Berkeley+Springs,+Morgan,+West+Virginia&z=20&layer=c&cbll=39.626894,-78.227732&panoid=1Ibc8-Q1Og0olhewC5mVvA&cbp=12,92.1,,0,-10.6

 

Here is a pic of the entryway where the benchmark was, from a Geocacher's log here: (pre-fire)

56b31e40-9252-48dc-aca7-3aee49ed6fcb.jpg

It's not obvious from the above images, but the finished entryway is entirely different then the original one. (The new entryway has multiple doors on a kind of covered corner patio that probably has a better name I don't know, and the stairs all have ramps as well.)

 

And here is a view of the mark itself, with some cinders around it from another log.

f0d4abd9-50b5-40ed-ab33-8633587bfff6.jpg

The last Geocacher to look for the mark before me (2009) logged it as destroyed on this site, as I did, but did not apparently submit an official recovery report.

 

Geocaching.com link for the benchmark in question:

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=JW1213

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