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NGS Website unavailable because of government shutdown

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Until further notice, the NGS website is unavailable because of the government shutdown. The following notice appears on your screen instead of the NGS home page:

 

Due to the Federal government shutdown,

NOAA.gov and most associated web sites

are unavailable.

 

Only web sites necessary to protect lives

and property will be maintained.

 

See Weather.gov for critical weather

information or contact USA.gov for more

information about the shutdown.

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That has to be simply a spite move. It isn't like they couldn't have left the computer running.

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That has to be simply a spite move. It isn't like they couldn't have left the computer running.

Just what I was thinking. In fact, they probably had to do more work to shut them down without affecting the web sites they've declared critical.

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I just finished posting this to a survey web site:

 

I don't mean to be rude, but anyone who thinks the NGS database is nothing more than an autonomous computer sitting on a desk somewhere and can run without attention must still believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny. The NGS database, internally referenced as the IDB (Integrated Data Base) is without a doubt the most sophisticated relational survey database anywhere in the world hosting data on something like 1 million plus individual passive and active control stations. The "datasheet" that everyone is use to is not an existing product, each and everyone is computed on the fly in microseconds by a network of thousands of subroutines that select and validate the appropriate information for any specific request. Just as the various elements of the National Spatial Reference System require highly skilled, world class geodesists to collect gravity data, compute geoid models, manage the CORS network, develop and manage OPUS and the array of other geodetic utilities, so too the IDB requires constant attention from a staff of very talented and dedicated IT professionals. The database team and associated technical staff committees at NGS work very much behind the scenes, but I can personally vouch for their amazing dedication to building and maintaining the IDB and their service to the nation. In addition there are a host of rules that virtually all federal agencies must comply with in the case of a shutdown, among which are limiting access to federal computer systems without proper staff to monitor security and use.

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Thanks for your explanation, Dave. We only have a small window into the complex of NGS available information, and most of us have very limited understanding of the entire mechanism. I had no idea that each datasheet was computed on the fly! Let's hope that this situation is resolved quickly.

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Very interesting Dave.

 

I thought that the datasheet portion was simply a static database retrieval. I didn't know it was interactive and I hadn't really considered all the other things that the NGS database referenced. When I mentioned it as a spite move please realize that I didn't mean the NGS, or any particular individual agency. My reference was to the highest level of government where this whole mess started and remains.

 

It is a shame that instead of a total shutdown of services that some sort of skeleton crew couldn't be available to keep certain useful, if not "essential" things running. And not just at the NGS. It was obvious when watching the news that a lot of planning and expense went into the various shutdowns--signs were professionally and expensively printed saying that national parks were closed, the mall in D.C. was enclosed to prevent access. I am sure there are hundreds of other examples of expenses incurred to shut down various agencies. This, sadly, is how government, and even large corporations work. A decision is made and no exceptions will be allowed. We are closing, and that means "closing".

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I regret that even most surveyors in the U.S. don't know that the datasheets don't exist until you request them.

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I regret that even most surveyors in the U.S. don't know that the datasheets don't exist until you request them.

 

Hey Dave - I kind of figured that, but let me ask a potentially silly question -

 

Since the datasheets are all generated BY the computers serving, why shut them down when everyone leaves? Why not just let them keep pumping out automated requests(*), until they either break (log jam! Or something happens that *requires* an admin or employee to intervene? i.e. Put a message up like the federaRegister or the DOT have saying 'the data is not being updated until we get monies'?

 

(*) I am, of course, assuming that there isn't a poor soul who sits there and waits for every datasheet request to assemble the bytes and send it back out to the users. :)

 

--Mike.

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From the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) -- In a shutdown furlough, an affected agency would have to shut down any activities funded by annual appropriations that are not excepted by law. Typically, an agency will have very little to no lead time to plan and implement a shutdown furlough.

 

That means all computer systems associated with those activities.

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I was assuming exactly what Mike was--why not just leave them on, but after reading Dave's responses and thinking about it I can see the reasoning behind shutting them down, with the primary one being reducing the possibility of attacks on unattended computers. With nobody to monitor the systems they become much more vulnerable to outside attacks.

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I was assuming exactly what Mike was--why not just leave them on, but after reading Dave's responses and thinking about it I can see the reasoning behind shutting them down, with the primary one being reducing the possibility of attacks on unattended computers. With nobody to monitor the systems they become much more vulnerable to outside attacks.

 

It's not just to monitor for attacks. Servers have to have support as does the software that runs on them. They require monitoring for performance, troubleshooting, and more. Then there are automated process that have to be monitored to be sure everything runs smoothly. Very little just happens or can run in an unattended vacuum. If the people that do all these things are furloughed, the systems need to be shut down to prevent even bigger problems from happening while no one is there to deal with them.

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From the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) -- In a shutdown furlough, an affected agency would have to shut down any activities funded by annual appropriations that are not excepted by law. Typically, an agency will have very little to no lead time to plan and implement a shutdown furlough.

 

That means all computer systems associated with those activities.

I'm wondering if this is related to (or the same) that law that fines a gov't employee if they are caught 'volunteering' (working on their work) while shut-down. One of my coworker's wife works at the GAO here, and we were talking about that yesterday.

 

The main point that brought it up was that she's not allowed to check or touch her work phone. But if she can't check it, then how does her management let her know to come in? It's a catch-22.

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Thanks Dave, for the explanation. I can vouch for myself and did not know that about the datasheets and also thought they were filled with static information. It makes more sense now and I always did wonder how often the information would be updated to particular benchmarks, especially the ones here in Louisiana that are sinking somewhat. It makes so much more sense now, thanks to you.

 

Not to get into any political subject, I am a member of a camping/travel trailer forum and we have some very upset members who had to vacate the national parks. One of the other members made a humorous comment on that forum, that really summed it up and could also apply here. Maybe all the govt websites need to have it on their page........as quoted from one of my favorite movies.

 

"Sorry folks, park's closed. Moose out front shoulda told ya. "

 

parksclosed.jpg

Edited by LSUFan

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"Sorry folks, park's closed. Moose out front shoulda told ya. "

 

parksclosed.jpg

 

"it's a quest! A quest for fun...."

 

...oops - thread hijack!

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"Sorry folks, park's closed. Moose out front shoulda told ya. "

 

parksclosed.jpg

 

"it's a quest! A quest for fun...."

 

...oops - thread hijack!

 

...Drat! Now I have to go watch that movie. Arrrg.

 

Holy carp. I'm SO putting in an easter egg in v2 of my app, now.

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Guys,

 

As a benefit of some data mining I did last year, I have .dat files of datasheets for the entire US and US territories that were extracted in August 2012 (August 2013 for MD) that you can work with in 'offline mode' in DSWorld. If you let me know what state you want, I can post them on my church ftp site.

 

I have also posted an updated DSWorld.exe and DSWorld.chm on the same site that includes mechanisms for editing photos and HH positions in offline mode with datasheet files.

 

I won't be able to post data to the NGS database until the shutdown is over, but the nos ftp site is still up and running, so you can submit your photos, HH positions, and recovery notes now.

 

My church ftp site is:

 

ftp://comediscoverwithus.com/Public/

 

Download the .dat file and put it in a folder on your hard drive. Then start DSWorld and click 'Work Offline'. Then open a state .dat file and split it. Then open a resulting county .dat file. Then you can view, print, etc. You can also export a .kml and then open it with google earth.

 

Send me an email if you want me to post your state:

 

marchershee@gmail.com

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Guys,

 

As a benefit of some data mining I did last year, I have .dat files of datasheets for the entire US and US territories that were extracted in August 2012 (August 2013 for MD) that you can work with in 'offline mode' in DSWorld. If you let me know what state you want, I can post them on my church ftp site.

 

I have also posted an updated DSWorld.exe and DSWorld.chm on the same site that includes mechanisms for editing photos and HH positions in offline mode with datasheet files.

 

I won't be able to post data to the NGS database until the shutdown is over, but the nos ftp site is still up and running, so you can submit your photos, HH positions, and recovery notes now.

 

My church ftp site is:

 

ftp://comediscoverwithus.com/Public/

 

Download the .dat file and put it in a folder on your hard drive. Then start DSWorld and click 'Work Offline'. Then open a state .dat file and split it. Then open a resulting county .dat file. Then you can view, print, etc. You can also export a .kml and then open it with google earth.

 

Send me an email if you want me to post your state:

 

marchershee@gmail.com

 

Thanks Malcolm. I really appreciate all you do for us. I have some pics that I may upload.

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Interesting, so other than stored KML files, does this make the Scaredycat Benchmark viewer the most accurate source of geospatial reference information? I'll have to remember to make a snapshot of the database before the next government shutdown.

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..does this make the Scaredycat Benchmark viewer the most accurate source of geospatial reference information?

 

Awesome! The mantle of information rests upon you, my friend!

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Interesting, so other than stored KML files, does this make the Scaredycat Benchmark viewer the most accurate source of geospatial reference information? I'll have to remember to make a snapshot of the database before the next government shutdown.

When did you last update?

Mine is all dates Aug 10th, 2013. Did you update yours in Sept? :)

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Stopped at a National Wildlife Refuge in Washington for a cache last week. Found the cache It's a virtual), but the Wildlife Refuge was closed. Even the bathroom by the parking lot (which ****ed my sister off!) Hope the birds in the refuge know it's closed...

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Stopped at a National Wildlife Refuge in Washington for a cache last week. Found the cache It's a virtual), but the Wildlife Refuge was closed. Even the bathroom by the parking lot (which ****ed my sister off!) Hope the birds in the refuge know it's closed...

 

Here they closed an ATV trail which is just a 2-track trail thru the nat'l Forest from one highway to another. It does have a sign telling you is USFS land and there always was a gate to keep out traffic in early spring and late fall during wet weather so as not to rip up the trail.

 

Effective October 1, 2013, the US federal government has been shut down due to the lapse in funding. I am emailing our partners to inform you all that the Forest Service is closing all recreation facilities including trailheads, campgrounds, and day use areas. We have been ordered to lock up all toilet buildings, swing gates where there are gates, pull water pump handles and take the solar wells, and post with the official signage. Due to the lack of funding to continue operations, all Forest Service recreation sites and facilities will be closed until further notice. Since we won't have water, garbage, or restrooms, camping or use won't be allowed due to health and safety concerns. Our law enforcement officers will be on duty and checking facilities. All trail work will stop as well. We will be placing a message on the main line that the office is closed and the trail report will include the message regarding all recreation site closures. If you would like to share that all National Forest recreation sites and facilities are closed, please do so. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Teresa Maday

Assistant Ranger for Recreation & Land

Washburn Ranger District

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Interesting, so other than stored KML files, does this make the Scaredycat Benchmark viewer the most accurate source of geospatial reference information? I'll have to remember to make a snapshot of the database before the next government shutdown.

When did you last update?

Mine is all dates Aug 10th, 2013. Did you update yours in Sept? :)

 

Looks like my last update was July 26, 2013.

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When did you last update?

Mine is all dates Aug 10th, 2013. Did you update yours in Sept? :)

 

Looks like my last update was July 26, 2013.

We probably have the same data then. :D

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