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eephillipswsj

Is anyone going benchmark hunting this month?

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Hello everyone,

 

I'm a reporter working on a story about bench marks (and horizontal control marks), and I'd love to shadow anyone who has plans to go searching for any type of marks this month. Any part of the country is fine.

 

I'm also interested in speaking to folks with a serious interest in this. I'd love to hear about your latest finds and how you got started doing it.

 

I just went out today to track down my first benchmark, which I found in the middle of the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Palm Drive in Beverly Hills! It took me a while to find it... and to be honest, I'm not so sure it's the right one. I'm certainly no expert yet!

 

If you'd like to discuss, or if you know someone who's planning a trip to track down some survey markers, please contact me--either here or via email: erica.phillips@wsj.com.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Erica E. Phillips (a.k.a. eephillipswsj)

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Hi Erica,

 

It is amazing to hear of someone with your credentials being interested in our little hobby. Most of us here toil away in near obscurity doing something that gets very little outside notice. Even geocaching.com has reduced its interest and resources in the benchmarking portion of the website.

 

Some benchmark hunters are casual hunters who do it as an aside while they are performing their normal geocaching activities. There is also a small community here whose main activity is benchmark hunting. They are more interested in finding benchmarks than caches. Some are obsessed and spend extensive time and resources on a pursuit that has no external reward. Some of us plan vacations exclusively around benchmark hunting.

 

There are some very talented folks involved in benchmark recovery. They have written software programs and apps and host web sites specifically for benchmark hunters.

 

I know that some folks would be more than happy to expound upon this hobby to anyone who will listen (and even to some people who don't really care to listen :) )

 

Best regards,

 

One member of the TillaMurphs

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By the way Erica,

 

If you would like to share the details of the benchmark that you found, especially a photo, I guarantee you that you will have a lot of feedback in a very short amount of time from the helpful members here.

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And...

 

This being the day that it is, I suppose it is possible that this is all a ruse set up by one of you mischievous minded members.

 

If so, You Got Me!

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'---about bench marks (and horizontal control marks)---'

 

Suspiciously 'expert' use of terminology? In the middle of what intersection?? MEL

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The posting date and unusual occurrence make it quite suspicious. The offer to go anywhere seems a bit over the top, too.

 

If it is a joke, they went to the trouble of using a real reporter's name.

 

I think someone (California would be best) needs to make a legitimate offer of a searching trip. If she wants to take them up on it, she must contact them from HER WSJ EMAIL. If that person doesn't give an email address in their post, she can establish communication by clicking on their name and using the forum contact mechanism, which should show that she registered with her WSJ email.

 

That's the only way we'll find out if it is legitimate.

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eephillipswsj

 

If the mark you found is exactly in the middle of the intersection it is most likely a street monument. Street monuments are markers that define the streets. Monuments are located on the center line at intersections and the end of straight a ways and beginning of a curve. The ones near my house are under a cover often called a hand hole.

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I just went out today to track down my first benchmark, which I found in the middle of the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Palm Drive in Beverly Hills! It took me a while to find it... and to be honest, I'm not so sure it's the right one. I'm certainly no expert yet!

 

I'm a skeptic of the post, too, given the date. Would the Wall Street Journal really have a reporter assigned to cover a non-business topic like benchmark hunting, and be willing to send that reporter to anywhere in the US to watch someone find a benchmark? Nevertheless, I checked out benchmarks at the intersection in question, and it's interesting that there is no NGS database benchmark at that intersection and, apparently, benchmarks along Santa Monica Blvd. in that area are, generally, on the curb, not in the middle of the intersection. The closest benchmark is R773, located about 1 block southwest of the intersection, but listed as Not Found in its 1965 recovery report. The next closest is mark S773, located a few blocks northeast of the intersection. Also - Santa Monica Blvd. in that area is North Santa Monica Blvd., and Palm Drive is North Palm Drive. I'd assume that one wouldn't drop the "North" from a street name, especially twice, and especially from North Palm Drive, which seems not to exist without a North or South designation.

 

LOL!

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Would the Wall Street Journal really have a reporter assigned to cover a non-business topic like benchmark hunting, and be willing to send that reporter to anywhere in the US to watch someone find a benchmark?

 

I have no idea if the query is legit or not, but it is entirely possible that the WSJ would dispatch a reporter on such a story. The Journal's quirky front-page feature story, known as the A-hed, has been a fixture of the paper since 1941. Recent topics have included the pigeons that roost in German train stations, competition among US counties named for George Washington, setting a Guinness record on bubble-wrap popping, and a dismaying report on making beer from sewage. I submit that a piece on benchmarks and those who seek them is not at all out of line.

 

ArtMan

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I just went out today to track down my first benchmark, which I found in the middle of the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Palm Drive in Beverly Hills! It took me a while to find it... and to be honest, I'm not so sure it's the right one. I'm certainly no expert yet!

 

I'm a skeptic of the post, too, given the date. Would the Wall Street Journal really have a reporter assigned to cover a non-business topic like benchmark hunting,

The funny thing is the Wall Street Journal actually interviewed my friend Jerry Penry just this past week in regards to his many monument searches and stories.

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Erica, all you need do is pick one of the people who frequent this forum, send them a PM or an e-mail. Anyone of us would be willing to let you tag along with us or plan a day to show you what our hobby is all about.

 

All you need do is to reply here or contact one of us. We are really a friendly group of people. And we all take wonderful pictures, just check out any of our profiles and check out our benchmark finds or gallery.

 

You just need to make the first move.....

 

Shirley~

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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There is a City of Los Angeles survey disk at that intersection. PID: EW1700 Maybe not exactly in the middle of the intersection. The datasheet information is somewhat conflicting but it does specify that intersection. I think it's a RESET. Erica...can you send a picture.

There's an awesome and rare benchmark in Death Valley. However, do you want to benchmark in S. Florida.

 

EW1700_MARKER: DD = SURVEY DISK

EW1700_SETTING: 7 = SET IN TOP OF CONCRETE MONUMENT

EW1700_SP_SET: SET IN TOP OF CONCRETE MONUMENT

EW1700_STAMPING: 15B 247

EW1700_STABILITY: C = MAY HOLD, BUT OF TYPE COMMONLY SUBJECT TO

EW1700+STABILITY: SURFACE MOTION

EW1700

EW1700 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

EW1700 HISTORY - UNK MONUMENTED CA1980

EW1700 HISTORY - 1945 GOOD CGS

EW1700

EW1700 STATION DESCRIPTION

EW1700

EW1700'DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1945

EW1700'AT BEVERLY HILLS.

EW1700'AT BEVERLY HILLS AT THE INTERSECTION OF SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD

EW1700'AND PALM DRIVE, IN THE BEVERLY GARDENS PARK, 2.2 FEET SOUTHWEST

EW1700'OF THE SOUTHWEST CURB OF PALM DRIVE AND 102.5 FEET NORTHWEST

EW1700'OF THE NORTHWEST CURBLINE OF SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD. MONUMENT

EW1700'IS ABOUT SAME LEVEL AS THE SOUTHWEST CURB OF PALM DRIVE.

EW1700'A CITY OF LOS ANGELES STANDARD DISK, STAMPED 15 B 247 AND SET IN

EW1700'THE TOP OF A CONCRETE POST.

Edited by Gungadoy

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I have spoken to Erica and she is legitimate.

 

She has spoken to other members as well.

 

It sure is great to hear of some outside interest in our geeky, obscure hobby.

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eephillipswsj

 

If the mark you found is exactly in the middle of the intersection it is most likely a street monument. Street monuments are markers that define the streets. Monuments are located on the center line at intersections and the end of straight a ways and beginning of a curve. The ones near my house are under a cover often called a hand hole.

 

Yes! I think that was it. I am extremely inexperienced when it comes to all this, so I really appreciate your pointing this out. I will have to go back out and look in a more accurate spot. I'll check the datasheet again :)

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Hi everyone! Sorry for my silence -- I actually spoke to a number of you in the past couple weeks. Shorbird and I went out bench mark hunting last Saturday in Erie County, New York. And I just got off the phone with Dave Doyle.

 

This has been a really fun story to report. I really admire all the enthusiasm around finding the artifacts and contributing recovery reports to NGS. Very impressive.

 

Regarding that "bench mark" that I thought I found. I was wrong -- see my reply to 68-eldo above.

 

Thank you all so much for your input! I'll post the story when it runs.

 

All the best,

Erica Phillips

erica.phillips@wsj.com

(424) 204-4827

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Erica, all you need do is pick one of the people who frequent this forum, send them a PM or an e-mail. Anyone of us would be willing to let you tag along with us or plan a day to show you what our hobby is all about.

 

All you need do is to reply here or contact one of us. We are really a friendly group of people. And we all take wonderful pictures, just check out any of our profiles and check out our benchmark finds or gallery.

 

You just need to make the first move.....

 

Shirley~

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hi, I sent you a note earlier this week. Hopefully we can connect!

 

Thanks,

Erica

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Would the Wall Street Journal really have a reporter assigned to cover a non-business topic like benchmark hunting, and be willing to send that reporter to anywhere in the US to watch someone find a benchmark?

 

I have no idea if the query is legit or not, but it is entirely possible that the WSJ would dispatch a reporter on such a story. The Journal's quirky front-page feature story, known as the A-hed, has been a fixture of the paper since 1941. Recent topics have included the pigeons that roost in German train stations, competition among US counties named for George Washington, setting a Guinness record on bubble-wrap popping, and a dismaying report on making beer from sewage. I submit that a piece on benchmarks and those who seek them is not at all out of line.

 

ArtMan

 

Precisely!

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I had been curious about the reasons why the Wall Street Journal would be interested in a story about benchmark hunting, but then I remembered the aforementioned front-page feature story and thought, "Why not?" Erica and I spent a very interesting day searching for benchmarks in western New York. We found some along an old railroad bed, some out in the countryside, one on a small bridge, and one in a post office building. She was full of questions as she took notes, made videos, and followed me around in her quest for more knowledge. We're all looking forward to seeing your story, Erica! :)

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I had been curious about the reasons why the Wall Street Journal would be interested in a story about benchmark hunting, but then I remembered the aforementioned front-page feature story and thought, "Why not?" Erica and I spent a very interesting day searching for benchmarks in western New York. We found some along an old railroad bed, some out in the countryside, one on a small bridge, and one in a post office building. She was full of questions as she took notes, made videos, and followed me around in her quest for more knowledge. We're all looking forward to seeing your story, Erica! :)

If she's in NYC, then this one is not too far away!

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Buttermilk, a must do BM if you're in the NE! Be careful, it was surrounded with poison ivy when I visited last year.

Edited by Gungadoy

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Erica, all you need do is pick one of the people who frequent this forum, send them a PM or an e-mail. Anyone of us would be willing to let you tag along with us or plan a day to show you what our hobby is all about.

 

All you need do is to reply here or contact one of us. We are really a friendly group of people. And we all take wonderful pictures, just check out any of our profiles and check out our benchmark finds or gallery.

 

You just need to make the first move.....

 

Shirley~

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hi, I sent you a note earlier this week. Hopefully we can connect!

 

Thanks,

Erica

 

I most certainly stand corrected and apologize for my disbelief. However, as a jaded New Yorker who saw the original posting dated April Fool's Day, my conclusion was not entirely unreasonable :) . Would love to see the story when it comes out.

Edited by BenchmarkHunter

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Erica, all you need do is pick one of the people who frequent this forum, send them a PM or an e-mail. Anyone of us would be willing to let you tag along with us or plan a day to show you what our hobby is all about.

 

All you need do is to reply here or contact one of us. We are really a friendly group of people. And we all take wonderful pictures, just check out any of our profiles and check out our benchmark finds or gallery.

 

You just need to make the first move.....

 

Shirley~

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hi, I sent you a note earlier this week. Hopefully we can connect!

 

Thanks,

Erica

 

I most certainly stand corrected and apologize for my disbelief. However, as a jaded New Yorker who saw the original posting dated April Fool's Day, my conclusion was not entirely unreasonable :) . Would love to see the story when it comes out.

 

I chose the wrong day to reach out to you guys, haha! As a journalist, though, I fully understand and respect your skepticism! I'll let you know when the article is expected to run as soon as I know. Thanks!

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I just scanned the article and it's a good one. I can identify the user names of some of the people mentioned, but not all. Congratulations to all involved.

 

The comments are kinda all over the place: some irrelevant and mostly negative, as is the case with most news articles.

 

Now are we going to be deluged with newbie questions here?

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Now it would be nice for Groundspeak to actually update their database for benchmark hunting, which they haven't done in 15 years. If they did that, the number of benchmark hunters would go up ten fold.

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Now it would be nice for Groundspeak to actually update their database for benchmark hunting, which they haven't done in 15 years. If they did that, the number of benchmark hunters would go up ten fold.

 

Amen!

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Now it would be nice for Groundspeak to actually update their database for benchmark hunting, which they haven't done in 15 years. If they did that, the number of benchmark hunters would go up ten fold.
Pretty close to 100 percent likelihood that Groundspeak will never update or otherwise improve the benchmark part of Geocaching.com, in my opinion. Well, maybe if there is money to be made in it, but they have never tried to promote benchmark activities on this site, and in fact have done the opposite. Not just an obsolete database, but also making it more and more difficult for anyone, especially newcomers, to find the Benchmark Quarter. (Hint: it's at the far end of the Old City, past the Armenian pottery sellers; if you reach the camel bazaar you've gone too far.) It's their business decision, and he has the right to do so, but I think it's too bad.

 

ArtMan

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Not sure where to post this question,so I'll try here........can anyone tell me how to find benchmarks in Germany? We are going over there for the Giga event and I'm working on a Challenge cache where I will need a benchmark. I see the page to search for benchmarks by zipcode, but not sure how to do this in Germany. Any help will be appreciated........thanx

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Not sure where to post this question,so I'll try here........can anyone tell me how to find benchmarks in Germany? We are going over there for the Giga event and I'm working on a Challenge cache where I will need a benchmark. I see the page to search for benchmarks by zipcode, but not sure how to do this in Germany. Any help will be appreciated........thanx

 

There just happens to be a category devoted to all benchmarks from Germany:

 

http://www.Waymarking.com/cat/details.aspx?f=1&guid=84f93903-2845-45b5-9b69-681e3d50f5e2&wft=3&st=2&uid=b8ae0a6b-28e7-474f-b08b-3bd32e460af2

 

Good luck with it!

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Now it would be nice for Groundspeak to actually update their database for benchmark hunting, which they haven't done in 15 years. If they did that, the number of benchmark hunters would go up ten fold.
Pretty close to 100 percent likelihood that Groundspeak will never update or otherwise improve the benchmark part of Geocaching.com, in my opinion. Well, maybe if there is money to be made in it, but they have never tried to promote benchmark activities on this site, and in fact have done the opposite. Not just an obsolete database, but also making it more and more difficult for anyone, especially newcomers, to find the Benchmark Quarter. (Hint: it's at the far end of the Old City, past the Armenian pottery sellers; if you reach the camel bazaar you've gone too far.) It's their business decision, and he has the right to do so, but I think it's too bad.

 

ArtMan

It is sad isn't it?

 

ArtMan, you nailed this exactly. Groundspeak is not only not updating anything but they are making everything more difficult to find. The question is WHY?

 

It seems like keeping Benchmarking would only help the popularity of Geocaching. It draws me here to make Groundspeak clicks. More clicks have to translate to more revenue for them. Look at all the free advertising Benchmarking got them with a front page Wall Street Journal article.

 

It's one thing to not update the database. Doing that would not be easy or cheap (but I bet they could get some free volunteers). However, hiding access to the benchmark logging pages just does not make sense. I am sure they didn't save any money by hiding the page.

 

Very odd... Just like us Benchmark hunters I guess.

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