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Bill93

NGS advice page for bench mark hunters

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I noticed that NGS has a good and fairly detailed tutorial set of pages on bench mark hunting and reporting, that has been recently updated. It has advice for both geocachers and professional surveyors.

https://www.ngs.noaa.gov/GPSonBM/

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That is interesting, and normally I would not post here in the Benchmarking forums simple because I am a Geocacher, Waymarker, and enjoy Benchmarking. If you give it a good read, and I have, they make Geocachers sound like a group of small children that need adult supervision.

 

I know that my GPS unit is just a toy, but I can get readings to around 7 feet on average, and I can explain in detail the BM location enough to find it.

 

I have listed a few "recovered" BM's on the Waymarking site and another Geocache listing service that accepts them as a cache type. Anyway, BM hunting is one of my "Geocaching" interests, but I'm not a professional Bench Mark Hunter.

 

Thanks for posting the link. :)

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Posted (edited)

they make Geocachers sound like a group of small children that need adult supervision.

I didn't get that sense at all. They give pretty basic instructions to both pro and amateur. And reading recovery reports on the data sheets, I see examples where some people in each group need detailed advice.

 

Not all the reports are up to high standards. There was an extreme example, where a cacher posted that NGS needed to move the disk because it wasn't where his handheld GPS said it should be. That got a lot of laughs from the pros and downgraded geocachers' status in their eyes. That person could have used a little education on what was going on. Looking at the recovery notes posted on the GC pages, I shudder to think someone might log to NGS with comments like "Found in the rain with my cousin BeetleBrain while visiting Grandma on vacation." A little reading on the NGS site may help people get a better perspective.

 

Even people working for survey companies sometimes post poor reports. They seem prone to posting Good with no update to ties in a much-changed area, or a NF because they haven't thought out how the 1934 situation relates to today's situation. One I found last week had a 1999 report by someone from a big company that said they found a culvert with no disk, when I found the proper culvert with disk within yards of the published coordinates. That shows a hasty look with too little thought. It's possible that the disk was covered with dirt at that time, but it should have been obvious there was a culvert to investigate.

 

So I'd say read the site, and if you already know the material, good for you, but most of us could learn something from it.

 

-------

No offense intended if someone uses the handle Beetlebrain. I just pulled it out of the air.

Edited by Bill93
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they make Geocachers sound like a group of small children that need adult supervision.

I didn't get that sense at all. They give pretty basic instructions to both pro and amateur. And reading recovery reports on the data sheets, I see examples where some people in each group need detailed advice.

 

 

Did you not see the warnings that "1. Mark recovery should ONLY be done with an adult partner!" :laughing:

 

That is the part I was referring to. Actually I have some nice BM photos, and I really enjoy finding the ones that don't require a metal detector and a shovel, or adult supervision. That's just the Geocacher in me. B)

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Jeez.

They included screenshots of DSWorld. Are those accurate? is the UI still *that horrid*? I'll effin' volunteer my time to get it into a more usable friendly interface. Ugh. That's the main reason I do not use it. :D

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Oh, well.  I had not logged a recovery on a benchmark since my partner died two years ago.  But I was within a hundred feet or so today. whilst geocaching.  So, I thought I'd go for it.  Easy find.  Not recovered since 1934.  Modern techies have taken over the NGS.  I used to be easy to log a recovery.  Now the senior dolphin has to click all over the place to find the right spot to log the recovery.  I was going to upload photos of the benchmark, but I have no idea how to do that.  Oh, the modern world versus a senior dolphin!  I may give up on this.  Neither intuitive, nor user friendly.  I did e-mail Deb to tell her that I do have photos of the benchmark.

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I don't understand the reluctance to use DSWorld, or the criticism of its user interface. I've been using it for quite awhile now, and I find it very easy to use. It certainly is a major improvement over the old website-based datasheet recovery forms. Also, submitting photos is a snap with DSWorld. If anyone has any questions about how to use DSWorld, I'd be happy to try to answer them. Having started with the geocaching part of this sport, I have moved completely to benchmarks. I like the idea of hunting for them, plus the submission of an NGS report helps out any surveyors who may need to use the benchmarks in their projects. This strikes me as a useful public service. I am extremely disappointed in the actions of the geocaching organization, which has redesigned the geocaching website so as to make it almost impossible to locate any references to benchmarks, thus making it difficult for new users to even find out about them.

 

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