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effstop

Two benchmarks that I recently found that aren't in the geocaching.com database

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I found the following two benchmarks recently but they don't seem to be in the geocaching.com database.  Any help or other info on these would be greatly appreciated.

 

1. NC 2, placed in 1974 near  the flagpole at the United States Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia

 

2. 2 DOP, placed in 1959 near the Stone Tower at Alleghany State Park, Salamanca, New York

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Both marks you found were set by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  The second one DOP 2 1959 is a standard marking they used which includes the initials of the survey team's chief of party.  Regrettably the vast majority of the data for marks set by USGS was never submitted to the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey (USC&GS), now the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) for inclusion in the national reference systems.  You may be able to find some information on these two marks by contacting the USGS office in Rolla, MO -- https://mcmcweb.er.usgs.gov/

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Posted (edited)

Also note that USGS does not maintain any electronic database for old survey marks.  They are all in a paper format and require "hands on" file searching so provide them all the info you can such as latitude, longitude, state, county, nearest town and what's stamped on the disk,  of where you found the mark.  Lat and Long being the most important.   Due to the many field crews and time span (decades) of the field work often stampings on the disk were duplicated so more than one could have the same stamping.   Seen it in my area several times.  I recall once at the DOT back in the 1990's we got a report on a auto accident that damaged a survey mark.  My boss dug out the data USGS sheets (from our files) and told me to check it out.  I also checked the NGS database and found there was another mark with the same designation about 100 miles in the opposite direction, so 2 marks with same name but different years.   The police report just gave us the location and the name U.S. Geological Survey.  They wanted to know the value of the survey mark for their property damage report.  

 

Edited by Z15

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On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 3:17 PM, effstop said:

I found the following two benchmarks recently but they don't seem to be in the geocaching.com database.

 

I only have a handful of benchmarks that were in the database, yet found well over a hundred now (by chance mostly).

There's quite a few who like the research n stuff to figure these things out. When I'm fully retired, I probably will too.   :)

 

IIRC, benchmark data wasn't all computerized yet when the site loaded 'em.  Benchmarks were a "fill in" if you will, until geocaches became more prevalent (something to find with a GPSr in the meantime).  Today, stats and "find count" are what's hot for the site.

With little incentive to add others later, benchmarks not listed on the site were directed to Waymarking.

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NGS computerized their data in the 1960's, I think. The data base here is a snapshot of NGS taken when this site started and won't be updated.

USGS hasn't digitized their datat and never will.

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NGS started automating all the positional, height and descriptive data for marks that they already had in paper form beginning in the mid-1970's.  All of the original data that is now in the database was hand punched on 80 character cards.  Over the years the database structure and data entry systems have changed and numerous automated checking routines that did not exist when the DB was first developed.  These data, along with a similar cooperative effort by the Canadian Geodetic Survey formed the very first national geodetic control databases anywhere in the world.  While the agency did extensive outreach to other federal and state agencies performing geodetic surveys (e.g. USGS, Bureau of Land Management, Corps of Engineers, TVA etc.) only a very modest amount of data was ever received from them. 

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I've found the Rolla, MO USGS office to be very helpful. I asked them for a copy of a datasheet in my area and they sent me copies of datasheets for all their marks in the same county. One thing to be aware of with USGS data sheets is that the datum of reference is not automatically updated as with NGS data sheets. Coordinates for the mark I was looking were relative to NAD27, and that made a difference of about 100 yards.

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