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forbin_c

Web app for finding benchmarks

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tl;dr: https://findbenchmarks.com/

 

I created an iPhone app for finding benchmarks years ago, but I got tired of Apple's development restrictions/costs. The NGS site (https://www.ngs.noaa.gov/NGSDataExplorer/) is, frankly, rather clunky, especially for mobile use.

 

I used the back end from my old app, updated my database (which I will do every month to capture the NGS releases) and made a pretty basic web app. I've only tested it with my iPhone X so far, and a couple of Android emulators. I won't bore you with instructions, since this group tends to be at the right side of the bell curve.

 

I welcome feedback. This is just the first iteration. One nice thing about making it browser based is much faster turnaround for enhancements and bug fixes.

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Nice! Now that all of the iOS apps are dead, I am having a hard time figuring out what to do as my 2019 Geocaching Goals really focus on Benchmarks. This helps. Thanks. I might test it out in the field tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

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I couldn't find this topic the other day for some reason. I knew I posted about it somewhere. I used this to find 27 bencmarks in a day the other day and it worked just fine. I have since used it to find about 5 more urban benchmarks. I like it and am finding it useful. 

However, I really need an offline option! 

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Tell me how you envision that would work. I could generate GPX files with waypoints (e.g., "download all benchmarks in this view"), but what would you do then? Would you use it within a geocaching app? If so, which app do you use? I'm certainly up for pursuing this if you think it adds value, but I don't know enough about what happens from the user's perspective.

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Well as you are following in the other thread, I have completely discovered that Cachly works for offline benchmarking. However, I will still likely be using your web based app anytime I have reception. They will be a workable duo for the short term. I think trying to get Cachly to do it all might not be a bad way to go. 

 

Again, your web app worked great and I certainly appreciated it. It made finding 27 benchmarks in a day fairly easy!

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I hate when an online question is answered with a non-answer, but here goes...

 

I tried some phone apps for my benchmark excursions, but eventually found that works best for me is to plan an outing with marks targeted in a given area, or maybe along a certain road, whatever. Then, I print out the actual NGS datasheets (usually edited to eliminate all the stuff I don't care about, and hopefully get it on a single sheet of paper). Make sure you download the up-to-date info directly from NGS, not the stale, rotting corpse of decades-old datasheets entombed on geocaching.com. Then it's over to the Geocaching site to hand-copy potentially-useful info from logs. I'll sometimes print out a map, or do a sketch, too. Put your printouts on a clipboard — a very important accessory if you want to look like you belong there, or anywhere — and you are ready.

 

Obviously, this approach is best for a planned outing, not a random, "Oh, here I am in St. Louis ... I wonder if I can grab some benchmarks near the Arch."

 

ArtMan

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1 hour ago, ArtMan said:

decades-old datasheets entombed on geocaching.com

I certainly want the latest data sheet version, but in a few cases the historical one has also helped me, so I'd hate to see those go away.  Besides adding new recoveries and later datum tags, NGS has sometimes taken things off the data sheet, particularly where there was some mixup, and I have found that historical info useful in understanding what happened.

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Bill93, You are right of course. But given the choice, I'd rather recovery reports from the past 18 (?) years than have the possibly-deleted historical info that, indeed, may be helpful in some situations.

-ArtMan-

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On 12/11/2018 at 8:06 AM, ArtMan said:

I hate when an online question is answered with a non-answer, but here goes...

 

I tried some phone apps for my benchmark excursions, but eventually found that works best for me is to plan an outing with marks targeted in a given area, or maybe along a certain road, whatever. Then, I print out the actual NGS datasheets (usually edited to eliminate all the stuff I don't care about, and hopefully get it on a single sheet of paper). Make sure you download the up-to-date info directly from NGS, not the stale, rotting corpse of decades-old datasheets entombed on geocaching.com. Then it's over to the Geocaching site to hand-copy potentially-useful info from logs. I'll sometimes print out a map, or do a sketch, too. Put your printouts on a clipboard — a very important accessory if you want to look like you belong there, or anywhere — and you are ready.

 

Obviously, this approach is best for a planned outing, not a random, "Oh, here I am in St. Louis ... I wonder if I can grab some benchmarks near the Arch."

 

ArtMan

 

ArtMan this is the direction I was headed, but found a much better method than that! Check it out here

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