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Jeremy

Updated Benchmark Section

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Lots of changes to the benchmark section. No longer an ignored stepchild, Benchmark Hunting now has the same features as the Geocaching and Travel Bug area of the site.

 

1. Image uploads are not limited to 100k anymore. It will resize larger uploads.

 

2. Logs are now editable.

 

3. That ugly orange color is gone. Now it is an ugly olive.

 

4. Search functionality has been significantly enhanced. I liked that there is a mountain named IRISH. And, no surprise, a geocache less than 175 ft away.

 

5. The section is in the new code base, so features added to other sections will be applied to benchmarks.

 

Yay!

 

Let me know what I did wrong. Praise is always appreciated :unsure:

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I forgot to list what we haven't done yet.

 

1. Updated data from the NGS is still waiting to be done. Unfortunately the NGS has changed the style of their sheets somewhat, so we need to compensate for it.

 

2. You can't submit new benchmarks. This concept will be covered when we reintroduce locationless caches (which ultimately needs a better name).

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i'm delighted that benchmarks are being worked on. i liked tho old orange color, though. it made it very easy to distinguish between screens.

 

i have no complaints. i' can't wait to see how it all comes out, and i'll let you know how it goes for me using the new features.

 

are we going to get BM PQ's? that would be SWEET!

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Thanks for the effort, Jeremy.

 

My first puzzlement is, what determines 'reference points?' It's not obvious to me.

 

Also, I had hoped we would have gotten a navigation tab on the home page, but I see the link to benchmarks is still buried a screen or so down in a sea of text that doesn't exactly jump off the page at the casual user. Perhaps the prominence of a tab would encourage more cachers to try out benchmarking.

 

-ArtMan-

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I gasped, oh no, not another upgrade limited to the things which weren't broken previously ... but I don't think anything changed yet. It's probably on the test server only?

Ob-antiTPTB invective: actually just wanted to quote the Three No's of the Law of Thieves, especially as pertains to asking admins and powers to decide issues the way you want:

- Do not trust

- Do not fear

- Do not ask

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Thanks for the work, Jeremy.

 

Some observations:

 

The link that goes directly to the benchmark hunting forums isn't working.

 

The icon for "not found" is "reported missing". It should be "not found". We use "not found" around here a lot and know what it means.

 

Occansionally, the incorrect icon gets put on a benchmark. I did a search from zipcode 63119. On page 2 for PID JC0226 there is an icon for "reported missing" but the only log is a note. I think I found another example but can't find it now.

 

If the last GC log is a note, keep checking to see if there is another type of log. Only use note if that is the only type that has been logged. See JC0208 on page 1 for an example.

 

The "You:" line is on the line below the benchmark line. If there is nothing above it, it looks badly offline. We need to develop a way to populate the first line so this doesn't happen.

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Very nice! I especially like the added icons to the search results page.

 

Just one little thing: The disk with the question mark is listed at the bottom as "Disk may be missing", which I agree with, but when you hover over it on the list, "Disk has been reported missing" appears, which is not accurate. As we've learned from some of the pros here, a "Mark Not Found" report may mean "I didn't even have time to look for it". It's not necessarily a definite "I couldn't find it".

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Since Roger beat me to the "submit" button, and I see he shares some of my thoughts, I'll go ahead and vote for a straight "Not found" to go with the questionable marks (former skulls).

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Since Roger beat me to the "submit" button, and I see he shares some of my thoughts, I'll go ahead and vote for a straight "Not found" to go with the questionable marks (former skulls).

It's always nice to have confirmation!

 

On the other hand, these are not former skulls. Former skulls had a not found in the official history. These have a GC not found log.

 

One more thing that I've noticed. The search by zipcode is for 10 miles. All other searches that I've done (I think they are all variations of a coordinate search) are for 10 km. And I can't seem to get the "&dist=xx" to work.

 

EDIT: Sorry, you are correct, they are the former skulls!

Edited by rogbarn

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Always ready to share some funny ones:

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/nearest.asp...lon=-112.626319

check the top line. It was never logged according to the icon on the left, yet there is a log date on the right.

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/nearest.asp...lon=-110.377869 Note the description-less icon.

Ob-TBTB invective: new bm page maps, with those cute trees and bushes, s*ck. But the old ones are no longer available :unsure: way to go guys, I love frogs, when they are available in my local Smith's.

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Always ready to share some funny ones:

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/nearest.asp...lon=-112.626319

check the top line. It was never logged according to the icon on the left, yet there is a log date on the right.

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/nearest.asp...lon=-110.377869 Note the description-less icon.

Ob-TBTB invective: new bm page maps, with those cute trees and bushes, s*ck. But the old ones are no longer available :unsure: way to go guys, I love frogs, when they are available in my local Smith's.

Yes, there is something strange going on with incorrect icons being displayed.

 

The note and Didn't find it icons need to be included in the legend.

 

Beyond that, give me functionality and readability.

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check the top line. It was never logged according to the icon on the left, yet there is a log date on the right.

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/nearest.asp...lon=-112.626319

There was a discovered issue while going through the site that previous logs, when deleted, messed up the icon representation on the site. I fixed it today so it will take a while to populate with the correct icons.

 

 

It wasn't found, so there was no found date. If you logged it as a find it would be listed with a date.

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Also, I had hoped we would have gotten a navigation tab on the home page...

This has been documented in the forums. The new site design will have a benchmarking tab, but not until the site is completely moved over to the new code base.

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The icon for "not found" is "reported missing". It should be "not found". We use "not found" around here a lot and know what it means.

The ? icon represents what the skulls used to represent - A benchmark that in the official NGS report was, at one time, marked "not found"

 

If it wasn't found by a fellow benchmarkian, you'll get a frowny icon.

 

To the right is the last known log. If it was found, you'll get a date.

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:unsure:B)

Jeremy...it looks very good! It works for us...no problems at all. But, I guess we are easy to please B) .

 

Thank you ever so much. And here we thought it could not be set up any better than it was........

 

We like the new icons on the search pages.

 

Hooray for the 'Designation search'! :huh:B)

 

Just a thought for the name of 'locationless caches'=='Multi-Virtual' With several little ghosts for the icon.

 

Thanks again!

 

Shirley & John

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We did get one unepexcted response when we did a 'special' search. We used the 'Designation' feature and entered 'cairn'.

 

The search responded with cairns from everywhere, including Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, and nearby states. How do we narrow the search for a specific area?

 

Love that designation search feature! :unsure:

 

John & Shirley

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I would be more interested in hunting benchmarks if pocket queries were available, as flask mentioned above.

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Also, I had hoped we would have gotten a navigation tab on the home page...

This has been documented in the forums. The new site design will have a benchmarking tab, but not until the site is completely moved over to the new code base.

This is slightly off topic Jeremy - but I think it would be a great idea if you guys would pin a topic in the "Announcements" forum listing the things that you guys are working on. I think that there are a lot of people that don't understand the 'search' feature and there are always newbies who come to the website that bring up the same requests - often things you've said you're planning to do.

 

I think that a pinned topic with a 'in the works' type information (no ETA, of course - I know how that can pin you down) would be a huge benifit to the members of the website.

 

------

 

Back to benchmarking - I haven't played with it enough to really comment but it looks great so far.

 

Keep up the good work,

 

southdeltan

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Here are a just a few major problems and issues (I'm sure there are others):

 

1: What happened to the coordinates that were recorded with the original logs? It's understood that stations with adjusted coordinates probably don't need to have GPSr coordinates supplied with the logs. However, GPSr coordinates are important additions for stations with scaled coordinates. NGS is in the process of providing an official means for submitting differentially corrected and/or autonmous GPS coordinates for scaled stations. On-site GPSr coordinates can also help locate reference marks, which often don't have their own datasheets or adjusted coordinates.

 

2: Where are the coordinates that were recorded with the original photos that were uploaded with these logs? This usually relates to photos of reference marks (as noted above). Is all this data lost now?!

 

3: The dates shown for existing logs are the dates that the logs were entered and not the date the marks were recovered. Many of us log our recoveries days or weeks afterward. This is most definitely unacceptable.

 

4: Why on Earth is the "Destroyed" logging option still being offered? This issue has been discussed to death. An NGS station is either "Found" or "Not Found," otherwise a Note should be posted. NGS standards dictate whether a station is destroyed and they alone should make that determination. However, the "Found" option should contain a separate Condition Field: Good, Poor, Destroyed. The Destroyed condition can be checked when NGS declares a station destroyed and updates their datasheet based on evidence submitted to them from the recoverer. This implies that the station was positively identified, and therefore "found" for the purpose of recovery and logging.

 

I have no problem with any of the cosmetic changes or new search features, but for the life of me I can't understand why things that were never a problem always seem to get messed with, and things that should be changed are merely ignored, glossed over, or have some awkward new wording applied. Many of us work hard at making the best recoveries possible and providing accurate and up-to-date information. It's also very encouraging to see so many professionals visiting the benchmarking forum and following our activities through our benchmarking logs.

 

Cheers ...

Edited by Rich in NEPA

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Um ... after just a quick glance at the new site, I see several problems here.

 

1. What happened to all the coordinates I painstakingly entered for most of the marks (especially triangulation stations, which required several sets of coordinates because of the reference marks)?? I don't see them listed anywhere on my logs.

 

2. Log dates are wrong, wrong, wrong ... I'm thinking the dates being picked up are the dates the log was actually entered, not the date for which it was submitted. For example, check LY2682. I just got around to writing up and submitting the log a few weeks ago, so the date of January 27, 2004 is shown. Rich's log shows a date of November 29, 2003. However, Rich and I both found the mark on November 23, 2003!

 

~Zhanna

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I did a quick scan of the above threads and didn't see this mentioned... if it was I apologize... clicking the 'found' benchmark link on a user's profile page does not show the benchmarks that particular user recovered.

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Take a deep breath.

 

None of the data is gone. There are bugs to fix in the new setup. I'm working on this as we speak, which is why I posted this message in the first place.

 

Dates have been fixed, and the waypoints have been re-added to the log lists. I will work on adding coordinates back to the images. They are stored safely in the database and will no be affected by the current feel of the page.

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1. What happened to all the coordinates I painstakingly entered for most of the marks (especially triangulation stations, which required several sets of coordinates because of the reference marks)?? I don't see them listed anywhere on my logs.

 

Yeah :unsure: this isn't good... the updated coordinates with finders' logs was really beneficial. Hopefully they can be restored.

 

I'm sure Jeremy is listening to our concerns and will help correct what we're reporting.

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I'm sure Jeremy is listening to our concerns and will help correct what we're reporting

 

LOL, Jeremy and I just posted at the same time... I knew he was working on it :unsure:

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I fixed the link from the profile page.

 

Tomorrow I'll be working to re-add the waypoint to the images. This will actually create the feature for geocaches and travel bugs as well.

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I fixed the link from the profile page.

 

Wow! That's service :unsure: One problem solved 8 minutes after it was reported B)

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Take a deep breath.

 

None of the data is gone. There are bugs to fix in the new setup. I'm working on this as we speak, which is why I posted this message in the first place.

We weren't trying to jump down your throat ... but you did ask. Personally I think it's better to answer your question ("let me know what I did wrong") with meaningful input than to fawn mindlessly.

 

I do appreciate the very quick acknowledgement of the issues I mentioned. You've calmed my nerves somewhat.

 

~Zhanna

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input than to fawn mindlessly.

Just indicate the issues and I'll work on them. I don't need praise and I do need to know what is wrong so I can fix it. There is no need to be overly colorful.

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Why on Earth is the "Destroyed" logging option still being offered? This issue has been discussed to death. An NGS station is either "Found" or "Not Found," otherwise a Note should be posted. NGS standards dictate whether a station is destroyed and they alone should make that determination. However, the "Found" option should contain a separate Condition Field: Good, Poor, Destroyed. The Destroyed condition can be checked when NGS declares a station destroyed and updates their datasheet based on evidence submitted to them from the recoverer. This implies that the station was positively identified, and therefore "found" for the purpose of recovery and logging.

The destroyed log type has been used in the system already, so the problem will be to determine how to correct the previous log types.

 

My recommendation, which is more feasable considering the back-end coding, is to create different "found" log types that indicate condition for the future. so it would look like

 

Found in good condition

Found in poor condition

Found destroyed

 

Then of course, the generic

 

Note

and

Not found (as in where the heck is it?)

 

The "found destroyed" log would be the existing destroyed log but reworded.

 

Does this work as a solution?

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We'll have to keep the generic found for old logs, but we would also remove that as an option. Users can change their old logs to the new ones if they like.

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Does this work as a solution?

 

IMHO, I think it would work, but I really wish there wasn't a destroyed option. However, I do understand that there are thousands and thousands of logs in the system that already exist that you must contend with.

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Does anyone see an issue with changing "destroyed" log type to "found as destroyed" as a conditional found? If this were the case all of the old logs would just convert to this new description.

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To edit a log entry seems to be two steps from the benchmark page - click once to visit the log (why?), then a second click to edit it. I suggest it was more efficient (albeit perhaps not as pretty) the old way.

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Benchmark gallery: Each picture was labeled with its PID. No longer. If there was any consensus about a change needed in the gallery, it would have been to add the county/state field, not remove the PID.

 

Also, the thumbnails are handled inconsistently: some seem to be compressed to fit the 100x80 size, others are shrunk proportionally with black filling out the unused space. I suggest you retain the original aspect ratio.

 

-ArtMan-

 

PS - Jeremy: aren't you glad your benchmarkers are so engaged? ;-)

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PS - Jeremy: aren't you glad your benchmarkers are so engaged? ;-)

 

I'm sure he's just happy this particular forum is well-behaved compared to some of the others :unsure:

 

Now back on topic, I missed the part about the PIDs being removed. Although it would be awesome to see the county and state listed, I would rather have the PIDs than nothing.

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Does anyone see an issue with changing "destroyed" log type to "found as destroyed" as a conditional found? If this were the case all of the old logs would just convert to this new description.

There are essentially two issues involved with the concept of destroyed marks, and it's kind of difficult to explain them clearly.

 

Unlike Geocaching, where a logbook is typically required to be found and signed, recovering an NGS station can include finding the mark (or landmark) which identifies the station, finding the station in disturbed/mutilated condition whether the mark is there or not, or simply not finding the mark but being able to positively identify the station. (Usually, finding an empty hole where you believe the mark should have been is not adequate proof of the station's identity, and even NGS will not consider declaring the station as destroyed. More proof is needed.) It's easiest to think in terms of "stations" as opposed to the physical marks themselves. NGS refers to stations in their datasheets. The marks merely represent the stations.

 

Finding the mark intact is a no-brainer: it means the station was found and identified. If the mark is missing, then it's a whole new ballgame! The problem now is whether the station can be positively identified, and that's where NGS comes in. The evidence is submitted to them and they will determine if it's sufficient to identify the station and whether it should be declared destroyed. The "Destroyed" logging option is in a sense irrelevant to us, but credit should still be given for the more difficult task of identifying the station itself. That's why I feel "Destroyed" should be a condition relating to the "Find," but only used after NGS has officially declared the station destroyed. If the station can't be positively identified (as is usually the case with vertical control stations with scaled coordinates), the mark should be logged as Not Found. As another example, tri-stations with a missing mark can almost always be positively identified by locating the reference marks and working back from them to the spot where the station mark should have been. Landmark stations, as well, can sometimes be easily identified with a little extra research.

 

So, to answer Jeremy's question about a possible work-around, my own opinion is that his suggestion would be a reasonable alternative. I'd also like the suggest the wordings: Found in Good Condition, Found in Poor/Disturbed Condition, and Found in Destroyed Condition. Most often we'll be logging one of the first two options or a Not Found, and then going back to edit the log if NGS accepts a destroyed recovery report.

 

Cheers ...

Edited by Rich in NEPA

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sometimes we find that they ARE destroyed, but we are not in official position to make the pronouncement. for instance, the spire of the cathedral here in burlington VT is a benchmark, but the whole church burned down thirty some odd years ago and the spire is not yet reported as destroyed.

 

the building was razed and there is no longer a spire, so i'm pretty sure this one is gone.

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sometimes we find that they ARE destroyed, but we are not in official position to make the pronouncement. for instance, the spire of the cathedral here in burlington VT is a benchmark, but the whole church burned down thirty some odd years ago and the spire is not yet reported as destroyed.

 

the building was razed and there is no longer a spire, so i'm pretty sure this one is gone.

Flask, I think this is a good example where you do have adequate proof that the station is destroyed and I would suggest that you submit the evidence to NGS. Of course the final determination is theirs to make. In this particular case I think it is fitting for you to have logged the station as "Found in Destroyed Condition" and you could mention in your log that an official NGS recovery report has been submitted.

 

Here are a couple of destroyed landmark examples (Zhanna and I often work as a team for many BM recoveries and she will take care of submitting all of the NGS reports): LY2800, LY2802, LY2723.

 

Cheers ...

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Changing 'destroyed' to 'conditional found' seems like it might have odd effects on people's 'found' counts. (I realize that the whole concept of counts is somewhat trivial, but here's the issue if anyone cares.)

 

Jeremy, I'm not sure what you mean by "a conditional found". I'm assuming that it means a type of 'Found it', and that changing all 'destroyed' logs this way would increase a person's 'found' count.

 

There are (at least 3) varieties of what happens:

 

1. Someone finds a benchmark disk and it is out of place, fallen over, etc. The was found. The benchmarker logs as 'destroyed'.

 

2. Someone finds that the location of the benchmark (a bridge or building) is gone, or the actual cement mounting where the disk obviously had been is found, but the disk itself wasn't found. The benchmarker logs as 'destroyed'.

 

3. Someone finds that the location of the benchmark (a bridge of building) is gone, or the actual cement mounting where the disk obviously had been is found, but the disk itself wasn't found. Then the following steps happen:

a. The benchmarker logs as 'not found'.

b. The benchmarker reports to the NGS indicating destroyed.

c. The NGS agrees with the benchmarker's report of 'destroyed' and marks the PID as destroyed.

d. The benchmarker later sees that the NGS declares the mark as 'destroyed based on his/her report.

e. The benchmarker changes his log to 'found it'.

 

I think that most benchmarkers stick with #1 and log #2 as "not found', instead of 'destroyed. Rich describes (I think) #3, except that he'd rather be logging is 'found as destroyed'.

 

I assume that changing 'destroyed' to a type of 'found' would increase the find counts of persons doing #1 and #3 appropriately and increase the find counts of persons logging as #2 inappropriately.

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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I don't file reports with the NGS, just on GC. If I look for a benchmark and I am SURE it is destroyed I would use the "found but destroyed" option. I log here for the benefit of other Benchmark Hunters. I have no interest in filing an official log, but it would be nice to let other people know what I did find (destroyed). If I find that a benchmark has been destroyed, should not that count as a legitimate type of found?

 

John

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I'm not sure this is exactly on topic or not, but I really like the new maps!

 

Clicking on them shows all the cache locations!

 

BUT NOT the benchmarks! Oh if only the map had checkboxes for those! Especially by the type (found, not found, etc.). Of course, the benchmark boxes could be unchecked by default for all the geocachers, and I wouldn't mind unchecking all the cache types and checking all the benchmark types just to have it.

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how about instead of .loc files for the download which is useless how about .gpx files with the descriptions that is more usefull

I agree this is a good idea. I think I saw in another thread that they plan to have .gpx file downloads for individual caches and I bet they'd have the same for benchmarks.

 

southdeltan

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(ok...I posted this in the pinned thread...how I'll put it here, where it will probably be seen...)

 

Looking better! great!

 

One of my nitpicks...could something be done to make the difference between the visited and unvisited links more distinct? It's hard to tell which marks I've already clicked on, with the current a:link and a:visited settings.

 

Oh...and the TerraServer link is finally fixed! Thanks!

 

As for the debate about "found", "not found" "destroyed" "note" references:

I think "Confirmed Destroyed" would be more descriptive and less contradictory-sounding, especially to a new mark hunter. If it counts toward "found" logs, so be it.

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Quote RACooper Feb 12 2004, 08:34 PM

 

As for the debate about "found", "not found" "destroyed" "note" references:

I think "Confirmed Destroyed" would be more descriptive and less contradictory-sounding, especially to a new mark hunter. If it counts toward "found" logs, so be it.

 

This sounds very good. Until confirmed by NGS, or the actual disk was found in a destroyed state, a person should use 'Didn't find it'.

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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