Jump to content

Newbie Needs Validation


Neos2

Recommended Posts

Newbie here. I would appreciate someone with experience checking up on me to make sure that I know what I am doing.

 

I went out to try to find my first benchmark the other day. I chose one that I thought would be easy--in familiar territory, in safe accessible ground, and probably not too worn...

 

I found a benchmark where I expected it (right on the money on the coords!), in good shape, and didn't have to tresspass to get to it. I took photos and they seem to have downloaded OK.

 

Q 322

 

Will someone please take a look and let me know if I missed crossing any t's or dotting any i's.

 

Thanks,

Neos2

Link to post

You committed a grave error by tilting the camera so the numbers are slanted!!! :laughing::unsure:

 

The only thing you could have done to make it better is to have included the gps (with the coordinate screen showing) in the picture with the benchmark.

 

Your picture is in sharper focus than a lot of what we see posted.

 

If the benchmark is solid in it's setting and you can read the designation on the disk, it is customary to log it as "recovered in good condition".

 

Welcome to the fun of searching out the old and unusual and common benchmarks.

 

Hope you have fun and enjoy doing it.

 

John

 

ps: any other questions -- we have all kinds of answers. B)

Link to post

You may want to report the find to NGS so they can update the description sheet. There are a number of guidelines for reporting to NGS, but for the most part a benchmark should be reported if its status has changed (my favorite example is where I can turn a "not found" mark into a "found" but I have done the opposite), it has not been reported in a while (suggestions range from 1 year to 20 on this board. I typically use 10 years or so as my basis), or the the description has changed enough that a new description would be beneficial to recovery. Yours has not been reported since it was set in 1965 so you may want to go to:

NGS Datasheet Page and look for SUBMIT RECOVERY. Use Other as the agency code and fill in GEOCAC. The rest is self explanatory.

One warning: Do not undertake NGS submission lightly. Your information will be used by future parties looking for the disk. Any errors will affect their ability to find the mark, so be careful and accurate. In the case of a "not found" submission, be completely certain that the disk cannot be found. I usually only submit a "not found" when I am certain the disk is gone, for instance, the bridge it was on has been replaced, all my measurements tie exactly to a spot there is no mark and I have made sure directional information is not wrong (sometimes even the submitting parties get their Never Eat Soggy Wheaties wrong!). I consider finding these marks a serious challange, so when I say it ain't found, it really ain't gonna be found!

 

For more about NGS reporting search this board for NGS or Recovery.

 

Good luck, and remember--be accurate!

 

Matt

Link to post

Most of us do NOT submit a report to the NGS (since we don't find doing that exciting). We are in it for the fun and if the NGS wants to know about a benchmark we found they can check the Geocaching benchmark logs (for that benchmark).

 

Logging with the NGS is not required to enjoy finding benchmarks (also, taking pictures is not required to log it at Geocaching, either.).

 

The idea is to have fun getting out and finding the benchmarks.

 

Don't let those that are serious about their benchmark hunting scare you away from searching for the interesting benchmarks that are waiting to be recovered.

 

John

Link to post
The only thing you could have done to make it better is to have included the gps (with the coordinate screen showing) in the picture with the benchmark.

Great job and welcome to the fun of benchmark hunting!

 

Just to add a bit to what 2oldfarts said about the GPS:

This benchmark's location on the datasheet is listed as scaled. That means that the coordinates were estimated from a map and could be off by as much as 600+ feet. If you list the coordinates from your GPS, you are adding valuable information about the benchmark and will make it easier for the next person to find it. The NGS even has a change in the works to allow entry of handheld GPS coordinates to be entered in the recovery form for scaled benchmarks. But, no word on when that change will take effect.

Link to post

To follow up on what 2oldfarts said, to me there are many aspects of this hobby that make it enjoyable. One of those is to help the NGS in keeping their database updated so that the marks can be found by someone who needs to use them, as opposed to us hobbyists, who just find them for fun. Others here have mentioned that surveyors rarely bother to update their finds--they are too busy using the marks and doing their work to bother. So I get satisfaction in helping the next person to look for the mark find it if something has changed. Even a report that the mark was FOUND since 1934 or whatever helps them to realize it is still there.

 

As for NGS checking the GC site, first of all, NGS rarely looks for the marks it lists, so it does not check GC.com at all. NGS is an agency in charge of the marks but without the manpower to manage all of them. They count on other agencies, firms, and individuals to keep the datasheets up to date. Local surveyors, for the most part, have not heard of GC.com and would probably not bother to check it before looking for a mark.

 

I agree that if you feel uncomfortable reporting to NGS you should not do so, but to me that is like eating my cake and leaving the icing.

 

One of the reasons I don't geocache is that I don't see a point to it that is bigger than myself. With benchmarks I get to explore, challange myself by researching local history and land areas, and then, help someone by reporting (to NGS) what I did. It feels great to be the FTF (first to find) on GC, but even better to log a mark with NGS that hasn't been reported since 1886! Maybe someone who hesitated to use that mark in a survey will decide it can be of value to them because I proved it was there!

 

Granted, when I take up a hobby I do so somewhat obsessively, so why should this one be different?!

 

Take all that for what you will. Do this to your level of interest and enjoyment. My only wish is that you do it honestly and as accurately as you can. And have fun of course!

 

Matt

Link to post

Neos2 -

 

Your first benchmark find looks very good. Both photos are very good - you included several points of reference in the area photo. That's very good. I would offer two suggestions:

 

1. It appears, from the area photo, that the current (1965?) description of the mark and its location are still valid. In such cases, most benchmark hunters post "Found as described" or, even, "Found exactly as described". That tells future hunters that the 39 year old description is still valid. Were the description not valid, your post should read something like "Found with the following modifiction to the description: the pump house is no longer standing and has been replaced by a Starbucks ... etc etc etc".

 

2. Since the coordinates for your first find are SCALED (that is, to say, inexact), you would be doing subsequent benchmark hunters a service by adding "Handheld coordinates are N38-17.xxx W085-41.xxx"

 

As ROGBARN mentioned above, the NGS recovery report function will include the ability to update SCALED coordinates with handheld coordinates at some time in the future. The current guidance from Deb Brown at the NGS is to include handheld coordinates in the recovery report, as per the above, if you choose to submit your recovery to the NGS as well as to the Geocaching database.

 

Will

 

ADDED: p.s. For reporting handheld coordinates in NGS recoveries, I convert the Geocaching format DD-MM.MMM to the NGS format DD-MM-SS.SS.

7

Edited by seventhings
Link to post
Will someone please take a look and let me know if I missed crossing any t's or dotting any i's.

Looks like a fine recovery to me.

 

Now you are ready to find one that is not "PROJECTING 6 INCHES", but rather "6 INCHES BELOW GRADE"!

 

-WR

Link to post

Thanks for all the informative replies. Let's see, what have I learned...(science teacher, can ya tell?)...

 

1) I will go back and take a picture of the GPSr by the benchmark

2) I will change my log to read --"recovered in good condition"and "found as described" and add my reading from the GPSr

3) I think I will go ahead and report it to NGS with the coords in NGS format DD-MM-SS.SS.

4) I will wait for the world to revolve around me so that tilt issue in the picture goes away :tired:

 

Seriously, I hadn't thought about the benefit of reporting the condition of the benchmarks...especially this one, as it seemed so recent to me, but hey, 1965 was a couple of years ago, huh. And it has been some years since it was reported.

 

As for finding one 6 inches below grade...well, there are some around here that ought to be a challenge because of construction. Although there are many geocachers around, I don't see many benchmark hunters...and it'll give me a new excuse to go look for trilobites.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to help me get off to a comfortable start. :tired:

Link to post

My 2¢ worth on pictures -

 

It isn't necessary to include your GPSr in a benchmark picture. In fact, I think benchmark pictures look a whole lot better without GPSrs in them.

 

On the subject of how often the NGS accepts reports on a PID -

 

The NGS mark recovery page says not to do a report if there has been one in the last "12 months". A couple of years ago, I emailed Deb at the NGS saying that there'd be an awful lot of reports if disks were reported on every year. In her reply she said again - no more often than once every 12 months. The gc.com benchamark FAQ page says 30 years, and often you will see people saying 10 years or so in this forum but there is no such several-year limit like that on the NGS site. Even a "found as described" with no changes assures somone that, at the time of the report, the disk was still there, so that in itself is a piece of information about the PID, even though nothing about the to-reach description needs to be changed.

Link to post

I will add one comment and that is to refrain from sending in reports to NGS for marks that are NOT FOUND unless you are confident it probably does not exist anymore or impossible to find by normal means.

 

All to often (has happened to me) you overlook something or the description has a error in it that places you in the wrong location or roads have changed etc. For instance I have a seen a vast amount of reports of marks not found in my area by USPSQD that are there. many times in plain sight with witness posts that have been there for many years.

Edited by elcamino
Link to post

elcamino brings up a valid point--submitting a NOT FOUND on GC.com is perfectly acceptable, to me at least, even if you have just glanced at the area. It is only your reputation as a benchmark hunter with us other benchmark hunters that is at stake. Submitting a NOT FOUND to NGS suggests that you have gone through all means possible to find the mark. I have quite a few circled on my maps that I plan on returning to when the hunting is better--fall or winter when brush and weeds are down, when the property owner is home, etc., etc. I won't mark them NOT FOUND until I am sure I have searched everywhere. That isn't to say all NOT FOUNDs are hard. When you look for a mark that is supposed to be on a "wooden bridge" and you find a concrete structure built in the 1990s, you can be pretty certain the mark is not there (although, yes, I do look--PA monuments on bridges are set on the abutment and sometimes the bridge has been rebuilt atop the existing supporting structure).

 

Any yes, the USPSQD NOT FOUNDs are ripe for the plucking. I make a point of looking for their NOT FOUND marks and probably have found about 1/4 of them. KW1319 is a fine example of how easy it can be to convert a NOT FOUND to a FOUND. I paused my car where I thought this one was to let my son look out the window and was surprised to see a witness post staring me in the face!. USPSQD gets credit for marks reported, not marks reported FOUND. That said, there is at least one USPSQD member in my area who has done a great job and I haven't caught him (or her) in a false NOT FOUND yet.

 

Matt

Link to post
Will someone please take a look and let me know if I missed crossing any t's or dotting any i's.

Looks like a fine recovery to me.

 

Now you are ready to find one that is not "PROJECTING 6 INCHES", but rather "6 INCHES BELOW GRADE"!

 

-WR

You realy think that they are below grade? Here is one that i have been looking for. there are no whitness posts, no plastic pipe and i have mesured a line from the other mark noted, and i have measured from the RXR tracks, the only thing i didn,t do was dig down.

Link to post

Tupperhunter,

That is an odd one. The most obvious anomally is that it is not in the location noted on the map--the coordinates are the same as those for Y 29. It is described as being 300 feet southwest of Y 29, which I see you found. If Y 29 is just east (or northeast if you are being picky) of the wye switch, then the mark in question is inside the wye, and the description notes that--it is 31.5 feet southeast of the main track and 36.1 feet northwest of the spur track (that is the southeast leg of the wye). Although I would not really want to measure 300 feet with my 100 foot tape, I would do that if measurements inside the wye didn't pan out.

I am also guessing, from looking at the Topozone map link from GC.com and USA Photo Maps, that there may not be tracks there any more, but you should be able to determine about where they used to be. If you cannot figure where the exact rail was, try to find the center of the track area and add half the distance between rails, (half of 4' 8 1/2 ") and measure from there.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

..Where I think.................../

..........it is ------->...O....--

.................................../

...............................--

............................./

Edited by mloser
Link to post

Were you between the tracks? Actually, I doubt if anyone who stole the disk would bother to pick up two witness posts--they don't look as good on a shelf as a benchmark does. I think your benchmark may be a victim of a derailment that crushed the posts and it. I would suggest a metal dectector but near railroad tracks you will just pick up hundreds of hits from discarded spikes, tie plates, brake shoes, etc.

To me the key items are that the mark is between the tracks southwest of the switch, in the Wye, and that it is not where the coordinates indicate, at least not precisely. You might be able to find what looks like a piece of rebar sticking out of the ground or mashed into the ground where it should be. You would also find pieces of (probably) white plastic from the pipe if it was broken. Measure carefully. There is only one spot where the measurements from the north track and south tracks are exactly what are specified. I take a number of pink-painted huge nails--spikes but not railroad spikes to mark my measurements one at a a time until they converge where they need to.

 

Matt

Link to post

We recently lost a few BM's along a RR in this area. Culprit? The RR went thru with a big brush hog mounted on the train, it wiped out all brush along the RR and most importantly at the intersections with roads. The brush hogs use chains to maul everything sticking out of the ground. One BM post I found was all broken up, the witness post looked like a pretzel, another an Azimuth got torn out of the ground.

 

So, the RR are always clearing brush and adding ballast to the tracks.

Link to post
I will add one comment and that is to refrain from sending in reports to NGS for marks that are NOT FOUND unless you are confident it probably does not exist anymore or impossible to find by normal means.

 

All to often (has happened to me) you overlook something or the description has a error in it that places you in the wrong location or roads have changed etc. For instance I have a seen a vast amount of reports of marks not found in my area by USPSQD that are there. many times in plain sight with witness posts that have been there for many years.

Found over 5 on Saturday. True the conversion of old railroad to ATV trail helped, but at least three of them were in mowed yards.

Link to post
Will someone please take a look and let me know if I missed crossing any t's or dotting any i's.

Looks like a fine recovery to me.

 

Now you are ready to find one that is not "PROJECTING 6 INCHES", but rather "6 INCHES BELOW GRADE"!

 

-WR

You realy think that they are below grade? Here is one that i have been looking for. there are no whitness posts, no plastic pipe and i have mesured a line from the other mark noted, and i have measured from the RXR tracks, the only thing i didn,t do was dig down.

Is this an active track? Rails still there? Watch out for trespass and the RR Police.

Link to post
Will someone please take a look and let me know if I missed crossing any t's or dotting any i's.

Looks like a fine recovery to me.

 

Now you are ready to find one that is not "PROJECTING 6 INCHES", but rather "6 INCHES BELOW GRADE"!

 

-WR

You realy think that they are below grade? Here is one that i have been looking for. there are no whitness posts, no plastic pipe and i have mesured a line from the other mark noted, and i have measured from the RXR tracks, the only thing i didn,t do was dig down.

Is this an active track? Rails still there? Watch out for trespass and the RR Police.

Yes the tracks are still there but they are used 2 times a year for the Adirondack scienic rxr to go from old forge to saranac lake/lake placid where it runs. aalso the tracks are free to roam on but no motor vechicles. i will go digg a little today.

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...