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FtMgAl

Are There Any Standards Here?

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First my background is that when I was in college I worked summers for a city engineering department and was the grunt dragging the chain and driving the stakes. I have no accredited surveying education but I have taken my turn setting up the transit and running lines.

 

So you’d think I’d have some interest in finding benchmarks. I did also until I tried my first one here. I did a search using my home location. There was one very close that should be very easy to find. In a public park. Good parking. Wide open lawn. Previous found report. What I found was a large expanse of grass with a recently created bare earth patch about 30 feet square where the BM should be. That’s more like what I remember from those summers long ago. Finding BMs isn’t always as easy as it might seem.

 

There was a new Wal-Mart under construction a block away. The last thing you want when you are a multimillion dollar corporation is to put your parking lot one foot over on someone else’s property. That’s why some surveyor probably spent an hour or so digging for that BM. The BM in question may or may not be there. But the person who reported a “Found it” went to the coordinates and that was good enough for a “Found it”.

 

I did some further research and found several examples of obvious “Been there/Got the T-Shirt/Found it”:

 

BG4951 “…Couldn't get inside the fence because it was locked and it said no trespassing. Got within 30 ft. of the mark…” I can see this tank from my house. Can I claim a “Found it”?

 

BG4952 I can verify the tank is blue rather than green. I can also verify it is inside a fenced area. Is that good enough for a “Found it”?

 

So this really turned me off to finding benchmarks. The standard seems to be that you can claim a “Found it” as long as you get within eyesight of where you think it should be. That’s not even close to my standard. My standard is to be able to read a mark that exactly matches the PID on something that looks like the described item. But the standard here would seem to be that I can log a “Found it” on BG4066 by going down to the channel tonight with a pair of binoculars and looking west. About three miles down the arrow straight channel I should be able to see a light. FOUND IT!!! :huh:

 

As the Klingons would say, benchmark finders have no honor.

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But the standard here would seem to be that I can log a “Found it” on BG4066 by going down to the channel tonight with a pair of binoculars and looking west.

 

Yep, if your binoculars can let you examine the beacon and the slatted structure on piles, you can claim a find. These types of marks are a bit different from finding a disk.

 

As the Klingons would say, benchmark finders have no honor.

 

I take personal offense to this statement. You have no right to post such a generalization. As a benchmarker and a volunteer member of the USGS working on the National Map, I have all the honor I need. If the work I am doing is good enough for the USGS, then it should good enough for anyone.

 

You are welcome to come and discuss marks with us anytime, but please don't attempt to stereotype all of us as having "no honor". :huh:

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Oh and FWIW, I see nothing wrong with any of the logs made by the finders on the marks you mentioned. If you can see the tower or tank it's perfectly acceptable to log it. The finder even let us know that the water tank had been painted blue. Cheers!

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And since when did this become a contest? If you don't feel confident in claiming a "found," don't log it that way. I'm just getting started in all this, but I look at it this way. Someone with more "founds" isn't automatically a "better" benchmark hound. They'll undoubtedly have more experience than I do, but you can only issue judgement on the quality of YOUR finds.

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FtMgAl -

 

That's an odd way to start in this forum. How about reading the Benchmark FAQ? In there it explains that we aren't expected to climb up intersection stations like the ones you reference. Since these can be evaluated from outside a fence as to whether they are the same intersection station described. If they are, then a Found-it log is OK. The reasoning should be obvious - for many towers, as hobbyists, we have no business walking right up to their base, plus that close, you often can't identify properly whether it is the same tower or not - you have to be at some distance to examine it.

 

If you want a decent challenge, look for benchmark disks, not intersection stations. As you can see in the FAQ, it says

you must read the disk.
This is quite different from the process for logging intersection stations.

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I take personal offense to this statement…

 

Clearly you haven't met the Emperor of Hyperbole. Let me introduce myself. :P

 

Yep, if your binoculars can let you examine the beacon and the slatted structure on piles, you can claim a find. These types of marks are a bit different from finding a disk.

 

So all you have to do is see a structure that resembles the described item? A light on pilings in about the right location? A mast on a tank that fits the description? I can often do that from satellite photos. Can I just go to terraserver or lostoutdoors and spend my evenings logging finds for benchmarks? For example BG4952 (I didn’t convert the map datum so I expect the red mark to be off a little) Look closely and you can see the shadow of a tower on top of the tank. FOUND IT!!! BG4066 This one’s a lot tougher since the sun was higher in the sky and so the shadows aren’t as clear but.. yes… yes… three lines... yes... FOUND IT!!!

 

And for the sarcastically impaired, no, I do not think what I just did should qualify as a found it. What is the purpose? BM’s have a purpose. They tell you where you are on the surface of the earth. A mast or a light can give you a heading and 2 will allow you to triangulate roughly where you are. 3, 4, or 5 can narrow it down pretty close. But if you don’t know if you have the right one; if the one you are looking at just looks like the right one from a distance, then your observation is questionable. You have to verify the point you are using by physical examination if you want to be sure you know where you are. Even then it isn’t always clear that the objects haven’t moved. The fact that the green tank is now blue means that you should really document who painted the original tank rather than just assume that a tank with a tower in about the right location isn’t a replacement of the tank that went down in a hurricane except the new tank is 20 meters east of where the old tank was. Now if you can find the PID then you know you probably have the right tank but you’re not going to do that from 3 miles away. I still think claiming a Found it is wrong if you just see something in the distance that looks about right. It implies that the BM is in place as described. Just like the bare patch of earth at the given coordinates, that may or may not be true.

 

But if this is just a game with no rules and no standards then I want to be King of the Count. I hereby claim every listed benchmark as a Found it. I’ll be posting my logs as fast as I can. And you can’t say a thing about it. :huh:

 

But thank goodness the rest of you still have time to convince me of the error of my ways.

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Can I just go to terraserver or lostoutdoors and spend my evenings logging finds for benchmarks?

 

Sure you can.... well... you could if terraserver or lostoutdoors had a 'live' feed of pictures but since most of their data is at least several years old, you'll just have to trouble yourself with actually going to the location in person to log the mark with "honor".

 

I could care less if you log every mark in the database as found. You'll only be cheating yourself, not anyone else. You may want to write a script to help you log them all since there are 736,425 of them in database.

 

I do, however, care about your attitude towards others in this forum. Unlike other forums here on the site we tend to be a bit friendlier and more 'professional' in our discussions and would like it to remain that way.

Edited by jeff35080

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FtMgAl Posted on Sep 1 2004, 08:02 AM

I hereby claim every listed benchmark as a Found it. I’ll be posting my logs as fast as I can. 

 

That's been done before. The person is now banned from the site.

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I realize the sarcastic intent in your post about using online aerial photos but the point is to verify CURRENT existence, not existence on photos that can be 10 or more years older. To do that, you need to see the intersection station is still there.

 

I noticed that the logs you referred to appear to have been done by people who are primarily geocachers. The stats for these users are as follows:

 

Turmousour - Traditional Caches* 107 / NGS Benchmarks 7

rocksusan - Traditional Caches* 127 / NGS Benchmarks 23

 

For comparison, let's look at some benchmark hunters:

 

Black Dog Trackers - Traditional Caches* 15 / NGS Benchmarks 248

elcamino - Traditional Caches 0 / NGS Benchmarks 221

 

The logs that you pulled weren't done by people who have benchmark hunting as their main priority. They saw at they went by and logged it at the GC.com site as a bonus find while they were geocaching.

 

That being said, the finds are legit as these stations are designated for the ability to see them from a distance.

 

Those of us who are benchmark hunters are much more caerful about how we log our finds as we are not in this for a numbers game but are doing it to:

1) Help in maintaining and updating the national database; or

2) Get the pleasure of really finding the station as described.

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FtMgAl

 

Let introduce myself, I am this forums moderator, and there was no reason to make this statement, please no more remarks like this:

 

“ As the Klingons would say, benchmark finders have no honor”

 

And never have found a benchmark, your warn meter just went up 10% push it and you will go on moderated post for a week.

 

Tennessee Geocacher // Reviewer // Moderator

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I just posted a big rambling reply and accidentally deleted it. Let me give my QUICK 2 centavos though.

 

YES, there are standards here. They are self-imposed by a core group that posts regularly and is very very serious about what we do. Some are retired surveyors and engineers, some are just hobbyists. Are we right all the time? Nope! We are all human, and we all learn as we go along. Reading this thread made me think back to my recovery of KW3128 and my claim of "found", which I have just changed to "not found", because it is NOT the tower originally described. If you bother to go to the post you will find that I KNEW it wasn't the original tower, but didn't know enough to say it was destroyed or not found at the time. Will I be more careful from now on? YES! I am not sure I will climb every mountain to recover towers but I will think about the possibilities of it being a new tower before I log.

Can we prevent bad posts? I doubt it. There are no tests to post here--just pay your $30 and off you go. Do we, on the whole, do better than the US Power Squadron? A "Not Found" post by USPSQD (on the NGS recovery, no less) is an invitation to go find the mark, usually with little effort. See KW1319 for a quick example.

So FtMgAl, you brought out all the regular posters here, but let's just try to get along. You are preaching to the converted--everyone who read your post is among the most dedicated benchmarkers in the country. Those who, to put it bluntly, suck at this, are over in the geocaching side of this site and will never read your post. We take offense (could you tell? :huh: ), but in my case I understand your concern and your points are well taken. Thank goodness it really isn't as bad as your post indicates.

 

Oh yeah, we DO police our own ranks, as much as we can. Generally, when we find an error, we correct it on the site with our own description, and often notify the poster. There is one long thread here about that if you want to search for it. The consensus, if I recall correctly, is that we won't bother correcting a casual benchmarker, but will just post our own recovery (they probably won't care anyway), but a serious benchmarker will get a polite email describing why we thought their post was in error).

 

Matt

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FtMgAl

I see Tennessee jumped in here with a reply before I was about to make a similar comment.

 

I just looked at your stats and they are not impressive. 30 caches and 0 benchmarks. Lots of posts to the cache side of the forums, not all pleasant, but only one nasty one in the benchmark section. Before you jump to conclusions, you should read some of the strings in this section and how many of us regulars try our best to maintain high standards.

 

Sure, we can't control every geocacher who thinks he found a benchmark and how he logs it, but we try to improve the standards of reporting and some of us take it seriously enough to go to NGS and report our findings.

 

I suggest you just stay with your geocaching and remarks in those sections. We don't need your negative attitute here.

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Hyperbole: That which is a case of 'foot in mouth' disease when someone makes a comment all out of proportion to the facts and then claims "Hey, I was just kidding"... Right. :P

 

I also don't recall asking your permission to log benchmarks here at Geocaching and I definitly don't need your opinion on the proper way it should be done.

 

When you have found some marks that are over 100 years old then MAYBE your opinion will carry a little weight here in these forums. It also helps if you have climbed a few mountain peaks to recover your benchmarks.

 

Why do you feel it necessary to waste our time with such trivial complaints?

 

John

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FtMgAl

... I suggest you just stay with your geocaching and remarks in those sections.  We don't need your negative attitute here.

If I may, let me suggest that I for one would like to see FtMgAl become a contributing Benchmarker, especially as he has some modest (but a lot more than me!) real world experience.

 

I hope he will realize that his attitude was inconsistent with that normally on offer here in this forum. It is often useful to lurk in any online discussion venue to get a sense of the tone that prevails. Perhaps he was too eager to post and didn't understand the generally high level of seriousness and professionalism even among those of us who are in this strictly as a geeky hobby.

 

Interestingly, if you follow the link from his geocaching.com profile to his home page, it appears that our new colleague has a particular interest in mathematics. That, to me, suggests an understanding of the precision and accuracy that are required for benchmarking.

 

I think the two tanks he refers to were properly logged, including the repainted one. At least, as far as I can tell. I have logged tanks that were not the color of the original description, usually because the tank appears in general to be the age indicated or because of a specific unusual detail mentioned in the original report. Possibly I was wrong, but large commercial and municipal water tanks are not replaced very frequently. I'm not sure I would stake my life, reputation or a large sum of money on it, but I did the best I could, and I think most benchmarkers would have logged it the same.

 

While there have been some abuses, and certainly a number of well-meaning casual users who logged marks incorrectly, I venture that the vast majority of the benchmark logs were posted by honest participants doing their best. Not always perfect, mind you, but always honorable.

 

~ArtMan

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When you have found some marks that are over 100 years old then MAYBE your opinion will carry a little weight here in these forums. It also helps if you have climbed a few mountain peaks to recover your benchmarks.

 

Woohoo! My opinions finally count :P

 

I know what John meant by this comment, but I also know that he (and the rest of us) also would show the same amount of respect to benchmarker that strived to actually recover disks and make legitimate and proper logs of such. Although many of us have climbed to mountain peaks and have found many marks dating back to the Civil War there are just as many that are avid benchmarkers that are extremely efficient and professional in recovering newer urban marks.

 

It basically boils down to having respect for others and not making off-the-wall comments and insults. I have just as much respect for someone that has only found one (or possibly none, but is interested in learning) or 1,000 marks so long as that person speaks in a civil tone and doesn't hurl insults at the masses.

 

Happy benchmarking!

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When you have found some marks that are over 100 years old then MAYBE your opinion will carry a little weight here in these forums. It also helps if you have climbed a few mountain peaks to recover your benchmarks.

 

Woohoo! My opinions finally count :P

 

I know what John meant by this comment, but I also know that he (and the rest of us) also would show the same amount of respect to benchmarker that strived to actually recover disks and make legitimate and proper logs of such. Although many of us have climbed to mountain peaks and have found many marks dating back to the Civil War there are just as many that are avid benchmarkers that are extremely efficient and professional in recovering newer urban marks.

 

It basically boils down to having respect for others and not making off-the-wall comments and insults. I have just as much respect for someone that has only found one (or possibly none, but is interested in learning) or 1,000 marks so long as that person speaks in a civil tone and doesn't hurl insults at the masses.

 

Happy benchmarking!

 

Well put.

 

John

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FtMgAl -

 

Welcome to the completely uncomplicated world of benchmark hunting.

 

As you have by now, no doubt, figured out, there are, in fact, very high standards among the hardcore regarding the proper logging of a benchmark "FOUND/DIDN'T FIND" etc etc. Those standards differ with respect to standard benchmarks (disks, rods, chiseled crosses, etc) on the one hand and "intersection stations" (steeples, airway beacons, radio masts) on the other.

 

The general rule for intersection stations is this: If you can see the descrbed point intersected (the top of the weathervane on the steeple of St Bob's Church, for example) and you are absolutley certain that the steeple today is in the same exact position that it was in when first observed (in 1934, say), then you got yourself a "FOUND". Otherwise, you don't. But you don't necessarily have to get real close because it's (1) often dangerous, (2) usually illegal, and (3) generally unnecessary. Intersection stations are designed to be used from a great distance,after all.

 

For disks and the like, you've got to get up close and personal and read the stamping to confirm that this is, in fact, the disk you're after. This often involves digging a hole in a poison ivy bed in the middle of a swamp, but that's a different story.

 

For some examples as to how the recovery standards apply to intersection stations, see the following:

 

KV4832

 

KV4845

 

JU3147

 

Your apparent confusion about the standards, especially regarding intersection stations, is typical of someone who has not had the opportunity to find many benchmarks or observe many intersection stations. But, if recent common history is any guide, you'll likely get wrong two or three of the first five intersection stations you "find".

 

Will

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Have I ever made a mistake and logged an erronious find? YOU BET 'YA !

 

Have I ever publically proclaimed this? YOU BET 'YA ! Just check my previous posts.

 

Right, wrong or otherwise......have I had fun and learned new things? YOU BET 'YA !!

 

Have I met great people here and interacted with them in an educational way? I hope so.

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FtMgAl,

 

I understand the where of you speak. I too have have done what you did while in college. I still do it as part of my work. In fact thanks to automation, Today we often do it alone, One guy is the whole crew quite often. Today After working in the Laptop, making sure all the points i had to survey were properly assigned, I set up a robot for my GPS so my Rover could see where the Sattelites wont, up close to forrested area. Hubbed and staked 1000 feet of road, offset for curbs on both sides of a road, Centerline grades and super elevation transtition points, Points of curve, points of tangent etc. I had to Pound all my own hubs in hard soil and write all my own sticks, tie on all the flagging, lug all my gear, Write down all my work, develop a point sheet and cut sheet for the contractor... yada yada...

 

The drugery of the old school rear chainman has not gone away, In fact, as you can see, the rear chain and the party chief are now often the same guy. In fact, they expect as much production as ever. I still have to keep my Machete sharp if you get my meaning. Either way, I know what I do makes a difference, and I think there are other careers that I would not enjoy, so I do this. When I think of myself in the middle of a large office building in a cubical under florescent lighting as opposed to being outside doing battle with a blackberry bush to place a corner stake... Well, the blackberry bush ain't so great, but I think I'll keep it in trade for the cubical. that is just me. Go ahead and laugh, I am!

 

Constuction in the real world happens and progress sometimes take a Bench Mark out. I know of a few here on GC.com that have been reported good until something came along in the last year and changed that. This is just another database Bro, not unlike the NGS database. Things that once were found can become lost, just as easy as that. Say la vie.... When it comes down to it, those old timers you apprenticed under years ago did rub off on you. You know how painful it can be to make double sure, and internally it is the way you feel it should be. Good on you! Sure there are short cuts and ways of bending the rules, but you and I both know shortcuts are throat cuts. This is a game to some and an engineering challenge to others. I will continue to recover Bench Marks the way I feel I should and I will report them as such. If someone reads my recovery and feel it was the most helpful and accurate, then I did my job. If someone learns from the methods I use that is cool too... I learn from others as well. This is not about looking over my shoulder. I set my standards. I feel when it comes right down to it, your personal history, honesty and integrity will be your guide.

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The original poster will find BG-4066 closer to 30 deg 16.69 min, 087 deg 43.400 min, rather than looking at the coordinates given in the data base. This is Beacon 91, and it is maintained by the US Coast Guard. It appears in the 2004 Edition of the Light List, available at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pubs/LightLists/V4COMPLETE.PDF

 

Beacon 91 is on the south side of the ICW, just as you enter the lake from the east side.

 

If Original Poster likes generalizations, I will offer mine. Geocachers are highly concerned about the number of "finds" attributed to them. "Benchers", on the other hand, enjoy finding marks for personal pleasure, with many participants passing along their updates to NGS.

 

One of my contributions to the hobby is using my real estate resources such as old deeds, aerial photos, etc., to document to NGS the destruction of radio towers, lookout towers, water tanks, etc., where these appear as "active" in the database.

 

In a case I'm working this week, a water tank was removed from a factory when a new municipal tank was built 600 feet east. Once I receive certification from the plant manager, I'll submit it, along with photos and other references.

 

A submission last week was EZ5842, a 1,200-foot TV mast that "disappeared". How do you lose something that big? Well, it turns out that the tower was on prime real estate where developers wanted to do a subdivision. The TV station moved to a new site 15 miles away. They sold the land to the developer. And the old tower? The television station donated it to a listener-supported classical FM station, on the condition that the tower be removed. At a cost of $100,000, the FM station had the tower dismantled, transported 35 miles, and re-erected at a new site. It was considerably less expensive than purchasing a new structure.

 

Documentation to NGS/NCGS included a chain of title from the TV station, all the way to the owner of the house which sits on the site of the former tower, along with photos of the spot, and a picture of the tower in its new location.

 

Okay....More than you wanted to know. Sorry, gang. I bristled at the reference to Benchies having no honor!

 

Paul K5PF

 

The writer has been a real estate agent since 1986, and lives in Cary, North Carolina.

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I started the following diatribe as an email to TG in an attempt to redeem myself. After seeing the length I know I wouldn’t want to get an email that long from someone on my S*&^ list. I’ve certainly got better things to do – plonk! So I edited it (making it even longer, of course) and am posting it here for everyone. Enjoy and for you executives there is a summary below.

 

Evidently I really touched a nerve with this thread. I intended to make my post noticeable because, AS an outsider, IMHO there is a serious problem with the way BM are being logged. For those of us who understand the seriousness of BMs and that this isn't just a game, a beginner like myself comes in and sees it being treated like a game and I was confused and discouraged by the lack of rigor displayed in the logs. I did, however, completely underestimate the passion that would be shown at my intrusion into this seemingly private club. For that I sincerely apologize.

 

I have no intention of offending you or anyone else except to the extent that it PROMOTES communication. You must admit, I did get your attention. Yes, I read many posts in this forum before making mine. Yes, most of you are very zealous in your pursuit of perfection. Yes, some of you are true fanatics when it comes to being precise. Yes, most of you have honor. No, I was not impressed by the Found its being logged on the local BMs that I checked. Yes, that is still my opinion and, as an opinion from someone who has never logged a BM it should be given the weight that the more experienced BM finders believe that it deserves.

 

Yes, I’ve now learned that many of you folks don’t have a problem with seeing something that looks about right for a marker and logging it found. I still have a real problem with that and that just means that I still don’t understand what you seem to understand. One of my examples was a marker light placed on wooden pilings in 1934 (when the canal was dug) in a heavily trafficked channel and last “probably” sited in 1959. I certainly wouldn’t want to put my name on a log saying that the light I now see from 3 miles away is the same one and that it hasn’t moved. I would want a closer examination before logging that it’s the same one. (I know – just don’t log it!) I also know that 2 of the water towers locally have been replaced with offset towers in the past 10 years. But if seeing a light or tower with a mast in about the right place qualifies as a found in this “game” then those are the rules. You set them, I don’t. I’m just the newbie here looking in from the outside explaining what I see you do and asking for clarification.

 

Yes, seventhings, your examples are EXACTLY what I’m saying I, as a newbie, saw and don’t understand how it was allowed to stand. I would be very embarrassed seeing my log “Easy find” still there. Discuss it and decide which is correct and put the other out of their misery. I did find that the log I first saw of the bare spot where a BM was supposedly found has been deleted. I just wish it had been deleted before it disillusioned me on the integrity of this great effort. On the other hand if these logs were treated as a page numbered log book written to only in ink, maybe there would be a lot fewer Found its and a lot more trust in the reports. Mistakes happen – we all acknowledge that. Mistakes are a lot less likely when there are known consequences. IMHO there should be consequences to posting Found its when you’re just guessing.

 

I DO see many of you taking a lot more care with the vertical control point style of marker. I know that most of you really do have standards similar to, and in many if not most cases, far exceeding those I claimed to have in my original post. The FAQ says “You can log "Found it!" if you see the marker and know that it is the correct marker.” I saw logs, however, where it was very doubtful that the finder could know with any certainty that it was the correct marker. From this thread though it seems to me that many of you experts feel that if it looks like it should be the marker that I went to look for then log it and don’t get too inquisitive. It’s just a game and no one is counting. And if it doesn’t look quite right (like the description doesn’t match), tell us the differences with no further comment needed. There are however, several posters so far in this thread (most if I count right?) that are exceptions to this generalization and I applaud them even if we might still disagree about the needed rigor on specific finds. You know who you are and I thank you for your input.

 

Summary: Sorry if I offended some of you. Some of us still disagree on rigor. I have sought benchmarks before GC and will continue to do so whether or not I log them here. I doubt that I will post as many Found its as some because our standards are very different. For my purposes I will consider a simple Found it posted here with no comments as “someone looked and maybe there is something there that might be a bench mark”.

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Sorry, gang. I bristled at the reference to Benchies having no honor!

 

Keep up the good work Paul!

 

73 de W4JEF

 

dit dit :P

Edited by jeff35080

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FtMgAl

 

It is just a game on the Geocaching website. If you want rigorous logs then by all means join the others who log their finds with the NGS on their site

 

Most of the people who are on this forum try to be accurate in finding benchmarks and log them accordingly. We also understand that there is a large group out there that sees a disk and says "wow, my first benchmark, cool.". They are happy with that and that is all that matters.

 

If you check enough NGS datasheets you will see plenty of logs by the "power squadron" and quite a few of them are wrong. Just about everyone on the forums have found some of their DNFs. These are on the NGS database listing....very tight controls there ---Huh?

 

The Idea is to get out and have some fun finding things, caches, benchmarks, rock cairns, drill holes, blazed trees, etc. Don't worry about the other players and use a standard you are comfortable with for your own logs.

 

We (the people of this forum) will try and help anyone (with a benchmark problem) who asks in a polite manner.

 

John

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All this noise and fury about intersection stations! You have to be a historian to be able to be sure that the thing existing is the one 'monumented'. Their lack of a readable Designation turns me off, so I don't look for them and haven't logged any of them. If they bug you so much, FtMgAl, be like me and look for disks instead.

 

On a more positive note, the general scenario here is to take a picture of the mark. If a surveyor or someone similar is actually perusing this site, they can evaluate the benchmark hunter's picture of an intersection station for themselves for any obvious error. A log of an intersection station with no picture can be ignored. Even a 'Didn't find it' should have a picture in the case of intersection stations, if only to show that the benchmark hunter had actually arrived on the scene. Intersection stations are all location-adjusted, so with a GPSr, there should be zero problem in identifying the location (another reason I don't look for them - lack of sufficient challenge per time).

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I did not know there was a STANDARD for fun,for one's hobbies.

We have all made mistakes and have helped each other to gain the required knowledge to do these things correctly.

 

As for Standards and accuracy of work,well there could be a lot said on that but that is a different topic.

Some have been found to be miles off.

So I do not get your referencing standards....

 

What are these STANDARDS since you brought it up?

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FtMgAl

I see your point but your approach in getting it over was not good. Geocaching.com was good enough to add benchmarks to their web site. They could have very easily said "Not interested" since it does not generate income, i.e., the sale of travel bugs and other geocache items. It is open to everyone, including non-paying geocachers.

 

So we have tens of thousands geocachers mainly searching for caches. Some accidentally come across a benchmark while searching for a cache and will log it on here which could or could not be a correct logging. Since you usually do not search for caches with camera in hand, the log will not include a picture of the benchmark to verify that the actual correct disk was logged.

 

Others, when they see a page of a cache that they want to find, use the Find... nearby benchmarks. These people also usually don't carry along a camera to give proof that they actually found the correct mark.

 

I can join in your frustratation about these incomplete logs for benchmarks without pictures. I have three such nearby that I have been trying to find for two years now. The logs are a simple FOUND with no pictures or coordinates. The logs were made by geocachers who have many caches to their credit but few benchmarks. I know at least one (JK1229) is totally incorrect.

 

I did, however, completely underestimate the passion that would be shown at my intrusion into this seemingly private club. For that I sincerely apologize.

 

No, we are not a private club and welcome any newcomer who wants to to try to raise the standards. Read the pinned subjects above the bar and how we have made suggestions to Jeremy (geocaching.com programmer) as to what to fix and how to improve this section. He doesn't really want to spend much time on this section becaused it is not a money maker. So those of us who are serious benchmark hunters grit our teeth and set our own standards and go about having our own enjoyment. We don't come charging in and make a general statement that appears to apply to all.

 

Now if you want to really apolgize, join us in the discussions and contribute to the group by sharing experiences and thoughts that can include finding errors in some logs.

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When you have found some marks that are over 100 years old then MAYBE your opinion will carry a little weight here in these forums. It also helps if you have climbed a few mountain peaks to recover your benchmarks.

 

Wow! I guess I am SOL as I live in the middle of urban sprawl on the West Coast where marks get plowed under every day for new housing developments and the 100+ year old marks were buried glass bottles that are all long gone, replaced by vitrified tiles and later by disks. :lol:

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When you have found some marks that are over 100 years old then MAYBE your opinion will carry a little weight here in these forums. It also helps if you have climbed a few mountain peaks to recover your benchmarks.

 

Wow! I guess I am SOL as I live in the middle of urban sprawl on the West Coast where marks get plowed under every day for new housing developments and the 100+ year old marks were buried glass bottles that are all long gone, replaced by vitrified tiles and later by disks. :lol:

 

That's why we have vacations. Just to go look for an oldie but goodie. :lol:

 

John

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Leprechauns,

 

I read that you have reservations about Bench Mark Hunting. I know it is a little like trying to Vote... There are Parties and Issues... Republicans and Democrats and Voting Oh MY!

 

If you read about issues here it is because it is not as simple as looks. The forum is no different than any other group just trying to sort out a better way to go about it. We do not have the luxury of setting our GPS to WGS 84, autoloading the waypoint and running a GO TO. Part of the criteria is to log what we find when we find it, and how to do this is not always clear. These are the issues of playing the game and improving upon ones play. Did the original poster of this thread get some people’s goat? Sure, but he raised a good point in so doing and eventually it settled into a more constructive discussion.

 

I think it is good to talk about stuff, and help each other as well. If we do than we have a way to develop a better method of going forth.

 

I am not going to tell you to be a Bench Mark hunter or not. And you have my permission to log it the way you see it. I won't hit you over the head. I may log the same find after you did... I am not here to be a FTF player. No biggie. If I log it different that you did, that is just my perception. No harm, no foul.

 

If anything this thread does raise the point that there are better ways we could do this and it could still be as fun, as fun as it already is, and maybe less confusing. If a discussion help forward the hobby and improves it it serves a purpose. I mean if it were truly put up or shut up then there would not be a forum eh? This is just like business as usual... If this scares people away, that is really a shame, because if not for discussions, how would anything at all ever advance? This is not unlike anything else. So won't you join us? Go ahead. Log a Bench Mark...

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This is not unlike anything else. So won't you join us? Go ahead. Log a Bench Mark...

 

Amen! Leps... please join us and share in our fun, frivolity and seriousness. I promise that when you find a mark set over a hundred years ago that it will be unlike any feeling your felt when finding a hidden ammo box. Now don't get me wrong, my kids and I love geocaching but I love benchmarking. I have my children trained to spot an orange carsonite marker at more than a 100-yards. They are excellent helpers in finding 'drive by' marks.

 

Once again, please join us, we would love to have you enjoy our fun!

Edited by jeff35080

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OK boys, let me say that The Leprechauns has found some benchmarks, I know because I was there when he found his first one with a nice picture with him giving smile, we found about 15 that day.

 

3c86049c-955f-4706-b329-d4e6714f7f5d.jpg

 

Never notice that he never has logged any of them, and that was several months ago. So if we scared him it was a while back, and believed he had fun could have fooled me. The mark was set in 1935

 

Some folks love them some don’t. He a cool guy and you would enjoy his company

 

Tennessee Geocacher

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Ok gang, ready for another very long rambling post? (Actually 3 since it got way too long for even my taste.)

 

Do you have standards? Well kinda’. De jure you can log a Found if you “know that it is the correct marker.” De facto you can log a found if you “think” that it is the correct marker. Thinking you have the right marker is VERY subjective. I have been told above that just seeing a 70 year old light 3 miles away is good enough to know while others properly question the marker even after they see something that matches most of the description but not in a minute detail. Could just be a typo but they don’t “think” it is correct until they “know” if it is a typo or a real difference. They dig far deeper than I would to post a Found or Destroyed which I would just post as a Not Found with the comment that I might have found it except for the difference.

 

I like the de jure standard. I strongly dislike the de facto standard – hence my original posting.

 

I still have a problem in that neither the de jure nor the de facto rules seem to be enforced. Well ok, the de facto standard is impossible to enforce. I think I see a marker in a terraserver image and I think there is no reason it should have moved in the past 10 years so I THINK I have found the marker. Personally I don’t know what that’s worth but it’s just another grey “thinking” line in the spectrum from guessing to knowing. Would anyone ever catch me if I were discrete about my count? With the current “standards” I doubt it.

 

But the de jure standard could be enforced better. As a start pictures should be mandatory so that everyone who wants can review the log without having to go to the mark. And it would be a real time saver for those who have to go to the marker for official reasons. This should be a minimum of a close-up (yes, you might have to buy a 7 diopter lens) AND a wide angle vicinity shot with the mark clearly visible. You don’t need anyone’s approval at GC to start doing this. And you don’t need anyone’s approval to start personally discounting founds that don’t include them. And you don’t need anyone’s approval to occasionally explain to people who post a lot of finds without them why their finds would be a lot more valuable with photos.

 

The standards seem IMHO to be stricter on the cache side because at least the cache owner has the ability to delete founds where a log wasn’t signed or there is some other reason to believe that the finder didn’t find the “correct” cache. Doesn’t happen often but at least the procedure is there. That procedure makes the cache logs a more accurate record than many of the BM logs I started with. Yet caching is just a game while BM logs here could be truly valuable to everyone meaning the general public and not just people playing a game. There are tens of thousands who could be logging BM conditions rather than just the specialists with a reason to be looking. Another large database couldn’t hurt if it was more reliable than what I’ve seen so far. Maybe TPTB wouldn’t want the hits or storage requirements of a reliable database. That’s a topic for another day. You currently have a small group building elaborate high quality structures and another group tramping mud through them. I just don’t see the current logs as being worth the effort except as a game. But if that’s the way everyone wants it who am I to argue?

 

So do you have standards? Looks like everyone posting so far does. Maybe if they were enforced better it would be obvious that, as a group, you really don’t. Or, if you still think you do, at least a lot of people don’t seem to know what they are. I know I still don’t.

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Specific replies: (page 1)

 

jeff35080 - “..if your binoculars can let you examine the beacon…” Nope. No way could anyone KNOW from 3 miles away.

 

WxMaker - “..since when did this become a contest?...” That’s my point – it shouldn’t be but that is the way it is being administered under the current “standards”. “…but you can only issue judgement on the quality of YOUR finds.” Nope. It is or is not the correct marker that was found. This fact is not subject to judgment. If I have information that disproves (or proves) the accuracy of your “find” then IMHO I not only can but I have a responsibility to issue my judgment on your report.

 

Black Dog Trackers - “That's an odd way to start in this forum.” Sure was, wasn’t it. :rolleyes: “…we aren't expected to climb…” Agreed. I wasn’t clear. It isn’t climbing I was advocating but knowing. You can’t go on vacation and know no matter how much you might think. Especially in hurricane country where towers come and go. “…If you want a decent challenge…” That’s why I didn’t question any of the local disk finds except the one I specifically verified that couldn’t have been found. Until I have more information (usually from a personal visit) I have a much easier time believing you really saw what you think you saw. Might be destroyed rather than found (hurricanes have a habit of eroding monument supports and they lean a little which to a “layman” is a found but as far as being usable is destroyed) but I’ll give anyone the benefit of the doubt – I might sometimes act perfect but I do know that I’m far from it.

 

jeff35080 - “..if terraserver or lostoutdoors had a 'live' feed…” Nope. You could never see a 10 degree angle to the monument which would be the difference between found and destroyed.

 

Black Dog Trackers - “..The person is now banned..” See I knew you had to have some honor. :o

 

California Bear - At last someone shows that they get it. But… “the finds are legit” Ok, we have an honest disagreement. In California you might not have the storms but you have construction and demolition. If I came to your town do you think that I would be able to just look at a tower and know that is the same one that was there 40 years ago?

 

mloser - “..accidentally deleted it..” I HATE doing that. And I’m a real rambler. I pretty much agree with everything you said except “There are no tests to post here…” Shouldn’t there be? Isn’t this more important than caches where there are tests? “There is one long thread…” Is that Bogus Logs?

 

Colorado Papa - Have a nice day.

 

2oldfarts (the rockhounders) - Please look up the definition of hyperbole. The Emporer of Hyperbole doesn’t kid very often. Create a caricature? Yes, Kid? No.

 

ArtMan – We may disagree on the permanence of towers and masts but at least have something to talk about. Who were the two old men selling wine? They said “Thank you for your support.”

 

jeff35080 - …”speaks in a civil tone and doesn't hurl insults…” At last. I’ve been hoping I could find something we could agree upon.

 

seventhings - “Welcome..” Thank you. “..very high standards among the hardcore” I was aware of that. My problem is with all the softcore standards being displayed. “…digging a hole in a poison ivy bed in the middle of a swamp…” And after setting up you have to hold still long enough to take a reading which is what the mosquitoes have been waiting for. Been there done that. “…is typical of someone who has not had the opportunity to find many benchmarks or observe many intersection stations…” Sorry. Just the opposite. I’ve had too many found its that have turned out to really be destroyeds.

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Specific replies: (page 2)

 

Spoo - If you get down this way be sure to look me up because I’d like to buy you a beer.

 

evenfall - I want to buy you a beer also. 1000 feet of road in one day? Is that hyperbole? :o Well at least you didn’t say you had intersecting vertical curves through multiple cross streets. “This is a game to some and an engineering challenge to others.” But should we all just sit back and let it remain that way?

 

PFF – “More than you wanted to know.” Nope. More facts to reinforce my point exactly. Thank you for taking the time.

 

2oldfarts (the rockhounders) – “It is just a game…” Then you don’t need any standards. Question answered. “…who asks in a polite manner.” I thought I did but when you hold up a mirror you can never tell what the other person will see.

 

Black Dog Trackers – “All this noise and fury about intersection stations!” Hey, maybe I just wanted to get some of you turned in the right direction before bringing up disk logs. :o “…take a picture of the mark…” If I ever log marks on this site that is what I had planned to do for the reason you gave plus others.

 

GEO*Trailblazer 1 - “I did not know there was a STANDARD for fun,for one's hobbies.” There shouldn’t be.

 

Colorado Papa – “..your approach in getting it over was not good.” Really? You have to go back 2 months in this forum to see a new topic posted with as many total replies (and that one is going to be behind after I post this). And I generated them all in just 2 days. Talk about someone just interested in count. :o Almost everyone has commented on topic for the most part. This isn’t about what I think or don’t think about how logs are posted and monitored. I wanted to understand what the community thinks about how logs should be posted and monitored. I think I’ve done pretty well so far. “Since you usually do not search for caches with camera in hand…”Typo. The correct phrase would be “Since THEY…” “I can join in your frustratation…” Then do. “No, we are not a private club and welcome any newcomer who wants to to try to raise the standards.” Funny, I must have misunderstood that in your previous post. “…contribute to the group by sharing experiences and thoughts…” Funny, I thought that is what I was doing. Maybe I misunderstood my previous posts.

 

The Leprechauns – In any battle there is always the possibility of collateral damage. To you I say don’t run – join the battle. Anything worthwhile isn’t going to be free. Do you really care that much about what strangers might think of you? Just looking at this thread you can see that if I were to trash your find you can count on dozens coming to your rescue including TG. (I SURRENDER!!!) So far not one person has supported my belief that the 2 tank finds are marginal calls. So? That’s my problem, no one else’s. It means I might be wrong. So? It isn’t the first time and it certainly won’t be the last.

 

evenfall – Now I want to buy you a sixpack.

 

jeff35080 – Ok, I’ll buy you a beer also. But you’re driving me home!

 

Did I miss anyone other than TG? (I’m in hiding until the rage subsides.) Did I misquote you or take your comment out of context? Let me know. You know I’m always happy to discuss differences.

 

Ok, enough rambling for now. Hope everyone has a good BM today. OH, LOOK OUT!!! :rolleyes: HERE COMES TG AGAIN!!! WHAT DID I SAY THIS TIME???

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FtMgAl : that is what it’s all about, communication

 

Tennessee Geocacher

Geocaching.com Reviewer // Moderator

Edited by Tennessee Geocacher

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FtMgAl,

 

Thanks for all the beer...

 

With a GPS set up you do most of the programming from engineering files in the office. The Vertical Curves and projected Super elevations Tops and toes of slopes are sorted out in house. The points and offsets are uploaded from the laptop to the GPS Rover and you basically become a stake pounding pack mule... 100 feet of road is a lot yes, but the points as I said have already engineered. Taken right off the plans. I walk to the coordinate position the point is at, set the pole on the point, double check the divot I made for accuracy, Pound a Hub in it, Put the Rover on top of the stake and read. Grab a Lath, Write the point number and the Station elevation on the back, turn the lath around, and write the offset to the work, the type of work the station is for, and the cut or fill to grade and I am off. If I know I have 36 Curb stakes to place I can make most of them up the day before, then just fill in the blanks I can't do until I am on location. You can do 1000 feet of road if you prep right and Hump Fast! It is a long day. Probably more that you would get done on a winter day at that.

 

Do I miss having to calc where the top of slope is going to be for the backside of a super elevated curve from Centerline Survey using just a Profile sheet, Scale Ruler, a Calculator, Hand level, and a Tape Measure? Uh, No.

 

After all that, Beer is a good thing.

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FtMgAl,

 

Dude, it's a game ... OK?

 

Did you really say "rigor"?

What the heck do you think this is?

You want rigor? Take it to sci.engr.surveying.

Or do you just want to go try and find some little brass dots?

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FtMgAl,

 

Dude, it's a game ... OK?

 

Did you really say "rigor"?

What the heck do you think this is?

You want rigor? Take it to sci.engr.surveying.

Or do you just want to go try and find some little brass dots?

Is that realy a web page? i like browsing the web fot things like this. :rolleyes:

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Are there any standards Here?

 

Being a RLS, I understand your plight. I've had many, many people tell me they know where their section corner is "it's a concrete marker with a brass disk in the top". Yep, most of the time it's a benchmark, not a section corner. It has nothing to do with their boundaries. Alot of people don't know everything about surveying whether it's the vertical type or the horizontal type. They don't understand the importance it holds to the everyday surveyor or engineer. That's probably the reason for the vague descriptions. BUT!!!! This benchmark hunting idea is a GREAT THING! At least everyday people are out there hunting for these long lost markers. Whether their updates are accurate or not is a matter of written evidence. Is there a photo, a description of the current condition of the monument or a tie to the monument( so many feet or paces from a fenceline). Experience leads you to "read between the lines". Did they really find it?? In my opinion, it's not a matter of standards, it's a matter of people of all walks of life going out and trying to find long lost benchmarks for the benefit of the public. From time to time I'll need to recover a benchmark to run elevations but I don't have time to find all the benchmarks in my area. But if the public makes a sport out of finding all they can, have at it!! It's to surveyor/engineer's benefit! I have to admit, as a sport (not work) it's can be alot of fun. I plan on photographing and logging all I find in the future. I hope you keep it up, standards or no standards. You have the education and the knowledge! :D

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As one of the lurkers in this forum, I have found this thread fascinating. My father was a Civil Engineer for 30+ years and I a draftsman for 6 (during college) with Freese & Nichols in FTW TX, so I come by this interest naturally. My father is likely responsible for many benchmarks being covered, relocated and/or destroyed as he was the lead engineer on over 100 lakes here during his career.

 

I love to find old benchmarks and recently purchased my first GPS unit after lurking in those threads for a year or so.

 

I have stumbled across many benchmarks in my hikes across this wonderful country and and recently encountered this same question regarding stacks as I have one near my house, that I can see every day as I travel around the metromess.

 

As someone who travels the State of Texas regularly I have been working on visiting (and photographing) every County Courthouse in Texas (254 counties) and has approximately 175 under my belt. I’m not sure as to the exact count as I need to update my database with recent visits (8 this last week in an area I don’t usually frequent).

 

Now I have another vice to follow. :D

 

BTW - I have stood in that same spot at Bolder Dam. I just wish I had known to take a closeup of the disk.

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FtMgAl,

 

Dude, it's a game ... OK?

 

Did you really say "rigor"?

What the heck do you think this is?

You want rigor? Take it to sci.engr.surveying.

Or do you just want to go try and find some little brass dots?

Is that realy a web page? i like browsing the web fot things like this. :D

No ... It is a "News" group ... you can get at it from google from the "Groups" selection above the search box.

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mloser “Hey, you missed me!..” Nope. Page 1 below the fold.

 

Tennessee Geocacher “..that is what it’s all about..” Yep. And just like a brass disk, it isn’t always what it appears at first glance.

 

2oldfarts (the rockhounders) “..I'm gonna' take my toys and go home..” You don’t have to. It looks like you can just make your own rules here. It’s only a game. Play any way you want and don’t pay any attention to those who think it might be serious.

 

evenfall Yep, it’s been a long time since I did it for money. We didn’t have GPS or computers. We didn’t even have calculators. Oh, we had something called a calculator that we used all the time but it was a big ol’ multiplying machine larger than a lot of today’s cash registers. And the office only had a couple of window air conditioners so we would go drive stakes for a while and then sit in the shade and do some calculation. Then back out in the sun. I don’t think we ever did more than 300 feet in a day and that was with a 3 man crew.

 

raouljan “Dude, it's a game…” Ok, I thought it could be a benefit to someone besides myself. I was wrong.

 

TUPPERHUNTER “Is that realy a web page?” As raouljan said it’s one of 100,000 or so newsgroups which are like forums. I use Forte Agent The free version is all most people need to do news. Google is easy but FreeAgent is very fast and powerful once it is set up.

 

Razmataz “At least everyday people are out there hunting for these long lost markers.” YES!!! The information that could be provided by even 5000 people regularly searching for benchmarks could be tremendous. But if they are just playing a game then the quality is such that it might be easier to just go find the BM yourself than to spend the time to read between the lines. From my prime number searching I’d rather have 10 people searching and reporting valid finds than 1000 people reporting possible finds. It takes too long to recheck questionable work. But if a little education can produce 1000 qualified finders…

 

Teeds “As one of the lurkers in this forum…” What? There are lurkers reading this stuff and benefiting from different viewpoints? If I’d known that… :D 254 county courthouses? Wouldn’t it have been simpler and less expensive to fly to a state like Rhode Island? It you have the persistence to do all of Texas you sure have the persistence to find benchmarks. Go for it.

 

OK, that’s all for now (and forever on this topic?). Beer for the house except for TG. I said earlier that jeff had to drive me home but that was wrong. I forgot that TG volunteered to be our designated driver in here. Can I buy you a Pepsi, TG? :blink:

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