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Add A Cache Designation For Benchmarks


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I would like to see the capability of adding benchmarks that are NOT in NGS's database. If anyone can create and add a cache, and then that cache can be claimed as found, and will show up on searches of area caches, why can't benchmarks be entered as well? There are several in my immediate area that are not in NGS listings, but they are there and could be readily found and claimed by others if there was some place I could list them. Maybe there should be a cache designation added: benchmark. Then if someone is searching for benchmarks, they could search on caches in the area they are going to, with the Type of Cache being searched for as Benchmark. This should be quite easy, as it would only entail adding one type of cache to the cache section. Of course, the found totals would show up under Caches Found - Benchmarks, rather than directly as benchmarks, but so what? This would give those who enjoy searching for benchmarks more to look for.



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I think there are too many different types of survey marks from too many different agencies and municipalities to make it feasable. Many survey monuments, like Public Land Survey System (PLSS) section corners, look like benchmarks, however most survey monuments are not benchmarks. The marks in the NGS database we seek can be, among other things, brass caps, nails, cairns, watertowers, and church steeples. But not every brass cap, nail, cairn, watertower, or church steeple is a benchmark. Unless there is some way to police the marks that are being added, the database could end up with a bunch of useless (from a benchmark hunter's standpoint) waypoints.


- Kewaneh

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I had very bad luck getting a virtual cache approved when I tried it some months ago. Wasn't a benchmark, but I don't think that would have made a difference. The food people who approve them seem to now have a very limited view of what a virtual cache can be. My understanding is that if one could possibly place a mini-cache at that location, then a virtual will be disallowed.


I wanted to place a virtual at an historic location in West Virginia (100 miles or so from home, where I could not maintain a physical cache), and there were few caches (and no traditional ones) in the area, but it was rejected.


I hope you have better luck and that they have loosened their rules. The experience soured me on the cache approval process.



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K & S: I think a picture would have to be submitted with the coordinates, and the approver would have to decide if it was a worthwhile benchmark or not. You must only be a BM hunter and not a cacher, because I have seen some pretty lame micro caches that got approved. I would rather go find a good BM than one of those lame micros, or even some of the pathetic regular caches. I don't think the NUMBER of benchmarks would be a problem, because there are thousands of caches. The approver could also crosscheck to see if the BM was already in the NGS (and gc.com) database. If it was, they could simply advise the person submitting the BM and not approve it.


Cooper's Crew: Good luck getting ANY virtual approved. I have tried twice in western NY to get one approved. The approver and GC.com advise that they really don't like approving virtuals anymore, and want at least a micro cache placed.

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Artman: I had the same problem. Wanted to get a large (four story) painting approved as a virtual. They insisted on a micro, and due to the location, I felt a micro would just be inviting trouble, so I let it drop. With a couple of caches being blown up lately because of their placement, seems a virtual would be a lesser problem than micros or regulars, but what do I know? :rolleyes:

Edited by catcher24
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Kewaneh & Shark Posted on Nov 24 2004, 12:39 PM

  I think there are too many different types of survey marks from too many different agencies and municipalities to make it feasable.

As discussed earlier in this thread, restricting non-NGS 'benchmarks' to the disk type would help.


I think that such a non-NGS-disk 'cache' should be a new type of cache - not a virtual.


Then, they could appear on the "Geocaching.com Maps" with other types of caches!


This gives me a segue to bring up something I've wanted for a looooooooong time - for benchmarks to be an option on the "Geocaching.com Maps" as I mentioned here.

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Weighing in, I would have to come down on Kewaneh's side with this, yet Blackdog has a good point on the marker type. Some marker types are better choices than others.


We use the NGS survey Markers with NGS blessings, they are very hardy and sturdy survey markers. and to be sure, 680,996 in the geocaching database have not yet been found. The blessing to use the NGS markers is an important part of playing a game with these survey markers. By the numbers there is still plenty of challenge and adventure going forth with the geocaching database as it is. I can assure you as can many others, if you are looking for challenge, the NGS markers offer plenty, yet many are super easy no brainers. You never know.


The USGS Markers not included in the NGS/geocaching database would be feasible to add as game pieces, but the USGS does not manage the survey they have in the field like the NGS does. Most are not in a computerized database which the public can use as such. Survey markers, when taken on the whole are pretty sensitive things.


BLM PLSS Markers are used to describe real property in the field and many are much more fragile than an NGS or USGS "style" marker. Some in fact are not all that nailed down at all. They all are very important to legal property descriptions and are used to support legal matters in courts of law. Many surveyors, myself included are torn between the lucrative option of having updated information about older PLSS survey markers, especially in obscure areas, and at the same time don't really want the general public knowing too much about them for obvious reasons. What people don't know, they cannot affect adversely.


Many other kinds of Survey Markers are privately owned and placed often temporarily at a cost to some party that needed them. The temporary nature of the Hub and Lath or Rebar and Cap makes them a poor choice in that they are of low stability, fragile, expensive (based on the work done to place them) and not meant with permission to become part of a game, which also makes them a poor choice. Worse yet, some temporary markers are placed in environmentally sensitive areas which are either ecologically fragile or filthy with hazmat waste. As a pedestrian citizen on any outing, I cannot always know what all survey markers are intended to signify, despite my training.


So you see, a survey marker is not always just a survey marker, nor a good game piece in all cases. Some would be outright bad to use overall. The permissive nature and ready to use data of the NGS markers makes them the best bet yet.



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Having a benchmark as a virtual probably would not work as a stand alone cache, but being able to add a benchmark to the GC.com data base has been discussed in great lengths by TPTB but no official word has came down yet. That’s all I can say, so please do not ask me about it because its all we know


Tennessee Geocacher

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Instead of making it a (cache) make it as it is a benchmark.

it could have the same designation ie GF0001.


By my studies I have found that this data is desired by several different agencies.

It would be a pertinent part of the function we are already involved in(but is beyond the initial scope) of Geocaching/Benchmarking as I was told a year or so ago.


My opinion is this would be providing free data for the (hobby) work that is being accomplished by us here in this group.


I do think that if we did this only certian BM's should be classed as acceptable.

just like the NGS does,it would have to be a reliable mark,one that is already on the map,or has been set after the new implimatation of the GPS.


I am doing just that now,finding (all) the BM's on the Quads I am working in.

And updating it into the National Geographic Program.

This is now called GIS


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.I was lead to a marker by a geocache during a multi cache as an extra point of interest. I was able to log this benchmark. Then on my very next outing, I run across another, but I'm unable to log it. After MUCH research, I learn this is called a Transit Transverse Station as indicated by the TT on the marker number. I found data on it in a bulletin called Spirit Leveling in Missouri, although MO was a cooperating partner in a US Geological Survey. Is it possible to add this to the benchmark list so it can be logged as a find? See photos. Thanks! Mialmita




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