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Recovery To Not Found Ratio


Mastifflover

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Just started to look for benchmarks because I've found all the caches within about 25 miles of me. I went out yesterday in the cold and snow and amazed myself by finding 2 of the 4 that I looked for. One I am pretty sure is gone as it is described as being on a bridge that was replaced a few years back and the other I believe is buried under some railroad gravel that is frozen and I had no way to move. The 2 that I found had scaled coordinates so I was shocked that I found them. This was a lot more fun than I thought it would be :) . Makes you use the old noggin a little more than simply following an arrow.

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Mastifflover,

 

You'll find some stats on this thread, from a few months ago.

 

I'm not particularly competitive, but I do wish this site provided some better statistical reporting, including a leader board of some kind.

 

You can look up the number of finds for a given player, but as has been noted by others, often the challenge is in the searches that result in a "not found" or "destroyed" report.

 

-ArtMan-

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Your found/not found ratio will depend somewhat on your perseverence, but probably more so on how urban and otherwise developed an area you search in. Marks get graded out quite often as the land gets rearranged for new uses.

 

On the missing bridge, be sure you take the best look you can. Sometimes they are able to save the BM when replacing a bridge. There are several set in small bridges that on first glance I thought there was no way the mark could still be there, but on closer examination I found it. See particularly NJ0584 and also

LE0221 .

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As of yesterday I have logged 1104 marks:

 

Found 613 (56%)

Unfound 353 (32%)

Note 130 (11%)

Destroyed 8 (1%)

 

Most of my effort has been in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, where development and construction over recent decades has wiped out many marks; others are within locked and/or guarded facilities and thus inaccessible (accounting for many of the Notes).

 

Incidentally, my early New Year's resolution is to file more reports with the NGS. There is much fun, challenge and history in our quest, but I think we can do a real public service by updating information in this important database. At the risk of seeming foolish down the road, I am even starting to report "not found" marks, which to the professional survey community perhaps represents more valuable information. Still, I really want to be sure of my report lest my "not found" be followed by a recovery report.

 

-ArtMan-

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Mastifflover, et. al.

 

Found = 1,012

Not found = 471

Noted (inaccessible) = 125

Destroyed = 63

 

51% of "found" = SCALED coordinates

67% of "found" = first time (by Geocaching member) found

 

268 recoveries reported to NGS

 

Will

 

p.s. Mastiff - be VERY VERY careful when hunting benchmarks along railroad right-of-way. Several contributors to this forum have reported that the RRs are NOT lenient regarding trespassers. In the current Homeland Security environment, I generally stay off ROWs.

 

p.p.s. ArtMan - yes, must be very careful reporting NOT FOUNDs to NGS. I have taken great delight in finding and reporting (about 12) marks that our good buddies, US Power Squadron, have previously reported as NOT FOUND. Would be an unbearable humiliation if they trumped me on a NOT FOUND.

 

W

Edited by seventhings
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No one seems to be looking for benchmarks in my area so every one I find around here will be a ftf by a geocacher. I am going tommorow to look for one that is supposed to be in a rock that was placed in 1897 Flat Iron.

Only 509 benchmarks to go to catch up to my cache finds. :) Thanks Seventhings I'll keep that in mind about the railroad ROW's. Does this apply if there are no signs telling you not to be there? I'll probably try to stick to the easier ones untill spring.

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Some observations on the mark Flat Iron:

 

The location is ADJUSTED, so you should be able to get within a few feet using the GPS. This is in strong contrast to marks with SCALED location, where the error is usually (around here) 100 to 200 feet and sometimes tenths of a mile.

 

I can't find the date when the aluminum disk was put in the old hole, which had lost its copper bolt.

 

It appears he stamped that disk with the approximate elevation, which is a foot off of the present listing. That's the reason NGS doesn't usually stamp elevations--they change as the earth model is refined and they change to using a new datum.

 

If you look at the NGS data sheet you will find that USPSQD found this one in 2001 (after the GC snapshot was taken of the NGS data base), but reported it in poor condition. It seems they only check boxes and don't write verbal reports, so we don't know exactly what poor means. A good guess is that the aluminum disk is gone and the hole is still found.

 

Good luck to you, although this looks like you won't need too much luck.

[edit: correct date & misc]

Edited by Bill93
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So if I only find the hole where the disk was at is this a found, note, damaged? Just wondering how to report it on the gc.com site. I was just looking at the link that gc.com provides to look at the original data sheet. I didn't know that it was that much out of date. Thanks for the info.

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I'll have to check my ratio. I'd guess about 80%. But I do go looking for ones that I know that I will not find. North Hudson County, New Jersey has a lot of water towers recorded in 1932. I just logged 'destroyed' a grain elevator from 1932 on the docks in West New York. I seldom log 'destroyed' unless it is intuitively obvious that the 810' TV mast is definitely not there anymore.

I'm surprised that more care is not made to preserve and reset the benchmarks on rebuilt bridges. They builders seem to ignore them completely.

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Mastifflover -

 

Good question: How to log an empty hole (or stem) where the disk used to be.

 

I have found several of these, and reported them via e-mail to Deb Brown at NGS. In most cases, IF the disk's location is defined by ADJUSTED coordinates AND the setting (rock outcropping, concrete monument, etc) is stable AND the location of the empty hole can be verified by means other than a handheld GPS reading (like, for example, a measured distance from another feature in the description), then Deb has advised me to report the recovery to the NGS database as FOUND-POOR/DISTURBED with a detailed description of the circumstances. In these cases, I log the mark as FOUND on Geocaching (I have done so eight times) with a description (using the words "FOUND DESTROYED") and photos. The theory for this treatment is that the "station" may still be useable for survey purposes even though the disk is no longer there.

 

When the location is described by SCALED coordinates OR the setting is unstable (crumbling concrete monument, for example) OR I can't verify the position by measurement, I generally log these missing disks as NOT FOUND.

 

In any event, Flat Iron would be a good search. You will do a valuable service to the benchmark hunting community if you find the location and provide a thorough description of what you find (however you choose to log it, FOUND, NOT FOUND, whatever). I would also encourage you to send an e-mail to Deb Brown (see pinned topic, above) with GPS readings, description, measurement, photos, etc. She will then provide you guidance as to how to report the recovery to the NGS.

 

Reporting recoveries to the NGS is strictly optional. Many professional-grade benchmark hunters and several of us experienced amateurs do it, but it is not required.

 

Sounds like a great search (and sounds like you are in a great area). Good luck.

 

Will

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Mastifflover,

 

First of all, welcome to benchmarking!

 

The datasheets posted by gc.com are static, and a couple of years out of date. That same datasheet, just checked on the NGS site includes a 2001 log by the US Power Squadron indicating "recovered in poor condition".

 

Without getting into a lengthy diatribe about the quality of logs from the USPS folks, take note that more info can sometimes be found by checking the NGS site.

 

I personally (and I think many of us) actually download benchmarks by county directly from the NGS and convert it using a utility called "BMGPX". Whether you want to bother with that at this point is up to you, but if you ever hit a snag looking for a mark and just can't give up, be sure to check for the most current info. It can make a difference.

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86 logs on benchmarks

60 finds

8 marked as destroyed

2 notes

16 DNFs.

And several that I'm not really sure about, so I logged nothing.

Yes, it depends very much on where and what kind of benchmarks that you are looking for. AS I mentioned, in North Hudson County, NJ, there are quite a number of 1932 stations for chimneys and water towers. They are all gone! We'e doing somewhat better in NYC. Several disappeared, many are still there. Stations on bridges do not seem to survive rebuilding. Oh, well.

I still have to work on a series of eight along Clinton Road, in the Pequannock Watershed, North NJ. One of the problems is that the coordinates are so far off on most. [:D]

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I still have to work on a series of eight along Clinton Road, in the Pequannock Watershed, North NJ.  One of the problems is that the coordinates are so far off on most.  [;)]

Harry! I spent a couple of days on Clinton Road last month looking for some of them. I found one that had been "not found" by USPS in 1995, and I haven't been able to find two or three that were recovered by them, to my shame.

 

I haven't given up yet, but I'll be waiting until Spring before I go back. The ones I found, I logged. The ones I didn't find I haven't logged yet.

 

It looks like the watershed has had some timber removed relatively recently, and there are piles of chippings and limbs at a lot of the locations. It may also be that the timbering operations dislodged the witness posts. It is a challenge to find one boulder or outcrop on a whole hillside of boulders and outcrops, in woods that appear to be very good at hiding witness posts.

 

When you go, beware of the ghosts that haunt Clinton Road! :o

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134 total finds

 

5 did not find (logged)

27 marked as destroyed (logged)

 

Most of them are in and around the Boston area, but have never been taken

out of the database. I am going to inform Deb about them. I did not

actually look for them, but they clutter the page. Obviously if a building,

smokestack, or tower, or anything was destroyed in the 1930's, and Boston

proper changes daily with the BIG DIG, then the mark assocoated with it

is destroyed as well. Trust me on the ones I did mark destroyed. I did not do

it to all of them, but there are a lot more that fall into the same category.

 

Not being a purist (yet), there are at least 45-50 I searched for, but did not log anything. I am getting better though.

 

I have an overall find rate of about 77% (not factoring in the ones I did not log). If I did factor in the others, the number would be closer to my GPA for a few years in college. ;)

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Harry! I spent a couple of days on Clinton Road last month looking for some of them. I found one that had been "not found" by USPS in 1995, and I haven't been able to find two or three that were recovered by them, to my shame.

 

I haven't given up yet, but I'll be waiting until Spring before I go back. The ones I found, I logged. The ones I didn't find I haven't logged yet.

 

It looks like the watershed has had some timber removed relatively recently, and there are piles of chippings and limbs at a lot of the locations. It may also be that the timbering operations dislodged the witness posts. It is a challenge to find one boulder or outcrop on a whole hillside of boulders and outcrops, in woods that appear to be very good at hiding witness posts.

Oh, dear, Holograph. Someone almost as stange as I! :rolleyes: Have you considered therapy?

I found the coordinates tough to follow, frequently putting me on the wrong side of the road. Or else the road has been re-aligned. Then, there are the branches and composted hemlock needles all over everything!

I hope you posted new coordinates for the one that you did find!

Clinton Road is being repaved (seven year project, so far). That probably accounts for the timber removal.

Harry

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My find to not find ratio is about 94% with 263 finds, 16 not found, 11 destroyed and 16 notes. I will go back numerous times to find a bm that I didn't find which accounts for the high ratio. Most of my finds are FTF because I don't go after any that have been found by another benchmarker. Exception to that rule is up on mountains that I spend a lot of effort to get to. That means that I now have to drive quite a way to look for bm's.

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My ratio is a bit messed up, but it's mostly because I spent a LOT of time documenting intersection station I _KNOW_ are destroyed. I try to dig up enough proof to submit the destroyed status to USGS

 

The hardest was "Little Brown Stack" (can't remember the PID off the top of my head). What made this one hard was that it had NO description, and has been GONE as long as anyone remembers. I actually found a picture of a factory on the location with a brown smokestack - OK, now that I know what it was, it was easy to prove it was gone. The hard part was finding the photo (the building was torn down in the early 1930s)

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