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EvenFall wrote:

The USPSQD is otherwise known as the United States Power Squadron. They are not a government agency. They are a non profit, club oriented organization that is basically centered around boats and boating safety. They elect people to run the club from their membership and they often volunteer to help in their communities nationally. One of their volunteer activities is to help recover survey markers and water boueys to the NGS and NOS. This is a 100% volunteer effort on their part by people who are not survey professionals. When they do not find something that you did, you are reading about a not find by someone giving up a Saturday or Sunday to community service, who often does not have a GPS, who is not getting credit or a score, and does not consider this their hobby. In fact, if I were to venture a guess, their hobby includes a Boat and on any given Saturday they would rather be on it. Can you blame them?

 

Hi, Everyone:

 

I've been waiting for an opportunity to drop this tidbit into the forum. The U.S. Power Squadron has a unique benchmark at its national headquarters in Raleigh, NC.

 

Okay, I admit I'm jealous. But I also consider this recognition to be well deserved because of the volume of recoveries made by the organization.

 

Yeah, they miss a few. And they continue reporting a certain water tank a decade after it was demolished. But as EvenFall pointed out, they give up time on the water for this land-based activity. So they are entitled to 15 minutes of fame.......and their very own benchmark.

 

This is not in the Groundspeak data base, having been monumented after the last upload, so I'm reprinting the entry from NGS (with HARN info snipped for brevity).

 

-Paul-

 

DE5174 ***********************************************************************

DE5174 DESIGNATION - US POWER SQUADRON

DE5174 PID - DE5174

DE5174 STATE/COUNTY- NC/WAKE

DE5174 USGS QUAD - RALEIGH WEST (1988)

DE5174

DE5174 *CURRENT SURVEY CONTROL

DE5174 ___________________________________________________________________

DE5174* NAD 83(2001)- 35 48 07.37313(N) 078 42 24.07357(W) ADJUSTED

DE5174* NAVD 88 - 151.2 (meters) 496. (feet) GPS OBS

DE5174 ___________________________________________________________________

DE5174 X - 1,014,207.341 (meters) COMP

DE5174 Y - -5,078,696.685 (meters) COMP

DE5174 Z - 3,710,469.391 (meters) COMP

DE5174 LAPLACE CORR- -6.90 (seconds) DEFLEC99

DE5174 ELLIP HEIGHT- 118.60 (meters) (01/30/03) GPS OBS

DE5174 GEOID HEIGHT- -32.57 (meters) GEOID03

DE5174

DE5174 HORZ ORDER - B

DE5174 ELLP ORDER - FOURTH CLASS II

DE5174; North East Units Scale Factor Converg.

DE5174;SPC NC - 227,677.075 636,111.130 MT 0.99991861 +0 10 09.4

DE5174;UTM 17 - 3,964,419.843 707,223.759 MT 1.00012917 +1 20 31.3

DE5174

DE5174! - Elev Factor x Scale Factor = Combined Factor

DE5174!SPC NC - 0.99998139 x 0.99991861 = 0.99990000

DE5174!UTM 17 - 0.99998139 x 1.00012917 = 1.00011055

DE5174

DE5174 SUPERSEDED SURVEY CONTROL

DE5174

DE5174 NAD 83(1995)- 35 48 07.37329(N) 078 42 24.07351(W) AD( ) B

DE5174 ELLIP H (07/03/02) 118.60 (m) GP( ) 4 1

DE5174

DE5174.Superseded values are not recommended for survey control.

DE5174.NGS no longer adjusts projects to the NAD 27 or NGVD 29 datums.

DE5174.See file dsdata.txt to determine how the superseded data were derived.

DE5174

DE5174_U.S. NATIONAL GRID SPATIAL ADDRESS: 17SQV0722464420(NAD 83)

DE5174_MARKER: DD = SURVEY DISK

DE5174_SETTING: 7 = SET IN TOP OF CONCRETE MONUMENT

DE5174_MARK LOGO: NOS

DE5174_MAGNETIC: N = NO MAGNETIC MATERIAL

DE5174_STABILITY: C = MAY HOLD, BUT OF TYPE COMMONLY SUBJECT TO

DE5174+STABILITY: SURFACE MOTION

DE5174_SATELLITE: THE SITE LOCATION WAS REPORTED AS SUITABLE FOR

DE5174+SATELLITE: SATELLITE OBSERVATIONS - March 29, 2004

DE5174

DE5174 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

DE5174 HISTORY - 2002 MONUMENTED NGS

DE5174 HISTORY - 20030307 GOOD USPSQD

DE5174 HISTORY - 20040329 GOOD USPSQD

DE5174

DE5174 STATION DESCRIPTION

DE5174

DE5174'DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 2002 (RWA)

DE5174'TO REACH THE STATION FROM THE INTERSECTION OF WADE AVE. AND BLUE

DE5174'RIDGE ROAD GO SOUTH ON BLUE RIDGE ROAD FOR 0.1 MILE (0.2 KM) TO A

DE5174'TRAFFIC LIGHT AND A DRIVEWAY ON LEFT. TURN LEFT INTO DRIVEWAY AND

DE5174'THEN LEFT INTO PARKING AREA FOR THE U.S. POWER SQUARDON HEADQUARTERS

DE5174'BUILDING AND THE STATION 5.66 FT. (1.73 M) NORTHEAST OF

DE5174'THE FLAGPOLE. THE STATION IS A REINFORCED CONCRETE POST 4 FT. (1.2 M)

DE5174'DEEP, 1.5 FT. (0.5 M) SQUARE AND PROJECTING 1.6 FT. THE CONCRETE

DE5174'POST IS ENCOMPASSED IN GREEN SLATE WITH A 8 INCH DISK ON TOP WITH A

DE5174'PLAQUE ON THE WEST SIDE. IT IS LOCATED IN THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF A

DE5174'GREEN SLATE PATIO WITH THE FLAGPOLE IN THE SOUTHWEST CORNER. THE MARK

DE5174'IS 30.5 FT. (9.3 M) SOUTH OF HTE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE U.S. POWER

DE5174'SQUADRON BUILDING, 16 FT (4.9 M) WEST OF THE EAST CURB OF A PARKING

DE5174'AREA AND 7.0 FT (2.1 M) NORTH OF THE NORTH CURB OF A PARKING LOT.

DE5174'NOTE--NO STAMPING ON DISK.

DE5174

DE5174 STATION RECOVERY (2003)

DE5174

DE5174'RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 2003 (KEN)

DE5174'RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.

DE5174

DE5174 STATION RECOVERY (2004)

DE5174'RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 2004 (KLM)

DE5174'RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.

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I think anyone can set a mark and designate it as anything they want. As long as the measurement and positioning proceedures are in agreement with the NGS requirements, that mark can be submitted to the NGS for inclusion in their database. It looks like the USPS did just that.

- Kewaneh

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I think anyone can set a mark and designate it as anything they want. As long as the measurement and positioning proceedures are in agreement with the NGS requirements, that mark can be submitted to the NGS for inclusion in their database. It looks like the USPS did just that.

- Kewaneh

How can I get my own benchmark? I really think it would be neat to have one on my own property! :rolleyes:

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Rescue557 asked:

How can I get my own benchmark? I really think it would be neat to have one on my own property!

 

Well, one technique for getting your very own named station is to:

(1) Be a well-known local surveyor; and

(2) Die.

 

The mark in the photo is in Apex, North Carolina, at the office of Smith and Smith Surveyors.

 

Paul

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I think anyone can set a mark and designate it as anything they want.  As long as the measurement and positioning proceedures are in agreement with the NGS requirements, that mark can be submitted to the NGS for inclusion in their database.  It looks like the USPS did just that.

- Kewaneh

How can I get my own benchmark? I really think it would be neat to have one on my own property! :rolleyes:

There was a thread a while back about custom benchmarks or something (too lazy to look it up right now). But it mentioned the company Berntsen. I have ordered a couple of them, one for myself, and one for Jug & Roon. They turned out really neat. I then set it in a rock. Turned out really good. I don't know about registering it anywhere though. My placement isn't stable enough to submit it to the NGS or anything, but this is the company that I think is used to make most benchmarks. I was very happy with their service.

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How can I get my own benchmark?  I really think it would be neat to have one on my own property! :rolleyes:

I have one, but not on my property. In fact, I may never see it!

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Getting your own benchmark and setting it in your yard is one thing, but getting it included into the NGS database is quite another. Berntsen (as Butano has mentioned) has been making many types of benchmarks for years. They have many pre-made for particular uses but they can also be custom ordered with a specific design. They are available to anyone who is willing to pay for them, and can be anywhere from a few bucks to a several hundred. (An interesting article about Berntsen was recently written in the surveying trade magazine The American Surveyor called 'Berntsen: A Marked Difference'.)

 

If getting your mark into the NGS database is your goal, it will be much more difficult. Not impossible, but very difficult. Like I said in my earlier post 'As long as the measurement and positioning proceedures are in agreement with the NGS requirements, that mark can be submitted to the NGS for inclusion in their database.' Keep in mind that submission does not mean inclusion. It's ultimately up to the NGS to decide whether or not your mark will be of any value to them and the integrity of their geodetic network, or just another point on the ground to keep track of.

 

- Kewaneh

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An interesting article about Berntsen was recently written in the surveying trade magazine The American Surveyor called 'Berntsen: A Marked Difference'.

 

What a great article! Thanks for sharing it. Bernsten is a refreshing change from most organizations where work is sloppy and Customer Service reps don't know anything and/or don't really care.

 

I'm passing this along to my management team. We don't mark real estate; we market it. But Bernsten's quest for excellence has given me several great ideas we can implement.

 

Paul F.

Owner, RE/MAX PARTNERS

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I found one mark with my name, but I don't expect to visit station ART (TT6372) any time soon:

 

1/1/1950 by USGS (MONUMENTED)

DESCRIBED BY US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 1950 STATION IS LOCATED ABOUT 2.0 MI. /AIRLINE/ W. OF HEAD OF SLIDE CREEK AND ABOUT 9.0 MI. /AIRLINE/ E. OF JUNCTION OF ROGERS AND SHEEP CREEKS, ON A SHARP TOP. STATION WAS REACHED BY HELICOPTER FROM WOOD RIVER. STATION MARK--A STANDARD TABLET CEMENTED IN SOLID ROCK OUTCROP STAMPED ---ART 1950---. REFERENCE MARKS--NONE.

 

Incidentally, is there a more efficient way to search for a station with a particular name (designation) other than a state-by-state query at the NGS site?

 

-ArtMan-

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Well ArtMan, there just happens to be a place right here on this site. Try this link. This was easily found by going to the benchmark hunting homepage, then click "other search options".

 

At that screen select "By Designation" - no state filter, we typed "art" & clicked "find benchmarks".

 

We had fun one day by trying "cairn" & you can do this by state too.

 

Have fun with it, we did.

 

Shirley~

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Thanks for the great information and resources everybody! I'm thinking about placing my own benchmark on my property that designates the exact center of the property. Call me crazy but I think it's kinda neat; I just don't know how much it will cost for a survey crew to place it in the middle of 8 acres. <_<

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Well ArtMan, there just happens to be a place right here on this site. Try this link.

Shirley,

 

D'oh! Never needed to use that function, and never even thought to look here for that sort of capability.

 

However, this search function does have its limitations. The state-by-state search of the NGS database (yes I did, and yes, I need to get a life) produced a few anomolies such as FX3579 (ART CAGING ON TREE) in North Carolina, QH0515 (ART IBC) in Maine, SK0878 (ART TEMP) in Minnesota and KV4615 (ARTHUR KILL U MARINE WKS CHIM) in New York. All of these stations are indexed by NGS and are in the results list when I searched for ART, but if you then request the datasheet, it comes up empty. These stations are not in the geocaching.com database either.

 

Any idea what's going on here? The same thing happens with KV4448 (WORLD TRADE CENTER ANTENNA), for possibly the same reason, or possibly not.

 

-ArtMan-

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Since your "property center" mark will have no official significance, you could place it yourself. If it were me who wanted it I would undertake to do the most accurate job I could of locating that point, with cross-checking by alternate methods. I'm easily entertained by such projects to the detriment of more practical accomplishments.

 

The cost of having it done will depend on what is around to work from. Can you point to official property corners? Around here those are usually pieces of re-rod and if recently set have plastic caps stamped with the surveyor's license number. The practice varies around the country. If they have to first locate the property corners it will cost more, but that's perhaps a worthwhile investment.

 

My wild guess is that if it is easy, you would be charged a few hundred dollars for locating the point, more if they do the setting.

 

Setting a mark to meet NGS criteria would be more expensive. It would either take a very deep piece of concrete or the driving of a (potentially very) long rod and setting a sleeve around it.

 

Measuring a well-set mark to NGS standards would be several thousand dollars. I recall one mention on this forum of a figure of $10,000 but that was for a high precision station in both location and elevation.

 

I'd be interested in figures from folks more knowledgeable.

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It would be very costly to position just one point. That USPS point was likely part of a bigger project that involved other points and many man hours. Usually to set a new station using GPS you need to start with 3 known points with horizontal position (X&Y) and 4 with vertical position (z). One can have dual stats, x,y,z

 

To position a point for our everyday DOT work we would occupy an unknown point on at least 2 different days for at least 5 hrs on each day and use OPUS solution to position from 3 CORS stations. And this did not even meet the NGS specs but was how we maintained quality and did not spend a lot of $$ doing it. The reason for duplicate observations was redundancy, to eliminate any chance of errors, proposed projects cost lots of $$ and one mistake would be costly in time and expense not to mention embarrassment of making a serious blunder by a professional surveyor. (sirvayer)

 

When I was involved in doing HARN (order A) REO in 2001 we had to occupy the same point for over 16 hrs, 2 each 5.5 hrs sessions on one day starting at 6:30 am EST shutting down at noon and reset the GPS back up to turn on by 12.30 and run to 6pm. During the 30 minute down time, we had to completely break down the setup and start from scratch, turning our tribrach 180° from the am setup. Next day we ran from around 10am till 3.30pm. This was to take advantage of all the GPS birds. This was a simultaneous operation involving many people all over the state from govt and private sectors, all of the CORS stations as well. That was done in 2001 and I don't think they are done with the computations yet. The biggest problems was maintaining batteries and not falling asleep. I was doing this very thing on 9-11-2001 miles out in the boonies on a Bench Mark down along an RR track with my suburban backed into the trees for shade. It was hot and the bugs were very bad. A train went by and the engineer did a double take seeing me out there. Needed 4x4 drive to get to it.

 

REO - Re-observation

Edited by elcamino

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Since your "property center" mark will have no official significance, you could place it yourself. If it were me who wanted it I would undertake to do the most accurate job I could of locating that point, with cross-checking by alternate methods. I'm easily entertained by such projects to the detriment of more practical accomplishments.

I'm thinking that since I have a budget for this project of about $100 or less, I'll be doing it myself. I had no idea that such projects could run up a price tag into the thousands, but I guess with that kind of accuracy, you pay for what you get.

 

The property I'm going to own very soon has all the pins and the like which were set there when it was surveyed a few years ago. I'm thinking that for this project, since I'm the only one who is really going to get anything out of it, an accuracy of +/- 5 feet is accurate enough for my purposes.

 

I admit that I too am amused by projects of this nature despite what other people think. :unsure:

 

By the way, thanks for the background info; I had absolutely no idea that benchmarks set by the NGS were of such high accuracy. I guess you could say that I have a much higher appreciation of the marks now.

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Funny this thread started today. After reading the same quote from EvenFall, I did a search for the closest squadron to find out about membership and such. I asked them some specific questions about benchmarks and am waiting for an answer.

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The Power Squadron mark was set and positioned by NGS (RWA is Roy Anderson from the Silver Spring, MD office) to recognition of more than 30 years of support by their members to the National Ocean Service (of which NGS is a part) Cooperative Charting Program. PS members around the country have provided extremely valuable serivces to both NGS and the Office of Coast Survey in helping to keep the nations nautical charts up to date. These services include both geodetic mark recovery and reports of obstructions to safe marine navigation.

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DaveD

 

I have a suggestion.

 

Do not let the power sqd guys report marks as, not found. There is one clown that visits my area and always returns to the same mark(s) and logs them a not found. I personally went out to see if I could find these marks and was able to spot many of them from my truck, they have metal witness post by them set in the 1970's by USGS when mapping the area. One in particular this GG has not found it 4 times in 10-15 yrs and once was 4 weeks after I found it with ease. He logged a few as good that were so poor that part of the post was broken and just sitting on the top of ground over 1 ft high. Anyone who would have walked up to it would have seen it was broken off and no good but he logged it as GOOD.

 

Even marks that are destroyed and logged as such, he reports as not found.

 

Some of these guys just do a drive by and then report it as not found.

Edited by elcamino

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It gives me something to shoot for, proving the USPS wrong.

 

Here is one I found easily on 7/18/2004 with a MWP+Sign in plain sight, I just recently sent in the recovery.

 

RL0749 STATION RECOVERY (1988)

RL0749

RL0749'RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 1988 (GG)

RL0749'MARK NOT FOUND.

RL0749

RL0749 STATION RECOVERY (1996)

RL0749

RL0749'RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 1996

RL0749'RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.

RL0749

RL0749 STATION RECOVERY (2001)

RL0749

RL0749'RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 2001 (GG)

RL0749'MARK NOT FOUND.

RL0749

RL0749 STATION RECOVERY (2004)

RL0749

RL0749'RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 2004 (GG)

RL0749'MARK NOT FOUND.

Edited by elcamino

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To All,

 

We all find mistakes and errors in the database, regardless of who made them, and sometimes we may find that we made them too. No Biggie, Just put a best face on what you find and report it. If you find a not found, you can improve upon the last known condition in the database, by reporting it found, and submitting some photos. If you like, the NGS will be happy to have your update. Again, it is your choice, but if you do not want to go with an NGS filing, don't let this not found stop you as you may just bag it for a find on Geocaching. Go hunt it anyway.

 

Besides I think Black Dog Trackers submitted the idea that there are extra points garnered for USPSQDN not founds eh? :-)

 

I know when they file a not found I take it as a go look anyway... Like I said in the quote that started this tread... Recovery by people who would rather be spending their weekend on a boat.

 

ps, Thanks for sharing the pain Dave :-)

 

Rob

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I noticed the fire boots in your icon. The idea of setting a marker that at first glance seems official reminds me of a conversation I had with a neighbor, back when I was a volunteer firefighter. The neighbor thought it would be cute to put a dummy fire hydrant in his front yard for the use of his dog. I pointed out it wouldn't be so funny when a fire engine came screaming up, attempted to connect to the hydrant, and no water came out.

 

I finally told him that if he really needed a dummy fire hydrant, he would have to paint it black

 

Gerry Ashton

:( People are always doing the strangest of things. Um... Oh yeah, I am putting a useless benchmark on my property for my own personal use. I see now how this is related. :D

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DaveD

 

I have a suggestion.

 

Do not let the power sqd guys report marks as, not found. There is one clown that visits my area and always returns to the same mark(s) and logs them a not found. I personally went out to see if I could find these marks and was able to spot many of them from my truck, they have metal witness post by them set in the 1970's by USGS when mapping the area. One in particular this GG has not found it 4 times in 10-15 yrs and once was 4 weeks after I found it with ease. He logged a few as good that were so poor that part of the post was broken and just sitting on the top of ground over 1 ft high. Anyone who would have walked up to it would have seen it was broken off and no good but he logged it as GOOD.

 

Even marks that are destroyed and logged as such, he reports as not found.

 

Some of these guys just do a drive by and then report it as not found.

Not the first time I have heard this complaint.

 

All I want to say is that the Geocaching community does not share this reputation, which I think is a testament to dedication. And the fact that many on you take pictures of the marks! Kind of makes a big difference.

 

-Casey-

 

p.s. there is a thingie in the works to make it MUCH easier to get non-NGS surveyed marks into the NGS database. It is a ways off, but it is something we have been looking at. Alas, I can say no more.

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And the fact that many of you take pictures of the marks! Kind of makes a big difference.

 

Excellent point, Casey. That certainly adds credibility! Another benefit of the photos is the opportunity for "peer review", which helps us grow. Otherwise, we'd continue making mistakes because we were not aware of a flawed recovery motiff. [Like the beginner who reported several ref tags on poles, thinking those were the stations.]

 

I'm reminded of the fellow who, seeking a pay raise, told his boss, "After all, I have five years experience!" "No," came the leader's reply. "You have ONE year's experience, repeated five times!"

 

-Paul-

 

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, I just posted sixteen thousand words to Groundspeak! Whew! Think I'll take the rest of the day off. :laughing:

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My Buddy GG at work again, this guy has to be blind.

 

RL0750 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

RL0750 HISTORY - 1948 MONUMENTED CGS

RL0750 HISTORY - 1987 MARK NOT FOUND USPSQD

RL0750 HISTORY - 19960626 MARK NOT FOUND USPSQD

RL0750 HISTORY - 20010615 MARK NOT FOUND USPSQD

RL0750 HISTORY - 20040718 GOOD GEOCAC

RL0750 HISTORY - 20040809 MARK NOT FOUND USPSQD

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RL0750 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

RL0750 HISTORY - 1948 MONUMENTED CGS

RL0750 HISTORY - 1987 MARK NOT FOUND USPSQD

RL0750 HISTORY - 19960626 MARK NOT FOUND USPSQD

RL0750 HISTORY - 20010615 MARK NOT FOUND USPSQD

RL0750 HISTORY - 20040718 GOOD GEOCAC

RL0750 HISTORY - 20040809 MARK NOT FOUND USPSQD

 

Well, Elcamino, you've got to give GG an A+ for effort. Imagine returning to the same Not Found, year after year, after year.

 

Can we interest him in a Halloween Night stint with Linus, waiting for the Great Pumpkin? :huh:

 

-Paul-

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:D:P:DB)B)B)

 

When I found it in July, I tied pink ribbon onto the witness post which was in plain sight btw and could be easily seen from road but I guess he must have been going 55mph when he looked for it. :D

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