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caseyb

From The National Geodetic Survey

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There was some discussion recently about a new forum being created that was more NGS centric. Unfortunately, it was closed before any of us NGS people had a chance to chime in.

 

For some time (months) I have been working with Jeremy, some folks here at NGS and a few of the regular posters here at Geocaching on a project. The project is a reflection of the appreciation that NGS has for the Geocaching community, and specifically the benchmark hunting community.

The project involves a few things.

 

1: NGS is attempting to create some kind of “Benchmark Hunting” outreach program. We are hoping to begin to recognize and reward some of the people who are helping us by submitting recoveries and corrections to the database.

 

2: We envision a system where the Geocaching Website and our database have better linkages and a better sharing of data.

 

3: NGS wants to facilitate the reporting of monument/mark recoveries to the NGS database (including submitting pictures).

 

4: NGS wants to have a separate forum, hosted here at Geocaching.com, where we at NGS can answer questions and interact with the Geocaching/benchmark hunting community. This forum would be a place where people could easily ask questions of the NGS and NGS could distribute information to the community. Currently it is very difficult for us at NGS to keep up with the traffic on the benchmark hunting board. A prime example of this is the lack of any input from the NGS on the proposed separate forum, which was something I have been working on for some time.

 

I have been spending a fair amount of time and energy on this project, and I was surprised that the idea of a new forum received so little support. But maybe I should not be. The idea was never fully explained and probably caught people by surprise.

 

But let me ask you to reconsider. The National Geodetic Survey (who installed and owns most of the marks you are hunting) wants to work with you. We want to recognize and reward the people who are performing a public service by reporting errors in the database and submitting recoveries to the NGS. We are hoping that by creating a separate forum, we will be better able to answer questions about reporting to the NGS database and be in a position to more publically recognize and thank those of you who are helping us. We have no intention or desire to force people to report their recoveries to NGS. We don’t want to have any negative impact on people who just want to play the game. What we do desire is to work with people who may want to perform a public service and encourage and facilitate that process.

 

Having said all that, do you still think the seperate forum is still a bad idea? Thoughts?

 

-Casey-

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It was my understanding that the 2 threads pinned at the top was to cover any questions that should be answered by the NGS. The how-to's and why's and wherefore's of the NGS requirements, and other interaction with the NGS.

 

Is there a big enough group to have their own forum? Those pinned threads do not seem to get enough replies to warrant a seperate forum.

 

Just wondering,

 

John

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It was my understanding that the 2 threads pinned at the top was to cover any questions that should be answered by the NGS. The how-to's and why's and wherefore's of the NGS requirements, and other interaction with the NGS.

 

Is there a big enough group to have their own forum? Those pinned threads do not seem to get enough replies to warrant a seperate forum.

 

Just wondering,

 

John

My experience with pinned threads is that they never get used because they are pinned threads.... kind of an oxymoron I confess, but I think it is true.

 

As for the numbers of people, I don't know. I do know that with all my other work, I have a very difficult time keeping up with the traffic on this forum.

 

-Casey-

 

p.s. I love lake Powel! Used to go houseboating there every summer when I was a kid.

 

(edited for spelling errors)

Edited by caseyb

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We are hoping to begin to recognize and reward some of the people who are helping us by submitting recoveries and corrections to the database.

 

Let's develop an incentive program....

 

For everyone who reports 200 marks, the prize is an autographed photo of the NGS gang;

 

At the 500-mark level, the reward is an old benchmark to use as a paperweight;

 

and at the 1000-MARK, a personal tour of the Silver Spring facility. (Winner responsible for air fare and lodging.) B)

 

Seriously, though, even if nothing changes, it is great having NGS take an interest in our forum and make personnel available for questions. (Earlier today, Casey responded very quickly to an inquiry I made about a destroyed mark.)

 

-Paul-

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Casey,

Well, I just checked today and the first batch of 30 benchmarks I updated have been posted. *woo hoo* At least another 60 more to go, now that I know the system works. I'm new to this, so...my goal is 500 for this calendar year. Go NGS!

I'm interested in having a separate forum. I agree with your comments about pinned forums.

 

Cheers,

Buckner Creel

GEOCAC BMC

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I dont know if it was the way it was previously explained, or my mood at the time, but I was definately not interested and stated some reasons. Now, I am not too sure. Direct interaction with NGS would definately be an incentive. I would not report for prizes, but because it is the right thing to do, but recognition does have its bonuses. I am involved in The National Map Project, and am VERY impressed with the speed of responses - both to desires, and questions. I do not doubt that NGS would be the same. Here's to a wonderful friendship together!! Count me in! Disregard any negative statements I have made to the contrary. I will start emailing any and all finds/DNF/destroyed marks that warrant it this week!

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I too was unsure what value the forum would have, but if the NGS is willing to get involved significantly I vote a strong yes!

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I am just now answering and been just lurking to see where it went.

 

I VOTE YES as well.

 

This recognition is good enough for me,although a Forum will answer lots of Questions,and we maybe able to even learn a thing or three.

 

I do have a few questions that I would prefer to bring up in a more technical talk as well.

Such as Azimuths to curent marks from old data sets.and and and.....soon!!

 

That is another thing I appreciate from one and all is the quality of research each of you do when questions are asked.

 

I have been working with the Track Maker and am able to pre determine azimuths and distances to reference marks from the Triangulation Stations,and also all other reference marks.............great tool.

Many options !!!!!!

DGTV 3D

 

You can also keep track of your tracks (TRACK MAKER)as you progress through the day and marks that you have pre determined it is the most accurate way I have found to do it so far.

 

It also now allows geocaching loc files.

Ozi explorer and all them other things I don't understand yet.

The DGTV you can now view the 3D SRTM mapping of your tracklogs and marks for the day.

 

I am straying off topic now so YES to a NGS Forum.

Went by there 1/18/2005

FORUM

 

WOOPS..........Need to report that one to NGS

Nope did it already

GF0859 FORUM NGS RECOVERY

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I earlier weighed in against a separate forum, but if NGS thinks it would be useful, I'm all for it.

 

-ArtMan-

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Well this certainly changes my viewpoint. Now that we have heard that the NGS actually considers what we are doing worthwile I would vote yes and would like to contribute. :huh:

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IMO, a good idea.

 

I look forward to it.

 

I would agree on pinned threads, I hardly ever look at them myself.

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I am very happy to see the positive response. I am out of the office for the rest of the week attending the Virgina Association of Surveyors and Mappers conference in Reston. I will try to get in touch with Jeremy and set things up early next week.

 

-Casey-

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caseyb -

 

As I understood it, the original suggestion to have a new forum wasn't specifically designed just to get more NGS participation, instead it was to solve a separation of perspective among us benchmark hunters - NGS oriented / technical versus non-NGS oriented / gameplaying.

 

Now, you, as an NGS representative, say that the NGS would like it if there was a forum dedicated to communicating with them on this website. This puts a somewhat different light on the idea.

 

However, I'm somewhat puzzled by this.

 

As you've recognized, there's been some starts at the NGS communicating here. I know there's a lot of questions we've asked in the pinned threads that were never answered; some of which I asked. Its a bit frustrating to communication. I'm wondering how having a separate forum would change that. I am hopeful that it will, of course, but can't help but wonder.

 

I suppose there will be guidelines on the new forum, but I'm wondering how we should choose which forum to post a new thread on. Suppose, for instance, that I am curious about a PID that I have recently found because it has two different dates on the disk and the database only had the older date listed (pretending for the moment that I don't know the answer to this one). So is this a gameplaying question? I don't think so. Wouldn't I prefer it if the NGS wanted to help answer my question if they wanted to? If this isn't clear to us - which forum to post in, or ask questions in, I am imagining that we'd all post to the new forum, hoping to get some NGS input, and this present forum would die quickly, and then we'd all be in the same state as now.

 

Most new people's questions are technical, not 'gameplaying'. Should new people's questions be in the new forum or not?

 

I looked over the last page's worth of topics. About half are technical in some manner and the NGS theoretically could contribute to them. So, assuming half the topics are technical in nature, and that the initiator would like to have NGS input / recognition, would looking at only half the present number of topics really be useful to the NGS?

 

The pinned topic for the NGS exists now. From our perspective, anyone who sees a recent date on it will read the topic to see what's going on. From the NGS perspective, there's only one 'topic' to be checking where we're directly asking you (the NGS) a question.

 

I really do hope the NGS partners more with us here on this site, :rolleyes: but where to draw the lines on this new forum versus the present forum seems a bit tricky to me. :(

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I don't see an NGS/Technical Forum as a bad thing or a problematic one. I would like to see this happen, but most already knew that :-)

 

Casey is welcome to add his thoughts for Blackdog, But I would like to add a few as well.

 

All people would be invited to post in either forum. We would keep in mind the question we ask, and the direction we hope the discussion to take, as we choose the forum we post in. Game? More Technical, or NGS oriented? What kind of answer does the poster want? No fouls for things that evolve from one to another in either direction. No harm or foul at all, this isn't about being wrong or making people wrong.

 

Those who want to play just the game will have a forum where they will not feel put upon by overly technical discussion or those who want to perform public service to NGS. It could attract more people to Benchmark Hunting who for them, want the game this way.

 

The nature of the new forum would be more technical and we could talk about Survey, PLSS, USGS Topo Survey, Instruments and technical methods, How to, the NGS and with the NGS without bothering those who just want a game. We would also be welcome to just have a more technical discussion that some may not otherwise enjoy. This could attract more people to Benchmark Hunting who want to be technical as that is their nature, or want to perform public service and have been looking for a fun way to do this, and want the game this way.

 

The nature of discussions would likely overlap between forums but I would not see that as a bad thing. If it became more or less technical in mid stream, out of respect we could move the discussion to a more appropriate place. Things will probably not need more moderation than now. Maybe the occasional toggling of a topic to a better forum for it would likely be the most intervention, if ever. I see this sort of thing happen all the time in the geocaching forums, which by the way have many sub topical forums.

 

The pinned topics for NGS are not working and do not serve to separate the many questions well. One was an announcement that saw about 4 posts over 4 months ago. In this schema, how can one question end and another begin without multiple overlap? There is a lot we discuss in the general space that the NGS could weigh in on, but does not. Though they often would not need to, they might not know when to. Often someone here is able to answer the question and so they may not feel the need to add. But all pinned topics seem to become stale. All of ours for the most part are. Even Jeremy asked recently that he would rather we asked him to help us from in the Geocaching Website forum rather than the Pinned Topic, so if the pinned topic isn't helping us with Jeremy, let's unpin it, and since the same seems true of the NGS Pinned Topic, is there a better way? Probably. Besides who wants to look for a question on the eventual page 47 of a pinned topic? They simply are not serving the need. Do we tell someone who re asks a question on Page 53 that we already answered that question back on page 21? Imagine the endless scrolling with no way of indexing! A new forum with a slightly different focus will help much more. If the NGS says they are here to help but are finding it difficult as things are, why can't we try finding a better way?

 

Specific questions could be directed to the NGS and they could easily find and answer them without having to read through a lot of other stuff. They have many things to do in addition to helping us here and a new forum will be helpful to them in time savings alone. It is feasible to believe that they are very busy, (and they are, after all they have assigned additional personnel to the work geocachers generate for them to do in addition to what they already have going) and though they may want to help us here, Where would they start? How can we help them to help us? Casey is right, It is a lot of reading to do. Of course many here could still weigh in and try to help answer them as well. The folks at NGS would have a more specific place to look which may cut their looking by half or more and we would have a more specific place to ask. We could know to ask more specifically, and perhaps say so in the Forum Heading. It really remains to be seen how a new NGS/Technical Forum would evolve and how the NGS would interact with us, as we have not tried this before, But the new forum will find a way it works best for all in a natural way just as this one has and will continue to evolve as well. I think we will keep both forums alive and very busy. We will all still be here chatting in both.

 

I don't see either forum falling into disuse. There are plenty of newcomers to the game to help, pictures to share, and congratulations to give. This would be true in either forum but would be more focused as to what was being discussed.

 

New people's questions could be simply posted where they get posted, if we think we can answer it, we should. We should also remain mindful of giving them basic answers and allow them room to ask more questions. If we think we should answer it in the other forum we can start a thread in the other forum for the question and post a link to the discussion started elsewhere. Anyone can do this. In any case, the emphasis should be on getting them an answer and helping them play.

 

This isn't about whether this group is big enough, nor is it about splitting the group. All are welcome in any forum. Pretty much meant as one general group with two forums to handle the varying nature of the topic. People will likely read it all and will post as they wish. Taken as a whole the entire Geocaching forum space is a place where people discuss a great many things and I am sure they will adapt to this too. This is about focusing the style of topical content and keeping more people happy as they all want to discuss the way they want to play, and no one wants to offend anyone. If this already appears to be half technical, then half would be in a technical forum. It is feasible that a game oriented player may have an occasional technical question, and/or may want to ask the NGS something that they feel the group would benefit from in the answer. I know if I see something that appeals to me in the game forum, though most of you know me as a surveyor who enjoys lengthy technical discussion, I will likely post there and add my comments or ideas, the Fun I share or what have you, mindful of the deal that the gaming forum is not the place for me to expansively expound in a technical manner.

 

Yes, I can Laugh at me too :-D

 

The USGS National Map group is very small, yet it has grown a lot since it had it's spin off from here and they are doing very well, they are having fun, they are discussing what they want and are having fun. They have grown as new people have found them and desired to join. I would hope that this will help us grow as well by accommodating those who just want to play here at geocaching, and those who wish to perform a public service to the NGS and wish to discuss it.

 

Geocaching has welcomed public service in many ways in the past and this instance would be yet another way. Imagine attracting more people to this hobby in either way. Some may find that they want to play a game and yet NGS recovery begins to appeal to them, some may want to perform public service, then find that the game is more appealing. Some may enjoy Geocaching too and probably do, some may Join Geocaching and help Geocaching grow. It is all good. It serves us all well, nothing would be Taboo. The previous thread I started did seem to suggest that some people had strong feelings. Well with two forums they can feel that way and have fun in the forum that best represents the way they feel. They can even go back and forth knowing up front what to expect from the topical discussion. The hope is that the respect we have for one another remains as high as it always has. This really is a great group of people here.

 

This is not about Hard fast drawn lines, it is about more accommodating and more focus. It does not need to be tricky. It is a sort of culture change to what we are currently accustomed to, but I sense it will help us evolve overall. There will likely be some confusion and growing pains but I am sure we will take it all in stride and work out the culture it will come to have as we grow.

 

This forum even as it is, has evolved a lot, and will continue to. It has not been without growing pains. This could be taken as a part of the process and won't hurt us, as things evolve all the time. This is another great opportunity, I'd love to see us take this step. If you haven't yet, please feel free to add your responses to Casey's question.

 

As always,

 

Rob

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It sounds like it could end up being a lot of topics jumping back and forth between the two forums. Maybe it will be OK, I don't know.

 

We can certainly start the new forum rather quickly - each person who put questions in the current pinned topic: Ask Ngs Questions About Reporting Criteria that wasn't yet answered could post a new topic in the new forum, one topic per question.

 

Perhaps instead of the two benchmark forums being:

 

1. technical / NGS

2. non-technical / gameplaying / informal topics

 

Their distinction should be:

 

1. Questions to NGS about: Mark Recovery reporting on the NGS site, dswin program, archived datasheets, etc.

2. everything else (technical, non-technical, gameplaying, informal)

 

So, if the following were new topics made after the new forum was started, which forum (1 or 2) should each of them be started in initially:?

 

Benchmark "finds" Question: What qualifies as a FOUND?

Benchmark Definition? basic definition of a bencmark is?

Monumented 1948; Dated 1899?

Finding Those Oldies: Data search techniques

Unlisted Benchmarks

Beginner's Questions: Discription Confusion

Discussion Of Hv5247

Ngs Appears To Be Down: AM I JUST SLOW

 

All of them in #1, or all in #2, or all but the last one in #2?

 

(In my opinion, all of these are in the non-gameplaying category.)

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Blackdog,

 

to quote you here:

 

Perhaps instead of the two benchmark forums being:

 

1. technical / NGS

2. non-technical / gameplaying / informal topics

 

Their distinction should be:

 

1. Questions to NGS about: Mark Recovery reporting on the NGS site, dswin program, archived datasheets, etc.

2. everything else (technical, non-technical, gameplaying, informal)

 

I'd like to give you that one but too many have already expressed that they do not want to feel put upon by technical discussions and NGS stuff and I want to accommodate that. They need their place to play without being expected to do anything else. Conversely many do want to talk tech without feeling like others were upset about it. All these discussions too are in this forum and one only needs to go read for a while to find them. This will create more freeness and openness for both kinds of player. It will accommodate more people than now. I am not challenging you per se, but how would your idea accommodate this? This growing tension is already a point of contention that needs a better solution. How can we serve more people the way they might like?

 

I have a sense that separating the more technical discussions away from the geocaching game discussion is a better bet. There will be less sharp elbowed comments and snipes this way.

 

To your other questions:

 

>Benchmark "finds" Question: What qualifies as a FOUND?

This depends. Are you playing by Geocaching rules or trying to follow NGS recovery rules? This could go either way.

 

>Benchmark Definition? basic definition of a bencmark is?

An Innocent question, Valid for either forum. It has two answers in the context of this game.

 

>Monumented 1948; Dated 1899?

Probably a more technical answer which the NGS and various Surveyors could help sort out. I see this sort of thing in the field all the time. So do my counterparts. If you find it in either case you can claim it as a find at geocaching.

 

>Finding Those Oldies: Data search techniques

This was likely a person looking for old marks they could be First to find on. I would call this a game question first. It could evolve into a tech discussion.

 

>Unlisted Benchmarks

How come I didn't find this in the Geocaching database? This is primarily a game question.

 

>Beginner's Questions: Discription Confusion

Beginner's? Well let's walk before we run, Lets try it in the general discussion forum first assuming they are new and just want to learn how to play the Game. This is geocaching afterall, and see how it evolves.

 

>Discussion Of Hv5247

Probably Technical. We are dissecting the technical aspects of the description and perhaps trying to unearth a way to find it.

 

>Ngs Appears To Be Down: AM I JUST SLOW

I think NGS is a dead giveaway in the title here.

 

So I see it as 2 questions for both forums, or you could say either. Three for the Game/General Forum, and three for the NGS Forum. That accounts for all eight instances you mentioned.

 

So perhaps we see it differently, But the forum regulars will get the hang of it pretty quickly, further they will know that when they start a thread in a given forum, that they are predetermining the direction the discussion should take. The may put it in the General forum in hopes of it not becoming a technical discussion or and NGS deal. They want t to be about the Game. The technical poster may actually desire the thread to keep a technical nature. We are not asking anyone to check their sense of humor at the door here... :-) The non regular may not always post in the best place but this is not bad, we just (graciously I hope) help them as we would anyone. They too will get the hang of it. The Jumping back and forth if it comes to much of it won't hurt a thing. We are all smart people and the change adapt mode never ends in any walk of life.

 

I think it makes sense to do this, The NGS is our Partner in this. We play on their Monuments and Data. Survey Markers are not even black and white to a surveyor, we too have to consider many factors every day, this would help the geocacher who plays this game with the many shades of grey. I feel it will help with a lot of things.

 

Rob

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Before we split this forum in two perhaps a few answers may be in order.

 

1. What type of questions can not be answered now, in this forum? We have a number of very qualified surveyors who frequent this forum regularly and supply plenty of easy to understand answers to any question regarding benchmark placement and recovery. Not to mention many of the "Old Timers" who have been at this for several years now.

 

2. How much of a commitment is the NGS going to make?

 

3. How often can we expect to see the NGS on the forum, Once a week, once a month, ???

 

My only concern with the current forum was some were getting too excited about having everyone report to the NGS. The newbie would ask a simple question and get a dozen replies many of which had nothing to do with the original question.

 

4. Has the NGS considered hosting the "New" forum on their website so everyone who does recoveries (including other active surveyors) will have access to it when they go to the NGS website? The NGS could then have a link here for those that want even more detail than can be gotten here, now.

 

If not, why not have it where others might expect it to be located?

 

5. What is the real need for the second forum? Other than to relieve a perceived contention, I can see no real advantage to it.

 

John

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OK, that sampling of 8 topics, that I figured were more technical, was from the most recent 54 topics (not counting this one). evenfall figures from 3 to 5 of the 8 would have gone to the new NGS Mark Recovery forum. This is between 6% and 15% of the recent topics going to the new forum.

 

When does it start? :(

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I am very happy to see the positive response.  I am out of the office for the rest of the week attending the Virgina Association of Surveyors and Mappers conference in Reston.  I will try to get in touch with Jeremy and set things up early next week.

 

-Casey-

 

I would hope Casey would show us the respect of reading the responses in this thread and replying to them before bypassing us and going to Jeremy.

 

John

 

Color added for clarity.

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Casey and I are playing phone tag, but when I hear from him I'll suggest he check out this topic and help answer some questions before we get the other forum running.

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1:  NGS is attempting to create some kind of “Benchmark Hunting” outreach program.  We are hoping to begin to recognize and reward some of the people who are helping us by submitting recoveries and corrections to the database. 

 

-Casey-

 

I know what we need! How about allowing us to apply (with fee) for an NGS Volunteer picture ID. That would make us much braver when we're getting too much attention, knowing we could better explain ourselves when questioned by an authority.

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As I said earlier, I am a game player. I do take pictures of the benchmarks that I find. And of some of the DNFs. I do not take GPS readings of my finds, even though they can be rather far off. If NGS would like copies of my photos, I'll be glad to submit them. As long as the rules aren't too stringent. I've logged 58 finds. Most of them, no one else has looked for.

DNFs I wouldn't bother with. They might be there, and I just didn't find them. I can't prove that. Of my 90 logs, 24, or so, are DFs.

I have logged 8 as destroyed. They are very obviously no longer there. I would not post it as 'destroyed' if it weren't very obviously destroyed. The rules and regulations to prove it destroyed are beyond my interest or capabilities. As I have mentioned previously, WOR TV Mast is very obviously destroyed. I am quite sure that I coudn't miss an 810' television tower. You can take my word for this! But I'm not about to go through the stringent restrictions and regulations to prove it.

My newest 'destroyed' is: KV4013. West New York Pier 7 Elevator. It's gone. See photos.

That being said, I still don't see any need for two different fora. I read the posts that interest me, and ignore the ones that don't.

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I guess I'm missing the point of having the second forum. Why would we have to worry about someone on here being intimidated from participating simply because of the content of the forum? It seems as though some of us would like to have a second forum so that they can be part of a more 'elite' group? Surely the folks from NGS would be able to determine by the topic of the post whether or not it needs their attention. If someone gets off topic, maybe they should create a new post.

 

I have logged over 100 marks and have submitted several to NGS. There are many of us that have done much less and just as many that have logged more. There are many here that hunt in a variety of ways and to different degrees of technicality. However, all of the information and posts here are beneficial to all of us, regardless of our experience.

 

I think things would be more simple if they were simply left alone. A second forum would simply be one more place for us to have to go to read the posts.

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I guess that I'm missing the point of an additional forum as well. Several people from the NGS already participate in discussions here, as their time permits. I feel very fortunate to have that participation here, and we all have had benefit from it.

 

But how will having another forum improve what is already here? Will there be quicker answers to questions or a full time NGS moderator? If so, why can't that happen in the present forum? If questions in a new forum are going to be answered by current (non-NGS) posters in this forum, then nothing has changed.

 

As far as technical vs. hobby interests (the term "gaming" :laughing: seems to have a negative conotation to me, and I won't use it in conjunction with this activity), people are free to read what they want, and skip what they do not. I tend to skim ALL the topics, but if something doesn't interest me, I move on.

 

I am glad to hear of the proposed outreach program. Particularly in:

 

1) better linkages of data between the gc.com and NGS databases (I'm hoping this means more up-to-date data?); and,

 

2) facilitating the reporting of recoveries to the NGS, including pictures.

 

I DO have a concern about making it too easy (if thats the right word) to log a recovery between gc.com and NGS. It already seems that perhaps 5-10% of the logs I see on gc.com are incorrect, when you compare the log to the picture. As others have noted, I wouldn't want to see GEOCAC get the reputation of the Power Squadron.

 

Casey, you've got your hands full whichever way things go. Thanks for the increased commitment from the NGS! :anibad:

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Hey All,

 

For those who do not see a difference, but want to, or are missing a point, here are a few thoughts that may help sort that.

 

First, (in order, with no bearing on signifigance) Benchmark Hunting here at is a game played by geocachers with National Geodetic Survey Owned Data And survey Markers. The game has a specific set of rules to play by that are unique to the game.

 

Second, (Again with no Bearing on Significance) The National Geodetic Survey has always appreciated reports about the status and condition of their survey markers from any peoples who volunteer to do so, however the criteria and rules for doing this is different from the geocaching game's rules, and this is often confusing to some.

 

Third, (same writer as above) No one has ever been nor will ever be expected to recover survey markers to geocaching or the NGS unless they choose to. But there are likely some people out there who are just everyday people who may think it is a good idea. Some people enjoy public service and volunteering, some may not. That is just their unique feelings and it is ok in america to feel either way. This may help the don't want to's and the want to's in ways we have not been able to explore.

 

Fourth, (again) the NGS has four Personnel assigned to helping Geocachers. Why, Well because Geocachers, many of whom know who they are but may have never let on to anyone, chose to send their work in to the NGS. These four people are already supporting us in addition to the normal work load and many will find that their submissions and corrections are being put through the system at a pretty good pace. The NGS would like to do more for Geocachers and is developing this.

 

Fifth, (same deal) The NGS is not able to read through endless threads , because not all of what we discuss is centric to the job they need to do, but they would like to make it easier to respond to us. These are people too, Just like us, and they have a specialized job just like many of us do. It seems to strike a fair balance to make it easier for us to be helped if that is what we need. Yes, Many of us here in the survey field can answer many questions, But there is much more data and other Info that only the NGS has and they often resort to that when helping with this.

 

Sixth, (yup...) Considering reading a forum is not a hassle in the first place, reading a second should not add to the hassle, Pointing and clicking a mouse is simply not that hard and we are already doing it. Less hassle is relative in some respects, especially when it will help focus people's questions and answers in an area where NGS can help if needed. NGS Station Mark Recovery is again a different animal than Geocaching's Game even though there is a Symbiotic Relationship. If we really want to avoid becoming like a Power Squadron as some people note, then it makes sense to talk about this in a space where the rules and criteria for reporting are different than the game, This way there is a clear division in everyone's mind. This can be a confusing and involved subject at times.

 

Seven, (again) This is no elite group . All are welcome to start a thread and add what they think to any thread just as everyone always has, No matter how large or small but the differences to us will be that this area is a better place to discuss the difficult details whether we need the NGS to help or not, and if we do, this is the area we ask for their help to save them a lot of time. It is just a separate place, Similar to the one Given to the USGS National Map, To do the more specific and sometimes more difficult things. Interestingly, the NGS wants to be involved in helping us here, But the USGS is not involved in the National Map Forum. Yet the USGS has an official, unofficial forum space here and the NGS, whose Survey we "borrow" to play on does not. Who really knows how much the NGS could support us unless we give them a chance to do it? They may be planning to be far more gregarious than we think. Casey did allude to good things you know. The NGS did assign Him as a Liaison to us and he has been thinking about us, so hey, since a new Forum is not meant to change the fun we are already having, what would really be the harm? What if we are pleasantly surprised?

 

Eighth, (...) There are many different feelings here and that is clear, but that is not a bad thing, if anything it seems to signify that benchmark hunting is diverse and is evolving. BlackDog is good with statistics and determined that most posts would be about the Game here and I think he is right, but for the different and the technical, a separate place to talk about it would not hurt things a bit. If we do want to grow and we do want help, There is nothing we cannot further evolve as we go. If it turns out to not work well, it is not something that has to be kept. In many ways it would help with a lot of things even some that we may not now clearly see, but rest assured, this is not like getting a tattoo that was a bad idea while too drunk. The ship has a rudder and a strong engine, we can still drive. If we won't really know until we try, I vote for and Highly recommend Try, and go from there. At least then we will know.

 

Thanks. I hope that clarifies some of the questions,

 

Rob

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Currently it is very difficult for us at NGS to keep up with the traffic on the benchmark hunting board.  A prime example of this is the lack of any input from the NGS on the proposed separate forum, which was something I have been working on for some time.

Casey's posting indicates that the second forum is a convenience for NGS to facilitate NGS focus on relevant topics. I'm enthusiastic about the idea of closer collaboratation with NGS in the ways suggested in that post (especially in updating the gc.com bm database), and if a second forum is helpful to NGS in doing so, that's justification enough for me.

 

I tend to agree that there may not be much benefit for us in two forums vs. one, but the cost of an extra click or two is small. Heck, I frequent more than one forum at gc.com already, so the addition of one more is trivial for me.

 

Edit: I don't see how evenfall can sneak the same comments in that I make when he types so much more than I. :ph34r: Oh well, uh, evenfall...I agree!

Edited by embra

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Embra,

 

It is all good! Sometimes I laugh at me too! I guess I read all the different misunderstandings and try to help shed understanding to them all. In a Forum, it really is hard to say who understands at any given point, We lack all the visual and verbal cues in this format. I could say the same thing you did in a different way. I sometimes wonder why some people don't see it or understand it after it has been well, Very Explained... :-)

 

I work in an industry where many peoples experience has shown that not enough info and elaboration can be much worse than too much, so I may have what is to some a bad habit. To others it is a good one. Surprisingly, I have found there are a lot of people who do actually want a lot more information and background than others as well. It is hard to be all things to all people, but I mean well. More than anything else, please know I come from the heart and enjoy trying to help.

 

Thanks, :-)

 

Rob

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1: NGS is attempting to create some kind of “Benchmark Hunting” outreach program. We are hoping to begin to recognize and reward some of the people who are helping us by submitting recoveries and corrections to the database.

4: NGS wants to have a separate forum, hosted here at Geocaching.com, where we at NGS can answer questions and interact with the Geocaching/benchmark hunting community. This forum would be a place where people could easily ask questions of the NGS and NGS could distribute information to the community. Currently it is very difficult for us at NGS to keep up with the traffic on the benchmark hunting board. A prime example of this is the lack of any input from the NGS on the proposed separate forum, which was something I have been working on for some time.

My thoughts on your points, from a "been-doing-it-for-a-while-in-what-little-spare-time-he-has" opinoin..

 

I think the forum idea is a great one - I have a handful of questions and situations that I always fretted bringing up (here because many other readers may not care about sumbitting to the NGS; to the NGS directly because I don't know how they view us 'hobbyists', and would have to become somekind of an annoyance to them. :ph34r:) but in a form dedicated to talking to the NGS and/or other folks with, say, more experience than I have, I think I wouldn't be so hesitant to post there. :lol:

 

While I'd never find an amount to be 'recognized' by anyone there at the NGS, I think the more involvement the better. :lol: I have issues with the NGS datasheet lookup site, and while that doesn't really have direct relationship with the NGS and Geocaching/Groundspeak, it's a great oppertunity to get ideas (from both sides!)..

 

Either way, I look forward to it..

 

Cheers,

Me.

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Despite all the hype for a new forum, I don't see that the NGS, after not particularly keeping up with just one (1) pinned topic, will somehow become a regular contributor simply because there's a new forum here dedicated to the NGS (that will undoubtedly have a whole bunch of active topics).

 

Perhaps there's some policy issue within the NGS itself about contributing in a forum that isn't dedicated to them? (No guesses from non-NGS personnel, thank you.)

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I find that my feelings are split on the dual forum idea. I do like the idea of two forums, with one focusing on the game and the other focusing on the technical NGS aspects, however I can see how this could get confusing for some people. For the most part, the people who actively participate in this benchmark forum are the people who would participate in another seperate NGS specific forum. Most of us who would be able to know which forum to post our question in, (depending on the nature of the question), but as has been pointed out, it can be difficult to tell. There are many questions posted which are technical in nature, but that are not an NGS related question, ie 'I found a survey mark that looks like this... Who set it?', to 'What are the big white crosses in the road for?'

 

The confusion I can see happening would not be with those of us who are always here, per se, but with the Geocachers who stumble onto a mark during a cache hunt, or who just decide to try something new. If they have a question, they may not understand the difference between the two different forums, let alone the type of questions that are appropriate to be asked in either of them. Many cachers in this situation (or similar) have posted the question, 'How do I log this mark?'. Most times they are looking to log it like a cache find, not log it with the NGS. How confused would a cacher be if that question was mistakenly posted in the NGS forum? A reply stating something like '... a form on a government website will have to be filled out...' would really intimidate some people. Benchmarks are already confusing to many cachers; dual forums may make it worse.

 

I would like to suggest a way of simply flagging a certain question or thread for NGS attention. (If that sort of thing is simple.) This would keep the benchmark questions together in one forum, and let the NGS know which threads to track.

 

- Kewaneh

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Going back to Neweyess' comment, I would like to see a volunteer badge that's semi-official, but it doesn't need to be a photo-ID. Something similar to the National Map ID badge system.

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I really like the NGS flag idea.

 

But with either separate forums or the flagging system, it is going to be difficult for us to keep a thread on topic. Just look at the history.

So it would be best if the flag were clearable from the NGS end, and we could set it again if new relevant info or questions came up on the thread.

 

That way when the relevant question, like "is there a mistake on this data sheet?" had been addressed and the discussion wandered off into another nearby mark that reminded somebody of the time ..., then the NGS flag wouldn't be wasting Dave and Casey's time. But if someone said "I remeasured it and know which distance is wrong" they could set the flag again.

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I think the idea of getting more involvement from NGS is great. Up to this point, we have had some good responses from DaveD when he decides to post to the group, and those have always been helpful.

 

I welcome Casey's ideas for an outreach from NGS to our benchmarking group, and I would be willing to participate. However I agree with the points made by Black Dog Trackers, Kaweneh and Bill93. Maybe a committment from NGS to participate and to use this forum as a place to distribute relevant information would be sufficient. Some good contact e-mail and quick responses from NGS would be good too.

 

Either way, I will still participate in hunting marks and submitting recovery information when it appears it would benefit NGS. I look forward to seeing how things develop.

 

edit: spelling

Edited by 5Wishes

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Casey and I are playing phone tag, but when I hear from him I'll suggest he check out this topic and help answer some questions before we get the other forum running.

 

For some time (months) I have been working with Jeremy, some folks here at NGS and a few of the regular posters here at Geocaching on a project.

 

Well folks, it appears as though it was a done deal Before Casey even bothered to ask our opinions about the New Forum.

 

I hope Casey will be spending more time in it and answering our questions. That is assuming it will be the NGS answering the questions and not someone from our regular forums that is NON-NGS.

 

John

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Any answer to a question is simply that, an answer, regardless of the asker or an answerer. So if anyone wants to answer any question, I say feel free. Everyone is welcome to add to a conversation if they like, as it is how things work best. There is no requirement to assume that any particular person has to be the chief answerer. This is an open forum and no one is recommending any different.

 

I wouldn't be too quick to front load this idea with too many expectations as that rarely ever works. The NGS is offering to be more supportive so why not simply welcome that and let them do what they can as they can. This may work best if we allow it to happen and evolve to what works best. Like water it will find it's own level. Like most things, there will be a plan, and then the plan will be something that can be adjusted to what seems to work best.

 

Nothing is ever all things to all people. A take my ball and go home attitude is rarely helpful, and often not forgotton. Most of the time people just change and or adapt, and go on. So all let's try to keep an open mind. As for asking anyone's opinions, It really isn't required. Just because we have opinions and we get to be heard may or may not have any bearing on what will happen. Sure there may be some things we'd like to have one way or the other, or not, as it looks as many can see some benefit as don't. So what if it was a done deal, will that make a difference? That decision is above anyone's pay scale. Many things have already happened here at Geocaching without anyones permission. Our permission has never been required by the owner of Groundspeak. Membership here in this forum space does not mean any of us is owed a thing.

 

Rob

Edited by evenfall

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Any answer to a question is simply that, an answer, regardless of the asker or an answerer.  So if anyone wants to answer any question, I say feel free. Everyone is welcome to  add to a conversation if they like, as it is how things work best. There is no requirement to assume that any particular person has to be the chief answerer.  This is an open forum and no one is recommending any different.

 

I wouldn't be too quick to front load this idea with too many expectations as that rarely ever works. The NGS is offering to be more supportive so why not simply welcome that and let them do what they can as they can.  This may work best  if we allow it to happen and evolve to what works best.  Like water it will find it's own level. Like most things, there will be a plan, and then the plan will be something that can be adjusted to what seems to work best. 

 

Nothing is ever all things to all people. A take my ball and go home attitude is rarely helpful, and often not forgotton. Most of the time people just change and or adapt, and go on. So all let's try to keep an open mind.  As for asking anyone's opinions, It really isn't required. Just because we have opinions and we get to be heard may or may not have any bearing on what will happen. Sure there may be some things we'd like to have one way or the other, or not, as it looks as many can see some benefit as don't.  So what if it was a done deal, will that make a difference?  That decision is above anyone's pay scale. Many things have already happened here at Geocaching without anyones permission.  Our permission has never been required by the owner of Groundspeak.  Membership here in this forum space does not mean any of us is owed a thing.

 

Rob

 

You missed the point again.

 

If it was a done deal, then why even ask for our OPINION -not permission?

 

If the NGS isn't going to be answering the questions then we are right back where we started, except there would be 2 forums (and extra work for the mod to determine which forum a thread belongs in.). Judging from the pinned threads, the NGS hasn't been too serious about following through. So my question is, What is the advantage to having 2 forums if the NGS is only going to be there infrequently?

 

If the forum is for the benifit of the NGS, it is not unreasonable to expect them to make an effort to reply to the questions. Some how I don't think it will be on a daily basis.

 

Forgive my skepticism, but I don't see any real advantage to this second forum.

 

John

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>You missed the point again.

 

No John, I rarely miss your points, I simply don't offer yours any more acknowledgment than you do mine, a pattern I have noticed with our subtle conversations over these past few months. I am however Happy to oblige you in debate. Point by point. I will attempt to be more direct for you. :-)

 

>If it was a done deal, then why even ask for our OPINION -not permission?

 

Good Question, Perhaps they simply chose to, for any and or whatever reason. Does there need to be a reason and do we need to know? Probably not. You are only assuming things were a done deal and you simply don't know, so that is conjecture on your part. Either way, that is not really important, is it? Now we all know your Opinion.

 

>If the NGS isn't going to be answering the questions then we are right back where we started,

 

I disagree. This can make it easier for the NGS to help us so what would be the harm? Yes some of them do help out in here as it is, but they don't Big Deal each moment, and they may skip over the questions they feel have been adequately answered. There is no be all end all solution that everyone will like, but things can still be improved. People's questions are being answered by many who try to answer. You answer some of them too. An answer is an answer. NGS Discussion is a more technical, and different discussion than the Game's, It simply is. Just like the USGS National Map discussions which were moved, and that was not too confusing.

 

>except there would be 2 forums (and extra work for the mod to determine which forum a >thread belongs in.).

 

Could that be taken to mean that we can't Trust that people cannot sort out where they would like to ask their question and or Post their thoughts? Let's not sell people short. Most people post in the correct forum for their thoughts at geocaching all the time. I think they will do fine. People will post where they feel they want or need to as appropriate.

 

Beings that Tennessee Geocacher has only made 25 posts since August 30 2004 and not all of them in the Benchmark Hunting Forum, I would say he is not all that busy. This is not to say I am indifferent, or insensitive to His Job as a Volunteer, I just don't see us becoming bad people, Unruly, or less helpful than we already are, and we can help in either forum and get the questions answered. It is not about making people wrong, It is about making some things easier. It is about giving the people who would rather avoid the NGS aspects of Hunting a space as much as giving a space to those who do enjoy working with the NGS. So what if people post in a "Wrong Forum", they will get the hang of it. We can and all will help out as we always do and it will be fine. This is not about reprimands and spankings. If there is a need for more moderation or someone no longer wants to, or if a different mod is selected for a new forum, then unless you are the secret moderator, I wouldn't see that as your worry. If you are the secret Moderator then I guess you may have to wait and see, or choose to step away from the responsibility.

 

I would have thought since you have always been rather vocal about reminding us that this Forum as it is, should be about "geoCACHING" and seemingly rather against NGS discussions, that you would love to have a way to avoid them, In other words, this is a solution that would have seemingly worked well for you. You can't have it both ways John.

 

>Judging from the pinned threads, the NGS hasn't been too serious about

>following through.

 

As if the pinned thread makes anything easy to follow through on, and this has been made light of in this thread already, so who is missing a point? It is not as if the NGS has nothing else to do at their job but read our forums to hunt questions to answer. It is realistic to think we could be more accommodating than that. Some Geocachers actually do help the NGS and enjoy it. It does add to the NGS workload, but they are happy to have our help, so why not make this easier if we can. You may not enjoy this aspect of the Hobby, John, and this thread has pointed out that some people don't, but that is ok too. They are still being served by the Non NGS, Not as technical Forum. If you don't want or choose not to work with the NGS, I don't really see how this would affect you adversely at all. I won't accept extra reading, or pointing and clicking as any excuse at all.

 

>So my question is, What is the advantage to having 2 forums if the NGS is

>only going to be there infrequently?

 

Again, is this your opinion or do you have a Crystal Ball? Do you know if the NGS will be there infrequently? Will you crow about it if you think at some point you were right? I think the advantages, whether you see them or not have been adequately explained. If you are just being disagreeable so as to hopefully shoot the idea down, I hope those who will make that decision will see your actions appropriately and take that into account. Why not, instead of opposing something that has not been tried, just give it a chance? This Forum isn't just about you or I, It is for all of us and there is no reason we can't invite more. It is reasonable to think this hobby may still grow. Can the NGS be included or invited, since we do play a game with their survey? What ever happened to all are invited. None of us Own the way we play. It seems the FAQ allows for NGS recovery too.

 

>If the forum is for the benifit of the NGS, it is not unreasonable to expect them to make an >effort to reply to the questions. Some how I don't think it will be on a daily basis.

 

I think again that you might not have to worry as much as you are. I would not place expectations, I would rather allow for an opportunity for us to be pleasantly surprised. Attitude is everything, A good one gets us all further.

 

>Forgive my skepticism, but I don't see any real advantage to this second forum.

 

Forgive My Differing opinion John, But I do. I very much do see an advantage. If there is no advantage to you, you won't be disadvantaged either. I guess what I don't see is your need to need to oppose it.

 

Thanks for raising these Important Points John! :-)

 

>John

 

Rob

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Don’t have to say a lot, ya’ll are well behaved. That is my main job and to keep everything on topic not post an option.

 

But I do read every line of every post, and if every thing is cool within the posting guidelines there is no need for my input as a moderator

 

When I do post what I feel personally, I do it under my regular account

 

Max Cacher

Geocaching.com Volunteer Cache Reviewer // Moderator

Edited by Max Cacher

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Going back to Neweyess' comment, I would like to see a volunteer badge that's semi-official, but it doesn't need to be a photo-ID. Something similar to the National Map ID badge system.

Wow.

 

I just spent the past hour+ getting caught up on all the posts. I certainly have a lot of things I would like to say, and comments I would like to respond to. But I have a meeting in 10 minutes, so I am going to have to space this out. Apologies in advance for the multiple upcoming posts.

 

Real quick though, the idea of any kind of NGS badge/ID/whatever for benchmark hunters has been discussed here at NGS. Simply put, it is not going to happen. Sorry. If it makes you feel better know this: OUR people (NGS employees) have a hard time getting access to our own marks at a lot of places. On friday I was talking with some surveyors and NGS folks and heard some very interesting stories, which I will try to pass if I get a chance. But the relevant point I did hear: Trespassing on Railroad right of ways is a Felony offence (or so I was told).

 

-Casey-

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I would hope Casey would show us the respect of reading the responses in this thread and replying to them before bypassing us and going to Jeremy.

 

John

 

Color added for clarity.

If there is some reason for distrust on your part of the respect that I, and all of NGS, has for yourself and Benchmark hunters, I apologize for whatever may have happened. I don't know what happened in the past and I am not going to try to read every post ever posted here to figure it out.

 

Lets be clear. We appreciate help from citizens in maintaining the National Spatial Reference System. And I respect your thoughts and comments.

 

I hope that clears up any issues about respect.

 

-Casey-

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I am very happy to see the positive response.  I am out of the office for the rest of the week attending the Virgina Association of Surveyors and Mappers conference in Reston.  I will try to get in touch with Jeremy and set things up early next week.

 

-Casey-

 

I would hope Casey would show us the respect of reading the responses in this thread and replying to them before bypassing us and going to Jeremy.

 

John

 

Color added for clarity.

 

Casey, perhaps you misunderstand what I'm refering to.

 

caseyb Jan 20 2005, 08:11 PM

I am very happy to see the positive response. I am out of the office for the rest of the week attending the Virgina Association of Surveyors and Mappers conference in Reston. I will try to get in touch with Jeremy and set things up early next week.

 

-Casey-

 

I think there is some question regarding the respect that SEEMS lacking considering the above quote. You come to this forum asking for opinions and before there are very many replies you tell us you have decided to get in touch with Jeremy and set things up.

 

The question arises then - Why ask for our opinions when you had already made a decision? (Which a later post by Jeremy confirmed. It is a done deal!)

 

The NGS (and you so far) has shown little interest in answering the questions in the pinned topic at the top of this forum.

 

Do we get a "guess" at how often the NGS will respond in the "NEW" forum? Will you be on the forum on set days so people will know what days to post for an official response? Or will it be a hit or miss set-up?

 

If most of the answers are going to be by those that already answer questions here, then what is the advantage to having this "Special" forum? Will you be specific about the advantages?

 

We have a good forum now and I can see no advantages to another forum considering the NGS track record for following up on the questions in the pinned topics.

 

John

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I am very happy to see the positive response.  I am out of the office for the rest of the week attending the Virgina Association of Surveyors and Mappers conference in Reston.  I will try to get in touch with Jeremy and set things up early next week.

 

-Casey-

 

I would hope Casey would show us the respect of reading the responses in this thread and replying to them before bypassing us and going to Jeremy.

 

John

 

Color added for clarity.

 

Casey, perhaps you misunderstand what I'm refering to.

 

caseyb Jan 20 2005, 08:11 PM

I am very happy to see the positive response. I am out of the office for the rest of the week attending the Virgina Association of Surveyors and Mappers conference in Reston. I will try to get in touch with Jeremy and set things up early next week.

 

-Casey-

 

I think there is some question regarding the respect that SEEMS lacking considering the above quote. You come to this forum asking for opinions and before there are very many replies you tell us you have decided to get in touch with Jeremy and set things up.

 

The question arises then - Why ask for our opinions when you had already made a decision? (Which a later post by Jeremy confirmed. It is a done deal!)

 

The NGS (and you so far) has shown little interest in answering the questions in the pinned topic at the top of this forum.

 

Do we get a "guess" at how often the NGS will respond in the "NEW" forum? Will you be on the forum on set days so people will know what days to post for an official response? Or will it be a hit or miss set-up?

 

If most of the answers are going to be by those that already answer questions here, then what is the advantage to having this "Special" forum? Will you be specific about the advantages?

 

We have a good forum now and I can see no advantages to another forum considering the NGS track record for following up on the questions in the pinned topics.

 

John

It is my personal opinion that a public forum is not the place to have a debate/discussion between two individuals. I have thus sent you a private message addressing your questions in detail.

 

-Casey-

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I hope we're not putting Casey on the spot too much. After all, he has to maintain a certain official decorum, since he is representing the NGS. Even a mild response to some of the complaints could be perceived as combative and ill-mannered. If he has not immediate solution to a problem, pretty much the only appropriate response is "Yes, thank you for your comments," and that's what we've gotten in many cases.

 

In my opinion, if the NGS thinks a separate forum will make life easier and allow them to be more responsive, that's OK with me. Personally, I suspect a new forum will have an abundance of non-NGS discussions, too.

 

I don't find it surprising that the NGS may have had some initial discussions with GeoCaching / Groundspeak in advance of mentioning the subject in public. It does no good to discuss the possibility of a new forum unless there is a reasonable chance that it could be established.

 

As far as the pinned threads go, I know from experience as a developer that such things can actually hurt more than they help. The human brain is very good at learning to ignore things that are not important. Every time we access the forum and see nothing new in the pinned threads, we're that much more likely to ignore them the next time -- even more so than other threads because we see the pinnned threads more frequently. Pinned threads do help newcomers see that there are some frequent questions and topics, but they don't necessarily help frequent readers see that that new message has been added.

 

It took me several months before I even realized there is a little icon that appears when there are unread messages in a thread. OK, so I'm a little slow. :D

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Well stated Holograph!

 

Here are some reasons for the new forum:

 

1) The NGS asked for it! For those of us concerned about reporting our finds to the NGS this is a large step. Ignore that in the past the NGS participation has been spotty. And quit asking them to prove how wonderful the NGS forum would be. Accept their offer at face value and move forward. We won't know what the forum will be like until it exists.

 

2) There has been more than a little contention in this forum over perceived pressure to report finds to the NGS. Separating the forums would lessen that and allow those of us who view benchmarking as more than a personal hobby to learn more and exchange information about benchmarks. I for one have been nervous about posting anything related to NGS recovery for fear of the inevitable response saying it is just a hobby and not to pressure. Imagine if I asked a more specific NGS-related question?!

 

3) A pinned question at the top of a forum is not enough to entertain serious discussion about anything. It is pinned so that it can be found quickly, not so it can be used as a discussion board. If we all started to ask NGS questions on the pinned thread it would run to page after page of unrelated questions and answers, all intermixed and all under the title of the pinned thread. Therefore it would become unreadable and unusable. A separate forum would have threads with titles that relate to the topic under discussion. Interested readers could open a thread, uninterested ones could bypass it. Just like I am sure many of us do with threads on this forum.

 

Matt

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Sorry for not getting this out sooner. I have been busy with the rest of my work, so I have not had a chance to post this final thought until today.

 

I must admit to running low on steam for this thread. It is my hope that the new NGS forum will serve as a place where NGS is better served to answer your questions. I know there are complaints that we have never answered all of the questions in the pinned thread. It is my hope that a new forum will enable us to do a better job. I would like to break up "the thread" into individual questions and answer them once and for all.

I have not answered the questions in the pinned thread myself because I don't have the answers. I am new at NGS, and Geocaching is new to me and NGS. I am learning a lot of this stuff as I go. I suspect that many (most?) of you know more about surveying and benchmarks than I do. But I do work for NGS, and I do have the ability to track down the people who have the answers you seek.

Why create this forum? I see an opportunity to fix a problem (lack on NGS response to your questions), engage a community who is using our products and providing a service to NGS and the nation (you all!), and facilitate the interaction of the community and NGS in all regards. I have spoken with Jeremy on multiple occasions and he has been supportive of the plan from the beginning. It was in large part due to his gracious offer to assist NGS in this effort by providing an "official unofficial" NGS forum that this whole thing started.

 

I am sorry that I am not able to answer all the questions and concerns that were raised in this thread. I do acknowledge that many of them were valid and worthwhile. I will do the best I can in the future to address them and all others as they arise.

 

Thank you.

 

-Casey-

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Thank you for being straight forward with us.

 

I have 2 questions I think you yourself should answer.

 

The first is, What would you like to see the NGS get from the new forum?

 

The second is, What can the forum user expect from the NGS and how can we work towards those goals?

 

Give us some guidance and we will work with you.

 

John

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