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2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

Gsak For Benchmarks

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Just letting you know I added a reply to "Geodetic".

 

Clyde has updated GSAK Version 5.1.1 21 FEB 2005, so that it works great with benchmarks, even the HUGE files.

 

It will let you sort by date placed among other things. (I just starting to learn to use it.)

 

You no longer need to get the county download in an "Unzipped" format! No need to use any other program. Download the zipped file and open it, then drag and drop on the BMGPX icon and open the GPX file with GSAK. That easy.

 

John

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I haven't tried GSAK yet.

 

Very basically, what does it do in terms of Benchmark Hunting? The important questions to me are:

 

1. What advantage does it give over this general procedure?: In the Geocaching site, reading and evaluating all the PIDs in a proximity list, then picking the ones to look for, and then printing out the latest NGS data on each PID you picked?

 

2. In terms of benchmark hunting, can it include the latest report from the NGS site and the most recent logs from the Geocaching Site assimilated together, or do you have to choose one source or the other by itself?

 

3. Does it include the verbal "to-reach" descriptions for each PID?

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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The first thing those on dial will enjoy is the availability to use Zipped fies from the NGS archive database. You just unzip the file and drag and drop it on the BMGPX icon.

 

Open the GPX file with GSAK.

 

It will display the PID, designation, distance and direction from your home point, lat & long, who placed it, and when it was placed (If UNK it uses the current date.).

 

You can sort on any of these 'fields'. Double clicking on the name/designation brings up the entire downloaded NGS datasheet. You can sort for all waypoints within a given area of the county or distance from home or direction from home. Choose the ones you want to look for and print out the NGS datasheets.

 

There are a few things I haven't figured out how to sort on, such as, setting, marker type, stamping, or if the coordinates are scaled or adjusted.

 

You can load waypoint to the GPSr & the GPSr mapping program. Just the time saved by transfering the waypoints to Mapsend Topo was worth it.

 

Itload the GPX file for Maricopa County Az in less than 30 seconds and that county has over 3000 benchmarks.

 

I'm sure there is alot it can do, but I'm just getting started with it.

 

John

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1.  What advantage does it give over this general procedure?:  In the Geocaching site, reading and evaluating all the PIDs in a proximity list, then picking the ones to look for, and then printing out the latest NGS data on each PID you picked?

 

You have the option to view each entry (page) in your browser, or in a split screen display that changes as you move up/down the list. You can flag each on that interests you and print out the info for the entire list as one job, rather than one mark at a time.

 

2.  In terms of benchmark hunting, can it include the latest report from the NGS site and the most recent logs from the Geocaching Site assimilated together, or do you have to choose one source or the other by itself?

 

As far as GSAK goes, there is no (easy) way to incorporate the GC.com logs until benchmarks are available in PQs. You could copy the logs from gc.com and paste them into a "user note" field that is available in GSAK, but that's not a very productive way to go about things.

 

3.  Does it include the verbal "to-reach" descriptions for each PID?

 

Yes.

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Anyone want to clue me in as where this magic BMGPX icon is in GSAK for dragging and dropping the unzipped file ?

 

Downloaded and installed the newest latest greatest and still no luck.

 

I know, it will be something simple but.......

 

Logscaler.

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Well, I have been playing with it for a while now and all of the sudden, I have GSAK files for the benchmarks. The only thing is, I ain't sure just what happened. (or when)

 

Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once and a while I guess.

 

Logscaler.

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Okay guys, see if someone can explain to me what is going on.

 

First off, I get the Zipped .dat file for the county in Oregon I am after.

 

I unzip it which gives me a ***.dat file.

 

Then I drag the unzipped file to the desktop, right click and rename it with whatever county it is, right click again and "open with" and point it to notepad.

 

Then I drag to the bmgpx folder and it spits out a gpx file which I then drag and drop into gsak.

 

It works for me but I get the feeling I ain't doing something right or in order.

 

Do I need to change something somewhere or leave well enough alone?

 

And if it matters any, I and my Basset Hound are on about the same level for understanding computers so KISS it for me.

 

Logscaler.

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Looks like you've got it about right. My routine is similar to yours, except I don't do the " right click again and "open with" and point it to notepad." part. Is there a particular reason you're doing that step?

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logscaler - here's the easiest way I have found to get the NGS file into GSAK,

 

When you go to the NGS site to get the county archive files, you can get them ZIPPED. Then you save them to your benchmark work folder (ours is the one with BMGPX in it.). Next unzip the file and drag and drop it on the BMGPX icon. Open with GSAK and start the fun.

 

After it opens in GSAK click on the "Placed" button and it will sort by the date placed and you can see the oldest benchmark for that county.

 

John

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Refining my process and doing away with several clicks and opens and such as. Whittling away a little at a time that way if something does go wrong, I have a base to start with and try something else.

 

Thanks for all the pointers guys.

 

John.

 

I did as you suggested on the placed and it seems as I have already found the oldest in the County - 1898.

 

Logscaler.

Edited by logscaler

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And to top that off, I work with a guy who's Father was the packer for the G.L.O. - Government Land Office - team that installed this marker and hundreds of other in the John Day, Oregon area.

 

Logscaler.

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From this page, do the following: Archived datasheets --> Yearly archives --> Select a state and click on "Get county archives" --> Select the county you want, and the format you wish the file to be in and click "Download file".

 

That should do the trick.

 

If you'd prefer to gather datasheets by a radial search, or some other way rather than by county, see this post in another thread.

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gnbrotz

 

thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I was searching by county and not the archived datasheets. Even better though is your link to the alternative method. I'd really prefer to gather survey marks by quad than by county and from what I see there I should be able to do it. awesome!

 

mrh

Edited by mrh - terre haute

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Using my Palm Tungsten T3 with a 256MB SD card (for memery expansion), and Cachemate, I am now able to carry with me easily the full text descritions (NGS datasheets) for the four counties I usually hike / geocache / benchark in. They happen to be rather large & populous counties (Orange, LA, San Bernardino & Riverside counties in CA). I don't have the exact number with me, but I believe the total is about 12,000 benchmarks. Try that on paper. OK, I don't NEED that many, but I can just GO without any advance palnning to speak of (except for new geocaches, of course!). Works very well, fast, slick, easy. I can even make my field notes on the Palm, transcribe later for NGS or GC.com

 

The only "problem" I have is that there are times I have found benchmarks newer than the several year old database GC.com has, so I don't get to log a find with them, sometimes. Oh well.

 

I set my system up before the recent GSAK update (using the "older" tools available then). I'll have to check out GSAK's way to do it. Sounds easier. Great!

 

P.S. Don't forget to apply the monthly updates to the NGS archive files, if you want the latest data. Their software tools to do it are on the NGS website.

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