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The Chipmunks

Benchmark Hunting?

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is there such thing as a pocket quries for benchmarks like there is for caches?


like being able to download all benchmarks in a 100 mile radias. :o

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This question gets asked regularly. If you do a search on the Benchmark Hunting for "pocket queries", there are 22 topics where it is mentioned - always asking for this feature.


It doesn't exist yet.

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Most of us that have been bitten by the benchmark bug go to the NGS site and download the county we plan to hunt in. If you check the pinned thread (Geodetic Spatial Interactive Referencing Devices) at the top of the benchmark forum page you will find some answers on how we do it.


If you have more questions we will be glad to help you, just ask.



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I found a way to emulate a Pocket Query using the various datasheet retrieval options on the NGS site.


You can select the radial search option (maximum 30 miles) and enter your center coords. Clicking the submit button will give a list of all the stations that are within that range.


On the station select page, click the Select All button to highlight all of the retrieved stations. Note that selecting too many stations can result in the NGS server timing out so if you live in the middle of a dense urban area, don't select 30 miles or you will never be able to retrieve your stations.


After the retrieval is complete, you will get a web page with all of the data sheets you requested. Click on the datasheet and do a CTRL-A to select all of the datasheet text. (Note: The page will begin to display before the download of all the data is complete so make sure your browser has finished loading the page before doing CTRL-A.) Do a CTRL-C to copy the datasheets.


Now open Notepad (or your favorite text editor) and do a CTRL-V to paste the data sheets into your text editor. You need to edit out a couple of things in order to run this through BMGPX successfully.


First, remove the following from the top of the text:





The NGS Data Sheet


See file dsdata.txt for more information about the datasheet.


DATABASE = Sybase ,PROGRAM = datasheet, VERSION = 7.13


The page should now start with :

1 National Geodetic Survey, Retrieval Date = date of retrival


Now scroll all the way to the bottom of the text and remove the following:



*** retrieval complete.

Elapsed Time = 00:00:01


There may be additional text below this relating to destroyed stations that were retrieved with the good data sheets. Delete this text as well.


Your text should now end with the last line of a station listing. For example:




Save the file as a .txt file. You should now be able to drag and drop the text file you just created onto BMGPX and it should generate a GPX file based on the coords you specified.


I have also discovered that using the above method and selecting "Any Horizontal Control" from the Data Type Desired list will return only Adjusted stations. This might be a good option for those who are new to benchmarking and would like to get their feet wet with easier to find stations before moving on to the scaled stations that require following the TO REACH instructions over the coordinates.


Hopefully, this will be helpful to those who are looking for a Pocket Query for benchmarks.

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Or, you could do like we did when I had tried to use a PDA....Nothing but frustrating...so I had John go buy me a 'laptop/notebook'. Works like a charm with GSAK for benchmarks & caches. Plus, it is very easy for me to use & see. :)


I know -- it's an old age thingy....




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See the post here...


Pocket Queries for Benchmarks


I have also discovered that using the above method and selecting "Any Horizontal Control" from the Data Type Desired list will return only Adjusted stations.


California Bear - Thanks for the tip about editing the file for BMGPX. I'm sure it will come in handy. I wish I knew that last weekend.


I can then take the gpx file and push it thru GPX2HTML and Plucker to get that list into my gps/pda.

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