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Don't Shoot Your Gps Receiver !

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I was looking through the benchmark gallery recently and saw a bunch of 'closeup' pictures of benchmarks. Most were pictures of just the benchmark disk, but some had the GPS receiver in the view. In most of those pictures, the benchmark inscriptions could not be read.

 

I think it's better to take a closeup picture of the disk as close as your camera can manage and still get the entire disk in view. It is very important to see the inscriptions on the disk as well as the condition of it, especially in the central area. Attempting to make sure the GPS receiver is in the view detracts significantly from the quality of the closeup photograph the benchmark.

 

If the PID is a horizontally SCALED mark, enter your coordinates when you do the logging. If the PID is a horizontally ADJUSTED mark, what your GPS says about the location is unimportant. In either case, a picture of the GPS unit and what it says is not needed.

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I would generally echo BDT's comments, except in his last paragraph. In the case of vertical control, in which the latitude and longitude are approximated (scaled) from a topo map, it is useful to add GPS coordinates to the log in the hope of improving the quality of the data and provide better coordinates to the next person who seeks out that particular mark.

 

Having said that, there is no reason to get your GPSr in the shot.

 

Also, please check your camera manual or do so experimentation to see how to use the macro mode and to verify how close you can get to the disk while still keeping it in focus.

 

-ArtMan-

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There is an advantage to having your GPSr in the photo.

1) It adds scale, (some marks are non-standard size).

2) It also adds proof of lat/long, within the accuracy of your receiver.

 

I've recovered a few benchmarks, not to the scale of the heavy hitters like Artman, BDT, Seventhings and others. (You guys rock!) But of the marks I have recovered, picture quality of the marks has been excellent and the GPSr reading is there to boot.

 

I do agree that a good quality photograph of the mark is essential.

 

Cheers!

Mitch

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BDT, I will assume your intention is to avoid putting the GPSr in photos of disks, and I agree wholeheartedly with that (I was guilty of the practice for the first couple of disks I recovered, then quickly mended my ways.)

 

I still will put the receiver in a photo if the mark is a rivet or chiseled cross, not for the record of the coordinates, but because it is usually the only thing I have handy that provides scale, for example LY0738. Without the GPSr, it could have looked like a photo of a manhole cover in a boulder-strewn gully!

663bc542-eb9f-401c-9ec8-705b9b943718.jpg

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ArtMan - I was saying pretty much the same thing, I believe. Perhaps too short though. :o

 

Difficult Run - some of us used to be concerned about the 'proof thing', but gave that up as not really needed. The photos are pretty good proof anyway.

 

I agree with Difficult Run and holograph about the use of a GPSr as a scaling item for unusual markers. For those, I have used a hand compass, a U.S. quarter, and a U.S. cent for scale since I sometimes have a bit of change in my pocket.

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ArtMan - I was saying pretty much the same thing, I believe. Perhaps too short though. :o

 

Difficult Run - some of us used to be concerned about the 'proof thing', but gave that up as not really needed. The photos are pretty good proof anyway.

 

I agree with Difficult Run and holograph about the use of a GPSr as a scaling item for unusual markers. For those, I have used a hand compass, a U.S. quarter, and a U.S. cent for scale since I sometimes have a bit of change in my pocket.

I have to go along with this statement about forgetting the proof thing. The descriptions tell us what we are looking at and by now, people here know who is lying about their finds and who is not.

 

I often find myself in other states without a camera. It is easy to read my log or quantity of logs in an area that I do not have photgraphic proof of and tell if I have been there or not.

 

Photos are great.....do not get me wrong.......but if one cannot read anything in the photo, it is a waste of my time to even call up on my slow computer.

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Also, please check your camera manual or do so experimentation to see how to use the macro mode and to verify how close you can get to the disk while still keeping it in focus.

 

When I began benchmark hunting, someone here gave me this tip for getting really good photos of the disks:

 

Stand over the disk. Use the ZOOM feature on your camera so the disk fills the viewfinder. This technique is less affected by motion; hence, it is more forgiving if you are not using a tripod. And if you need to use a flash, the distance to the disk will be optimized for a good exposure.

 

That, and cornstarch, are all you need for killer photos! :o

 

By the way, you generally see my GPS unit in a photo at about one every seventy-five stations. When you do, you'll know that was where my pen got left in the car or ran out of ink, and I could not write the coordinates on the data sheet. *

 

-Paul-

 

*There will be several exceptions to the 1:75 ratio during the next ten days. I will be testing an amplified antenna, and I'll tag some photos of my receiving gear to a few benchmarks so I can illustrate my written evaluation (which I promise I'll share with this group).

Edited by PFF

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I always take a picture with the GPS receiver and disk as one of my standard shots for use as a reference.

 

It is sometimes a month or more before I can get to logging entries. In that time, I might drive 5,000 miles and be in 5 or 6 states. This shot tells ME where I was at that date and time if for some reason I can't find the data sheet that I had with me. It is purely for my benefit and to help with my logging.

 

That said, these shots are not ones to get turned into the NGS.

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Whatcha know? I've been doing it right? GPS in overhead and area shots, benchmark only in close ups...

Now that I've added Nonsense to my list of recovered benchmarks, along with 'False' and 'Rude', I've gone for 'Apple Pie Hill'.

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It is sometimes a month or more before I can get to logging entries. In that time, I might drive 5,000 miles and be in 5 or 6 states. This shot tells ME where I was at that date and time if for some reason I can't find the data sheet that I had with me.

 

Now THOSE are scary things to learn about a "big name in the hobby". :ph34r:

 

I can't remember what I had for lunch, yesterday. I salute anyone who can keep up with benchmarks in that time frame!

 

Here's my technique:

 

During the hunt, I take notes on the data sheets. That night, or sometime the next day, I open a WORD document and compose the NGS recovery texts. Each is headlined with the PID and name of station. I group Not Founds together (with headline items in red), and then do the Founds. This way, I don't have to keep switching buttons on the NGS recovery template.

 

The WORD program does my spell checking. I then save and print the document. On the printed copy, I jot the ID of relevant photos in the margin so I know which images to upload to GEOCACHING.COM.

 

Often, I do the GEOCACHING.COM posting before submitting to NGS. That way, I have one more chance to spot errors such as typo's, or an ommission such as a missing witness post. Later, by bouncing back and forth between WORD and my browser, it is easy to copy/paste the recovery details when I'm on the NGS web site. It's also very fast.

 

Posting here before logging at NGS sometimes has an added benefit. I'm remembering the recent recovery where Black Dog Tracker spotted the arrow on the disk in my photo and pointed out that this was a reference mark and not the main station.

 

Fortunately, this was one of the times when I posted here prior to visiting the government site. It was easy to correct my error on GEOCACHING.COM, but it would have been embarrasing if it had gotten into NGS and had to be modified.

 

-Paul-

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Another option would be to use an inexpensive photography scale similar to the ones below:

 

2inch2.jpg

 

or

 

macro.jpg

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I hearby submit an argument as to why including the GPSr in the

photo of the brass cap can add to the story. 73a27b07-19f0-43e6-9178-b3b1d7077585.jpg

 

Taken this spring at GS0206

 

Note the altitude readout on the GPSr.

 

jb

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It would be too expensive and not cost effective to shoot my GPS.

 

Yeah, and the GPS might shoot back! Or at least throw batteries!

 

Amusing thread!

 

-Paul-

 

And if it's a Garmin, that sassy-sounding lady in the box will mock you: Missed me.....Missed again.....You're no good with that gun......

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Remind me next time I go back to the Dead Sea to take my GPS - a whopping 1,349 ft. or 411 m. below sea level. Would be interesting to know if Israel or Jordan has any benchmarks in the area.

 

I think I looked awhile back to see if Israel, which has a fair amount of state information online in English, had a benchmark database online. I couldn't find anything, and for security reasons they are not as generous with mapping data as some other countries. I didn't check Jordan, where the likelihood of finding something in English is considerably lower.

 

-ArtMan-

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JB Andersen,

 

A little about this station from the datasheet, it is a rather fun case study.

 

About GS0908 DAYTON HARRIS GRAVE MON: Text from GS0206

THE DAYTON-HARRIS GRAVE MONUMENT IS A RECTANGULAR CAIRN WITH A 5X6 FOOT BASE. IT IS ABOUT 6 FEET HIGH. ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE CAIRN THERE IS A BRONZE PLAQUE DEDICATED TO THE TWO PIONEERS BURIED AT ITS BASE. THE POINT INTERSECTED ON THE CAIRN WAS THE CENTER OF A 1X4 THAT IS APPARENTLY THE TOP AND CENTER OF THE CAIRN.

 

Was this Cairn still extant? It has a recoverable PID...

 

THE AZIMUTH MARK IS LOCATED ON THE TOP OF A SMALL RISE OF GROUND WHICH IS ABOUT 5 FEET HIGHER THAN THE SURROUNDING COUNTRY. THE MARK IS 31 PACES WEST OF THE CENTER OF A GRADED ROAD AND 6 FEET SOUTHEAST OF A WHITE WITNESS POST. IT PROJECTS 3 INCHES AND IS STAMPED DAYTON HARRIS 1950.

 

GS0206'TO REACH THE AZIMUTH MARK FROM THE STATION, GO SOUTH ON THE

GS0206'GRADED ROAD FOR 0.25 MILES TO THE AZIMUTH ON THE RIGHT (WEST)

GS0206'AS DESCRIBED ABOVE.

 

GS0206|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

GS0206| PID Reference Object Distance Geod. Az |

GS0206| dddmmss.s |

GS0206| CC4623 DAYTON HARRIS GRAVITY STA AZ MK 1943937.6 |

GS0206| GS0908 DAYTON HARRIS GRAVE MON 75.415 METERS 32936 |

GS0206|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

Any Luck on the AZ Mark? It appears to be on a bearing of 194 degrees SSW of the Gravity Station, and on higher ground.

 

GS0206* NAD 83(1992)- 36 12 24.77324(N) 116 52 11.76893(W) ADJUSTED

GS0206* NAVD 88 - -77.527 (meters) -254.35 (feet) ADJUSTED

GS0206 ___________________________________________________________________

GS0206 HORZ ORDER - SECOND

GS0206 VERT ORDER - FIRST CLASS II

 

Not recovered since 1969, It would appear this station was both triangulated and leveled, and was used for Gravity Observations with Gravimeter. There are no GPS Observations so far. It would appear the original monumentation was 1939 and the AZ MK 1950, but the Narrative does not show the 39 monumentation and is out of usual order as well.

 

GS0206'THERE WERE NO REFERENCE MARKS ESTABLISHED AT THIS STATION. But it has an AZ Mark... Second Order Tri stations will almost always have RM's but it is rarer for them to have and AZ Mark... But look at this one... Interesting.

 

There has been a lot of talk here lately to have changed made to Geocaching's Data mining procedure. But the NGS Datasheet really has it all, and laid out so simple. Can I convince anyone to learn to read them? You own mind can screen it for so much info, and there is so much more I didn't address, Like a 2 some odd foot Datum Shift the 29 and 88 Vertical Datum and ho good of a Job JB's GPS Pressure aneroid did in being approximately 8 feet off the observation. Not bad. Oh and hey, I think I found where the Cairn with the lowest extreme elevation in the country is located, and it has no recoveries: GS0908

 

GS0908 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

GS0908 HISTORY - 1950 MONUMENTED CGS

GS0908

GS0908 STATION DESCRIPTION

GS0908

GS0908'DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1950

GS0908'SEE STATION DAYTON HARRIS GRAVITY STATION TEXT

 

So who wants a FTF on the lowest Cairn in the country? It appears to be just sitting there for the taking. Probably qualifies for one of Holographs Extreme benchmarks too!

 

Thanks for sharing this one JB, It was very nice.

 

Rob

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Evenfall asked;

 

About GS0908 DAYTON HARRIS GRAVE MON: Text from GS0206

THE DAYTON-HARRIS GRAVE MONUMENT IS A RECTANGULAR CAIRN WITH A 5X6 FOOT BASE. IT IS ABOUT 6 FEET HIGH. ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE CAIRN THERE IS A BRONZE PLAQUE DEDICATED TO THE TWO PIONEERS BURIED AT ITS BASE. THE POINT INTERSECTED ON THE CAIRN WAS THE CENTER OF A 1X4 THAT IS APPARENTLY THE TOP AND CENTER OF THE CAIRN.

 

Was this Cairn still extant? It has a recoverable PID...

 

The DAYTON HARRIS GRAVE MONUMENT is still there. I looked upon it, I read

the inscriptions on the brass plaques, I did not take a photograph, I did not notice the 1 x 4 mentioned in the data sheet, because I did not realize it had a PID till I got home. It's there, it's still intact, but I didn't feel right about claiming a recovery!

 

Needless to say I did not look for the Azimuth Marker, so I have no idea about it's status.

 

Death Valley is a gold mine of benchmarks! Along the gravel road on the west side of the main valley (opposite from Bad Water) there must be a benchmark every mile, or less along the 40 mile length. Ready made for someone trying to

set a one day find record. I recovered four of them. None of them were lower than the DAYTON HARRIS gravity station.

 

As an aside, my attempt to reach the lowest spot in the western hemisphere, -282 ft. (about three miles west of Badwater) was thwarted by water.

 

jb ;)

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