[GeoStL] Re: Benchmarks

  • From: Paul Konopacki <konopapw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 19:13:44 -0500

Is the groundspeak benchmark database tied in with the
official government database in any way?  For instance, if
you find a benchmark and log it at geocaching.com, does
that get registered automatically as a 'recovery' in some
other database?

Roger Barnes wrote:

> My poor GPS budget just got taken by my un-employed 24 1/2 year old son
> in Seattle.  But benchmarks, now that's something I know something
> about.....  :)
> Success rate will certainly vary in many ways.  In suburban St. Louis,
> the Mo Dept of Natural Resources came thru in the early 1990s and set
> many of the survey disks that I find.  Always with a azimuth disk but no
> reference disks which is unusual because disks of this type usually have
> two reference disks in addition to an azimuth disk.  There are also a
> fair number of benchmarks along the railroads, that seems to true
> throughout the country.  Of course, some are gone and some are difficult
> to get to, both physically and legally.
> I suggest that you read the description carefully and if it mentions
> reference disk and/or azimuth disks, try to find them too.  Sometimes
> these disks will have their own entry in the database, but typically
> not.  And without their own entry, you won't have coordinates, so the
> GPS will really be useless then.  Any disk set for vertical control only
> (that is, elevation and this means real "benchmarks") may not have
> dependable coordinates and again reading the description carefully
> becomes necessary.  The database on geocaching is from the National
> Geodetic Survey (NGS), a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
> Administration (NOAA), not the USGS.  Markers in the database may have
> been placed by any of numerous qualified agencies, including the USGS
> and, as I indicated above, MODNR.  There are several queries on
> geocaching about what to do if you find a marker that is not in the
> database and the short answer is "not much".  Many people have searched
> the net for additional databases, but they don't seem to be there.
> Anyway, if you are interested in submitting "recovery" reports to the
> NGS, go to www.ngs.noaa.gov/datasheet.html and go to "Submit Recovery"
> at the bottom.  You can also search their database from here in several
> different ways.  Note that "recovery" to the NGS means only that you
> have found the marker(s).  The form gives you the opportunity to enter
> text, but if it's pretty much the same, just leave it blank and it will
> go in as "found as described".
> Well, I think I just organized my talk for the picnic, now I have to
> think up some additional stuff to make it interesting again....
> Have fun!
> Roger
> p.s. the most fun I've had finding a benchmark in St. Louis is this one:
> http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=JC0215
> another one I had fun with is in Ohio when we went out to pick up my
> daughter.  You can read about it on the geocaching forum on benchmark
> hunting at:
> http://opentopic.groundspeak.com/0/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=1750973553&f=5790959854&m=6310953135
> I hope the url goes thru ok, it's topic is "Fun finding a benchmark"
> started by RogBarn (me).
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