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Mn/DOT Benchmarking Interest Assessment
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
Topic check, heh?

Heck yeah I will search for benchmarks!!!
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5697

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's steer this back on topic...

bflentje wrote:
Topic check, heh?


This isn't directed just at you bflentje - If there is a problem with moderation, you want to see something done (or not done), please email the moderators at moderators at mngca dot org rather than post in the forums. Thanks!
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4041

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
Let's steer this back on topic...

bflentje wrote:
Topic check, heh?


This isn't directed just at you bflentje - If there is a problem with moderation, you want to see something done (or not done), please email the moderators at moderators at mngca dot org rather than post in the forums. Thanks!


Thanks, just trying to help. Want to make sure we're consistent.


As for the benchmark deal.. if cachers find them and log them, what more do the authorities want? Is the idea to go out and find those that have never been logged?
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're watching this thread, so they'll have a better idea about that than I would and can probably answer.

The difference is that when you log a BM, you log it into GC.com and you use GC.com's logging rules which may be entirely different from what the state needs. Of course, GC.com's benchmark database is so out of date that its not complete.
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucidOndine wrote:
They're watching this thread, so they'll have a better idea about that than I would and can probably answer.

The difference is that when you log a BM, you log it into GC.com and you use GC.com's logging rules which may be entirely different from what the state needs. Of course, GC.com's benchmark database is so out of date that its not complete.

Either way...if they want benchmarks logged on a seperate site, fine with me. I will log those I find on geocaching.com and their site if need be. in this case, it seems pretty simple to help out...
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jrest
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2005

Posts: 392

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct the GC.com website benchmarks are way out of date, and incomplete. There are a pile of benchmarks out there that are not in the system, but still fun to find.

Would be interesting to see what they are looking for and the level of detail. Specifically if they will be posting a list of specific marks they are looking for, if they will be looking for condition of the mark, general info related to the descriptions posted (gc.com) some of those don't fit those marks, i.e. trees gone, bridges moved, road work encroachment, etc.

Staying tuned for details...
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EskoClimber
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 24 May 2005

Posts: 813

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found at least twice as many benchmarks than I have posted on gc.com. Groundspeak hasn't kept up their database so I really don't go out of my way to hunt them anymore.

Two major problems that I see.

1 - Whose marks are we looking for?
    National Geodetic Survey
    Minnesota DOT
    Coast Guard
    FDA
    County Marks

Or some combination of the above.

2 - We are going to have to train people to verify what they have found. I have noticed that in many cases people have found a RESET and not realized it or even found the wrong mark altogether with the same result. Many times people have found a reference mark or azimuth mark and thought it was the station.
We are going to have to get everyone to take pictures so we can verify that what they found is what they THINK they found. Which also means that someone is going to have to review the pics and compare them to the data sheets.

One thing that would make a difference to me is: Is there some way to get credit for finding them on gc.com? In other words is there a way to get gc.com to update their database?
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5697

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EskoClimber wrote:
One thing that would make a difference to me is: Is there some way to get credit for finding them on gc.com? In other words is there a way to get gc.com to update their database?


I would be very surprised if they update their database. They are moving more and more towards either physical cache containers or money making ventures for themselves. Benchmarks don't fit into either of those two categories.

Also, their previous updates have been based off the NGS database. Many of the marks that you're finding aren't in the current NGS database either, and probably never will be.
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EskoClimber
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 24 May 2005

Posts: 813

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
their previous updates have been based off the NGS database. Many of the marks that you're finding aren't in the current NGS database either, and probably never will be.

Some thing don't change and that is one of them.

I was just hoping that gc.com would update the NGS BMs once every five years or so. Ten?
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BenButzow
Geocacher


Joined: 14 Oct 2008

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:13 am    Post subject: Benchmarking Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

My name is Ben Butzow with Mn/DOT. I am a GIS Analyst with the Geodetic Unit here at our Central Office in St Paul. Sorry it has taken me this long to respond, but I have been in the field with our survey crews leveling along Hwy 212 in Carver County. With our students back at school, we have had to pull people from the office to keep up with our field work.

We are kicking around the idea of asking for your help in the recovery of benchmarks that currently exist in our database. The idea that is in my head for this project is that while you're out geocaching we'd post benchmarks on our website that need to be recovered for an upcoming project. Other ideas that have come up would be helping us look for marks that have not been recovered in more than 10 years according to our database. Probably more to come.

We'd provide our datasheets, which include our most recent lat/long along with a description. We are looking into creating a mapping application which would then allow you to enter simple data that you have collected. We'd also like you to take pictures of the mark.

As for rewards, I thought the geocacher with the most marks recovered would be honored with a geodetic control mark with their name on it.

I hope this helps shine a little more light on this project/collaboration. If you have any questions, please contact me at benjamin.butzow@dot.state.mn.us.

It looks like I'll be out of the office the rest of this week and the following. I will try to check this forum when I get home at night.

Thanks for your input already.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5697

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to clarify, I assume when you say "recovered" you mean "found" and not "removed"? I always think of recovered as taken back, but I think in your world it's meaning is a little different.
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X51hz
Geocacher


Joined: 04 Dec 2007

Posts: 218

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be intrested in this
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EskoClimber
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 24 May 2005

Posts: 813

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't mind hunting down the older marks.

One thing that came to mind the other day was marks that are flush with the ground or underground. Most of those are hard to find without a method or tool to find the iron buried with the mark.
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cstjohn
Geocacher


Joined: 28 Aug 2006

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also interested
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minnesotabrad
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 03 Mar 2007

Posts: 1267

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if I am ready for another State challenge. Smile Shocked Wink
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