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USGS - The National Map Corps
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s4xton
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 23 Mar 2003

Posts: 1070

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:29 pm    Post subject: USGS - The National Map Corps Reply with quote

Thanks to a pointer from drat19 at a recent WeekNIGHT caching event, I am now participating with The National Map Corps, which is part of the United States Geological Survey (which is part of the Department of the Interior).

You basically are given responsibility for a portion of the map (a 7.5-minute quadrangle, generally), and they give you assignments to run out with your GPSr and take waypoints and check on things, and update information. There are other assignments that may periodically come up. Most if not all the work is volunteer.

Sounded like a good way to find new cache hiding locations, and I figured it'd be fun to participate with somthing new. I also get to have some type of identification with the US Department of the Interior, which probably only goes so far as to get me into National Parks for free and gives credibility when I'm asking land owners to look at objects on their property.

I requested that my first assignment is in the Marine on Saint Croix area, but we'll see where I end up. My second choice is was Hugo, which borders the Marine quadrangle. I grew up in that area and know it very well.

I figure that it may have some good cross-over with the Geocaching community, so I wanted to share. Here's the url:

http://nationalmap.gov/

I'll let everyone know if anything exciting or notable happens with my experience with The National Map Corps... and in a month or two I should be able to say if this is something I'd recommend to others.

-Aaron
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Moe the Sleaze
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1146

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neat. I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5708

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks very interesting...

I read the volunteer guide and I have an idea of the information that you are collecting. I cannot find the information on the map though. I looked and looked but couldn't find how that information ends up in a format that the public uses..?

I assume that they are using the data for more than just correcting the position of the map as they are generally very accurate to begin with.
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jambro
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2004

Posts: 576

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey s4xton, did they give you a badge? Badges...cooooolllll!
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s4xton
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 23 Mar 2003

Posts: 1070

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<insert really funny line from Blazing Saddles here>

-Aaron
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pto
Geocacher


Joined: 18 Mar 2004

Posts: 136

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Professor in the Dept where I used to work was a big shot in GIS,Geography, etc- so I had heard of this a while ago. I signed up back in October, got my packet then returned it and was assigned my first choice for a quad.(in Mid December) I chose Trade Lake Quad in WI, since its near my cabin and I know the roads and terrain prety well. (Or so I Thought!)
My next 2 choices are Cushing & Grantsburg - covering basically all the routes in & out to the lake.

I've got about 5 hours into it so far, and have really been amazed at how many cool areas there are within even 5 miles of my cabin. My family got the cabin in 1974, Ive been driving since '84, so I really thought I knew all the areas pretty well. Boy was I wrong!
Covering every road, paying close attention has really showed me that there is alot of things right under our noses we dont always see. . . .
Putting together the data, both in the format they want it, as well as making maps, Sat photos, etc has been fun playing with all the tools.

I think I am going to stick to doing quads in WI, near my cabin mainly since it should be easier to get them and the roads are less traveled so poking around, stopping wont be an issue.

I have had to re-learn some lessons on storing working data tho . . . . .
Man, you sure can stack up a ton of files fast, and if you havent thought it out, it can get messy!! Between caching files, ice fishing hot spots, driving maps, etc - Ive been killing the GB's!!!!
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Lyverbird
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Oct 2003

Posts: 443

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, next time we're night caching and the local constabulary join us, S4xton gets to flash the badge and say something cool from "Men in Black" or "X-files".
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jambro
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2004

Posts: 576

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something like, "No ma'am, we're musicians." Badges are cool....
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Kitch
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 18 May 2003

Posts: 1286

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my packet in the mail yesterday!!!
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Lyverbird
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Oct 2003

Posts: 443

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jambro wrote:
Something like, "No ma'am, we're musicians." Badges are cool....


This would not be cool for a guy type cop.
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towlebooth
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

s4xton wrote:
<insert really funny line from Blazing Saddles here>

-Aaron


I knew this was a parody of the great Huston/Bogart Arrow The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I've heard it quoted several times on TV and googled it. Another reason the internet is great:

Arrow Stinking Badges

Seriously though, this sounds pretty cool. I might try it as well. Keep us posted!
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my stuff and sent it back already. I requested the St.Paul SW area.
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Kitch
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 18 May 2003

Posts: 1286

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink

Last edited by Kitch on Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I requested Lake Pepin Wink
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towlebooth
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright - after scanning the site and the guide I still can't find out how to sign up or choose an area. Not a good sign - I'm lost already.
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