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Benchmark GPX files - taking the hassle out of benchmarking

 
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JJnTJ
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Aug 2010

Posts: 218

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Benchmark GPX files - taking the hassle out of benchmarking Reply with quote

I like looking for benchmarks and logging them on GC.com, but there are some things that make it more hassle than fun:

1) You can't download GPX files with descriptions and logs
2) The .loc files that you can download are basically useless; they're just a PID and coordinates
3) The database is 12 years old, and Groundspeak will probably never update it.
4) Because of #3, we don't get to see the updates done to the database in the past 12 years. Some of the newer recoveries include coordinates from hand-held GPS receivers!

Motivated by various King Boreas benchmark challenges, I wrote a program that takes the 10-mile-radius-.loc files you can get from GC.com and combines them with data from newer NGS datasheets.


You can download the GPX files here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/uf3jyoowsbk9avg/w91zyxh1O_

Included are:
    "metro_plus.gpx" - 2,408 marks in MSP and surrounding suburbs. Here's a map.
    "brainerd.gpx" - 294 marks in and around Brainerd.
    "duluth_two_harbors.gpx" - 610 marks in Duluth, Two Harbors, Proctor, etc. Includes some of Superior, too.


Each entry has a link to the GC.com page, plus the original GC.com coordinates. The descriptions include the entire NGS datasheet (whatever was current when I merged the files).

The "hidden by" name indicates how the NGS arrived at the coordinates:
    SCALED - not very accurate, usually.
    ADJUSTED - often the most reliable
    HD_HELD1 - Coordinates from a differential hand-held GPS receiver. These often are really accurate, but sometimes they're terrible.
    HD_HELD2 - Coordinates from a standard hand-held GPS reciver. Mostly good, sometimes terrible.
    NO_NGS - the benchmark no longer exists in the NGS database, but is still on GC.com. It's probably considered "destroyed".
    NO_CHECK - I'm not sure about this one



If these files are useful or popular, I will make more. I'd love to do this for the whole state, but downloading .loc files covering the whole state would be an incredibly tedious process.


Last edited by JJnTJ on Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:43 am; edited 10 times in total
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EPMinnesota
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 1944

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! That would surely make benchmark hunting more fun and attractive. I don't bother with them too much but do really enjoy watertowers. I know I'd probably be interested in your stuff once my laptop is back up and running.
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2443

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, you ROCK.

Now I can go hide 1000 caches a month too.

Rolling Eyes

Seriously, nice job. The .loc files were "OK" but really sucked trying to use.
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Red_Devil35
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Apr 2006

Posts: 3100

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done. I have them already loaded into GSAK!
_________________
"We never seek things for themselves-what we seek is the very seeking of things"-Pascal
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JJnTJ
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Aug 2010

Posts: 218

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I modified the "metro_plus" GPX file to be cleaner. I removed all the "NO NGS" marks because they just take up space in the file and are probably destroyed anyway. There's a link to a map of what's included (it's a lot).

I have also added files for the Duluth/Superior/Two Harbors area and Brainerd.

For those of you with iPhones, these files seem to work quite well with Geosphere.

For Android users, they work well with Locus Free, Locus Pro, and c:geo. They don't work well with Neongeo, GeOrg or the "official" app. I recommend Locus Pro.
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lilbeardy
Geocacher


Joined: 20 May 2012

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchmark GPX files - taking the hassle out of benchmark Reply with quote

JJnTJ wrote:
I like looking for benchmarks and logging them on GC.com, but there are some things that make it more hassle than fun:

1) You can't download GPX files with descriptions and logs
2) The .loc files that you can download are basically useless; they're just a PID and coordinates
3) The database is 12 years old, and Groundspeak will probably never update it.
4) Because of #3, we don't get to see the updates done to the database in the past 12 years. Some of the newer recoveries include coordinates from hand-held GPS receivers!

Motivated by various King Boreas benchmark challenges, I wrote a program that takes the 10-mile-radius-.loc files you can get from GC.com and combines them with data from newer NGS datasheets.


You can download the GPX files here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/uf3jyoowsbk9avg/w91zyxh1O_

Included are:
    "metro_plus.gpx" - 2,408 marks in MSP and surrounding suburbs. Here's a map.
    "brainerd.gpx" - 294 marks in and around Brainerd.
    "duluth_two_harbors.gpx" - 610 marks in Duluth, Two Harbors, Proctor, etc. Includes some of Superior, too.


Each entry has a link to the GC.com page, plus the original GC.com coordinates. The descriptions include the entire NGS datasheet (whatever was current when I merged the files).

The "hidden by" name indicates how the NGS arrived at the coordinates:
    SCALED - not very accurate, usually.
    ADJUSTED - often the most reliable
    HD_HELD1 - Coordinates from a differential hand-held GPS receiver. These often are really accurate, but sometimes they're terrible.
    HD_HELD2 - Coordinates from a standard hand-held GPS reciver. Mostly good, sometimes terrible.
    NO_NGS - the benchmark no longer exists in the NGS database, but is still on GC.com. It's probably considered "destroyed".
    NO_CHECK - I'm not sure about this one



If these files are useful or popular, I will make more. I'd love to do this for the whole state, but downloading .loc files covering the whole state would be an incredibly tedious process.


BMGPX would make it a whole lot easier for you to map the state: http://parkrrrr.com/geocaching.html
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