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Nationwide Benchmarks 3 DVD set now available

#1 User is offline   AZcachemeister 

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 06:41 PM

For anyone interested...

I have recently created .gpx files for every county, in every state of the union.
The .dat files this was based on were downloaded from Holograph's site in May.
I used Foxtrot X-ray's excellent NGS>GPX program to do the conversions.

The reference marks are translated into children.
The altitude is reported in feet, and is listed in the GSAK 'USER 2' field.
Recoveries are translated as logs.
The 'Type' field is used to represent marker type.

I'm not looking to make money for this (117 hours) labor of love, but anyone wanting a set of the three DVDs can have theirs for only $10 to cover 'shipping and handling'.

PayPal accepted.

#2 User is offline   TillaMurphs 

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 08:40 PM

WOW! Now that is an impressive feat (CONGRATULATIONS) and a generous offer.

Just out of curiosity, how many counties is that?

#3 User is offline   AZcachemeister 

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 04:53 AM

Not sure, I'll have to go count them... :ph34r:

I CAN say it's enough to put you to sleep several times over as you try to click-click-click your way through them! :)

#4 User is offline   AZcachemeister 

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 05:03 AM

View PostAZcachemeister, on Sep 2 2010, 05:53 AM, said:

Not sure, I'll have to go count them... :ph34r:

I CAN say it's enough to put you to sleep several times over as you try to click-click-click your way through them! :)



Posted Image


Wikipedia says there are 3,077. Not sure if the NGS agrees with them.

#5 User is offline   TillaMurphs 

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 05:36 AM

View PostAZcachemeister, on Aug 31 2010, 07:41 PM, said:

...this (117 hours) labor of love


...Wikipedia says there are 3,077


You realize, of course, that you are insane? (and, I mean that as a compliment) :) :ph34r:

This post has been edited by TillaMurphs: 02 September 2010 - 05:38 AM


#6 User is offline   foxtrot_xray 

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 05:37 AM

Wow, cool. :)

Did you include non-US states in there too? Like PR and the Virgin Islands?

--Me.

#7 User is offline   holograph 

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 03:33 AM

View Postfoxtrot_xray, on Sep 2 2010, 09:37 AM, said:

Did you include non-US states in there too? Like PR and the Virgin Islands?


There are 3141 county and county equivalents in the US. Some of those are incorporated cities which are not within the bounds of counties, for instance Baltimore, MD, Washington, D.C, and numerous cities in Virginia. The number includes the boroughs in Alaska and New York that are equivalent to counties.

The NGS also has datasheets for other territories and protectorates like Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and others. There are 78 county equivalents in Puerto Rico.

#8 User is offline   foxtrot_xray 

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:10 AM

View Postholograph, on Sep 3 2010, 04:33 AM, said:

The NGS also has datasheets for other territories and protectorates like Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and others. There are 78 county equivalents in Puerto Rico.


Yup, I know - is why I was asking him if his DVDs included those as well. B)

#9 User is offline   AZcachemeister 

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 01:53 PM

View Postfoxtrot_xray, on Sep 3 2010, 08:10 AM, said:

View Postholograph, on Sep 3 2010, 04:33 AM, said:

The NGS also has datasheets for other territories and protectorates like Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and others. There are 78 county equivalents in Puerto Rico.


Yup, I know - is why I was asking him if his DVDs included those as well. <_<



This whole project grew out of the necessities involved in an itinerary-less vacation trip from Pittsburgh to Phoenix, and the desire to Geocache and Hunt Benchmarks in as many states as possible along the route.
Certain states were obviously out of the running, but we might go through Alabama...or maybe Illinois. The New England states were certainly off, but we could go through Indiana, or maybe Mississippi.

I decided that if I was going to convert all the counties for 20+ states, I might as well do all 50 states, and never need to do it again.
I knew that anyone could do this, but probably nobody would make the effort to go beyond their own immediate needs.
Then I thought I would share my efforts with a couple of friends here in AZ...but then I further considered why not offer this to anyone interested.

So, in answer to the real question:
The disks 'only' have the counties (and equivalent administrative regions) for the 50 states and D.C.

Anyone taking a trip to American Samoa or Puerto Rico is on their own.

#10 User is offline   genegene 

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 07:07 PM

If I upload a bunch of them to my GPS will it tell me what I'm looking for and all official logs on them from when it was placed to when you did them?

#11 User is offline   DukeOfURL01 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 01:10 AM

You will probably have to convert them to GPX first using a program such as NGS>GPX, that will move a bunch of the finds into log fields so that your GPS will look in the right places for the log entries.

#12 User is offline   AZcachemeister 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 05:13 AM

View Postgenegene, on Oct 3 2010, 08:07 PM, said:

If I upload a bunch of them to my GPS will it tell me what I'm looking for and all official logs on them from when it was placed to when you did them?



All recovery notes posted on the NGS data sheet(s) are (in their entirety) in the conversions.
In some cases there may be more text included than your GPSr can handle.

#13 User is offline   AZcachemeister 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 05:16 AM

View PostDukeOfURL01, on Oct 4 2010, 02:10 AM, said:

You will probably have to convert them to GPX first using a program such as NGS>GPX, that will move a bunch of the finds into log fields so that your GPS will look in the right places for the log entries.



The .gpx conversions have already been done. :anitongue:
That's the WHOLE point of offering the disks. :anitongue:
I think I said that in my opening post! :anitongue:

#14 User is offline   DukeOfURL01 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 01:00 PM

Yeah, I probably read that at some point, though when the site says there's a new post in a topic, and I click on that little orange and white square, and it jumps automatically to the newest post, I don't always remember what was said in previous posts.

#15 User is offline   genegene 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 06:12 PM

View PostAZcachemeister, on Sep 9 2010, 01:53 PM, said:


This whole project grew out of the necessities involved in an itinerary-less vacation trip from Pittsburgh to Phoenix, and the desire to Geocache and Hunt Benchmarks in as many states as possible along the route.
Certain states were obviously out of the running, but we might go through Alabama...or maybe Illinois. The New England states were certainly off, but we could go through Indiana, or maybe Mississippi.

I decided that if I was going to convert all the counties for 20+ states, I might as well do all 50 states, and never need to do it again.
I knew that anyone could do this, but probably nobody would make the effort to go beyond their own immediate needs.
Then I thought I would share my efforts with a couple of friends here in AZ...but then I further considered why not offer this to anyone interested.

So, in answer to the real question:
The disks 'only' have the counties (and equivalent administrative regions) for the 50 states and D.C.

Anyone taking a trip to American Samoa or Puerto Rico is on their own.


Sending e-mail.

I was just wondering though how often do you plan on updating the info. BM's are added and subtracted all the time. Eventually wont some of these be out of date and need updating? I don't mind getting a new subscription every year or two just to keep up with the changes (if any)

Are they easily uploaded to GSAK?

#16 User is offline   DukeOfURL01 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 06:16 PM

Yes

#17 User is offline   AZcachemeister 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 07:19 PM

View Postgenegene, on Oct 14 2010, 07:12 PM, said:

I was just wondering though how often do you plan on updating the info. BM's are added and subtracted all the time. Eventually wont some of these be out of date and need updating? I don't mind getting a new subscription every year or two just to keep up with the changes (if any)

Are they easily uploaded to GSAK?



As stated, I am NEVER going to do all that data conversion again. (My wrists just can't take it.) :blink:

Although I do report on marks not in the Geocaching.com database, certainly every mark in the Geocaching.com database is in there.

Yes, eventually there will be recovery reports made that won't be included in the data on the discs, and marks will be found destroyed and 'removed' from the NGS listings.
As well, there may be marks added to the NGS database over time, but with the waning importance of passive marks you probably won't be missing much.
I would guess that 90% of the data will be good (useful) for the next 20-30 years at least.

The .gpx files are easily loaded into GSAK, and indeed MAY be directly uploaded to certain GPS receivers.

#18 User is offline   TillaMurphs 

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  Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:02 PM

Oooooo!

I now have in my hands, EVERY datasheet in the NGS database - at my fingertips, in three thin little disks!

For only $10 - what a tremendous deal!

Thanks AZcachemeister - you are amazing (and maybe slightly insane :grin: )

#19 User is offline   Klemmer & TeddyBearMama 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 08:56 PM

Hi AZ:

I second TillaMurphs. But I love you! I'll take s a set. Email on the way.
Your hard work is appreciated.

Larry
(Klemmer)

#20 User is offline   NorthWes 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 01:04 PM

Got mine, and I love 'em. I used them for a recent trip to SE Washington state, where I was able to carefully plan my very limited hunting time and driving routes to both maximize previously-validated elevation stations (the benchmark hunting equivalent of a numbers run) and interesting/scenic/historic locations. I flipped the target counties into GSAK, and sampled PIDS along the known routes of travel. As this is an area of the country several of this forum's regular contributors have worked and traveled extensively, it was nice to see what they thought were notable recoveries (for example, thanks to CallawayMT for his excellent photos of the 1873 RZ1586; they interested us enough that my wife came with me down to visit that site). It saved me tons of legwork in performing downloads etc.

This was also my first 'run' using a Colorad0 450; I can't say enough about how this device makes benchmark hunting more efficient. Using GSAK and the GPX files from these CDs, I can go in the field with one device showing recovery logs, datasheets (and with a little extra effort, even prior recovery photos) - all in one tool. On tri-stations it even loads out the reference marks as 'child waypoints'.

Thanks for your hard work on these - I'm delighted with them.

#21 User is offline   genegene 

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 03:46 PM

Got mine in the Mail today. This is going to make my life a heck of a lot easier.

Thanks for doing this for us.

Gene G.

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