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Re: Benchmarks

Postby NativTxn » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:34 pm

I only submitted ones I've personally found. Good idea about the warning about moving, damaging marks.
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Re: Benchmarks

Postby glorkar » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:36 pm

I like that you are requiring a picture too. Like I said in my other post, water towers are a big culprit of being misidentified. Many of the older ones have been torn down and replaced with newer versions. They are not considered the same in the world of benchmarking, as the new one may not have been built in the exact same spot and is more than likely not the same height.
Disks have similar problems. Sometimes they are replaced. Sometimes there are multiple disks from different agencies in the same vicinity. The wording on the disk in vital in verifying the correct one has been found.
I may just have to list a few from my area :)
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Re: Benchmarks

Postby Bon Echo » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:51 pm

Hi There OpenCaching community. First post here, I plan to post soon to introduce myself, but I want to ask about the status of benchmarks and get a feel for what the consensus is. I'm new here, and somehow had the impression that benchmarks had their own category. I see now that they are posted here as Virtuals, with the Benchmark attribute.

I enjoy benchmark hunting as much as searching for, well, most other cache types. I've found over a dozen US benchmarks while camping in the US (only half of which were listed on GC.com), and have posted or visited nearly 30 Canadian Benchmarks on Waymarking.com. Not to bore you, but here’s a few of my favourites:
05U623 (DCXXIII) - Ontario Legislature Building, Toronto ON
First Post - Toronto, Ontario
Canadian Benchmarks - Station: 0011912304
2 DOP
Stone Arch Elevation Mark (Jamestown)


I'd like to suggest a separate cache type for Benchmarks. Here's why:

Point #1: there are MANY of them available to be listed (and for the record, I think they should only be listed by someone who has found the benchmark and has good gps coordinates for it, also already discussed in this thread).
The Benchmark Hunting page at GC.Com states that there are 736,425 total benchmarks in the database.
In addition to those listed at GC.Com (which cannot be modified), a number of US and Canadian Benchmarks have been listed on Waymarking.com:
Canadian Benchmarks 3,344
U.S. Benchmarks 12,003
Public Land Survey Marks 1,223
Azimuth Benchmarks 259

Point #2: They are (relatively) popular. Again, from the Benchmark Hunting page at GC.Com:
In the last 7 days, 429 benchmarks have been logged by 122 users.
Overall, 153479 benchmarks have been recovered in 214762 logs
Combine this with the number of Benchmarks listed on Waymarking,com (somewhere around 17,000 and many of them are not just duplicates of those already listed on GC.com).
Also, I think it is worth mentioning that the 11 Virtual “benchmark” caches listed on OCNA have 16 finds (and zero dnf's), which I suspect is one of the highest find-to-hide ratios of any cache type on this site and from a quick look, seems to be quite a bit higher that the average find-rate for Virtual caches in general.

Point #3: Yes, they could be listed as Virtual caches, but in my mind that detracts from what Virtual caches are about (a really great place where a physical geocaches cannot be hidden). Let's be honest, a benchmark is sometimes - but usually not - in a really great place, and yet they can still be fun to find. As it stands now, nearly 30% of the active caches on OCNA are Virtual types, 42% are Traditional, 12% are BIT caches, and the other 10 cache types make up less than 17% of active listings.

Other reasons for allowing benchmarks to be a separate cache type:
1) They require no maintenance, and can be posted anywhere a user find a benchmark (i.e. on vacation).
2) For the most part, land management rules do not apply since nothing is being placed at the coordinates
3) Did I mention the bit about maintenance? The same benchmarks will still be available to hunt in 2, 10, 25 years from now (well, some won’t be, but majority will) regardless of what the originally poster is doing.

Potential problems with listing benchmarks:
1) They can sometimes occur in clusters of 2, 3 or more in a small area. Personally, In don’t have an issue with this but I have also seen it where someone finds a benchmark and incorrectly logs it due to another benchmark being in close proximity.
2) They are sometime inaccessible, for example on top of fire towers and other tall structures. Or are they the towers themselves? I know that the lighthouse at Dunkirk NY has a number of benchmarks embedded in the structure near the viewing platform, not visible from the ground but they are visible if you take the tour up to the viewing platform.

In summary, I believe that having a separate cache type for benchmarks will add new interest to this site, will further increase the “uniqueness” of this site compared to some other listing sites (in the same way that this site allows Virtual, Webcam, and Guestbook caches). Benchmarks are popular. Allowing them to be listed as Virtual caches both detracts from what the Virtual category is all about, and at the same time only makes it more complicated for those who want to actively seek out benchmarks. Groundspeak starting something interesting when they created their benchmark database, but like a number of other interesting “add-ons”, they chose to create it but not to improve it. OCNA has taken the lead with a number of “grandfathered” cache types, such as Virtuals, WebCams, Moving Caches, as well as adding in more “modern” types such as BIT caches, Pod caches, and Dead Drop caches. My hope is that OCNA will also take the lead with benchmarks, a “cache type” with a decent following but little support at GC.com.
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Re: Benchmarks

Postby Mr.Yuck » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:05 pm

Thanks for the post, Bon Echo. See the last post by RVRoadTrip on page 1? He says "they are virtuals, IMO". He is the founder of this site, but is no longer around. Not that it was ever run in a "what he says goes" fashion. :lol: I dunno, lets see what people say around here. If they say anything, these forums, like most traditional forums, which are really late 1990's technology, are pretty dead. A poll is a good possibility (just throwing it out there as an idea). Not here in the forums though, maybe linked to from the main page where a couple thousand people a month would see it.

I'm going to say we haven't added a new cache type since 2011. And RVRoadTrip did add about 5 types in the first year, including BIT Caches and Guestbook Caches. I don't believe it's beyond my capabilities, but it is certainly not a 15 minute job.
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Re: Benchmarks

Postby Sabrefan7 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:29 am

I like the idea,,, I like to look for them myself
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Re: Benchmarks

Postby Mr.Yuck » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:56 pm

Sabrefan7 wrote:I like the idea,,, I like to look for them myself


Assuming DG and NT are OK with this, we can do it. But we have to do our challenge caches first. :mrgreen: And I'll warn you up front, they may not have a unique icon on both our cache maps, and on c:geo maps. They may show up as "?" caches. Because if RVRoadTrip couldn't get that to work properly, well, this is me we're talking about.
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Re: Benchmarks

Postby NativTxn » Sun May 17, 2015 9:06 pm

I'm always glad to see more caches listed here and I think Benchmarks are cool, so go fer it.
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Re: Benchmarks

Postby Mr.Yuck » Mon May 18, 2015 10:49 am

NativTxn wrote:I'm always glad to see more caches listed here and I think Benchmarks are cool, so go fer it.


I figured you'd be on board!! We will do this thing, but I figure it will probably be in the fall. More challenges need to be created after Geowoodstock, and by the time those are done, we'll be getting our August contest together. Unless I find a helper from opencaching.pl to do it, which is quite unlikely. :o
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Re: Benchmarks

Postby Memfis Mafia » Mon May 18, 2015 11:28 am

We really enjoy recovering benchmarks and have found several. My biggest complaint has always been a good way to track them.

From the thread it seems we have an interest. We will create a few benchmark caches to get Colorado started.

Since some can be quite easy to recover, what would you think about grouping some easier ones? Like have more than one as stages/waypoints combined into one virtual?


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Re: Benchmarks

Postby Bon Echo » Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:39 pm

Is the Benchmark cache-type still in the works? I've been thinking about logging requirements for those - a photo maybe? I located a number of them across the 4 western Canadian provinces and look forward to creating listings for them.
Thanks
Edit to add: should there be a requirement that the one posting a benchmark "cache" must first visit the benchmark to ensure it is accessible and get accurate coordinates? I know that for many of the horizontal control disks in Canada, the listed coordinates are very inaccurate ("scaled from the map"). I tried to find a few Canadian benchmarks that were listed on Waymarking, and when I went to the posted coordinates is was quickly apparent that they were taken from the government website without being verified. Way off.
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