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Someone at NGS is editing recovery reports, and getting them wrong  

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Bill93
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May 3, 2018 2:01 pm  

I see that DSWORLD does some conversions and slight format changes (US-metric, SW becomes SOUTHWEST, etc).

But I'm seeing other edits to my reports, apparently by someone who doesn't understand or like the old terse reporting style, to "improve" the sentences.  Some of the edits aren't completely benign. 

A DSWORLD log on my computer shows I posted the following:

RR BED IS NOW A DRIVEWAY AT ADDRESS 2835. POST IS QUITE

VISIBLE FROM ROAD, 1 FOOT SOUTH OF AN ORANGE POST, AND PROJECTS 8 INCHES.

This came out as:

NK0091'THE RAILROAD BED IS NOW A DRIVEWAY AT ADDRESS 2835. THE POST IS

NK0091'VISIBLE FROM THE ROAD AND THE MARK IS 1 FT (0.3 M) SOUTH OF THE POST.

Now I'll admit there is a bit of ambiguity because I should have said "concrete post is visible", but the prior entry ends by saying the disk is in a concrete post and I would think most who are familiar with these reports would realize I was talking about a (concrete) post south of an orange post.

------------

On another one I reported that local residents remembered a building that "burned decades ago"

That one came out "BURNED DECADES ABOVE THE GROUND"

Say what?

------------

This is the old game of "telephone" where paraphrasing risks significant changes the meaning.  I've seen several other edits lately.  I'm afraid one of them is going to make a report flat out wrong.

Have others seen this sort of thing?


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Jim in AZ
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May 3, 2018 4:22 pm  

I was under the impression that NGS had no funding for monitoring Mark Recovery input, so I'm not sure they are editing anything.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance - Confucius


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Bill93
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May 3, 2018 4:24 pm  

The process isn't automatic, as it takes an arbitrary time up to a few weeks after submission before the recovery reports appear.  And I can compare what DSWORLD recorded in the log on my computer with what appears in the data sheet, so yes there is editing.


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A Harris
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May 3, 2018 5:42 pm  

I have many keyboard, spellcheck, phrase fixer and text editor filter boxes that when all are checked there will be times that what comes out is not what I said and/or wrote.

When keeping notes, making hand computations, diagrams,  reports, etc, they were signed and dated and if a crew then all names were in the report.

Surveyor's reports should not be reworded by anyone other than the original surveyor.

Rewording should take a new report signed and dated by the author.

In this case it is probably AI, artificial intelligence, attempting to be a low grade censor to any grammar failings.

0.02

RPLS NE Texas
d[-_-]b


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Jim in AZ
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May 4, 2018 6:29 am  
Posted by: A Harris

I have many keyboard, spellcheck, phrase fixer and text editor filter boxes that when all are checked there will be times that what comes out is not what I said and/or wrote.

When keeping notes, making hand computations, diagrams,  reports, etc, they were signed and dated and if a crew then all names were in the report.

Surveyor's reports should not be reworded by anyone other than the original surveyor.

Rewording should take a new report signed and dated by the author.

In this case it is probably AI, artificial intelligence, attempting to be a low grade censor to any grammar failings.

0.02

Most of the Mark Recovery reports submitted to NGS are done so by Geocachers, not Surveyors.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance - Confucius


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Jitterboogie
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May 4, 2018 12:53 pm  

I've spoken to Deb Brown, the woman in charge of the updates etc.  She's doing her level best ( see what i did there...;)  ) to get the data cleaned up.  They just need some interns to set upon it like a horde of Flying Monkeys and get it knocked out.  Should be a credit based class for new GIS and Survey students to gain some research skills and learn the value of depositing their newly found info when using the monuments.  I'd like to rant more, but I'm behind on adding my comments to about 10 recently used monuments.......    😬  😳 


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Frank Willis
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May 6, 2018 4:51 am  

Level best does not cut it.  She needs to DO IT, and somebody needs to check it.  This is serious.

Geocachers submitting recovery reports is also totally unacceptable.  In central Louisiana, if one checks the NGS benchmark recovery notes he/she will find that a many (if not the majority) were reported by an agency that said that the monument was not recovered, which is totally bogus.  This is unforgivable for NGS to knowingly allow important recovery information known to be bogus go on the website.  The cost of sending a survey crew to a monument to find it might be as high as $500 or more, and if they think it is not there according to NGS they might not even go and might look for one a long way off.

This is simply mismanagement by NGS and is not acceptable.

 

 

www.willisengineering.com


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Bill93
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May 6, 2018 7:03 am  

Several comments:

I suspect "Deb Brown" has become a job description after the real DB is no longer there and someone relatively new is doing the job. That is deduced from the change in treatment of my recovery reports in the last couple years compared to the decade before.  No one did picky edits before.

The Power Squadron that reported so many Not Founds I think is no longer sponsoring benchmark recoveries. I hope they went back to just reporting on water nav aids. I agree they muddied up a lot of data sheets. It is almost like they worked from checklists with Found and NF boxes to check with no option for didn't have time to look or couldn't get access.  The skill and dedication of their volunteers varied a lot.

Geocachers have the issue of lack of training, but because that web site does not promote reporting to NGS few will be motivated to turn in casual NF reports to NGS.  If they are that interested they are likely to learn how to do a decent job.

And survey crews are unfortunately not perfect in their reports.  I found one case recently where someone from a large company had reported Good but that the stamping said Reset.  The reset disk was a couple meters lower (fortunately for their project not at similar elevation) in a post while the data sheet called for a headwall. 

Another company's report a few years ago on one was amusing by giving supposed SPC coordinates that are not at all what are claimed.  I never did figure out what projection was used.  NGS didn't edit that one despite the discrepancy.


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Andy Bruner
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May 6, 2018 7:56 am  
Posted by: Jitterboogie

I've spoken to Deb Brown, the woman in charge of the updates etc.  She's doing her level best ( see what i did there...;)  ) to get the data cleaned up.  They just need some interns to set upon it like a horde of Flying Monkeys and get it knocked out.  Should be a credit based class for new GIS and Survey students to gain some research skills and learn the value of depositing their newly found info when using the monuments.  I'd like to rant more, but I'm behind on adding my comments to about 10 recently used monuments.......    😬  😳 

40+ years ago when I was in school finding and reporting NGS and USGS monuments was required in one of our survey courses.  But then again so was reading a vernier, using a sliderule  and using a Telurometer (sp?).

Andy


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GeeOddMike
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May 6, 2018 1:18 pm  

FWIW,

 

Ascribing bad intentions to those submitting erroneous information about survey monuments to the NGS Recovery Page https://geodesy.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/recvy_entry_www.prl is unfair.

 

Given the inability of NGS to monitor the status of the monumented network, the encouragement of the submission of monument status reports via a web-based form was/is a reasonable step.

 

The well-known failures of some submitting entities does not make their submissions universally useless. When they report a monument as found, it often means that it is in fact in place and easily found. I often found that those monuments with numerous recoveries would be located near good seafood restaurants.  (:>)

 

The encouragement to submit photos of recovered points can aid in insuring the correct monument (and not an RM or AZ MK) was found. 

 

Reports that a monument as destroyed or not found should always be viewed with caution no matter who submitted the information. I have had surveyors report that monuments I personally found while in their work area were “not found” reveals even this group is not without fault. Many seem to think it is sufficient to drive to the coordinates and visually search for the monument. It is NOT enough especially when using SCALED coordinates.  

 

Even if a monument was reported as found recently ( how long an interval is recent?) there is no insurance that it was destroyed the day after it was recovered.

 

As a general rule, when I planned or directed field surveys, I would allocate time for crew members to perform pre-observation recoveries. The importance of reconnaissance is increasingly deprecated.  Reporting reconnaissance results to local staff only and not via the site above diminishes the value of the publicly available NGS database: https://www.ngs.noaa.gov/datasheets/

 

The movement away from monumented points as the origin of surveys ties to the NSRS is due in large part to uncertainty about the existence and reliability of the monuments. 

 

Sharing GNSS observations to the OPUS tool https://geodesy.noaa.gov/OPUS/view.jsp helps to insure that the monumented network participates in the modeling underway to replace it. 

BTW, looking at the NGS personnel directory and the contact information for the recovery page it does seem that DB has left NGS.

 

“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.”
― Richard Feynman


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Rankin_File
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May 11, 2018 7:30 am  

I would imagine right now the folks at NGS are inundated with data coming in from users with  vast differences in experiences. Some stuff is falling thru the cracks and starting to lag behind, but I think things will even out again over time. it's a reminder to me to do the best I can to ensure my submittals are good and require minimal review from them.

"Nothing quite says awesome like a bruised shoulder, the smell of gun powder, and a zombie hanging on your wall."
Youngest File-


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Jp7191
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May 11, 2018 9:50 am  
Posted by: Frank Willis

Level best does not cut it.  She needs to DO IT, and somebody needs to check it.  This is serious.

Geocachers submitting recovery reports is also totally unacceptable.  In central Louisiana, if one checks the NGS benchmark recovery notes he/she will find that a many (if not the majority) were reported by an agency that said that the monument was not recovered, which is totally bogus.  This is unforgivable for NGS to knowingly allow important recovery information known to be bogus go on the website.  The cost of sending a survey crew to a monument to find it might be as high as $500 or more, and if they think it is not there according to NGS they might not even go and might look for one a long way off.

This is simply mismanagement by NGS and is not acceptable.

 

 

Frank, You obviously have not received your training on "how to work with millennials" and your "sensitivity" training.  I have the same issues and refuse to be retrained :).  Jp

“He doesn’t do a lot of work around here. He shows zero initiative. He’s not a team player. He never wants to go that extra mile. Tom is exactly what I’m looking for in a government employee.” Ron Swason about employee Tom, Parks & Rec tv show


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James Fleming
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May 11, 2018 10:31 am  
Posted by: Frank Willis

Level best does not cut it.  She needs to DO IT, and somebody needs to check it.  This is serious.

Geocachers submitting recovery reports is also totally unacceptable.  In central Louisiana, if one checks the NGS benchmark recovery notes he/she will find that a many (if not the majority) were reported by an agency that said that the monument was not recovered, which is totally bogus.  This is unforgivable for NGS to knowingly allow important recovery information known to be bogus go on the website.  The cost of sending a survey crew to a monument to find it might be as high as $500 or more, and if they think it is not there according to NGS they might not even go and might look for one a long way off.

This is simply mismanagement by NGS and is not acceptable.

 

 

I assume you've called your representative and senator to express your displeasure with two years of back to back 25% budget cuts for NOAA.  

“Civilization is not an endless succession of inventions and discoveries, but the task of ensuring that certain things last.”
— Nicolás Gómez Dávila


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linebender
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May 11, 2018 12:04 pm  

I spent about 5 or more hours 2 months ago making recovery submittals on about a dozen marks through the NGS mark recovery webpage. I got the thank you emails for each. They have not been updated as of today. This was not the first time this happened. I found out later using DS World is preferred. If the old webpage doesn't work close it. I don't have time or patience to do rework. I also fully understand that govt workers are forced to choose what to let fall through the cracks. 


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GeeOddMike
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May 11, 2018 2:32 pm  

A post to this thread reads: “Geocachers submitting recovery reports is also totally unacceptable.  In central Louisiana, if one checks the NGS benchmark recovery notes he/she will find that a many (if not the majority) were reported by an agency that said that the monument was not recovered, which is totally bogus.  This is unforgivable for NGS to knowingly allow important recovery information known to be bogus go on the website. “

First of all, why should NGS assume that all geocachers do not know how to read a description and find a survey monument? It is not rocket science. 

Second, to say that a monument was not recovered is not to say that it is not there. It also does not mean that the monument is destroyed.

I am confused by the qualifier “...many (if not the majority)...” which means what? One reading is that less than 50% are “Okay” which still means, at least, that some recoveries are useful. 

The final sentence quoted above is pure bunkum.  The charge that NGS knowingly allows bogus information to be published is a canard.  The failure of the poster to accept responsibility for performing needed reconnaissance incurred the cost. If I find a survey monument today and perform a survey weeks/months/years later based on the assumption that is still there entails a risk that it will be gone. 

Relying on the efforts of others, however flawed in your view, may save you money and time. Like all things free, you get what you paid for.

 

“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.”
― Richard Feynman


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