Caching Now




Links to geocaching and benchmark hunting

tools and information.




Geo Info

Geocaching Information

By far, the biggest gathering place for geocachers.  A must-visit site!

•“Geocaching—Get in the Game!”

A very nice introduction to geocaching from outdoor equipment retailer REI.


Virtual geocaches based on interesting geological features.  Run by the Geological Society of America. Great for families!

Benchmark Hunting

Benchmark Hunting Information

•Benchmark Hunting home page

A comprehensive introduction to survey marks on the website.

• Benchmark Hunting forum

If you still have questions, you can ask for help on this forum.

Just for Fun
•Chocolate Benchmarks

Don't just hunt them--eat 'em!

•Geocaching Benchmark Hunting Statistics

See how many benchmark reports have been filed by geocachers.

•GEOCAC Recovery Map

A visual representation of survey mark recoveries reported to the NGS under the "GEOCAC" agency code.



Education/Career Development

•A High-Tech Career in Professional Surveying

Excellent information on surveying careers from the National Society of Professional Surveyors.

Software and Online Tools

Desktop/laptop software
•BMGPX (Windows, Mac, etc.)

Converts NGS county files into GPX-format files that can be used by geocaching/benchmark hunting software.  For information on obtaining and using the Mac version, see the Groundspeak Benchark Hunting forum.  The site also offers the C-language source code for the program.

•dat2kml.awk (Windows,Mac,Linux,etc.)

Similar to NGSREAD, this script uses the awk command-line program to convert NGS .dat files and shapefiles into KML files.

•EasyGPS (Windows)

Transfers information to and from GPS receivers, and helps you plan geocache searches.

•GSAK (Windows)

Database and GPS transfer software for geocaching and benchmark hunting.

•MacCaching (Mac)

Displays geocache information, shows caches on Google Maps, and transfers cache information to and from GPS receivers.

•MacGPS Pro (Mac)

Lets you overlay geocaches and benchmarks onto maps and charts, and transfer data to and from GPS receivers.

•NGSREAD (Windows)

Produces GPX and KML files from NGS .dat files and shapefiles. Options let you assign different labels to the Google Earth pushpins, including PID, designation, and other important benchmark data.

PDA software
•Cachemate (Palm OS and Pocket PC)

Versatile database for geocaches and benchmarks.

Browser and online tools
•NGS PID Search bookmarklet

Puts NGS datasheet lookups right in your browser's toolbar.

•GPS Coordinate Converter

Converts between decimal degrees, degrees/minutes/seconds, decimal minutes (geocaching), and UTM coordinate formats.

•GPS Coordinate Grabber

Detects latitude/longitude coordinates from a web page and converts them into a LOC file.



State and Local Geocaching Groups

State/Local Geocaching Groups

•Geocaching Groups forum on

Click on the region, then look for the list of geocaching organizations that's pinned at the top of the forum.

Survey Mark Databases 

Survey Mark Databases

National databases
•National Geodetic Survey

The authoritative database of U.S. survey control points.

State and local databases
•Zhanna's "Sources of Local Survey Control Data"

Links to city, county, and state survey mark listings.

Auxiliary sites
•NGS Benchmark Viewer

Displays all entries from the NGS database for a selected state or local area.

•PID Prefix Map

Map of the U.S. showing the location of each two-letter prefix used in the NGS database point IDs.

Surveying Publications

National Publications
•The American Surveyor

•Point of Beginning

•Professional Surveyor



State Topo Maps

Digital raster graphic (DRG) versions of USGS topo maps are available on a number of sites on the World Wide Web.  The sites listed here are either official state, university, or geological survey websites that offer free downloads.

•Alabama: Geological Society of Alabama/Alabama State Oil and Gas Board

•Alaska Geospatial Data Clearinghouse

•Arizona Regional Image Archive

•Arkansas Geographic Information Office

•California Spatial Information Library

•Connecticut (Univ. of Connecticut Map and Geographic Information Center [MAGIC])

•Delaware State DRG/DLG Server (Univ. of Delaware)

•District of Columbia (on the Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access site)

•Florida Land Boundary Information System (LABINS)

•Georgia Tech/USGS Center for Spatial Analysis Technologies

•Hawaii (USGS Hawaii Data Clearinghouse)

•Idaho (Univ. of Idaho Interactive Numeric & Spatial Data Information Engine)

•Illinois Natural Resourcses Geospatial Data Clearinghouse

•Indiana Geological Society GIS Atlas for Indiana

•Iowa Geographic Map Server

•Kansas Geospatial Community Commons

•Kentucky Division of Geographic Information

•Louisiana Statewide GIS (Atlas)

•Maine GIS Data Catalog

•Maryland (Radford University GIS Spatial Data Server)

•Massachusetts Geographic Information System

•Michigan Center for Geographic Information

•Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Data Deli

•Mississippi Automated Resource Information System (MARIS)

•Missouri Spatial Data Information Service

•Montana State Library Natural Resource Information System GIS

•Nebraska (Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources)

•Nevada (Univ. of Nevada, Reno--Keck Center)

•New Hampshire Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System (NH GRANIT)

•New Jersey (Rutgers Geography Topographic Map Download Depot)

•New Mexico Search and Rescue Resources

•New York State Geographic Information Systems Clearinghouse

•North Carolina OneMap

•North Dakota Geographic Information Systems

•Ohio Office of Information Technology

•Oklahoma (Univ. of Oklahoma Center for Spatial Analysis)

•Oregon Geospatial Enterprise Office (GEO)

•Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access

•Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS)

•South Dakota Digital Base Data

•Tennessee Spatial Data Server

•Texas Natural Resources Information System

•Utah Division of Water Rights

•Virginia (Univ. of Virginia GeoStat Center)

•Washington (Univ. of Washington Geomorphological Research Group

•West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

•Wisconsin DNR Digital Raster Graphics

•Wyoming GIS Coordination Structure




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