The City of Austin has a GIS program that is useful for checking the ownership status of a potential cache site as well. Some layers even add aerial photography. One caveat, the photographic images may not line up perfectly with the other GIS information so that if you are placing a cache near a particular tree or something, the GIS image may show it incorrectly in relation to the property line.
I have mentioned this before, but I think
that it bears mentioning again.
The Williamson County Appraisal District (WCAD)
has an online GIS map application that shows property lines relative to streets
and natural features such as rivers. This application has the ability to show
coordinates for where the mouse is on the map, unfortunately they are not in
any geographic coordinate format that I recognize. The coordinates for the
center of the intersection of FM1460 and Industrial Ave. near the WCAD office are
given as -10873237.694606127 3483863.831888059, which is obviously not degrees.
Using the GPS Coordinate Converter, Maps and Info web site (http://boulter.com/gps/)
and clicking on approximately the same location I get 30.622821228814843 -97.67601415514946
(or 30.622821 -97.676014 with less precision, N 30 37.369 W 97 40.561 in the
format that we all know and love). It would be grand to know what system they
are using for their coordinates and if it can be converted into something useful
to us geocachers because then you could be much more precise about public vs
private property. I looked on the website and could not find any reference to what
coordinate system it is. By moving the cursor around I determined that the
first number is the longitude component while the second is the latitude component.
The coordinates for the border between Texas
& Mexico and the Gulf of
Mexico are -10814171.25258265 2993834.94189093, while the coordinates for the
point of land at the mouth of the Sabine River
are -10445927.791121159 3462221.2266417574. A little more fooling around and I
find that the 0 point for east west is the prime meridian that runs through
Greenwich, England and the 0 point for north and south is the equator.
However, even without that ability it is
possible to get a fairly good idea of whether the place you are about to put a
cache is private property or not and if it is private property who owns it. In
the case under discussion it appears rather obvious, at least to me, that the
location of the cache was well within the property line, provided that the map shows
the correct location of the river, which it may not.
It would be wonderful if all counties had
online maps such as this, last time I looked Travis County
did not and I am pretty sure that some of the less populated counties in the
area do not either. The WCAD GIS map application has undergone several
revisions over the past 5 years and is now much faster and easier to use than
it was in the past.
--| Jay /\
|+| Georgetown , TX USA
|-- “What you see depends mainly on what you are looking for.”
--- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com,
Matt Wilson <matt@...> wrote:
> Holy cow!! Was AJW (GC2YVT7<http://coord.info/GC2YVT7>)
really on private property? I somehow doubt it. Sounds like last finders just
"poked" around too far.
> Nonetheless, while I certainly agree that caches shouldn't exist near
places that cause any major amount of alarm or discomfort that would bring
Geocaching a bad name, this sudden and brutal Prime Reviewer archive log makes
me pretty sad.
> Also, I vaguely remember not being able to log an archived cache, but I
also know for a fact that I've logged at least a couple that were archived, but
still there. Thoughts?
Greetings all, As the placer of the cache, I do agree that the tax records do
show the cache was on private property. This is my mistake; I'm sorry for the
trouble I caused the land owner.
Side Note: There are other maps (http://dgcoursemaps.com/CourseMaps/Print/RiveryPark.jpg)
that are not so clear and show green space on the far side of the river.
Ironically this map is posted on a big sign in the park itself. I am not
disputing the archival, only noting that it was not intentional. There were no private
property signs (at the time) or fences, and the posted map appears to be wrong.
Advanced notification of the archival would have been nice, but I don't feel
like it is owed to me, as I am the one who made the error.
My main reason for posting is to let everyone know that the PowerRiddle Series
is still in play, and has been updated to remove the dependence on AJW. I am
working on a replacement, but it is not ready yet.