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[pct-l] Data Book Mileposts

As a contributor to the recent 2005 Databook update, I can understand your
concern. But.... the original stated goal of the databook as I recall was to
be the most accurate and current data on the trail in tabular form.

Having tried to think of a way to organize the waypoint/landmarks for data
collection and presentation I settled on a Section/Segment format and refer
to the Databook waypoints by year published. The edition I started with was
2000 or the long lost abbreviation Y2K.

For the Section Segment format with the Segment being a unique Geographic
Segment of the Section it is in. I have waypoint names in the format
D05-00-28E this would translate to Section D, Segment 5 (Cloudburst Summit
to Sulfur Spg Cpgd), mile 0.28 or 3/10 mile north on the PCT from Cloudburst
Summit, Estimated value. Unfortunately after having used this for several
years I have come to the conclusion it leads to some confusion with Guide
Book Map numbers. For the future I was going to use either a section milage
or Section/Map format, the problem with these is there is no way to see
where one starts and the other ends, various parts of the trail leaves the
map and re-enters it later so a Section/Map format would be difficult to
implement, and use on the ground. Perhaps I'll change the segment identifier
to a letter instead of a number DE-00-28E perhaps eliminate the dashes and
add the map number at the end DE002808E but this doesn't roll off the

I personally feel a unique alphanumeric Identifier while a good concept has
it's limitations. I personally like the mileage designation as it provieds
some information and generally refer to a location by it's geographic name
and only use the mileage shorthand when I know the person I'm talking with
is on the same page with me. This is almost always in relation to some PCTA
maintenance project, when a precise location is needed to direct someone to
a worksite.

I am starting PCTA Region 2 Central California on Thursday and have been
updating my Y2K estimated waypoints to Y05 waypoints, I was thinking a
conversion table would be a nice addition to the back of the 2005 Databook,
perhaps one will be added to the next update. This would ease the transition
from one edition to another

Any comments suggestions directed to me while appreciated, I don't have an
"in" with the publisher or author and have zero input into the book other
than providing the updates, they choose what goes into their book.  I could
walk right past Ben Go on the street and never know it.

Please direct any comments about this message OFF-LIST

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <pcnst2001@covad.net>
To: <pct-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2005 7:08 PM
Subject: [pct-l] Data Book Mileposts

> Comparing the previous and new data books we see that the trail has grown
> seven miles between
> editions, and it might grow again when OR/WA is revised.     This creates
> problems with our
> ingrained habit of naming points by the distance from the Mexican border.
> instance,
> Soda Creek Road is around 1500 on the old system.     When something is
> in section A,
> it propagates all the way to Canada... unless we adopt a different
> I'd modestly propose that the data book name points by their distance
north from
> the beginning
> of the current section.    That way changes within a section affect only
> section.
> E.G. P-0.0 would be Soda Creek Road and P-60.0 (approximately, I'm doing
this by
> memory)
> would be Hwy 3 at Scott Mtn Summit.    The data book should continue to
also list
> cumulative
> mileage north from Mexico as well, but the more important change is a
> one in the
> way we refer to things in places like the desert water website and other
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