Benchmark Hunters and Geocachers Find New Treasures in Lasting Impressions Book

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A new book, "Lasting Impressions," reveals some of the fascinating history and stories behind many of the survey marks that define the United States.

From the icy peak of Mt. McKinley to the waters of the Florida Keys, survey markers help us understand where we are and how we relate to the land around us. Yet few people, as they walk around a city or along a remote trail, give thought to the disks, nails and other indicators that underlie the maps we rely on every day.

At a time when amateur benchmark hunting is gaining in popularity among hikers, geocachers and other outdoors enthusiasts, a new book reveals some of the fascinating stories behind the survey marks that define the United States. "Lasting Impressions," a 192-page, full-color showcase book, is devoted to the beauty and craft of surveying.

Author Rhonda Rushing, president of survey monument manufacturer Berntsen International, sought out stories and photographs from all over the U.S. "I've always had a sense of awe and appreciation for the value that surveyors add to the public's lives, and I realized that I have a unique perspective from my years here at Berntsen. We make many markers for survey projects that are unique, historical, commemorative and important, so I knew there were many wonderful stories out there to be told -- stories about not only the science of surveying, but also the adventures and challenges of the profession, past and present."

A unique aspect of "Lasting Impressions" is that not all of its stories come from professional surveyors. Rhonda Rushing explains, "I thought it would be great to include geocachers and benchmark hunters, because I've become increasingly aware of their activities in finding survey monuments and reporting them to the National Geodetic Survey (NGS). It seems like a fun activity that honors surveyors' work in an interesting way."

In his forward to the book, Dave Doyle of the NGS agrees. "Increasingly, efforts by individuals from the popular pastime of geocaching are playing a significant role in the attempt to preserve and protect these essential components of our national infrastructure." To see sample chapters from "Lasting Impressions" and order a copy of the book, visit "Lasting Impressions" is also available through major online bookstores.

About Berntsen International

Berntsen International, Inc. ( is the world's largest manufacturer of survey markers. From its headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, the company produces disks and other markers that have thus far been placed in 90 countries and all 50 states. Berntsen has also created a number of commemorative survey markers, including ones for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial and the National Geodetic Survey's Center of Population project.


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Julie Fisher
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