CoCh Committee Role

The National Cooperative Charting Committee is part of the USPS Executive Department and is under the direction of the Executive Officer, who holds the rank of Vice Commander. Nominees for the chairman and assistant chairman of the Committee are proposed by the USPS Nominating Committee and elected by the Governing Board. The chairman and assistant chairman hold the ranks of Rear Commander and Staff Commander, respectively.

The Committee Chairman maintains close liason with NOS representatives, administers the USPS Cooperative Charting Program in coordination with the NOS representative, recommends prospective members of the Committee to the Executive Officer, directs and coordinates the assignments of committee members, and oversees the activities of the Committee. The chairman also delegates specific functions to particular members of the Committee.

Area Representatives are Committee members who function as liason between the National Cooperative Charting Committee, USPS districts, and NOS regarding observers' reports. For assigned districts, they review submitted reports; handle routine communications; and otherwise assist, encourage, and advise the district chairmen regarding Cooperative Charting matters. Area Representatives constitute the principal line of communication between the three entities. Their specific duties are as follows:

1. If possible, attend National Cooperative Charting Committee meetings at all USPS national meetings, the National Cooperative Charting Committee meeting at NOS headquarters in Silver Spring each year, and other Cooperative Charting meetings necessary to carry on the work of Program.

2. Review the reports of assigned districts. Provide feedback to the related district chairmen regarding the quality of their district's reports.

3. Maintain good communications with the district Cooperative Charting chairmen for assigned districts through personal contact, correspondence, telephones, email, etc. Assist district chairmen in any way feasible to promote their districts' Cooperative Charting program.

4. Attend as many as feasible district conferences for assigned districts and participate in their Cooperative Charting seminars. An invitation is required.

5. Provide advice and recommendations to district chairmen and the Committee for improving district participation.

6. Issue the NOS/USPS identification cards for Cooperative Charting field use.

7. Recommend to Committee Chairman changes in policy or procedures that would improve the Cooperative Charting Program.

8. Perform special projects and additional duties as assigned by the Chairman.


United States Power Squadrons
Geodetic Mark Recovery Program
Standard Operating Procedures

Geodetic Mark Reports are to be submitted to the Cooperative Charting Committee, not directly to the National Geodetic Survey (NGS). Members must use the submittal form found on the Cooperative Charting website to submit reports. Up to 6 observers and five marks can be included in each report. A member of the Cooperative Charting Committee will review the form and, if approved, submit the data to NGS. If the Cooperative Charting Committee reviewer finds that there is invalid or missing information, he will advise the submitter via email of the necessary actions.


  • A mark recovery may not be submitted within 24 months of the last recovery unless there is a change of status from “not found” to “found” in which case it may be reported at any time.
  • A mark may not be reported as “Not Found” if the previous report was “Not Found” or “Destroyed”.
  • All required fields must be completed on the submittal form.
  • Reports must be submitted within 30 days of the investigation.
Selection of Mark conditions:
  • Good - Attach a digital image showing both the mark and the gps with the lat and long and date clearly visible. *
  • Not recovered, not found - Attach a digital image of the gps on the recorded location with the lat and long and date clearly visible. *Include in the comments section the effort made to recover the Mark and any conclusions as to why it could not be found. (Under new pavement, etc.)
  • Poor, disturbed, mutilated, requires maintenance - Attach a digital image as in “Good” and describe the conditions in the comments section.
  • Destroyed - If the actual marker has been found separated from its setting, the point can be reported as destroyed. In addition, proof must be submitted of the mark's destruction via actual disk, rubbing, photo, or digital picture (preferred). If the actual marker was not found, then notes should entered in the comments section of the report concerning evidence of its possible destruction and "Not recovered, not found" should be entered as the condition of mark.

* The image may be of a gps displaying both the Lat, Long and the date or a gps displaying the Lat and Long taken with a digital camera which displays the date on the image.


  • Geographical Mark (tower, cupola, etc.) – 0 credits
  • Horizontal Mark - 2.5 credits
  • Vertical Mark – 5 credits
  • Total time expended – 2 credits per hour (Include time for planning, the actual survey and reporting only.)
  • Bonus for Mark not recovered in the past 5 years. – 2 credits
  • Credit will be calculated by the Cooperative Charting Committee and posted on the USPS website.
  • At the end of the program year, individuals ranking in the top 25% of individual credits will be awarded an Honor Roll Certificate.
  • The top individual, Squadron and District will be awarded Certificates of Achievement at the USPS Annual Meeting.
  • The initial award period will be for reports submitted from June 1 to December 31, 2015. Subsequent periods will be January 1 to December 31 of each calendar year.




Geodetic Mark Recovery Reporting

Geodetic Mark Reports are to be submitted to the Cooperative Charting Committee, not directly to NGS. Use the submittal form found at the link at the bottom of this page. A member of the Cooperative Charting Committee will review the form and, if approved, submit the data to NGS. Before starting to fill the form, have the following information readily available:

For the Primary Observer:

  • Name
  • Certificate number
  • Squadron and District
  • Per cent of credit
  • E-mail address

Worksheet -- Principal Observer Worksheet.

For each Additional Observer:
  • Name
  • Certificate number
  • Squadron and District
  • Per cent of credit

Worksheet -- Additional Observer Worksheet.

For each mark observed (up to 5 for each report)
  • PID number
  • Condition
  • Recovery Notes
  • Photo of mark (if found) and GPS

Worksheet -- Geodetic Worksheet.

A CoCh Committee Member will review the report and if approved, will submit to NGS and assign the credits.

Geodetic Report Form 2020


Remember, keep it simple and make it fun!



  • Select the area you would like to search.
  • Download the geodetic descriptions (Data sheets) for the area you plan to search. There are several sources but the best is the National Geodetic Survey web site,
    1. Select "Data and Imagery" and then Click on "Survey Mark Datasheets" in the drop down menu.
    2. Click on the map and follow the onscreen directions to view Mark locations and view the Data Sheets. HINT: ZIP code works well!
    3. You can print the map by using the Snipping tool that comes with Windows or plot the locations on your own map as indicated below.
    4. Select and print out the Data Sheets for the marks you want to include in your search. (Right click on the Data Sheet and select "print".)
    5. Descard any that have been recovered in the past two years.
    Data sheets may also be downloaded from many state geodetic survey websites.
  • Collect the data sheets and arrange them in the same order you plan to search for them. A three ring binder is a convenient way to organize them.
  • Geodetic marks in cities are easy to locate, even though street names are generally not shown on some maps. If the town or city has an atlas or map, it will facilitate the search.
  • Mark station locations with prominent crosses on the map and label each with the station designation for easy access when you are searching.
  • With all geodetic marks plotted, it is easy to plan a day's routing for bench mark recovery and to see how to get from one location to another.
  • Scale off, with dividers, the distance between each mark and record to the nearest tenth of a mile, though this information may be given in the description text. This will be useful as you drive from mark to mark using the readings on your vehicle's odometer to measure distance.
  • Once you have assembled your group of marks (and have them arranged as they occur along your search route) you are ready to take to the field and start the search.
  • Plan the timing of your trips to avoid commuter traffic, especially if you're searching along heavily traveled roads. Consideration of seasons also pays off. During the mid-year warm months, weed growth (including poison ivy) is at its maximum and can make bench mark access and visibility very difficult. Avoid days when the ground is frozen; you will not be able to dig, even a few inches, into frozen ground to retrieve a bench mark. Trips after a killing frost would be an excellent choice.
  • Ensure that no mark is knowingly recovered and reported in a time period less than 2 years.