Jump to content

 
Photo

Cave Cartographer


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1
hkalnitz

hkalnitz

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • United States

Hi Folks
Let me introduce myself. I am one of a small breed of cartographers who focus on cave cartography. We are somewhat different in that we gather the data doing in-cave survey and then generate maps to show the underground worlds we have discovered. While a hobby to most of those who generate maps, we strive to produce the best maps possible. Maps are often published, and used for scientific ,biological, geographical, geological and other uses. We teach courses ( I assist in a weeklong course on survey and cartography sponsored by Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning and Western Kentucky University), and have yearly meeting on survey and cartography as part of the National Speleological Society convention, including a Map salon (with judging and awards).

I was excited to find this forum. I have been cruising the internet with little success looking for resource for both students and myself. Elements of cave survey are arcane (we still use compasses and tapes) and well known, and most cave cartographers are not yet integrating GIS into cave maps (although some are with great results). However I am looking for help with the fundamentals of presentation of data as a map - how the thing is assembled - how to make it work/look better, more professional, and even how us lower budget mappers can print without incurring huge Kinko's bills.

I also love your gallery for input - you may well see cave maps posted for input. Professional input to these will be a great help to both me in my own pursuits, as well as other cavers!

Hopefully you will see me in the forums - if I seem to be asking basic or well known questions - please forgive me. And if there are other cavers lurking out there please chime in!

PS: We call ourselves cavers, not spelunkers. Spelunkers are the ones you hear about lost on the evening news. Cavers rescue spelunkers!

Howard

#2
ELeFevre

ELeFevre

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,049 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisville, Colorado USA
  • Interests:Cartography, musical instruments, reading, hiking, craft beer
  • United States

Howard,
Great to have you on board! I can't say I've ever seen a "cave map"....but I'm already looking forward to it. Erin



#3
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,868 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Hello Howard, and welcome to Cartotalk.

Hopefully you will see me in the forums - if I seem to be asking basic or well known questions - please forgive me.


Don't worry about that. We all have to start somewhere :)

I'm very interested in any samples you can post of your cave maps. Never really seen one myself, so I'm curious to see what they look like.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#4
frax

frax

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,303 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm, Sweden
  • Interests:music, hiking, friends, nature, photography, traveling. and maps!
  • Sweden

Welcome! I ar also looking forward to some cave maps... One thing I am curious about, do you ignore the third dimension in most cave maps, and when/if you don't how do you handle it?
Hugo Ahlenius
Nordpil - custom maps and GIS
http://nordpil.com/
Twitter

#5
Matthew Hampton

Matthew Hampton

    Hall of Fame

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,302 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • Interests:Playing in the mountains and rivers.
  • United States

Welcome Howard,

I am very interested in cave mapping as well. I have taken a more active interest lately and have examined some older/newer cave maps and the 3rd dimension isn't ignored at all - in fact that is the crux. Earlier maps I have seen use several different 2d perspectives for the same map. One would be the xy dimension, then a xz and/or yz representation.

I think cave mapping is at a critical stage where recent trends in 3d volume mapping can be utilized. ESRI has a special interest group for cavers, but I haven't seen very many maps yet from their technology.

Within the past few months I have joined the local grotto (caving groups are called grottos) and have learned a lot. I am looking foward to making my first cave map in the next few months (alas, with compass, tape, inclinometer). How do you use GPS in a cave?

Did you make it to the recent NSS convention in the NW?

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#6
hkalnitz

hkalnitz

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • United States

Hi Folks
Thanks for the warm welcome!
Reading through the archives, some of the questions I had have already been answered. I have a few more I will get to....
I am going to post two examples of cave maps - one older, hand drawn and inked, the other digitally drafted - please see the gallery!

We do add the 3rd dimention, and it is often the toughest thing to portray. It often needs quite a bit of thought on how to accurately portray the third dimention (usually depth) correctly and in a usefull manner. However the data is very important for both understanding of the cave, as well as trying to use the map to navigate it. The two examples I will post are not terribly vertical, one does have two roped drops, the other is a river cave. Cave can be many kilometers deep, and portraying them is a real challenge.

Cartomat - I did make the Bellingham convention - one of my maps took a ribbon there, but it was a smaller convention. Any questions about specifics of cave mapping that I can help you with please ask.. here or directly! And no - cannot use GPS at all in a cave - get comfortable with your compass!


If you have more questions I will be more then happy to answer them. Quid pro quo
Howard

#7
Mike H

Mike H

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Location:State College, PA
  • United States

Howard - welcome, and I'm looking fwd to seeing some modern cave maps. I have a little experience in cave mapping from about 20 years ago, using tapes and string for measurement, in a cave called J4 in central PA. Very crude diagram-style mapping. I worked on a cave map published by Trails Illustrated, it was one of the National Park caves (embarassed to realize I can't recall which one!) and at the time (1996) we looked for design precedent or inspiration and found none.. it was also a rather uninspiring diagram-type of cave map drawn in FreeHand. I'll look thru my box o' maps and see which park it was. In recent years I've seen some really nice cave maps produced by National Geographic published in the magazine, but I've always been curious about the volume-mapping technology, and digital data collection in a realm invisible to GPS. As a design genre of cartography, cave mapping is among the most unique niches. I'm excited to learn more about it.

m.
Michael Hermann
mike [at] purplelizard.com


www.purplelizard.com

#8
Mike H

Mike H

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Location:State College, PA
  • United States

maybe I should post this in the gallery? Since there is more content here I figured I'd comment on the maps in this thread.

I notice a variation in the legends - I suppose this is cave specific? Classifications like standing vs flowing water may fluctuate seasonally... comparing the two symbolization choices for "breakdown" makes the color version much more intuitive. I really like the detail of the breakdowns on the color map. How accurate are those individual stones?

Not sure how much you need the constant symbolization for water flow. It adds a visually pleasing texture, but given the orientation concerns of caving, a single, dominant flow arrow may be all you need, and use another texture to denote standing water or pools?

A wet cave like Ixobel poses inherant dangers, would you symbolize any critcal passage differently if a warning was appropriate?

I'm not sure what you call the diagrams of the rooms, are those drawn in an orientation that the caver finds them on the approach route? Looking at the third room in Ixobel, does the room diverge where the caver must choose right or left, or is it a side profile suggesting you'll need to submerge into the next room?

I assume the sub-title of Bighola is perfectly self-explanatory...! rather memorable and not appreciated by the fellow cavers on that day?

Place names - it strikes me how few there are? the caves I've been in, probably due to their relative accessability and popularity, had a name for almost every room and substantial passage. Bighola starts with House of Cards but only has a few others. Maybe this is informal, like running rivers, local climbing routes or local mountain bike trails - different people have thier own names for rapids/routes/trails that may or not be consistent on maps.

What sort of equipment do you have in the cave? Pencil/paper/compass/string/tape measure... any electronics? do the laser measures work? If you had something like a ToughBook what would you use it for? Is there any reason to be aware of the outside topography, and if so, how do correlate that underground in realtime?

Sorry for the barrage of questions - I'm just curious.

m.
Michael Hermann
mike [at] purplelizard.com


www.purplelizard.com

#9
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,868 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Hmmm...

Enters moderator mode

I really would have preferred to see the map-related comments down in the gallery...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#10
Mike H

Mike H

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Location:State College, PA
  • United States

The party has been moved to the gallery!
Michael Hermann
mike [at] purplelizard.com


www.purplelizard.com

#11
Nick Springer

Nick Springer

    CartoTalk Founder Emeritus

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 939 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crosswicks, NJ
  • Interests:Cartographic Design, Print Maps, Graphic Design, Web Development, Ultimate Frisbee
  • United States

Welcome Howard. I was a caver for years in Upstate New York and West Virginia, but never made any maps. Got trapped in a flooded cave once, but that's another story...

Cave maps have always fascinated me, so it's great to see some examples popping up here.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#12
MapMedia

MapMedia

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Davis, California
  • United States

Welcome Howard! I have always admired cave maps for their attempt to portray paths in the 3D with detail.
Maybe you could post a snippet (in genel discussions) how you make your cave maps. In absence of GPS, how are the coordinates for the paths correct? Post a sample in the Gallery if you like!

Chris

#13
Nick Springer

Nick Springer

    CartoTalk Founder Emeritus

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 939 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crosswicks, NJ
  • Interests:Cartographic Design, Print Maps, Graphic Design, Web Development, Ultimate Frisbee
  • United States

Howard did post some fine examples in the standalone image Gallery, but we lost that data in the last hacking. I would encourage you, Howard, to repost in the main forum's Map Gallery. It seems there is quite a bit of curiosity about cave maps and the processes in making them.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#14
Martin Sluka

Martin Sluka

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Czech Republic

There is I think very interesting free software tool for generation of cave maps, atlases and 3D models.

Check the page: http://therion.speleo.sk

You will find in wiki section many examples and informations - specialy new "Therion by examples" from Marco Corvi - check English section.

Martin Sluka




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->