Posted 25 August 2006 - 01:39 PM
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!
Posted 25 August 2006 - 01:47 PM
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
Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:31 PM
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.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Twitter: @redgeographics
Posted 25 August 2006 - 04:55 PM
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
Posted 26 August 2006 - 07:35 PM
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
Posted 27 August 2006 - 06:52 AM
Posted 27 August 2006 - 08:02 AM
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.
Posted 30 August 2006 - 08:46 AM
Cave maps have always fascinated me, so it's great to see some examples popping up here.
Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:07 AM
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!
Posted 26 September 2006 - 09:00 AM
Posted 07 October 2006 - 04:46 AM
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.
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