Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

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Would you be interested in this feature?

Poll ended at Jan 1, 2012 8:50 pm

Yes, I would use and contribute to it.
20
37%
I would probably contribute to it.
1
2%
I would probably use it.
9
17%
Undecided.
4
7%
I do not like the ideal.
20
37%
 
Total votes : 54

Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby LukeM » Jan 18, 2012 8:52 am

wyandottecaver wrote:As more and more maps become digital, eventually somebody will gather a goodly number and post them somewhere where they will "get out" It will happen. The question is do we want to be the ones to do that thus negating some of the incentive for someone else to, and have some control...or let someone else do it and have no control.


:yeah that:

This is really the crux of the matter. Eventually, cavers somewhere will put together and pass around a comprehensive database. The real question is, does the NSS want to have head them off at the pass and have some say in how this plays out?

It's very much like the digital piracy vs the recording industry issue. The recording industry could have seen the implications of the Internet and adapted their business model to work within a new environment, but instead they chose to keep doing everything the same way while trying to sue the pants off everyone. Now bands are advertising and putting out records digitally themselves, and can do so successfully without any need for the big record companies. They provide more value through convenience and lower costs, and have cut out the middle man.

Provide value, or become irrelevant. When it comes down to it, the NSS and grottos need to be operated in a way that continues to attract new faces. They can't be operated by simply selling a philosophy.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby Footleg » Jan 18, 2012 9:20 am

wyandottecaver wrote:As more and more maps become digital, eventually somebody will gather a goodly number and post them somewhere where they will "get out" It will happen. The question is do we want to be the ones to do that thus negating some of the incentive for someone else to, and have some control...or let someone else do it and have no control.


Being a caver based outside the US I already live in a world where cave maps are freely published online. I understand that in the US there are issues with land owner rights and cave vandalism which just don't seem to cause us such great problems in other countries. But what you are missing out on is the scientific value of being able to publish large area surveys for cavers to study and help understand the relationships between different caves and the geology of the area. This really empowers our exploration and also provides many happy hours of 'home' caving in front of the computer when we can't get out to the caves for a while. The ability to plot detailed surveys on master maps and build 3D models of the cave with landscape overlays requires access to the data and locations for lots of people to encourage the participation and contribution to such large on-going projects. To give you an example of all the fun you might be missing out on take a look at the mapping for our expedition area in Spain which is all freely published online for the benefit of exploration and cavers everywhere: http://www.darkgem.com/wscc/matienzo/map/sitesmap.htm?lat=43.3475&lon=-3.58&zoom=17
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby BrianC » Jan 18, 2012 10:24 am

Footleg, very nice! I will be the first to admit, But as you stated, landowner rights, not to mention legal issues with our systems eagerness to take from fault, become deeply embedded in our actions. We just simply cannot make John Q. Public think that caving is a safe journey because the maps are readily available by simply joining a database (NSS and Cavechat) and no initiation into the journey's consequences! If I'm not mistaken, divers die yearly simply by knowing that the underwater cave is where it is, and no cave diving certification. There is absolutely no difference. But, thanks for posting that beautiful overlay. It reminds me of many overlays here in the states.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 18, 2012 10:55 am

Footleg wrote:To give you an example of all the fun you might be missing out on take a look at the mapping for our expedition area in Spain which is all freely published online for the benefit of exploration and cavers everywhere: http://www.darkgem.com/wscc/matienzo/map/sitesmap.htm?lat=43.3475&lon=-3.58&zoom=17


Wow, this map was amazing to look at. I can't imagine all the work it took to mark the shafts, cave entrances and overlay of the cave systems. Powerful.

FOOTLEG: What are all the shafts? Are those drilling points to see if chambers are underneath?
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby Footleg » Jan 18, 2012 11:06 am

BrianFrank wrote:FOOTLEG: What are all the shafts? Are those drilling points to see if chambers are underneath?


Shafts in this case are just open surface pits, or to put it another way, vertical entrances. All natural features in the karst. Our expeditions cater for all levels of cave exploration interest, so many people have taken surface walks in the area without carrying caving equipment and recorded potential cave entrances by GPS as they come across them on their hikes. These account for most of the undescended (red) markers. In fact undescended really means 'no recorded depth or length' and means that a site has no survey data. So sometimes people have been into them. You can click on any marker to get a link to the site description and find out what exploration history there is for the site. Many hours can be spent researching the area before the next expedition to generate ideas for objectives to attempt next time we get out there.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 18, 2012 12:16 pm

Footleg wrote:Shafts in this case are just open surface pits, or to put it another way, vertical entrances. All natural features in the karst. Our expeditions cater for all levels of cave exploration interest, so many people have taken surface walks in the area without carrying caving equipment and recorded potential cave entrances by GPS as they come across them on their hikes. These account for most of the undescended (red) markers. In fact undescended really means 'no recorded depth or length' and means that a site has no survey data. So sometimes people have been into them. You can click on any marker to get a link to the site description and find out what exploration history there is for the site. Many hours can be spent researching the area before the next expedition to generate ideas for objectives to attempt next time we get out there.


Thanks for the explanation. I'm very impressed with the work done and the data collected by many different contributors. Sounds like having a map/data platform with information that is more accessible lends to greater contribution and more effective results.

.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby Leitmotiv » Jan 18, 2012 12:56 pm

@LukeM

Like I said, I think the proper venue for a map site would not be cavechat.org. We must be sure to have all our ducks in row if we choose to make a site. Make sure none of the maps have coordinates or locations on them. Because those coordinates can be sourced on Wikipedia. Once Wikipedia has a source, it won't be coming off of Wikipedia. And that means, it will be everywhere else too. I've heard talk of a NSS online newsletter repository. We must also be sure our newsletters don't have locational information as well.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby BrianC » Jan 18, 2012 2:14 pm

BrianFrank wrote:
Footleg wrote:Shafts in this case are just open surface pits, or to put it another way, vertical entrances. All natural features in the karst. Our expeditions cater for all levels of cave exploration interest, so many people have taken surface walks in the area without carrying caving equipment and recorded potential cave entrances by GPS as they come across them on their hikes. These account for most of the undescended (red) markers. In fact undescended really means 'no recorded depth or length' and means that a site has no survey data. So sometimes people have been into them. You can click on any marker to get a link to the site description and find out what exploration history there is for the site. Many hours can be spent researching the area before the next expedition to generate ideas for objectives to attempt next time we get out there.


Thanks for the explanation. I'm very impressed with the work done and the data collected by many different contributors. Sounds like having a map/data platform with information that is more accessible lends to greater contribution and more effective results.

.

That is certainly a wonderful resource for their situation. We don't have that information available online for different reasons than they have to deal with. My GPS has almost very similar plotting as the map footleg has posted with many holes and possible cave locations that need to be checked. A hyperlink from any of them to maps, pictures, and what ever data you wish is fairly easy. Any time ridgewalking in good karst will produce similar facts. I personally have spent many hundreds of hours plotting caves early on before some of the new easier methods.In the US,These types of private resources are wonderful, and here in the USA we need to keep them where they will be properly used. In the wrong hands, how to make a nuclear bomb,could also be bad. There are probably enough hyper linked maps on Footleg's map to keep many map seekers busy for many hours. If someone want's to spend the time creating maps and resources usable to others, then they will understand, and they also will have the shared benefit of others resources.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby BrianC » Jan 18, 2012 3:26 pm

http://www.scavalon.be/avalonuk/protection/avalonview.htm Even in other parts of the globe, cave protection is an issue.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby David Grimes » Jan 18, 2012 4:43 pm

Leitmotiv wrote:@LukeM

Like I said, I think the proper venue for a map site would not be cavechat.org. We must be sure to have all our ducks in row if we choose to make a site. Make sure none of the maps have coordinates or locations on them. Because those coordinates can be sourced on Wikipedia. Once Wikipedia has a source, it won't be coming off of Wikipedia. And that means, it will be everywhere else too. I've heard talk of a NSS online newsletter repository. We must also be sure our newsletters don't have locational information as well.


We understand the need to make sure maps do not contain location data. The primary reason I announced the maps would be personally screened before appearing on the site is to be sure information like coordinates and such are not posted online with the map.

I also want to point out so far no one has been able to answer my challenge to find a cave using the Internet with only county and state information.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby Aaron Addison » Jan 18, 2012 4:48 pm

Footleg wrote:But what you are missing out on is the scientific value of being able to publish large area surveys...


This is not the major goal of US caving as far as I can tell. Very little thinking is typically spent on how maps might be used. The completion of the map IS "the end", there is no sense of "I should share my map" or "how could others use the map I have produced". In reality, completion of the map is only the beginning for science.

BrianC wrote:We just simply cannot make John Q. Public think that caving is a safe journey because the maps are readily available


I think that if we are being honest, this is not the issue at all. History and statistics do not support the notion that the public at large is trolling the internet for cave maps and places to explore. What we are really talking about is keeping information about caves away from other cavers. There is FAR more history of cavers feeling "left out" of various exploration efforts, feeling slighted for effort, etc... Often times this happens at the grotto level and causes rifts in the organization. We have all seen it tear friendships apart or create miscellaneous (and needless) drama.

The disclosure of cave maps and location seems to deteriorate with distance. Take for example Mexico. Cavers from around the world (including many from US) have done excellent work in Mexico. Much of this exploration (and science) is recorded in the AMCS newsletter. I have never encountered a caver that did not think the newsletter to be a superb publication. The articles are typically well written, and the photos are world class. The publication also usually contains several cave maps with locations printed right there on the map. Everyone seems to be okay with this arrangement.

Logic and reason tell me (to quote Tom Aley) "data not used is not useful data". My gut tells me that any attempt to create an online map resource will only cause those making the maps to further distance themselves and their substantial efforts from the NSS.

Cheers,

AA
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 18, 2012 5:28 pm

David Grimes wrote:I also want to point out so far no one has been able to answer my challenge to find a cave using the Internet with only county and state information.


Despite fears of being convicted of being a lawless and immoral rouge.....
I have done so many times. Many caves are named after a geographic landmark, a community, a creek, a ridge, valley, cove, a landowner and on and on. Browsing through Gulden's site I have written down the names, and counties/states of scores of caves that seemed to be named after a searchable feature or person. Using Google maps to find these features within the county in question gives me a relatively small search area. Once in the general area, the cave is often easy to find based on surrounding geography. If not, and even if so, asking neighbors almost always leads to the owner and location, or at least the location :big grin: (I have changed my views on tresspassing a bit, and only on rare and special occasions enter a cave without asking the owner). So, it can be done. Not with all caves and not easily, but with fairly high success if one (myself) is desperate, isolated, and tenacious enough.

I realize that I may seem to be fighting against myself by making this point, since I would love to see cave maps posted. However, as long as there are already many extensive lists of cave names, lengths, and counties I think it unlikely that the addition of a few maps would add to the number of NSS members employing such means to locate caves.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby BrianC » Jan 18, 2012 5:34 pm

Aaron Addison wrote:
BrianC wrote:We just simply cannot make John Q. Public think that caving is a safe journey because the maps are readily available


I think that if we are being honest, this is not the issue at all. History and statistics do not support the notion that the public at large is trolling the internet for cave maps and places to explore. What we are really talking about is keeping information about caves away from other cavers.


Aaron,
You made a significant point, but not all correct. I am in the faces of specialty retail customers daily. Most of the thousands of customers know also that I am a caver and frequently ask about going caving. I give the education available in a timely manner, environment, safety,etc. When they ask where to go, I always direct them to the local Grotto, SCCI, NSS,etc. rarely do any of them accept the direction and venture on their own.I for one would be very unhappy if maps get into hands of these people in such a cave rich area. If all that they had to do was find maps online, I would certainly be seeing some of them in the news. I have no doubt in this reality! Not all see caving as purely scientific study.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby wyandottecaver » Jan 18, 2012 5:58 pm

As Aaron pointed out the real issue comes down to intent. Most places view maps as team efforts to produce data tools to further understanding, safety, and cave exploration. Most places view increasing interest in cave visitation as a good thing.

A map that isnt readily available might provide value to somebody. But to the sport and science and even protection of caves it is ultimately a sheet of worthless paper covered in worthless scribbles that one or more people wasted a lot of time on. But thats a truth a little too true for some to accept.

How many "secret" caves (and their maps) have had to be "exposed" because the wallmart, wastewater treatment plant, or basically anyone else didn't know they were there? How much easier (and cheaper) would those protection fights (if they had even been necessary) have been if everybody knew there was a big significant cave there and where the passages were to begin with.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby David Grimes » Jan 18, 2012 8:08 pm

Groundquest, I know it is possible but my point was the sheer difficulty and the very limited number of caves that can be found this way. At best you will get a general location, from there it is either lots of hiking that may or may not pay off or talking to someone. The truth is the state geological surveys are an easy place to find locations which most cave surveys voluntarily share with them. The truth is a very very small percentage of caves could be found without someone else pointing the way and most (not all) of the ones you can find are on public land. I also argue that people are more likely to perform this research after seeing pictures or video of a cave rather than a map.

The simple fact is people will continue to find caves on their own using whatever resources they have available. In any venture there is risk but in this case the risk is absolutely minimal. It all comes down to a very simple solution, if you like the map secton then use it and contribute what you can, if not then simply do not use it. It is a crude solution but it is the truth. Other people who wish to share their hard work with other Cavers will post their maps and those who are against this will simply not share their own maps.
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