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 BrianFrank » Jan 24, 2012 12:20 pm

David Grimes wrote:...I also think you are missing the point of the map section. Our goal is to make them available for users to print them and use them in the cave.


Sounds like a pretty good use of a map to me. I expect it would also raise safety if everyone that did cave could have fairly easy access to maps....and learn to follow them.

Last time I was in Pettijohns I asked a group of cavers we found floundering around, if they had a map. They stated that they had asked around, but no one would give them a map. So they were caving "blind" through Pettijohns. I gave them mine as we had a few.

When I lead a group through a cave, I always give 2 others a copy of the cave map in a large 8.5" x 11" Ziplock bag. Once in the bag and the air is pushed out you can fold it or roll it and stick it in your back pocket or cave pack. A perfect way for protecting it and pulling it out if necessary. If the map is large I will break it out into 3 or 4, 8.5" x 11" sections and put the sheets in the Ziplock. I will stop the group from time to time and we will pull out our maps and I will show them where we are at (point out landmarks) so they can get used to locating themselves on it. It is enjoyable to see the faces of new cavers once they see how easy it is to cave with a map and compass. By the way, it is funny to be asked by new cavers "how does a compass work underground?".
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby Leitmotiv » Jan 24, 2012 12:51 pm

David Grimes wrote:The deep zoom section allows you to zoom in and view small details on the map but I fail to see how that website keeps you from downloading the whole map. If you go to the survey section you can easily download or print the maps. I also think you are missing the point of the map section. Our goal is to make them available for users to print them and use them in the cave.


I would hope that such a map site doesn't promote solo caving. Because even if you have a map, some caves are best with a trip leader. Which in that case, you should have obtained a map from them instead.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby trogman » Jan 24, 2012 1:31 pm

BrianFrank wrote:
Footleg wrote:There are other ways to publish cave maps online without making it easy to just download them wholesale. Here is another example of an excellent online resource for cave surveys for the Yorkshire Dales in Northern England. http://cavemaps.org. This site has been made possible only because the majority of the survey rights owners in the caving community have agreed to make these maps publicly available. Take a look at the Deep Zoom section for examples of allowing maps to be browsed without making it easy to download the entire image file.


That is a SWEET site! I would donate funds for the same to happen in TAG.
.


If you are an ACS member, you already have something similar available. Not for all of TAG, but for the "A" part of it. :tonguecheek: It's not open to the general public, though. ACS Members only.

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

Postby Crockett » Jan 24, 2012 2:26 pm

David Grimes wrote:You could honestly come up with thousands of different ways to distribute maps. Telling someone who to contact or where to buy the map in a guidebook would basically make the feature useless. Just supplying contact information or directions for how to obtain a map would not be worth the effort it will take to create the new map section and would add no value to NSS membership.

I have said before that we could limit the number of map downloads you could do per month. Limiting downloads would save bandwidth and keep a user from downloading the entire database unless they want to spend the time each month to download their limit of maps.


I am being redundant but you should run these two statements past your overlords:

1. "Telling someone who to contact or where to buy the map...would basically make the feature useless."

In this case "the feature" so easily made useless is the one you propose?

2. "...supplying contact information or directions for how to obtain a map...would add no value to NSS membership.".

I disagree and I hope others do also. I think that giving information and direction adds value. The fact that some inquiry and action is required does not take that value away. I will go a step further and suggest that the NSS should give detailed information, direction, instruction and training on how to get access, permits, and permission to enter caves. Along with access to maps I think that would add a lot of value to NSS membership particularly for those who are frustrated at being shut out of caves that are not really "closed" to them.

Are you sure you don't want to just go ahead and vote in the poll instead of claiming to be neutral? It would be more honest.

Maybe the S in the middle of the organizations name can be changed to Instant and Effortless Cave Map. We could get rid of that pesky scientific inquiry stuff.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby Leitmotiv » Jan 24, 2012 3:40 pm

I agree with Crockett... anything that encourages people to get in touch with one another has my vote. Obtaining maps to caves without a trip leader involved, at least in my opinion, can encourage solo caving which doesn't help the cave if they are uneducated, and doesn't help caving in general.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby David Grimes » Jan 24, 2012 4:36 pm

First, I never claimed to be nuetral and I have said from the beginning that I am in favor of adding the map section. I did not participate in poll because I wanted the results to be from the membership and not influenced by my opinion. The only thing I have done on this thread is expressed my opinion like everyone else. I have attempted to show my point of view by pointing out what I see as flaws in the opinions of others. This thread is simply a debate. Other people in this thread do the exact same things to my opinions, that is how a debate works.

I do not want to sound agitated but I do not take kindly to accusations of being dishonest.

Crockett, you have twisted what I said into what you wanted to hear. In context of this discussion the map section would be useless if there were no maps. You could easily ask who to contact for a map right here on Cavechat. I was trying to explain that creating a whole new section (basically a seperate website) is a waste of time if all it would do is direct users to someone who may give them a map. I also stand by my argumet that such a feature would add no value to NSS membership since you could already do the same thing by asking on this forum.

I would also like to know what information could the NSS provide that they currently do not that might help people find caves and cave maps. Currently we direct users to grottos and cave surveys.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby Crockett » Jan 24, 2012 5:26 pm

David Grimes wrote:
EDIT: I will just add that I am not participating in the actual poll for this topic. All of my posts are simply my opinion and in no way affect the outcome of this poll.


Expressing your opinions very strongly and describing the suggestions of others as rendering the proposal useless or of having no value has a greater effect on the outcome of the poll than actually voting in it.

I don't intend to agitate you but it would be more honest if you just vote.

You have reduced my suggestion to a vacuum with no cave maps available when in fact it would likely make many more maps available. Some maps you could get with a simple click, others you might have to do more. Why leave out the maps that require a little more effort? Is that too messy or inelegant? Instead of a map graphic you could have a form, photographs, or an alternate perhaps low quality map with a way to get more described or linked. In the end it might convey the message that you should have a good purpose for going to a cave and for some caves the good purposes have been defined.

I do appreciate the volunteer time and effort you are investing and I don't intend to insult you. Maybe that should be my signature here because Cavechat seems to always lead to this.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby LukeM » Jan 24, 2012 5:55 pm

Why not have maps as has been discussed but point people in the direction of an appropriate grotto, organization, or person (if they're willing) for access procedures and directions? Wouldn't that encourage people getting in touch with one another?
Last edited by LukeM on Jan 24, 2012 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby Grandpa Caver » Jan 24, 2012 6:42 pm

LukeM wrote:Why not just maps as has been discussed but point people in the direction of an appropriate grotto, organization, or person (if they're willing) for access procedures and directions? Wouldn't that encourage people getting in touch with one another?


:yeah that: Why must they be downloadable?
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby David Grimes » Jan 24, 2012 7:36 pm

No matter how you or I feel about downloadable maps the simple fact is it would be nearly impossible to make the maps completely secure she they could not be downloaded. There is not currently any DRM software available that cannot be broken so the extra effort spent to secure the maps would be wasted since anyone who really wants the map will still find a way to download it. Also DRM software can be expensive, there are free versions available but they are generally the most vulnerable to software designed to remove the protection.

Luke, someone had actually brought up directing users to grottos and such when they are viewing a map. It might have been you that suggested it earlier but I agree and we will definitely include info for the closest grotto and/or cave survey with the maps.

Crockett, I must have misinterpreted your original post. If you are suggesting that we add contact information or some way for a user to find a map for a cave that might need some extra protection (delicate formations, landowner concerns, etc) as well as making the regular map section where users can directly download the maps I absolutely agree with you and think it is a good suggestion. When I read your post and the original post about supplying contact information I thought you meant a map section that only supplied contact information and no maps at all.

I apologize for being so argumentative and I really do not want to see this turn into a big argument, I know too many topics go that route.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby wyandottecaver » Jan 24, 2012 9:04 pm

This reminds me of WNS. The USFWS says having cavers going in caves is a disaster waiting to happen. They base this on the premise that some caver somewhere could carry GD into a cave and that that GD might survive and that it might come in contact with a bat and might infect it. Thus government agencies are closing caves they own.

Meanwhile cavers are going in caves everywhere everyday with and without decon and WNS is spreading (or not) in a manner totally unrelated to human visitation.

Some claim that a public source of cave maps is a disaster waiting to happen. Meanwhile site after site and example after example is shown where maps are publicly available and .....no disasters. In fact they seem to encourage interest in caves and interest in contacting the sponsoring organizations.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But lets not confuse it with demonstrated reality.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby Footleg » Jan 25, 2012 4:25 am

David Grimes wrote:The deep zoom section allows you to zoom in and view small details on the map but I fail to see how that website keeps you from downloading the whole map. If you go to the survey section you can easily download or print the maps. I also think you are missing the point of the map section. Our goal is to make them available for users to print them and use them in the cave.


The point I was trying to make is that there are ways to present surveys online without making it easy to download them. That is clearly not the purpose of the cavemaps.org site which as you point out also provides download links. I realise that preventing download of maps was not the goal of your site. But someone was making suggestions for how to limit downloading to a limited number of maps per month or something like that. I was just pointing out there are different ways to present surveys online, and showing you an example of another site which provides a great resource for cavers due to a collective willingness to publish and freely share information.
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Re: Cave map resource poll! (Read First Post Before Voting)

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Jan 25, 2012 8:28 am

BrianFrank wrote:
Footleg wrote:There are other ways to publish cave maps online without making it easy to just download them wholesale. Here is another example of an excellent online resource for cave surveys for the Yorkshire Dales in Northern England. http://cavemaps.org. This site has been made possible only because the majority of the survey rights owners in the caving community have agreed to make these maps publicly available. Take a look at the Deep Zoom section for examples of allowing maps to be browsed without making it easy to download the entire image file.


That is a SWEET site! I would donate funds for the same to happen in TAG.
.



Brian, for $10 each you can become a member of the GSS (Georgia Speleological Society), ACS (Alabama Cave Survey) & TCS (Tennessee Cave Survey). Becoming a member of each of these will give you everything that is known about the caves in TAG. The ACS has a great web site too where you can look up information online, see maps, read narratives and even see TOPO maps. You can download your TCS into the TN/KY Topo program and get the basically the same effect or you can upload it into other topo programs as well. I've even got some friends who have downloaded the entire TCS into their Garmin for their vehicle so as they are driving along it points out where the caves are...! All three surveys meet in the Spring. Look for announcements of their upcoming meetings. I encourage you to attend and become a member of each.

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

Postby trogman » Jan 25, 2012 10:52 am

rowland7840 wrote:
BrianFrank wrote:
Footleg wrote:There are other ways to publish cave maps online without making it easy to just download them wholesale. Here is another example of an excellent online resource for cave surveys for the Yorkshire Dales in Northern England. http://cavemaps.org. This site has been made possible only because the majority of the survey rights owners in the caving community have agreed to make these maps publicly available. Take a look at the Deep Zoom section for examples of allowing maps to be browsed without making it easy to download the entire image file.


That is a SWEET site! I would donate funds for the same to happen in TAG.
.



Brian, for $10 each you can become a member of the GSS (Georgia Speleological Society), ACS (Alabama Cave Survey) & TCS (Tennessee Cave Survey). Becoming a member of each of these will give you everything that is known about the caves in TAG. The ACS has a great web site too where you can look up information online, see maps, read narratives and even see TOPO maps. You can download your TCS into the TN/KY Topo program and get the basically the same effect or you can upload it into other topo programs as well. I've even got some friends who have downloaded the entire TCS into their Garmin for their vehicle so as they are driving along it points out where the caves are...! All three surveys meet in the Spring. Look for announcements of their upcoming meetings. I encourage you to attend and become a member of each.
Kelly
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:exactly:
I have made several references to the ACS website in this discussion for this very reason; it seems that this idea is re-inventing the wheel. Those who want to exert the effort, and expend a little money, can already easily access the maps and the cave locations of the three TAG states. I imagine the same is true for a lot of other cave-rich states. If I am going on a trip to a state where I don't have access to the maps due to not being a member of the state survey, I can always post on CaveChat and ask for resources. The same is true for states that don't have state survey groups. It just seems to me that this is an unneccessary resource. Sometimes I think we try to make things a little too easy.

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

Postby LukeM » Jan 25, 2012 11:11 am

It's all too easy for someone who already has access to an amazing state cave survey to dismiss this as resource as too easy. If you're a member of those you already have it easy!

I don't have a cave survey in the state where I live or anywhere nearby. I don't have it easy. Sometimes I ask around for a map and no one knows where I could get it. Sometimes I know who has the map, but no prints have been made in a decade and no one wants to bother with scanning a big map for one or two newer cavers.

Edit: It seems like a lot of the negative attitudes toward this come from TAG cavers who already have access to every map they could ever need down there. That's a pretty comfortable place to oppose this from.
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