Author Topic: Cave surveying software  (Read 2579 times)

Offline Joe Duxbury

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Cave surveying software
« on: April 27, 2008, 06:42:17 pm »
Although the Cave Surveying Group website describes several computer programs for plotting cave surveys, none of the details given refer to input methods. Is there a program that will import data from MS Excel files?

Offline graham

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Re: Cave surveying software
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 07:17:12 pm »
Excel will export tab delimited files which, with a little tweaking could be read by Survex.
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Offline footleg

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Re: Cave surveying software
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 05:27:59 pm »
Excel will export tab delimited files which, with a little tweaking could be read by Survex.

I actually just cut and paste data from Excel into Notepad, or any other plain text editor, and this creates tab delimited data directly. Quicker than exporting. You then just need begin/end blocks around it to process in Survex. So I usually cut and paste into an 'empty' survex template file which I can then simply save and process.

Offline graham

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Re: Cave surveying software
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 05:45:22 pm »
I think you will have lost your audience by saying "an 'empty' Survex template file". Anyone with limited experience of computing or surveying who reads the Survex Getting Started page will be completely lost.

One day, someone will get around to writing the Idiots guide, but until then, the simplest thing is just to say that Survex reads text files written in a simple text editor such as Windows Notepad, but with the three letter extension changed from .txt to .svx and to borrow an example file from a kind friend, open in in Notepad and look how it is laid out.

When you have both installed Survex on your computer and produced your data file, as above, you highlight the file, right click on it and choose the "Process" option from the drop down menu. This will generate three further files, if it only generates one them your data is wrong somehow and the file will, at least, tell you where the error is. If you get all three files then double click the .3d file and you will get a pretty picture to play with.

NB if you look at the folder that the files are in, in Windows, with the "tiles" view option, then Windows kindly explains what the files are for you.
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Offline footleg

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Re: Cave surveying software
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 09:36:14 am »
I think you will have lost your audience by saying "an 'empty' Survex template file".

A good point. I was thinking from the point of view of someone who already knows the program. Here is an 'empty' template file:

*begin cavename

;Description of section surveyed
;surveyors: names
;date 2008-04-??

*CALIBRATE declination 0.00
*ENTRANCE ?

;From   To   Tape   Compass   Clino      L   R   U   D
1   2   x.xx   xxx   +xx   ;   x   x   x   x

*end cavename

  • Paste your data in over to line with the xxx's in.
  • Change the date.
  • Change the declination calibration to the difference between your compass bearing of zero degrees and grid North for your instrument in this location.
  • Replace the ? in the entrance line with the station number for you entrance station (or delete the line if no entrance in this survey)

You can see another more detailed example in my guide to drawing up from survey data here:
http://www.ulsa.org.uk/wiki/index.php/Surveying_Drawing_Up