CUCC Austria Expeditions: Surveying

Surveying is clearly a vital part of the work of any caving exploration party, and for a group visiting the same area over a period of decades, maintaining a comprehensive and accurate repository of surveys is of paramount importance. CUCC's Austrian expeditions enjoy a reputation for the quality of our surveying work, and many advances in surveying techniques and software have been pioneered by Expos over the years.

In particular, the Survex suite of software for processing and manipulating centreline data, now used on many of the world's major cave surveying projects, was originally devised by Olly Betts during an Expo in the early 90's, and its subsequent development has been largely a CUCC in-house effort. In recent years we have also been using Julian Todd's TunnelX software or Therion for drawing up the final finished copy of surveys; this is one of the reasons why it is not uncommon for there to be five computers in use in the Potato Hut simultaneously!

A large proportion of this archive of survey data is available on this website.

Centreline data

After much debate as to whether it was more appropriate to make the data available as raw Survex .svx files or as compiled .3d image files, we opted to compromise by offering both. Unfortunately we are not able to make the all the data publically available, as this includes a large amount of data gathered by other groups; those who know the Expo username and password can download the whole dataset here for the 3d files and here for the Survex files.1

Working area

Expo members should take particular note of the surveys working area, which contains scans of recent survey notes. If you have surveys to draw up, they will be listed in the index, ordered by year and wallet number, which also lets you enter new data (Currently broken), or there is a simple index of all the scans.

1As there are (at the last count) 563 separate files in the raw dataset, it is available for download as a tar archive compressed with GZIP; on Unix systems this can be decompressed with "tar -xzvf all.tgz". Windows users can read these files with WinZip or an equivalent tool (such as the freeware WinImp).


Survey data is being made available gradually on a cave-by-cave basis and is now nearly complete - except for recent discoveries. The first batch of caves were those under active exploration by CUCC as of summer 2004, namely Steinbrückenhöhle (1623/204), Hauchhöhle (1623/234) and Eislufthöhle (1623/76).

Drawn-up surveys

Final copies of surveys of various vintages are sprinkled throughout the site, linked from the description pages of the caves they correspond to. Of current interest are the plans of Steinbrückenhöhle, Hauchhöhle, and Eislufthöhle.