CUCC Expedition Handbook - Data Management

Why cavers need effective data management

Cave exploration is more data-intensive than any other sport. The only way to "win" at this sport is to bring back large quantities of interesting survey, and possibly photos or scientific data. Aside from the data collection requirements of the game itself, setting up a game (an expedition) of cave exploration often involves collection of personal information ranging from dates available to medical information to the desire to purchase an expedition t-shirt.

If an expedition will only happen once, low-tech methods are usually adequate to record information. Any events that need to be recorded can go in a logbook. Survey notes must be turned into finished cave sketches, without undue concern for the future expansion of those sketches.

Recurring expeditions

However, many caving expeditions are recurring, and managing their data is a more challenging task. For example, let us discuss annual expeditions.

When we have hundreds of explored shafts, and thousands of potential holes on the plateau, it is absolutely essential that we record holes we have already looked at.

From "Troggle: a novel system for cave exploration information management", by Aaron Curtis (2006) and updated as "Troggle: a revised system for cave data management" in 2020.