Using Windows Folders/Directories

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COMPASS uses normal Windows files and folders to organize survey data. This means that the way you organize your Windows folders has an impact on how COMPASS works. Most of the time you should put all the files associated with a particular project in the same Windows folder. For example, I keep all the data associated with Groaning Cave in the directory: "C:\CAVE\GROANING\". You can also put the files associated with all the caves in a system in the same directory. For example, I keep all the surveys associated with all the caves in Williams Canyon in: "C:\CAVE\WILLIAMS\". Keeping the files for related surveys together in the same folder makes it easy to generate multiple project files that encompass different parts of the data. You can also keep data from unrelated caves in the same directory without any concern about the data interacting or interfering with each other. Of course, you must avoid using the same file name for different caves. You can create new Windows folders using the Windows Explorer.


The only instance where you would want to keep data in separate directories is where you have two large related cave systems. For example, you'd probably want keep Carlsbad and Lechuguilla caves in separate directories because they are large, distinct cave systems in same area. You can still link these two caves together so you can view both simultaneously, but since they are in separate directories, you have to use the Path option when you add a file to the project. The disadvantage of the Path Option is that it ties the files to a specific directory and you have to change the path if you move the files or change the name of the directory.