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COMPASS For Windows
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Revision History: 99-21
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ArcView and ESRI Information
ESRI is one of the leading manufacturers of Geographic Information Systems software (GIS). Their software includes programs like ArcInfo and ArcView as well as dozens of other programs. ESRI programs can be very useful for cave surveyors, land managers and other people who need to evaluate cave and karst areas in relation to geological and geographic information. For this reason, Compass provides special tools for integrating cave data with GIS programs.
3D Exporter. The Compass 3D Exporter can convert cave data to Shapefiles, DXF files or VRML files. Shapefiles can be read by many different GIS programs including ESRI programs such as ArcView. The Exporter can generate nine different types of shapefiles including 3D passage modeling.

Passage Modeling. The image to the right show typical cave passage displayed in ArcView 3D Analyst. The shots are shown as red lines, the stations as black dots and passages as transparent green solids.

Surface Terrain. Here is an example showing Lechuguilla Cave with the surface terrain overlaid as  It is a good example showing what can be done with ArcView using COMPASS data files.
ESRI Support. ESRI has been very supportive of cavers, and cave conservation. They have also very supportive cave survey programmers and cartographers. They even  have their own web page devoted to supporting and encouraging cave and karst issues. Here is a link to ESRI's Cave and Karst web page: ESRI's Cave and Karst Web Page

Free Software. ESRI also provides free software and trial versions that can be very useful to cavers:

  • ArcExplorer. ArcExplorer is a free viewer that is available from ESRI. It allows you to view Shapefiles and many other data types including maps, images and aerial photograph.
  • ArcView 60-day Trial. ArcView is the main GIS product from ESRI. This 60-day trial version allows you to experiment with cave data and GIS.

CaveTools.  Because Shapefile Export is now a part of Compass, Cave Tools is no longer available. Nevertheless, ESRI continues to support the caving community many important ways. One of the biggest supporters of cavers at ESRI is Bernard Szukalski. He has always been very supportive of my work and the work of other cave-survey programmers. Here is a link to Bernie's web page:

  • Berie Szukalski  Web Page. ESRI has been a big supporter of cave-relative projects and Bernie has been the main driving force behind that support. This is a very nice web page with lots of interesting cave-related information.
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