Accessory Programs

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Compass has several accessory programs that give you powerful tools for analyzing and displaying cave data. Here is a list of the programs and their functions:


1. CaveBase. CaveBase allows you to create databases of information about the features inside a cave. This could include things like minerals, formations, artifacts, plants, wildlife, leads, routes, airflow, etc. You can even include photographs, drawings, and numerical values such as water pH or temperature. CaveBase organizes this information and allows you toquery the data. Queries allow you to ask complicated questions about the data. For example, you could ask the program to find all the stations in the cave that have both calcite and gypsum. Once this information was found, Compass could display these locations on the cave map, by marking or highlighting them. CaveBase is available from the Compass web site at: http:/


2. DEMRead. The DEMRead program reads Digital Elevation Model files (DEMs) and uses them to overlay a cave with the surface terrain. The terrain is overlaid as a grid or as topographic contour lines. The terrain model is fully three-dimensional, and is very useful for displaying the relationship between a cave and surface features. DEM files are available free of charge for most of the US from the USGS. DEMRead and links to the USGS webs sites are available on the Compass web page at: http:/


3. CaveX. CaveX is a specialized tool for displaying 3D models of a cave. CaveX takes the Up, Down, Left and Right passage dimension measurements and uses it to create a 3D model of the passages. It then smoothes, shades, highlights and textures the passages which gives them a realistic 3D appearance. You can even texture the passages with photographs of limestone, giving the cave a realistic rock-like appearance. CaveX uses Microsoft’s DirectX technology to display the caves. This means that the program takes advantage of the hardware acceleration built into modern video cards. As a result, CaveX can display the images fast enough so that you can literally “fly” around and through cave using a joystick or the mouse. CaveX is available from the Compass web site at: http:/


4. DOS Programs. Compass was originally written for DOS. There are still a few programs available in the DOS version that may be useful. Here is a list of useful DOS programs:


CTREE.COM. This program analyzes a Compass file and displays a diagram of how all the surveys are connected together.


CONNECT.EXE. This program analyzes two Compass files and displays any connections that may exist between the two files. This is useful for finding links between files.


CART2CSS.EXE. This program allows you to enter Cartesian coordinate data and convert it to a Compass data file. This is useful for incorporating theodolite surveys into cave files. It also allows you to generate artificial shots from maps and aerial photos.


FCOMPILE.EXE. This program allows you to combine external data with Compass plot files so that the data can be displayed along with the cave plot. The information can be points, lines or meshes. This could be used to add specialized geological or inventory data to a plot file. The program uses simple text files so it is relatively easy to create the data manually or with a simple program.


Misc. Converters. There are several programs that will import cave data into Compass from other survey file formats besides SEF. For example, there is a program that will import RSD files from early versions of SMAPS.


The DOS version of Compass is available on the Compass web page: http:/ Refer to the Compass for DOS manual Compass.TXT for detailed information about the operation of these programs.