Compass Cave Survey Software Logo - Bats, Compass and Night Sky
Custom Search
 Sponsored Links


COMPASS For Windows
Compass Tour
Other New Features
Cartography Tools
Live 3D Cave Images
On-line Help (New)
Written Description
Revision History: 99-21
Testimonial Letters
Contact Author
Getting Compass
Compass On A CD.
Download/Install Issues
Installation Instructions
Antivirus Issues
Authenticating Files
False Positives
Registration Information
Credit Card Reg.
Reg. Info/Forms
Printable Reg. Form
3rd Party Reg. Form
Auxiliary Tools/Information
Cave Data
3D Glasses
ESRI/ArcView Tools
Tutorials - (New)
Inkscape Tips and Tricks
Radio Locations
Magnetic Anomalies
Installing Under Win8
Compass on A Mac
Google Earth Overlay
Cartography Tools
Sketch Editor.
SVG Export
Inkscape SVG Maps
Illustrator SVG Maps
SVG Round Tripping
Adopting SVG Maps
Complex Plot Tutorials
Trouble Shoot CaveX
Exporting HPGL
Canvas Digital Map 
Italian Tutorial
Using the Compass CD
DEM Tutorial
Cave Related Links
User's Pages
User's Group
User Questions
Documents/White Papers
Compass File Formats
Finding Blunders
Finding Loops
Loop Closure
Least Squares Papers
Least Squares Issues
Passage Modeling
Survey Blunders
J. Halleck- On Loops
SEF File Format (1992)
About The Author
DOS Compass Demos
DOS Compass Features
Magazine Review
Other Products


Compass History, Goals And Philosophy

COMPASS has a long history. It was originally written to handle 20 years of data from Groaning Cave in Colorado. The data had never been computerized, so there were all kinds of problems. For example: there were hanging backsights, bad ties-in, out-of-order shots, mixed units, changing declinations and lost surveys. Every conceivable type of instrument had been used, so every imaginable units were used. For example, there were meters, feet, feet and inches, degrees, degrees and minutes, quads, mils, and percent grade. As a result, from the very beginning, COMPASS had to be very flexible

COMPASS was originally written in 1979 and ran on a PDP-10 mainframe computer. It was originally written in ALGOL. In 1982 it was ported to the Apple II computer. In 1987, it was ported to the IBM PC, running under DOS. In 1994, the process of converting to the Windows operation system began. The current version of COMPASS is written in XPL, C++, Pascal and Delphi.

Goals and Philosophy

When you cut through everything, the main goal of this software is to allow cavers to visualize and analyze caves. From the very beginning, what I wanted was to be able look through solid rock and see what the caves looked like. I wanted to make them float in front of my eyes in three-dimensions, so I could see what the passage trends were; to see where the good leads might be.

In addition, the software had to be easy to use. I wanted to make sure that everyone could use it, not just a few cyber-geeks. Since I actually use this software, I didn't want to have to run to the manual to do everything. I didn't want cryptic error messages and bugs that locked up the system.

As a result of all this, COMPASS is user driven software. This means that most of the changes and improvements made to COMPASS are based on suggestions made by the users of COMPASS. For example, in the last year, there have been more than 100 improvements to the Windows version alone. I usually upload new versions of COMPASS every month or so.

About The Author Of COMPASS

Larry Fish is a writer, caver, programmer and hardware designer living in Denver Colorado. He has been caving since 1957 and programming since 1975. He specializes in graphics, CAD and assembly language programming. His programs have been used by institutions such as NOAA, NASA, Woodshole Oceanographic, Smith Kline French and many others. Currently, he is designing astronomical and aerospace software for DFM Engineering His latest articles appear in the the December 1995 edition of "Circuit Celler Ink" and the Summer 1996 edition of "Sing Out" magazine.

Cave Data In Compass Format

A large number of cave surveys are maintained in the COMPASS format. I currently have over 300 surveys, mostly from the Western United States and Mexico. Specifically, I have nearly all of the caves in Colorado, some caves in New Mexico, South Dakota and Mexico. I also have contacts for other states.

Some of this data is in the public domain, some of it has limited distribution and some of it is absolutely restricted. If you are trying to locate cave data, feel free to contact me and I will make the appropriate connections. You can contact me here: Compass Contact Page

 Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links
 Sponsored Links
 Sponsored Links

<< Home

Custom Search