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Usage Policy

The Rational for Separating Surveys



Just know this: Please turn in separate sets of survey notes (with separate title pages) for survey trips on different dates, or when you move to survey a different part of the cave on the same date*.


--> In other words, please don't combine surveys from different parts of the cave or different dates.



Trips on different dates, even in the exact same part of the cave, probably have different magnetic declinations, team members, instruments, etc., so they are separate surveys, and get separate title pages. For example, if you go back two years later to finish up your resurvey of Fool's Gold, it is a separate survey.

Or, if on one trip you survey in different parts of the cave, even close by and on the same day, they are separate surveys and get separate title pages. For example, if on one day you mop up survey around the Eye of the Needle and then around the Air Dig, you would make them separate surveys with separate title pages, even though the Eye of the Needle and the Air Dig are close to each other, they are different areas of the cave with different names and they'd get filed in separate folders. And don't write data from one area of the cave on the back of a page that has data from another area of the cave on the front!

This is because of three reasons:

A. Survey notes are filed in folders labelled with the area of the cave and the date of the survey. If the folder says "Eye of the Needle" and there are notes for the Air Dig in the folder, they will be very hard to find. Your notes could be overlooked, and someone would just resurvey that area, and your efforts would have been wasted.

B.Magnetic Declinations and Instrument corrections change: Compass and other cave mapping software organize the data for a cave into separate "Surveys", and each survey has the date and other metadata associated with it. Compass uses the date and other meta-data when entering or processing the data. Combining survey data from two trips on different dates could introduce errors into the data.

C.Historical Records: We do our best to keep data about each survey, such as the names of the team members, for historical reasons. We also file trip reports with each survey when possible. Separating surveys makes the data organization easier.



More Details:

The metadata for a survey (as how Compass defines a "survey", that is, a section in a .DAT file that has a header) includes:
1. Cave Name
2. Survey NameĀ  (sometimes includes the BSUID for Butler)
3. Date
4. Comments (often used for area of the cave and/or purpose of the survey.)
5. Team (If people switch roles in the middle of a survey not terribly critical, but want to get everyone listed so someday we can make a list of all the Butler surveyors.)
6. Declination (basically date)
7. Instrument corrections (essentially means every time there are different instruments, as we may later discover an instrument needs a correction factor.)

Therefore, any changes to the above (including area of the cave or purpose of the survey) means we need a separate survey in the Compass file.

So we can find notes, we do our best to have a 1:1 mapping between Compass survey (the surveys in the Compass .DAT file) and the folders containing the original notes.

Therefore, every survey needs separate original hand-written title page in the original survey notes, and notes from one survey can't be written on the back of notes from another survey.

Therefore, if any of the metadata (1-7 above) change, such as a new area of the cave (e.g. Air Dig vs. Eye of the Needle), we need a separate Compass survey, and thus the surveying team should make a separate title page and separate survey notes.


*If you continuously survey past midnight just make it one survey.