Cave Archive and Versioning Experiment

SUSS Cave Repository

Help on the CAVE

This site is the publicly available website of this clubs Cave Archive and Versioning Experiment. It's a repository of our cave survey data. In here are scans of original cave survey data and passage sketches as recorded in notebooks, data files entered from those notes and any other information needed to be archived with that data. The survey data files can be in either Survex, Compass or Therion format. There might also be vector format data from drawing software used to draw the cave maps such as Therion or Adobe Illustrator. Final cave maps are usually in PDF format.

The archive itself is a Mercural repository which is a version control system, it stores every version ever entered. Updaters can view all versions, this interface only shows the latest version.

The CAVE automatically generates some additional files. Some Survex files are processed on the server and their output and 3D files made available. Compressed tar files are also produced for each branch of the archive so that entire branches can be downloaded by users that do not have access to the Mercurial repository.

The Repos and Branches or Directories

The link Repos will open to a page with a list all the repositories. Each repository usually covers a single cave area. Within a repository are directories (actually they are repository branches) which would usually cover a single cave or perhaps surface survey data for the area.

Once you are browsing within a repository its contents are displayed in a table showing "Filename", "Description" and perhaps other data fields. This table is the metadata for this directory. (Metadata is data that describes data.) The Filename column will contain links to files or further directories to browse into. Directories will be displayed as bold. If the table shows filenames or directories but no links then see the section on "Private Files & Directories " below.

If the link is a directory then just clicking on the link will take you to another table of data. If the link is to a file then you can view or download that file. Clicking on the link will usualy show you the file or if your browser does not know what application to use to view the file it will usually offer to download the file. For instance Survex files (*.svx) are usually opened and displayed in the browser as text files but Therion files (*.th) bring up a dialog box offering to download the file.

Note: you can click on a table heading to sort the columns by that heading.


Metadata is data that describes data. Good quality metadata is important, it ensures that each file and directory is fully described so that other users can understand what the data is, who created it and how to use it. The metadata is entered by the updaters for each file and directory. Mandatory metadata for each file and directory is the filename (this also includes the directory name) and description. Other data fields are optional.

Private Files and Directories

Sometimes an author will not want to make the data publically available. In this case the you will see a table of metadata but no links to the files. Links into further directories will still be available but again there will be no links to files under those directories. This is a policy of being open about what we have on file but restricting access to sensitive data. You will need to contact the author or club to ask for access to this data.


Cave data in this repository cave such as station, bearing, elevation and distance or passage widths has no copyright. Such data is classed as a "mere aggregation of data" and as such is not copyrightable.

Sketches of cave passages or maps, either scanned or produced by a computer drawing package, are copyright to the author. The sketches or maps are not free or in the public domain. The author may have released such material under a copyright license that allows cavers, speleological organisations or others to easily use this material. If so the license chosen by an author will be listed on the page with the material. Users wanting to use this material need to carefully consider the license that the material is released under. If there is no explicit license specified then the author has released the material under the default license of this repository. Details of the licenses can be found here: Creative Commons Australia

The CAVE User Guide

The full SUSS CAVE user guide in PDF is available for download here: SUSS_CAVE_User_Guide (2.5 MB).

Links to Programs used in this Cave Survey Data


This page was updated on 2022.11.15 12:30 am