Paper title:

Simple cylindrical interpolation over a relatively small data set to determine the position of cave walls for 2D and 3D digital cave cartography

Published in: Issue 1, (Vol. 16) / 2022
Publishing date: 2022-04-05
Pages: 30-39
Abstract. artography is a key step in cave exploration. As models of caves, maps help determine locations to be used for organism capture traps by Biologists, sample collection sites for Chemists, Physicists, Geologists and Speleologists in general. Today, available software utilizes numerical and hand drawn data to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional digital cave maps. These applications require the cartographer to interact heavily with the software in the decision making process particularly when it comes to determining the position of the cave walls which is crucial to cave cartography since the outline they form is in essence the two-dimensional map and also serves as a base for all surface plots and maps. We present a novel approach for determining the position of cave walls by performing simple cylindrical interpolation on individual sections of the cave to extract the desired cave walls coordinates. We have incorporated this approach to caveGEOmap, a free standalone application that treats survey measurements as data points from a two variable piecewise- function. These data points are interpolated using the data itself to estimate some of the necessary variables producing the desired cave maps. The process is completed using only the entry of the data and interpolation scales as an input for the creation of the maps. This allows the cartographer to use caveGEOmap effortlessly to produce various two and three- dimensional digital cave maps and calculate maximum cave height and approximate volume. We include the upper passage of Water- Cave as a case study to present both the internal processes and possible two-dimensional and three-dimensional digital maps
Keywords: Nterpolation, Cylindrical Coordinates, Cave, Wall, Map, Cartography, Speleology, Digital, Cavegeomap

1. A. Acosta-Colón, Cave characterization in the North Karst Belt Zone of Puerto Rico: Cave mesofauna diversity as an indicator of pathogenic and opportunistic species, Karst, Groundwater Contamination, and Public Health,19:1 (2016), 157–168.

2. A. Acosta-Colón and J. Candelaria-Soberal caveGEOmap: User-friendly Cave Mapping Software, Journal of the BCRA Cave Radio and Electronics Group,101 (2018), 9–12.

3. M. Boggus, and R. Crawfis, Explicit Generation of 3D Models of Solution Caves for Virtual Environments, in Int’l Conf. Computer Graphics and Virtual Reality, (200), 85–90.

4. R. P. Briggs, Geologic map of the Arecibo quadrangle, Puerto Rico, United States Geological Survey, (1968).

5. M. Budaj and S. Mudrák, The Therion Book 1999-2009, GNU General Public License, 2009. Available from:

6. M. Budaj and S. Mudrák, Therion, digital cave maps 2018. Available from:

7. M. Budaj and S. Mudrák, Therion–Digital Cave Maps Therion–cartographie souterraine digitale, presented on the 4th European Speleological Congress. Banska Bystrica, Slovakia (2008).

8. J. Candelaria-Soberal, and A. Acosta-Colón, caveGEOmap 2018. Available from:

9. G. Dasher, On station: a complete handbook for surveying and mapping caves, National Speleological Society, 2011.

10. B. Dixon, The Technology Behind the Thailand Cave Rescue 2018. Available from:

11. L. Fish, Compass Cave Software and Mapping Software 2017. Available from:

12. J. Fogarty, A paradigm for digitized cave mapping, Compass & Tape, 8:2 (1990).

13. J. Fryer, J. Chandler, and S. El-Hakim, Recording and modelling an aboriginal cave painting: with or without laser scanning, International Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 36:5 /W17 (2005), 1–8.

14. GeoSLAM, GeoSLAM-ZEB12018. Available from:

15. P. Kambesis, The importance of cave exploration to scientific research, Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, 69:1 (2007), 46–58.

16. B. McNeil, J. Jasper, D. Luchsinger and M. Rainsmier, Implementation and application of GIS at Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Utah, Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, 64:1 (2002), 34–37.

17. I. Mohammed and B. Pradhan, A decade of modern cave surveying with terrestrial laser scanning: a review of sensors, method and application development, International Journal of Speleology, 46:1 (2016), 8.

18. W. Monroe, The Aguada Limestone of Northwestern Puerto Rico, US Government Printing Office, 1968.

19. M. Trauth, R. Gebbers, N. Marwan and E. Sillmann, MATLAB recipes for earth sciences, Springer, 2007

20. A. Warild, Vertical, Cavediggers, 2007, 169–190. Available from:

Back to the journal content
Creative Commons License
This article is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Home | Editorial Board | Author info | Archive | Contact
Copyright JACSM 2007-2022