User Guide

lz1asl edited this page May 14, 2018 · 35 revisions

User Guide


CaveSurvey helps you collect surveying data underground with your Android 2.1+ device. If you are lazy a demo video is available here and a presentations here and here. If you are not - let's start.


CaveSurvey uses the classic survey approach with consecutive legs and measurement stations. All you need to do is to perform the measurements and fill them in. Depending of the measurement devices you have you can either:

  • Enter data manually with the keyboard
  • Leverage the build-in sensors
  • Leverage Bluetooth enabled devices

For manual data entry there is nothing to prepare or configure. Take your tape and geological compass and just record the measurements with the keyboard instead on paper. All the data will be in sync, ready to preview and export.

Manual data entry

Most Android devices have some sensors that can be used to read azimuth and inclination. We have prepared a screen so you can play with them on your device and decide whether to use them and which of them works for you. Once configured you can use them to read data. Note the sensor setting is global for the application.

Sensors - > Read Azimuth + Read Clino

For the latest option your measurement device should be supported (check our list and help us make it longer), configured to work in meters and degrees and paired. Classic Bluetooth devices require a Bluetooth SPP profile (but will work with older devices) while Bluetooth LE devices require Android 4.3 or higher. You will see them in the list of all available compatible devices found and a small system tray icon will notify you about the connection state. Note that some devices can measure only distance and others (like the DistoX, LTI and Trimble) all three vector components needed.

Pair | Device Input

Now you are ready to create a survey project. Note you can change the input devices later but changing the units is not yet supported. Please use simple names to avoid later problems.

New Project | Update Input Devices


Once withing a survey project let's start adding data.


Note each action is performed for the current leg, so there is an option to change it. Each leg can be followed by another leg (A0->A1->A2), we can start another gallery (A, B, C ...) or we can split it adding intermediate stations.

Add Middle

The legs are visualized in a table, last column presenting a hint about the extra attributes (e.g. photos, drawings, notes, vectors, gps locations ...).



The required station attributes are length and azimuth. First select a field and then if configured and present you can use :

  • your Bluetooth device for all "distance" fields
  • either Bluetooth device or build-in sensor for all "angle" fields

If there is a value already present in the field press twice. The result will be populated in the selected field(s).

For the build-in sensors point to the target and hold still for 3 seconds, keep in mind the precision displayed.

There is much more that can be added:

Point | PointActions

Beside the usual up/down/left/right you can also :

  • Add a free text note
  • Take photos, each photo is associated with the current station
  • Add simple sketch, also associated with the station
  • Add GPS location at any entrance station, stored in WGS84 decimal degrees with altitude and accuracy reported
  • Add measurements in any direction (vectors)
  • Reverse a leg in case you measure back and forth from a station
  • Delete the last leg of a gallery

Drawing | Vector | Reverse

Once you are ready adding or editing a station you have to save it for the changes to take place.


We have created simple 2D map to let you do on-site error checking.

Map Plan | Map Section

It is not perfect but we have tried to :

  • visualize the legs, stations, side measurements, vectors
  • use the same gallery colors and station names as in the table
  • allow plan/section switch
  • allow zoom and translation
  • keep the grid in sync with the map scale

We keep the grid and the scale if you decide to add some annotations over the map:

Annotate Map

Data And Export

There are some statistics on the Data page:


From there you can either export directly in Microsoft Excel or use the embedded OpensTopo for Therion, AutoCad, Google Earth and other formats.

Excel | OpensTopo

All exported files are located under your project's folder and there is also a handy shortcut to browse them if you have compatible files manager installed.

The project files will be located on the SD card if you have one. There is bigger probability that your SD card might survive if you drop your device. To further minimize the risk of losing a lot of data enable the automated backups from the Settings screen. It will export your active project to the SD card every five minutes.

Get in Touch and Resolving Problems

We will be happy to get feedback and new ideas. Use our email and project site to contact us.

Furthermore if you experience any error please report it:

  • Go under Settings and switch the error reporting mode on
  • Repeat the action that failed
  • Go back to Settings and switch off the error reporting mode
  • Shortly describe what's wrong in the dialog
  • Logs from the error will be sent to us for analysis

Good luck surveying!

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