|Do you want to go cave surveying?|
New page to add, Title: Do you want to go cave surveying?
Excellent. There's not enough people doing it, and we are here to help you. There are lots of people who can teach you, but the best way to learn is by doing it, learning from your mistakes and looking at other people's work. (There's a lot of it in the rawscans directories in these here repositories.)
Cave surveying is a Do-ocracy. Don't feel you need to ask anyone's permission to survey a cave, draw maps, or put it into the repository (though you'll need a login account to do that, just ask us for one). Just do it! It's like contributing to a Wikipedia page, except we'll be a lot less critical and much more supportive, and will probably lend you some equipment and help if you are actually doing it.
Now, it is natural that, if you do go out cave surveying, you may feel you want to do something useful, and that your work gets absorbed into one of the greater projects out there, like the Leck Fell or West Kingsdale resurveys.
If we assume that these repositories of cave data are completely up to date, then by taking an SVN update of them, and looking at the history records, you will know everything that people have been doing right up until yesterday. There is no better way to find out where people are working, who is doing what, and probably what's going to happen next and where you could fit in. Pick something, ask for some advice for how you'd tie it in if you don't know how, and go out and do the surveying. The more time spent talking about things the less gets done.
If trying to contribute to a big project with lots of people sounds like too much to handle, there are lots of smaller caves and systems out on the fells. Once again, look up the repositories and data sets and even SVN checkout them and have a good look around, to find some cave nobody is doing. Have a look on cavemaps.org for any old stuff that may be completely out of date, and go for it. Aim to get your cave done to completion. This could take 2 trips or 20 trips (if you pick something too hard). A good cave might be too short for a normal Saturday sport caving trip, but it'll keep you busy surveying for hours and give you greater satisfaction. Maybe it's got a couple of short pitches to keep the riff-raff out.
And make sure that all of your cave data is committed to the cave-registry data archive as soon as you collect it so that everyone else can find out what you are doing and be able to offer to help.