World Cave Database

Instructions to Contributors

This page is targeted at those who wish to provide me with data to be incorporated in the database. These instructions are only to be taken as an ideal... If you already have a list in another format that you wish to contribute, and you don't have the time to process it, please send your list anyway! Better than nothing...

Also a word on the contents of your contributions:

References: I really insist in having some adequate bibliographic reference(s) for each entry. If information on a cave is published in any kind of journal, you must give its references... Several references are welcome of course. If it is not published (yet?), it may be of interest anyway, but give me a contact, like an email of someone willing to answer to information requests...

Locations: I will never include location of a cave in the database. Not that I have anything against publishing locations (the situation is very different here in France than in some parts of the US). But I think this is just not the place to get locations from. You'll have to go through the references, or through contact people.

The Format

My database is maintained as a single ascii file, with one cave per line. The line format is fixed, with fields separated by vertical bars. Most of the fields are optional, although it would not make much sense to omit the cave number, and you should have at least the country, and one of depth or length. Plus of course the bib reference, see above. Here is the current format:
<opt rank>|Name|Surname|Country|Region|depth|length|<Biblio, etc>
Just a bit of explanation:

Rank: The optional number at the beginning of the line is there to allow re-entrance of the (depth/length)-sorted versions of the lists. If the number is not here, the following bar must be present.

Units: Sorry, USA, I cannot accomodate automatically feets and miles... or maybe I'm too lazy. Please express depths and lengths exclusively in meters. No decimal point.

Countries: I don't want to enforce a strong rule here, but it will ease the search functions if country names are written everywhere with the same spelling. So please have a look at how they are written in the existing entries... (but lukily, the search is case-insensitive).

Other info: There are a number of other info that I would like to add, including on geology, existence of a survey, date of last push, exploring club, etc... Whenever I have some significant info available, I put it in the last field (with the refs), for now.

Char Set and Special Chars: I have chosen what I think is today the simplest way of dealing with most western character sets: 8-bits encoding in ISO-8859-1 (ISO Latin 1). I have been getting rid of latex sequences, as I now prefer html as a basis for portability.
If you cannot type in directly Iso-Latin-1 extended characters, you may use HTML standard encodings. Or you can try to use my page of Usual Extended Chars, just copying them with your mouse in your favorite editor

Please, do not use accentuated or extended characters in country names, nor in the significant part of a cave name: this would make difficult to use automatic classification or search functions on the database.

Abbreviations: Feel free to use abbreviations in your bibliographic references, especially for well-known journals. But do send me their meaning, if you have abbreviations I have not yet used...


1|Gouffre Mirolda||France|Haute-Savoie|1610|12000|Spelunca#69 1998
|Lechuguilla Cave||USA|New Mexico|496|143853|IntCaver#19(L) 1997

Go To:

  • Database Head Page
  • Deep Cave List
  • Long Cave List
  • Database Bibliography
  • Database, fields oriented, full ascii version
  • About the database
  • Hints and Instructions to Contributors
  • The author: <>