Why a topography contest ?
Topography is a significant speciality of caving activity and requires a long learning process.
Underground, it requires meticulousness in taking readings sometimes in difficult conditions, but is not limited to obtain a single wireframe giving the orientation of a gallery or the depth of a chasm. The topographer must show an acute sense of observation to record as much data as possible that may be useful both for drawing the cavity, for further exploration and also for its understanding (genesis, hydrology, geology, fauna, etc.).
At home, it requires rigor in tidying up notes. The topographic report will show the spirit of synthesis of the topographer, in the clarity of the path and the various information appearing on it. The way of drawing or illustrating the galleries will reveal a specific style, a style that can be compared to the artistic signature of the topographer.
The mastery of the computer tools by topographers has also considerably improved their realization. The measuring string and the tracing paper were replaced in a few decades by the distoX, the direct acquisition in the field on PDA or smartphone, the creation of the layers in drawing software making them more easily modifiable and facilitating their distribution.
For all these reasons and for all the skills it requires, underground topography is only mastered by a minority of cavers. The topographical contest, which is being held during the UIS congress, which this year takes place in Savoy, aims to honor the work carried out by topographic cavers from all over the world.
Beyond the pure competition aspect (details given below), the goals are to:
– Promote interest in underground topography.
– Recognize topographic excellence as a technical skill and an art form
– Support exchanges of both techniques and styles.
– Show results of recent explorations.
– To arouse vocations.