Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Xiaomin Qui


3-D cave mapping, interpolations, inertial measuring unit, geovisualization, interactive maps, cave mapping

Subject Categories

Geographic Information Sciences | Speleology


The geovisualization methods for Web-based interactive and 3-D cave mapping were explored in this study using parts of Fitton Cave in Buffalo National River, Arkansas. This study examines the applicability of traditional cartographic designs and principles to the new Web-based display platform. The Web-based interactive map and animated map created in this study allow scientists in the fields of speleology and cave management to effectively support cave research and management. They can also serve the general public for the educational purpose of finding a sense of landscape, which cannot be found with traditional 2-D cave maps. The interactive GIS map contains layers of topographic, cave, and imagery data, and provides tools for customization, user-friendly browsing, and 3-D fly-through, as well as information tools that allow users to obtain details of cave properties. In order to accomplish the proposed mapping goals, the author first used a Backpack-Portable Inertial Navigation (B-PIN) to collect data points of cave passage elevations in the field. Elevation points were then interpolated to generate 3-D cave representations using the empirically-determined optimal interpolation technique and parameter. The cave mapping methodology developed in this study has implications for other Web-based interactive and 3-D mapping applications.


© Lucas Ryan Rengstorf

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