Guide to the Matienzo Caves Google Map
This feature (provided by Paul "Footleg" Fretwell) works best with FireFox or Chrome web browsers.

How to Use
The map includes all the sites with a grid reference in the Matienzo database. Hover the mouse over any site marker and the site number and name will pop up. Clicking on any marker will open an info bubble containing summary details for that site (Number, name, altitude, length and depth). The site number in the info bubble is a link to the full site description on the website. Click on the link to view the site details web page in a new browser tab (or window). This new page will be reused for other site details if you click on links from other markers on the map, so don't be fooled if it looks like nothing happened when you clicked on another marker once you have a second tab page open. (Right-clicking on the links provide more options). Using the site in this way allows the map to stay open in the original window so you don't lose your location when browsing site detail pages.

You can click and drag the map around with your mouse to change the area shown. The zoom control on the left side allows you to zoom in and out. You can also zoom in one level and centre on a new point by double-clicking anywhere on the map background (i.e. not on a marker). Markers for smaller sites will only be shown when you zoom in to a certain level, to prevent the entire map being hidden by markers when zoomed out. The map styles can be changed using the buttons along the top right edge. You can show or hide the cave survey overlay using the 'caves' tick box which appears below each map type button when you click on it. Full cave surveys are being added over time. Currently the Aguanaz/Vaca/Cobadal area and 4 valleys system area have full surveys if you zoom in on any of them far enough.

The map displays the following markers:
Marker Precision Details
GPS No recorded length (probably unexplored)
GPS Recorded length between 1 - 99m
GPS Recorded length between 100 - 249m
GPS Recorded length between 250 - 999m
GPS Recorded length of 1km or greater
GPS Recorded length of 5km or greater
Map No recorded length (probably unexplored)
Map Recorded length between 1 - 99m
Map Recorded length between 100 - 249m
Map Recorded length between 250 - 999m
Map Recorded length of 1km or greater
Map Recorded length of 5km or greater
Any New recorded site in the selected year
(Colours indicate site length as above)
User Draggable marker (located over the bar). You can drag this marker to any point on the map and it will display the latitude and longitude at the point you drop it.

The positions of sites with 'map' precision have been estimated using triangulation and maps, rather than recorded with a GPS. A few have only been pin pointed on the map back at the bar, so are only roughly located in the approximate area of the marker!

The markers for smaller caves are only shown at higher zoom levels. Otherwise there are so many markers that you cannot see the map when you zoom out. You can select a year from the drop down list to show only the markers found up to that year. This will also highlight all the sites that were discovered in that year, giving some insight into what areas were 'hot' in different years back to 1990. This feature is based on the last recorded site number in a particular year, so is not perfect. It assumes that site numbers were allocated in order as new caves were found. But this is not strictly true, and before 1990 the numbers are not a good indicator of the year a site was discovered, which is why this feature is only provided back to 1990.

The approximate boundary of the expedition permit area is marked with a red line.

There are two ways to use the map:

  1. Using the numeric index page for the map, allowing site locations to be selected from the index.
  2. Open the map page directly, filling the entire browser window with just the map.

Numeric Map Index
The numeric index for the map shows a list of all the sites on the left side. Each site which has a known location has an 'M' link next to the site number. Click on the 'M' to open the map centred on and zoomed in on that site. Clicking on any of the numeric site number links in the index will open the information page for that site in a new tab or window, so that the map page remains open. This is to avoid losing your place on the map, as the map will reset if the page is refreshed or reopened. The numeric index is the best way to quickly find the location of a site, but if you just want to generally browse the map then you may find the full screen map works better for you.
(If the grey numeric is not showing to the left of this page then click here to open it.

Full Screen Map
You can launch the full screen map by opening the map file directly. By default the map will open centred on the expedition area, and showing the entire area with all the site markers. It can take a while to load the map showing all the sites because there are over 3000 markers to load. Sometimes this is too much for Internet Explorer. In Firefox you might see a message box telling you that a script is taking a long time to complete. Just click the option to continue running the script and the page will finish loading after a short while. Once loaded the map is not so slow, it just takes a while to load initially.

You can control other properties of the map by adding this information to the map URL in the address bar of your web browser. The following things can be set for the full screen map:
Setting Description Allowed Values
lat Latitude of the centre of the map Number in the range -90 to 90
(The map includes sites in the range 43.275 < 43.395)
lon Longitude of the centre of the map Number in the range -90 to 90
(The map includes sites in the range -3.700 < -3.495)
zoom Initial zoom level Numbers from 1 to 19
Googlemap zoom level 1=whole world, zooming in to 19
Not all map types allow you to zoom in as far as level 19

You can use these settings by adding them as arguments to the address of the site map in your browser address bar. The first argument is added by putting a '?' on the end of the address, followed by the item and value. Additional arguments can be added by seperating them with an '&'. Here are some examples:

You have to specify both latitude and longitude together in order to centre the map on a particular location. If a location is specified without a zoom level, the map defaults to zoom level 16.

Site marker sets
A set of grid intersections markers exists for map calibration purposes. Setting sites=G shows a marker at each 500m grid intersection on the UTM European 1979 datum map coordinates. I've provided them on the website in case they are useful to anyone. You can also view the map without any site markers by using any other value for the sites argument (e.g. sites=X). Handy for looking at all the cave centrelines when zoomed out as otherwise all the markers obscure the map.

Feedback and Future Development
This Googlemap feature is in active development, so if you have any suggestions for enhancements or spot any errors or suspect data then please email the Matienzo Google Group. We are aiming to add all the published surveys to the map over time, but please be patient as this is a lot of work. Possible future developments could allow users to pick out and display sites based on parameters held in a database (e.g. display all the archaeological sites, all the digs on Muela, all sites which have no record of being explored, sites deeper than 100m within 1km of the bar, etc, etc.). Let us have your ideas.

10 Oct. 2012