Compass & Tape (ISSN: 1074-596) is the Survey and Cartography section's quarterly publication. The publication will be available through the Survey and Cartography section's website ( in a PDF format. We will make every effort to issue quarterly, but lack of submissions may affect our schedule.

Compass & Tape features articles covering a wide range of topics, including equipment reviews, techniques, computer processing, mapping standards, artistic techniques, all forms of cave cartography and reprints of articles of interest and appropriate material from national and international publications. Compass & Tape is the primary medium for conveying information and ideas within the U.S. cave mapping community. All members are strongly encouraged to contribute material and to comment on published material.

Back issues of Compass & Tape are available back to 1983 which is when the section was started. All issues are available online at the main Compass and Tape website. Print versions of back issues will no longer be available.

Questions or comments about publication content should be directed to the editor.

Submissions to Compass & Tape

All types of materials related to cave survey and survey data, cartography, and cave documentation in general, are welcome for publication in Compass and Tape. Manuscripts should be submitted either as an attachment to an email in Microsoft Word or Wordperfect, or in the body of the email. Pictures or diagrams should be 300 dpi or higher in a .jpg, .tif, .gif, or other common graphic format. .AI formats are preferred for map submissions. Full maps or map extracts may be sent in PDF format.  Do not send any other submission types (particularly text) in a PDF format. Lower resolution photos will be accepted, but they will be smaller in the final publication.

Send all submissions to:

Jason Richards
5705 Braywood Ln SE
Olympia, WA 98513
Permission and Disclaimers for Compass & Tape
Permission to reprint material from Compass & Tape is granted to grottos and other organizations of the NSS, provided that proper credit is given. Others should request permission from the editor or from the author or cartographers. The opinions and policies stated in this publication are not necessarily those of the NSS, the Survey and Cartography Section or the editor. Articles and editorials, illustrations, photos, cartoons and maps published in Compass & Tape are attributed to and copyrighted by the person or persons whose by-lines accompany the material.

The editor reserves the right to select which of the submitted materials will be used for publication. Of the material selected, the editor reserves the right to delete redundant or inappropriate material, to correct errors of spelling, grammar, or punctuation, and to edit for clarity, so long as such alterations do not change the meaning or intent of the author(s). In the event that significant changes are contemplated, the author(s) will be consulted and given the opportunity to review the changes prior to publication.

Publication of the Survey and Cartography Section of the NSS

Most Recent Issue of Compass & Tape

Volume 18, Issue 4, Number 61 – July 2010 – pp. 1-17

Click on cover image to see issue.

Edited by Pat Kambesis

Minutes from 2009 Survey & Cartography Section meeting  p. 4

ICN/NSS 2009 Cartographic Salon Results  p. 5

Survey Techniques for Xe Bang Fai River Cave, Loas People's Democratic Republic – Aaron Addison  p. 7

How I Learned to Love Cross Sections – Testimonial from a survivor of GCSS – Jeff Bartlett  p. 11

The Effect of Binocular Vision Disorders on Cave Surveying Accuracy – Mark Dougherty  p. 17

Click here for back issues.