Here are some updates on my article in the Ario 2000 Expedition report relating to XML and its potential as a source for comprehensive documentation which can be flexibly filtered, sorted, and otherwise processed. I have an XML file for each cave area and XSLT files to translate the XML to a text or graphics display format. I have updated the XML to take account of the latest information that I have following the Tormenta 2002 Expedition but corrections and additions will be welcomed and I hope that this will become the definitive source of  data on OUCC's findings in the Picos. If you don't understand the acronyms, don't worry; just play with the pictures!

There are three categories:            XML  (text documents/data)   SVG  (dynamic 2D drawings)    X3D/VRML (dynamic 3D models)

Shaft bashing guides (HTML and XML) in both Summary and Detail forms and area locations (SVG) can be accessed via The HTML and SVG files were produced from the XML using XSLT. If your browser is set up correctly the XML files will automatically be translated to HTML and look identical to the preconverted detailed file (view the source to prove it is XML); otherwise you will see the XML text itself, or the XML translated into a collapsible tree structure (often the Internet Explorer default). It is not a big step to generate PDF documents instead of HTML and SVG - the software exists and is freely available.

This image ( links to a multi-layered mapping (Geographical Information System-like) page (in HTML, SVG and Javascript) at You will need an SVG plugin (one comes with RealAudio nowadays, otherwise available at
(link to) SVG through HTML GIS It shows passages in Pozu  la Tormenta (using Scaleable Vector Graphics) in red; Xitu (using a none-scaling GIF image) in grey; well-located entrances in white; less definitely located entrances in yellow); plus the locations of  features such as peaks and the Ario refugio; and the UTM grid. You can right click and then rescale,  recentre, search for text in the drawing (eg highlight where 54/4 is), and change what is displayed. It also prints out well.

This image links to the VRML model on Martin Laverty's VRML pages: (You'll need a VRML plugin for your browser, available from - or refer to
(link to) VRML model of Ario area
It shows Tormenta (red), Muxa, Xitu, Culiembro (turquoise); Asopladeru la Texa (yellow); 1/4 and 8/11 (darker yellow); Cuerries (darker blue); plus assorted entrances, peaks and dye traces.

VRML is an encoding of 3D data using lots of curly brackets. X3D is an XML encoding of 3D data which uses lots of pointy brackets. X3D can easily be generated from base data stored in XML using XSLT. There are one or two experimental browsers which can display X3D directly, but it is currently more common to translate the X3D to the older VRML syntax which is better supported by browsers. There are also tools to complete the circle and translate VRML to X3D. This model was produced in VRML - the cave survey line data coming from the Walls survey program - but in future cave survey programs should produce XML output and that will be converted to X3D/VRML.