What is Grottocenter?[modifier]
GrottoCenter is a community database dedicated to speleology and fed by speleologists on the principle of Wiki, that is to say that the content of the site can be modified by all registered users.
It is therefore a source of speleological data, easily accessible, which is waiting for only one thing: that you complete it!
This document explains how to use Grottocenter. It is also a wiki document, so you can contribute to its update and its translation.
Managing my account[modifier]
All operations on his account are accessible from this button which appears at the top right
Create an account[modifier]
Although using Grottocenter does not require registration, creating an account will allow you to have access to all the functionalities and in particular to be able to complete the database with your own data, to add a topography, to correct a cave plug etc. Creating an account is very simple: all you need is a valid email address, a username and a password of your choice.
- To do this, click on the "LOGIN" icon then on "NO ACCOUNT YET?"
- In the window that opens enter a user name of your choice, your email address and a password of your choice (red part of the form). You can also add your first and last name if you wish (optional black part of the form).
- Finish by clicking on "REGISTER".
Recover a password[modifier]
You are already registered but you have so many different passwords (that's great!) or you haven't visited Grottocenter for so long (that's not good at all!) that you forgot your password outmoded ?
- Click on "IDENTIFY" then on "FORGOT PASSWORD?"
- In the window that opens, enter your email address (the one associated with your Grottocenter account) then click on "RESET YOUR PASSWORD"
- You will receive an email with a link allowing you to choose a new password (one more to learn by heart!)
Edit my profile[modifier]
Once connected to Grottocenter with your e-mail address and your password, you will be able to edit your profile to complete or rectify it.
- Click on the icon
- In the menu that opens click on "My account".
Are you looking for a cave, a caving club, a document, information on a karstic massif?
At the top left of your page (near a magnifying glass icon) an entry box entitled "Quick search" awaits you.
- Click on it then enter one or more significant keywords.
- A drop-down list is then displayed with all the answers obtained, choose the one that suits you by clicking on it.
- If your keyword is too short you will see the message "No result (enter at least three characters)". In order to circumvent the difficulty, add one or more blank spaces to it and you will then obtain a result. For example if you are looking for the "Bone Cave", type "bone + space"
- For compound names you will often need to be a little more specific. For example, if you are looking for the "Donkey wood cave" you will have to enter "donkey wood".
What if your search is more complex or more precise or if the quick search does not give you satisfaction?
In this case, switch to "Advanced search" mode.
The advanced search menu gives access to a window with one tab per entity. You must select the entity on which you want to search
For each entity, specific fields allow you to refine your search.
The result appears in a table, it is possible to download it in csv format, with a limit of 10000 lines per file
By clicking on the map menu you will be able to display certain entities registered in Grottocenter on the map. It is possible to hide the menu on the left to view the map, almost, in full screen.
By authorizing Grottocenter to access your location, a point locating you will appear on the map and the map will center on this point.
Currently it is possible to view entries, networks and organizations. For entries and networks they appear as diamonds corresponding to a group (a cluster), until you have zoomed in sufficiently. The precise location is then visible.
Three background maps are available.
Entities managed by Grottocenter[modifier]
Document management is based on the BBS (Speleological Bibliographic Bulletin), an international cooperation supported by the UIS Bibliographic Commission. A specific user manual, to contribute to the BBS on Grottocenter is available
Different information is associated with each document. Let's start by discovering them:
- The type: this is a way of grouping together documents that have common characteristics. When you want to save a new document you must start by choosing the type, which will then give you access to the information that you will be able to enter for this particular type of document. In Grottocenter we have retained the types defined in Karstlink
- The name of the document
- The language of the document. In Grottocenter you can choose from just over 250 languages, which are official languages in at least one country. To simplify input, Grottocenter will suggest the language you use for Grottocenter by default.
- The summary: it plays an essential role in enabling this document to be found using the search tool. Please write it in the form of sentences containing the key words of the document (name of place, person, cave).
- The parent document: for Number type documents, it is desirable to indicate the Collection to which it belongs (For example, n° 65 se Spelunca is part of the Spelunca collection). In the same way for an article it is important to indicate the Number from which it is extracted (For example the editorial was in number 65 of Spelunca). These links are essential because the collection page gives access to all the issues and the page of each issue allows you to see the articles from which they come.
- The file: it is possible to insert a document in Grottocenter without downloading the corresponding file. It will then be described by its metadata. It is possible to download the file corresponding to a document insofar as:
- it has one of the allowed extensions
- you are the author, the author died more than 70 years ago, a document already registered in Grottocenter (publication authorization type) certifies that it is possible to register it in Grottocenter
- you have chosen a license if you are the author, you choose the license retained by the person or the organization which gave the authorization to register on Grottocenter. For authors deceased for more than 70 years, the license to remember is CC BY. For downloaded files you can choose from the licenses offered by Karstlink. Please note: CC licenses are suitable for copyrighted content, others for non-copyrighted content.
Grottocenter gives you access to information on a wide variety of organisations:
- Speleology club or federation
- Organizations that have edited documents described in Grottocenter (the document editor)
- Group of people who led an expedition
- Training or research organization
- Libraries hosting collections of documents related to the underground environment
- Organizations managing Karstic sites.
In order to simplify access to information and allow easier maintenance, we will avoid creating an organization for a sub-group that does not have contact details separate from the organization to which this sub-group belongs. For example, we will keep the French Speleology Federation organization up to date and we will associate all the documents with it, when they are produced by a commission of the FFS
A massif is a geographical unit distinct from administrative units (region, department, municipality). Users are free to build beds according to their needs, they can meet different needs:
- Define study areas, for speleologists
- Define a watershed for work related to the study of water flows
- Define a protected area or managed by an organization
In Grottocenter you will meet two types of people:
- Users who have created an account, who can contribute and who can be declared by other users as the author of a document described in Grottocenter
- Authors who do not have an account on Grottocenter but who have been created by a user in order to be able to declare them as the author of a document described in Grottocenter.
Access Grottocenter data[modifier]
Grottocenter data can be accessed at https://grottocenter.org
They all have a URL that will remain the same over time. This makes it possible to create permanent links from other sites. Each person, organization, massif, document therefore has its own URL which will be permanent. Here are some examples:
- The "Jean Bernard", the first cave recorded in the database, is accessible at the URL https://grottocenter.org/ui/entrances/1.
- The article "Whalemouth Cave trip" published in "The Western Caver" is accessible at the address https://grottocenter.org/ui/documents/100000
- The "British Caving Association" can be accessed at https://grottocenter.org/ui/organizations/675
- You can also access data on the "Vercors plateau" here https://grottocenter.org/ui/massifs/1
Sites other than Grottocenter may use the data we have. This is possible thanks to APIs which allow you to search and read data without logging in. The operations corresponding to processing on the database require authentication.
You can embed calls to these APIs in your own applications. The URL is stable, it would only be changed if one day it becomes necessary to completely change the model in a new version of Grottocenter. Elements have been added to allow SPARQL servers to use them (Json LD Specifications), as part of the project 
The documentation is available here https://grottocenter.org/ui/api
API stands for "Application Programming Interface". It is an IT solution that allows applications to communicate with each other and mutually exchange services or data.
SPARQL stands for "Sparql Protocol And RDF Query Language". it is a query language and a protocol that allows searching, adding, modifying or deleting RDF (Resource Description Framework) data available through the Internet.