Friday, July 29, 2022

Grafenloch and Rossstall cave maps

 

I visited these caves last year, but now have software to produce a map of them.

The "Cave Outliner" open source toolkit that I wrote will convert 3D models in STL format to maps that have cave names, locations, coordinates, plan view maps, cross-section etc. automatically. See GitHub for further information on this software.

So I sat down and run the software on the two German caves from last year's visit. Neither the models are always perfect (I had to fill in manually some parts that the sensor did not reach) nor does the tool always produce good results (I had to edit the entrance drawing it made automatically). But, at least this is already faster work process than drawing everything manually...

To give you an example of the work process, here's what I did for the Grafenloch cave:

  1. Recorded the cave model using the Polycam app on iPhone 12 Pro.
  2. Exported the model in GLTF/GLB format from Polycam to iCloud.
  3. Downloaded the iCloud file to my computer.
  4. Opened the file in Blender to do any editing, rotation, etc. of the model.
  5. Saved the model in Blender (.blend) and STL formats (.stl) using the "Save" and "Export" commands in Blender.
  6. Run the cave-outliner tool using the following command line:
                cave-outliner    --auto                                                                                 \
                         --crosssection y 0 Grafenloch-Map-Y.svg                         \
                     --crosssection x 2.2 Grafenloch-Map-X.svg                      \
                         --name "Grafenloch" --location "Oberaudorf, Germany"   \
                     --coordinates "N 47.640813 E 12.164877"                        \
                                         Grafenloch-3D-STL.stl Grafenloch-Map.svg
  1. Opened the resulting Grafenloch-Map.svg file in Apple's Graphic tool.
  2. Made any edits needed and saved in Graphic format (.idraw) and as PDF/JPG (.pdf and .jpg).
  3. Copied the results to my website.
The Grafenloch map is above (the opening picture) and the cave model is below: The map is though perhaps best viewed as a PDF using this link. And you can rotate the model on your own browser screen here.


Similarly, the Rossstall models and maps are below (and map PDF link is here). The rotatable model can be found here.



This article has also been published at TGR. Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos, videos, models, maps, and text (c) 2021-2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Maanala - Manala

 

Went to the Amos Rex art installation today, on the topic of subterranean matters... with friends from the Finnish Caving Association. Only that it wasn't just about subterranean, it was underground things but also hell, evilness, and devilish matters. It took a while for me to understand this, because I of course associate underground things as interesting and fun, not as dark hellish situations. 


A rhino?


Roots of trees, from below:


Outside roof windows in the museum:


Caves:

This article has also been published at TGR. Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko, with photographed art of course by the artists. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Snowdog finds snow, Planetskier skies it

 

Snowdog found snow! And I skied it, of course :-)

Not much of snow, but I needed a backup plan in case my main plan for July skiing goes wrong somehow -- and it is scheduled for the last day of the month, so I may not be able to come up with a new plan if it does.

Stay tuned!

Video from today's exercise:

Hiking around the Kauniainen ski slope:

This article has also appeared in TGR. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from BlogspotTGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko.

South Czechia castles: Rabí and Kašperk

 

Our trip to Czechia concluded with a road trip to the Kašperk and Rabí castles. Both are medieval castles, partially in ruins and partially restored. Kašperk's two-towers-on-a-steep-hill design reminded us very much of the Trosky castle that we had seen a few days earlier.

We ended up spending much more time at Kašperk, having arrived there earlier and having an opportunity to visit the insides of the castle on a very nice tour. There were also food stalls, mini-cannon demonstrations, etc. in the inner courtyard of the castle. Rabí on the other hand... was already closed by the time we arrived, but we managed to walk around it at least. There were some restaurants in the Rabí village, but, weirdly enough, not offering any food, only beer. So we continued on.

Kašperk was remarkable, with its views, and much of it remained as it was, so we were able to see toilets (above picture), bathrooms (below picture, and yes, a bathroom in a medieval castle), and so on. Very nice.

Kašperk is at N 49.16604 E 13.56322, but it is not reachable by car. You'll have to leave your car at the parking lot a kilometer away at N 49.16496 E 13.58088 and then take the path to the castle. The path or the parking lot are not particularly well marked, but the broadest path does lead to the castle. And follow the crowds!

The Rabí castle is by the road and easy to find, here N 49.27926 E 13.61829.

Pictures from the Kašperk castle:











Pictures from the Rabí castle:




Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Summer meetup at the Cave Association

 

I visited the summer meeting, with my dog... did not have time for the actual cave visits. Well, I've been to the area caves already. But they might have found some smaller ones from the forests, and be bitten by mosquitoes :-) But the rest of it was a lot of fun, sauna, swim, eat!

More importantly, Paul and Duncan talked to me about their new exploration project. Very exciting. Started doing some data gathering myself as well. More on this later.


Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

ORD flagship lounge

 

I had a layover in Chicago on my way to a meeting... it turned out to be a long layover due to planes being late, and everything being super-crowded. But this also meant that I had time to visit the American Airlines Flagship Lounge in Terminal 3. Not bad, particularly liked the well-working WiFi and the mushroom pasta.

Here are AA's all flagship lounges, by the way. Didn't realize there were only very few of them.

For more flying stories, check out the planetflier.com website! And of course the Planetcaver, and Planetskier blogs for other stories in Blogspot and TGR! The photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.



Reindeer burger and a hot sauna. Airport lounges redefined?

 

Only in Finland, and only in Helsinki, and only with Finnair. Nowhere else can you enjoy a lounge sauna and a reindeer burger in the airline lounge. Not too shitty. But then I had to squeeze myself into a small metal tube for travel.

This is the platinum wing of the business lounge on the non-Schengen side of the airport. See here.

Burger:

There was also a great invention in the lounge sauna -- the lockers had an electrical socket, which meant that one could plug in one's phone to charge while in the sauna. Well done Finnair!

For more flying, sauna and swimming stories, check out planetflier.complanetswimmer.com and saunablogger.cool websites! And of course the Planetcaver, and Planetskier blogs for other stories in Blogspot and TGR! The photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. I never take photos of other saunagoers or swimmers and visit when there is simply no one else or the facility has been closed or booked only for me.


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Jeskyně Postojna -- Czech Edition

 

Jeskyně Postojna famous, massive cave in Slovenia. We are on our way to a Jeskyně Postojna. But not the one in Slovenia... a smaller one in northern Czech Republic. This cave, Postonja cave, was named after farmers' shouts as they kept shouting for their sheep "wait little one" ("postüj malá"). While the cave is not huge, it was a very nice cave to crawl through. Soft, dry sand at the bottom... smooth, round surfaces, tiny holes to squeeze through. A great exploration, with also countless other smaller caves around in the so called Klokočské Rocks natural park. There must be thousands and thousands of holes here, wondering if everything's been researched and looked into?

We explored few of the smaller caves until we managed to find the proper Postonja Cave. We also took a 3D scan from the Postonja Cave and two of the side caves. Here are their locations and on-your-browser rotatable 3D models:

The second side cave in particular was a lot of fun. A straight and very tight on-your-stomach-pull-forward tunnel leads to a single round chamber. Nice!

The 3D models were taken using Polycam app and the lidar sensors on the iPhone pro models. PDF maps from the caves have been automatically generated using my "Cave Outliner" software. It is open source; feel free to use it for other caves as well!

This is by the way my seventh country where I'm doing 3D scanning, previously done that in Finland, Sweden, Austria, Croatia (so far unpublished), Germany, United States, and now Czechia. All my models are slowly appearing on my website list of 3D models as well.

Access. The main cave was difficult to find, by the way, among the many holes and a major cliff that we couldn't find an easy way to descend from. It turned out that the right path was to follow the big walking path, basically until you hit the main cave. There's side paths where you can explore the side caves, but the big path takes you to a gully that leads safely down the cliffs and also to the main cave.

Main cave photos above and below:




Side cave 1 photos:


Side cave 2 photos:

Other caves in the area (plenty!):

This article has also been published at TGR. Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2022 by Jari and Janne Arkko. All rights reserved.

Refresher course in communism and nuclear bunkers

 

I've been here before, but a refresher course is always good, plus I have the next generation with me, useful course for him as well. The Prague's communism and nuclear bunker tour is a good reminder of what oppressive things went on during the eastern block years in Czechosloakia and elsewhere. Fortunately, those times are past us. But in 2022, you can still feel the nuclear-bomb threats being made ... you guessed it, from the east.

May the dictatorship times never return, and the current dictators fall. And of course, may the nuclear holocaust-wielding evils go away.

But back to the tour.. it is very much recommended. This is surely the best tour to get in Prague! Expert guide, both in town & what went on previously, plus a visit to a deep bunker and an amazing amount of Cold War era masks, suits, and other memorabilia.

Interestingly, we also attempted to go the Cold War Museum and the KGB Museum. True to the nature of Cold War and KGB tactics, we were coldly turned away, apparently applications for a visit should have been filed in three copies in the Politbyroo six weeks ago, or that we should have visited at a time that the museum was not in the need of repairs. Well, communism certainly is in need of repairs :-)








The museums:


Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.