|Image: After a surveying trip with friends, some years ago! (I am the guy with the blue hat)|
my name is Jochen Duckeck. I am the webmaster and the author of showcaves.com. On this page I want to tell you a little bit about me and how I started this website.
|Image: Me, climbing down a rope ladder into a small vertical cave below my home town Laichingen, Germany.|
I have been a member of a German Höhlenverein (caving club) since the age of fifteen. I once was an active caver, as the historic photographs on this page prove! Today I am too fat for caving, so I became an armchair caver. I am now caving in cyberspace maintaining this site and other speleo web sites. Now and then I do spelunking tours into grandpa caves.
My caving club maintains a show cave, the Laichinger Tiefenhöhle (Laichingen Vertical Cave) and I have been volunteer cave guide for many years. In Germany most caves are maintained by non-profit orgaisations called Verein, the cave is run solely by volunteers. We created a museum for speleology in 2001, with exhibition and booklet, and I did the website.
I have a diploma in Computer Science which I earned at the TU Braunschweig. Braunschweig (Brunswick), is a city in the northern part of Germany. There were no caves or caving clubs in this area, the closest caves are located in the Harz. Several interesting caves were in the eastern part of the Harz, on the other side of the Iron Curtain. But after 1989, when the DDR (German Democratic Republic) collapsed, I had the chance to visit them, and collecting information about these little known East German show caves was the beginning of this show cave pages. But the first version listing the German show caves was intended as a printed booklet and was never published.
When I started to work, I moved to the city of Nürnberg (Nuremberg). My first job at the University included the maintenance of the website, in 1993 there were no private web accesses and websites were owned only by intstitutions like universities. I soon realized, that this was an easy way to publish my show cave data. So, with the permission of my employer, the show cave pages are online since 1993. Many years later I was able to get my own domain and webspace.
I am interested in cave surveying, but more in the mathematics and the algorithms, than in crawling through narrow passages carrying compass and tape measure. I already worked with the geometric modelling of three dimensional objects in my diploma thesis (see my paper 3D-Modeling for the Analysis of Range Data). Now I am member of the Arbeitskreis Speläokartographie (Working Group Speleocartography), a meeting of (German speaking) cave surveyors and programmers. I am webmaster of their website.
I am the German delegate for the UIS Informatics Commission (UISIC) appointed by the Verband der deutschen Höhlen- und Karstforscher e.V. (German Speleological Federation).
And last but not least I am life member of the National Speleological Society (NSS). My NSS number is 48284. Okay, I confess: I became a member to get the NSS News and discounts on books....
Jochen Duckeck, Archivstr. 11, 90408 Nürnberg, Germany.
More contact info here.