1.2.Files - Content and Naming Convention

Here is a provisional naming convention to make files containing survey notes, sketches and other information easy to identify and locate. It is intended to ensure that related files always sort together and require minimum input on the part of the site manager.
It is consistent with the Bulmer naming convention I think, and has been in refinement since 2009 during use in the Greenlink resurvey project and others.

If the files are tied into a software application dataset, then many of the name components can be omitted, provided they are self-evident from the extension or context in which they are stored.

We want your feedback 
Please contact Bruce Mutton if you have any comments or ideas for improvement, or to harass me for not using my own convention.   Or you can use the helpful and suggest edit links at the bottom of this page.

Making Files and other objects 

  • Only one or two things (or types of things grouped together) in each object (I break this one sometimes)
  • If scanning survey notes try to organise so the notes and the matching sketch appear on the same page, and
    are the right way up when viewed onscreen. Multipage pdf files that contain the whole set of notes are better than multiple files that each contain a single page.
    Preferred file type pdf. These are readily distributed and manipulated. 
  • If scanningsketches plotted over survey centrelines then make these single page files (compatible with more drawing software applications than multi-page files).
    Preferred file type png, jpg. These are compatible with Therion as 'background images. 
  • Tiff files seem to be generally problematic. they don't behave well with Firefox and IE 8 or earlier. Many applications and users have difficulty with the concept of multi-page tif formats. 

Name Components 

General Forms 

  • names should provide a concise description of what the file/object contains or does, in an order that sorts conveniently

For Data:    .ext 

  • Minimise use of delimiters (spaces, -, _) and capitalise first letter of each word (CamelCase).
  • If delimiters must be used make them easy to type and bear in mind that spaces can be problematic with many applications and operating systems (Quotes required sometimes but not allowed others).
    '-' (dash) is perhaps the best delimiter to use. 
  • Within any dataset try to keep the leading characters and delimiters identical so that they sort together.

For Finished Maps: - - - - .ext

  • Rules for data above can be relaxed a little, include spaces to make them more readable.
    ' - ' (space dash space) is perhaps a good delimiter to use.


for a scan of survey notes and matching sketches for a survey named W-WetWay

for scan of survey elevation sketch ready for 'tracing' to final map 

for a survey data entry file (when using Therion) 

for a plan drawing (when using Therion) 

for an elevation drawing (when using Therion) 

Greenlink System (Greenlink, Swiss Maid Plan) - Takaka Hill, Nelson - A2 - 2009.pdf
for a finished map stored in the NZSS Repository Cave Atlas

File Name Component Descriptions

Next, details of the suggested file name components are described

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Last updated on April 30, 2020
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