PocketTopo is the software part of the paperless cave surveying package developed by Beat Heeb.  It runs on Windows devices (pda and desktop) and is best used in conjunction with a modified Leica Disto X310 (making it a DistoX2 to cavers).  PocketTopo is free, but you must buy your own disto, upgrade kit and computing device.  It plays nicely with Therion.

Although it runs on Windows 10 just fine, you may like to set up a Windows XP virtual machine to facilitate a direct connection with the pda data collector used in the cave.


  • Rapidly collect raw survey data and sketch around it (just draw, no Therion symbolic palaver!)
  • View the entire cave or just the current survey trip
  • Runs on devices with displays unaffected by mud and water and respond precisely to stylus
  • For Windows based Therion users, runs on the same devices
  • By default, sketches imported to Therion enable a permanent comparison of field notes with final drawing

PocketTopo Web Sites

Download from https://paperless.bheeb.ch/  Overview of the system.  Manuals for software and hardware assembly and usage.

Comparison of PocketTopo with similar applications.  Therion In Cave Mapping wiki page.

DistoX, PocketTopo and Therion wiki page.

Therion and DistoX Training Course Guide by Footleg. Taking PocketTopo data and using it in Therion


DistoX2 Quick Reference

Some PocketTopo and DistoX2 ‘How to’ videos by Derek Bristol

PocketTopo - File Transfer and Application Installation Derek Bristol 4:39

PocketTopo - Bluetooth Pairing with a Disto-X2 Derek Bristol 5:57

PocketTopo - Disto-X2 Calibration Derek Bristol 3:68

PocketTopo - Sketching Derek Bristol 12:11  Using electronic tools as though they were tape measure and paper.  Personally I’d go with the style in Footleg’s guide above.

Related Applications

Therion Survex

Projects that use PocketTopo

Many recent projects on Takaka Hill, Golden Bay, Mt Arthur, Charleston.

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Last updated on April 30, 2020
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