When we all finished our day Monday of this week, eight of the 12 boys from the soccer team trapped in a cave in northern Thailand had been freed.

Success grew greatly on Monday, as more people came to help, and the ones who were already there had the experience of the first rescue.  By Tuesday morning, we had news that all 13 people had been safely removed from the cave - and we can thank the use of technology from a Colorado company for helping make it possible.

Rescuers called Intermap Technologies, out of Denver, on June 27th, for help in better understanding the cave's terrain and water systems.  At the time of the call, the kids hadn't even been located as of yet.  Intermap, whose specialty is worldwide digital mapping, created a 3-D map of the exact cave the kids were trapped in - one that could be turned, zoomed, and looked at from any angle, including underneath.  They're able to do this thanks to satellites and other sensors located around the world.  As a result, rescuers can "find routes through the cave, water flow and drainage paths, and potential drilling points."

Intermap Chairman and CEO Patrick Blott says the type of operation that his company and the on-site heroes just completed was expected to take months, rather than days, and that he's immensely impressed with the available technology to make this sort of thing possible.

The soccer team was trapped in the cave on June 23rd, when they went exploring there after a game, and a monsoon partially flooded it.  The last four boys taken out, and their coach, were inside the cave for 17 days.

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