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Mapping Policies

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 3 February 2009, 3:48 AM  
A place for the larger issues to do with mapping. Such as Jamie's suggestions on an NZOF role, my question about copyright issues. For nitty gritty mapping see "Mapping", for nitty gritty internet see "Internet Q&A".

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 3 February 2009, 4:02 AM  
Easy access to maps as a promotional tool. Jamie I've worried too that OCAD has made it harder not easier to do impromptu training. I think of it every time I go past a sports field in the afternoon and think, "they've just rolled up, got out the ball, and they're doing their sport." We can orienteer without markers, but getting maps for training and small events has to be as easy as it was when they lived on a shelf in someone's house.

On the other hand we need to pay for competition maps somehow. Given that the life of a map is (and needs to be) longer than a single event, how do we protect the investment so as to pay it off. Therefore I think there may be TWO answers to this question, for two different sorts of maps.

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 3 February 2009, 5:45 AM  
As Rob G pointed out, with the National loosing White Lightning to pulp (after only one use of the south block, which I would rate as the best forest dunes we've ever had, and the loss of other prize maps such as Pot Luck, Stags Roar, Celebre, Hedley Rd etc, it is stating the obvious that we have a big and costly problem out at woodhill.
Do we need some heavyweights to sort out a better relationship with the money hungry dudes at the forest HQ. What do we pay the huge annual recreation fee for if they are not going to listen to our needs and send us broke? Is it time we spread our resources and made some maps further north where we might be treated with respect? Could the 'fee' be waived for a couple of years as compensation for loss of maps due to them taking an asset from us and giving them to other forest users. At the same time up the HQ individual event fee a little to keep them happy.
We all know it would be so easy to work in harmony with other forest user groups but how can we sit back and take what's happening now?

Further to my 'permanent O course' rave on the other thread, how could this be set up at woodhill (ie Muriwai DOC campground etc) if they always want more moneys and won't let anyone in the forest???

Any ideas? Any heavyweight sweet talkers?

Show Profile  ML Posted: 3 February 2009, 1:57 PM  
I personally dont think we should be paying anything to use Woodhill forest, it's crown land after all. The forestry company (whoever they are now) only own the rights to the trees. I think we probably need to get together with the other forest users that are being treated badly and maybe a lawyer to find out what our rights actually are and what to do about it.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 3 February 2009, 3:14 PM  
Maybe NW should just arrange a meeting with its local MP for Helensville ;-)

Show Profile  Bryan Posted: 4 February 2009, 12:30 AM  
Part of this is related to the Internet Q&A Thread but I'll post here to get general feedback on the direction mapping is heading.

In 2006 our company (Urban Jungle Adventures) made up of myself and Paul Dalton sent a proposal to all NZ clubs about a commercial venture selling Orienteering maps.

We wanted to create a secure website which would allow the public to purchase Orienteering and park maps (50% revenue to go to clubs) via a credit card. Most of the framework for the website is finished.
Only one club signed a contract. Our own club (Wairarapa) was against the idea, clubs like Hutt Valley are worried about losing their IP, and Auckland was worried about what the maps would be used for as they had problems with the council previously. Most other clubs did not respond. We are going to follow up but we are quite busy and we view it as a long term plan to be implemented over several years. Our view is that if a park is not available from a club to sell then we will eventually map it from scratch (but to 'tourist' standards where a park could be mapped in a few hours and a map produced in a few days based on existing photos and internet information and probably without contours). Of course we would prefer to sell the Orienteering map as they would be better maps and provide a win-win situation for clubs - they would receive some extra revenue and probably end up getting new members.

I have been mapping for 27 years and have gone way past the point where I do it for love because of the time involved and the time away from my family.

I'm looking at a reasonable return but I'm not looking at making it too expensive. It's hard to tread a fine line between commercial rates and slave labour.

There is also a tension in many clubs between some who believe mapping, planning, organisation costs should be 'free' or volunteered or at a minimum against those pushing for a more user-pays sport. Last year for my own club when petrol was so expensive, my club would only give 30c a km for planning - I asked for them to review this (and planning fees) but they came back (as I expected) with no change in petrol costs and as they had never given any planning fee before they did not want to start. I tallied my costs and worked out in my view that I actually subsidised the event out of my own pocket. This obviously makes me wary of doing the planning for any future events with them.

I plan to keep on mapping for a long time and I'm always on the lookout for new mapping projects but can only work in my spare time. A new city park map I'm mapping at the moment involves an ownership sharing arrangement where a club and our company gets full rights to the new map - meaning our company can sell the maps sometime in the future. The club pays me at the going fieldwork and cartography rate + GST and I research and gather all the information required to produce the map (eg aerial images, base contours, creating a base map). Obviously, we are working in closely with the club's wishes.

I also see other possiblities in the future - being paid for planning/organising an event for a club with little club help, and/or doing the mapping for clubs/NZOF in new areas. The costs would be more expensive than what is paid for currently.

I'm sure that there is some resistance to these new concepts but it's a way for me to get some extra incentive for producing Orienteering maps otherwise I would probably do something else.

What do others think?

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 4 February 2009, 2:47 AM  
Addison said "Maybe NW should just arrange a meeting with its local MP for Helensville ;-)"
It's not just NW but Akl too, but hey why not, we're in reccession aren't we, we need economic stimulus to recover at this point. Red tape and the RMA is being chopped faster than White Lightning, It might just work

If Addison's plan A doesn't work then ML's plan B sounds like it has merit. Any orienteers studying law?

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 4 February 2009, 4:29 AM  
There seem to be two main ideas in your post Bryan.

One is payment for significant orienteering services. This is not a yes/no thing, its a path we are already moving down. We started with mapping for large events and the larger NZOF jobs. There have been some payments for key event roles I think. The debate is essentially over the speed of the change and how far to go.

The other is a delivery mechanism for maps. As the mapping officer for my club I'm becoming more and more conscious of the time it takes to put maps in the hands of those who need them. Unless a happy accident has resulted in leftovers (and they have made their way to a single place) it takes longer than I would like to prepare a print-ready file and get copies. Part of this is the fact that we now have "mapped areas" as opposed to fixed-boundary maps.

The Urban Jungle proposal may not solve all of this, but I think you should refresh your proposal to clubs.

PS The Akatarawa Attack usually generates an interest in the maps which are far better than the topo and useful for other recreationists. We've established a price, but enveloping and posting one here and one there is something that (if time was paid for) would outweigh any return for the mapping. It's a delivery problem.

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 4 February 2009, 7:39 AM  
Re PS Maybe a subscription service for an area like Akatarawas - getting access for a small fee to a whole area that gets updated and you just print out the area you are running on...Only problem is that it wouldn't stop people printing lots to run an event but they would be subscribed and therefore known entities.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 4 February 2009, 8:48 AM  
Geez, we could have a good debate here, cause I ain't gonna hold back..

(but preliminary comment: when lawyers get involved only lawyers win. You Akld guys have just got rolled by a clique of boneheads on their bikes re your networking skills).

First. I think mappers are awesome. I raised the question recently why sooo many administrators are recognised at the national level but mappers almost never are. I think you are all very special people with amazing powers of concentration and immense skill. I would love to have "mapping projects" but unfortunately I have the attention span of a kitten.

I also have no problems with mappers deciding... hey I might try and make this pay... and making a map and seeing if anyone will buy the right to use it. Individual enterprise and all that, they are taking the risk. Go for it.

But why on earth would clubs use a website such as you describe, to sell their established maps? What is the market? School groups, scouts, fellow orienteering travellers, NZOF members looking for training maps...isn't a clubs whole founding purpose to support such people orienteering?

We, in NZ orienteering, have these amazing assets, maps, that can be used to practice our sport. Many of them, especially those in key public areas were created yonks ago and are updated by volunteer club mappers. Really don't we want to see them used as much as possible?

What we need in regard to these maps is a "tragedy of the commons" where everybody uses them. Whether that is people to go training, new clubs to run events (be they University clubs or other niche groups), community groups, schools...etc. Except that there is no tragedy. Its win, win win.

Why on earth would we need another website to put these maps on and get these people to buy them off? We could create a basic geo-referenced system through NZOF or MAPTALK (See Shaun Collins Lactic Turkey Run Register as a possible framework. We can load A4 pdf's on the web and let everyone go for it.

These groups don't need fancy file formats or taxes, they need a map in their hand as cheaply as possible.

Now this status would be the defacto status of all maps in NZ. There would be two main exceptions 1)when landowners are an issue ...then the map could be referenced but not uploaded so potential users must contact the club map person and landowners 2)when the map is still new and events are re-couping the costs of its production...the details would need to be worked out.

The thing is, this is actually quite simple. We need to get over the idea that maps are our most valuable IP. Our most valuable IP is our course setting/controlling/event format/branding/reputation for challenging people and helping them have fun. There isn't a delivery problem if we understand this.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 4 February 2009, 9:35 AM  
You've got me thinking Jamie. I think I'll try out my club with the notion that we allocate our maps to two categories, free and otherwise. For the free ones, whenever we produce a layout for our own use, we stick a pdf version on the web and anyone can print it. (What website doesn't matter yet but it does need a structure to let someone to find a map.)

I agree that getting maps in peoples hands is a promotional strategy. And also I want to get out of the map production loop. My stance on this has changed over the years, I expect orienteers might come round gradually, as they have with paying for mapping and other services.

Which leaves the non-free ones. Maybe Bryan's payment mechanism might be required here - though the name "Urban Jungle" suggests he is targeting city streets and parks which would probably be on the free list. Protecting rural access goodwill might be another reason for making a map non-free. Anyway one step at a time.

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 4 February 2009, 10:29 AM  
Sounds like a good "open-source" proposition Jamie; a bit like Wikipedia or Linux...might be an option to have old versions free and new current high quality not yet available.

I can see a mega resource called Ogle-Map in the makings...

Show Profile  addison Posted: 4 February 2009, 12:10 PM  
I'd love to have a proper debate with Jamie at the next event in front of a crowd.

Jamie, get a job and learn how the real world works.

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 4 February 2009, 1:17 PM  
Sounds like a challenge that can only be resolved by a carpark debate at Fridays Superseries. Traditional format 3 mins each, Simon and two mates vs Jamie plus two; topic "That orienteering maps should be free" or something like that..happy to adjudicate and organise the sound and furniture if the challenge is accepted.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 5 February 2009, 1:24 AM  
I'm not a fan of your real world Simon. I prefer a 3-D world with a little less black and white and some more imsgination.

Get fit and smell the roses!

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 5 February 2009, 1:40 AM  
Real world? I didn't realise that Waikato uni was the real world, what job do you do there Simon?

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