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Technical Topics

Show Profile  rossmaxmo Posted: 24 April 2012, 3:24 AM  
PS. Someone should take a video camera to this walk-over of the sprint map area. A very educational video could be made for future mappers' reference, with the video showing 'before' and re-drawn 'after' sections of the map alongside the video of the terrain to illustrate how things should/shouldn't be represented.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 9 April 2013, 6:28 AM  
I was around when the colour labels for nav difficulty were brought in and I think it made a huge difference to the white and yellow courses. With no assumed meaning for "white" you have to read the definition, and there it is. A much more consistent standard than before, when we used to call it something like "easy".

At the other end of the scale I think we are not keeping to our standards. As people (specially school kids) are on their way up the scale they need to know what they are getting. There are a couple of issues.

Straightforward ares such as farmland spur-gully. You can see for miles, the contours are not tricky, how can you call any course red? Even with fences off. Yet there's an expectation for a range of courses so the longest courses are frequently called "red". And then the planner plans some "orange" courses by leaving fences on the map. This makes most of the legs yellow. So kids do quite well and then they go to a sand-dune forest and red and orange mean something quite different.

The other issue is that there are some areas which are beyond what we envisaged as "red". Yes I know that the definition says "as difficult as possible" but that's a flaw, the levels should be objective. We need another label to describe the likes of Lake Rotoiti, which has point features (boulders) in 3m visibility manuka on flat ground. It was a fascinating experience (I went back on my way to the nationals) but it is far beyond the level of difficulty we got at Woodend and Dalethorpe. "Purple"?

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 9 April 2013, 3:07 PM  

Show Profile  mcroxford Posted: 9 April 2013, 3:31 PM  
Interesting discussion Michael. Personally I enjoy intricate technical orienteering. It has a lot to do with my fitness but I always found it a good leveller for other far fitter orienteers. Personally I find orienteering on open farmland unchallenging. That's not to say I don't make mistakes, I just don't enjoy the challenge.

I must say though that to me there is a tendency towards course setting being on the orange side of red even at major events. I particularly enjoyed the terrain, mapping and course setting at Ferrymead and Woodend at the Nationals. But there is a tendency to go for the known when decisions are made to select new areas. I love variety. I love Bannockburn, Waikaia, Flock Hill, Naseby, Gladbrook, Teetotal, West Bay, Mamaku, anything with intricate sand dunes or plenty of random rock etc. Good course setting on these maps is not Purple but actual Red to me. I think the problem lies in the second paragraphs there and that we need to be more realistic in how we label the colour coding on the club based events we hold. If the course is orange don't call it red because it's the longest on the day. Call it what it is. Right. Rant over.

Show Profile  The Map Guy Posted: 10 April 2013, 5:07 AM  
I was Technical Officer when the Colour Code Course Labels were introduced. Michael and I worked extensively together on the project. There is no doubt in my mind that it significantly improved orienteering events, even though at the time there was some resistance to the new system - probably because of the way it was implemented, rather than the system itself.

Michael also did a lot of work developing NZQA unit standards for orienteering.

Withe the passage of time and fewer Controller's Clinics I suspect that people haven't looked at the specifications for each course for a while. It is recommended reading for all Course Planners and Controllers.

Not all farmland can host a Red course, even with the fences not shown, so just call the course Orange. Works fine for a Club event. Just make the course longer if you want to extend people.

NZ currently has 4 colour standards where as other countries have more, but those are generally related to course length plus course difficulty.

The concept of a "purple" (or whatever colour it may be) course is an interesting concept, but if it is ever introduced it should be reserved for extremely hard to find controls in difficult terrain - nothing to do with course length. It should rarely be used as the element of luck and bingo controls could rare their ugly heads, and fairness will vanish out the window.

Show Profile  MikeB Posted: 10 April 2013, 8:17 AM  
MCR I understand what you're saying about red courses on farmland. We have juniors and others up this way who are inexperienced on real red courses, have probably done a few orange courses take on a red on farmland and get around adequately enough. They return to red in technical forest and get totally hammered. There is a huge differnce between both.

There are probably a few reasonably technical farm maps around, where you could set adequate red courses, but the fences would have to be left off and then that raises another old chestnut.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 3 June 2014, 6:57 AM  
An excellent Wellington Champs, and this minor issue does not detract from that. I think I can guess how it came about.

In the sprint I took a route choice to a control between two buildings, using the probable exit direction to come in from. There I found a tape, and hanging on it was a sign “Out of Bounds to Orienteers”. Actually it was facing the control and seemed designed for the control exit. Was I obliged to lean over the tape and read the sign backwards? Was I obliged to take any notice of it at all (the map said I could go that way). There was no mention of special signage in the programme or at the start.

It seemed to me like a last-minute thing that the landowner had imposed and I thought I should obey it in the interests of good relations with the landowner. I gather that many people ignored it.

How should we handle this? The MTBO Committee is discussing a related issue, where OOB signage (intended to keep people out before their ride) was interpreted by some as preventing passage while ON the course (not intended). What wording etc should we use to make these various things clear?

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 3 June 2014, 11:54 AM  
Someone with better eyes than me says that there is olive green between the two buildings. So I withdraw and apologise. I'll grizzle to my optometrist instead:-))

Show Profile  mark Posted: 4 June 2014, 3:50 AM  
I took the same route to that control. The strip of olive green was impossible to see while running. Even afterwards looking at the map it is very difficult to see.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 4 June 2014, 7:14 AM  
I wasn't there but looking at the map there is a lot of olive green without an outline, is this best practice? The legibility between olive green and open without an outline is problematic.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 4 June 2014, 10:06 AM  
There might be interesting mapping issues, there wouldn't be a map without a few. Under this technical topic, one might ponder having a desirable route choice though an out of bounds area, with or without a sign. I did it recently, and the restrictions weren't seen or followed. My mistake.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 7 June 2014, 7:53 AM  
Jamie - on your question of outline - I had some gardens when I was mapping Waikato University back in 2008 and my controller rightly pointed out to me that how can something be out-of-bounds without some form of distinctive boundary? So we used the cultivation boundary symbol, as they were cultivated.

Show Profile  MikeB Posted: 7 June 2014, 8:39 AM  
We had similar issues with the Tonic sprint map where I showed some gardens with the paving edge symbol especially where they were on the edge of a path or roadway but didn't show others where they were surrounded by a lawn. Gene who was the setter wasn't happy with that and made me change it. Once done it certainly made them more distinguishable. so it's certainly the way to go. The cultivation boundary and paving edge are both the same size so either can be used.

Show Profile  Jason Posted: 8 June 2014, 12:05 PM  
I didn't run the sprint at Massey but I got a copy of the map the next day. I thought the olive colour could have been a darker tone to make it stand out. Impassable objects and areas are generally strong colours (purple, black or part-black) so it would sense to have olive as dark as possible.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 22 June 2015, 3:28 AM  
Is this the way sprint is going, or just an aberration: building complexes so complicated that you have to stand still just to find ANY way to get the control. (And then it turns out to be the only one, so you have to come out the same way.)

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