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Discussion: New desert map/race

in: Orienteering; General

May 2, 2019 5:16 AM # 
What kind of race would befit a 2km x 2km area in the middle of the desert town? Would you omit certain details to make it more interesting? kind of goes against mapping though. any suggestions?

Thank you for your help!
May 2, 2019 5:43 AM # 
What is "the desert town"? More information about the venue as well as the audience/participants for the race would be helpful in formulating suggestions.
May 2, 2019 8:43 AM # 
What is the street network like? Are there public spaces between the buildings?
More likely rather than omit details it would be that for orienteering you would make certain streets temporarily out of bounds for orienteers so as to add route choice to the other streets.
May 2, 2019 12:28 PM # 
Not sure if you're familiar with Peco in west Texas. It would be mostly city streets primarily flat and little to no vegetation.

Thank you for your advice!
May 2, 2019 12:45 PM # 
"Primarily flat"? Looks like there's more contours in the road kerbing than in the landscape. :)

I can see a couple of not-terrible sprint maps there (the city centre and the high school), but otherwise....daaaaaamn.
May 2, 2019 1:22 PM # 
Street-O map
May 2, 2019 1:36 PM # 
Grid O.
May 2, 2019 2:49 PM # 
May 2, 2019 6:28 PM # 
Don't underestimate the potential for parallel errors when O'ing on a street grid.
May 2, 2019 11:20 PM # 
You definitely can do orienteering anywhere. So let's start with your objective / purpose. Are you perhaps trying to educate / train students? Put on public events and introduce orienteering / navigation to the community? Promote tourism / draw out of town participants?

I like the idea of a score style course, either with controls, or as a trivia orienteering (question which must be answered at each location).

Generally speaking, an orienteering map wouldn't include any road names or place names, although for beginners you might want to identify a few key roads.

If you have a few connections in the community, you can reasonably assume to be able to use public and quasi public spaces: churches, schools, businesses, apartment complexes. You might even be able to arrange use of the golf course (it doesn't look like it is irrigated - maybe its not even still in business?)

I can send you examples of a couple town maps I've used. (send me your email if it's not visible in your AP profile). On one of them, I knew a minister at one of the churches, and he knew all the other ministers in town and quickly got permission to place a control at every church. I also had a contact for a property owner who had a dozen or more rental properties scattered around town - she willingly told a number of tenants that there would be controls in their yards on one particular day.

If you're connected with a member club of Orienteering USA, their liability insurance certificate can help smooth access with a many landowners.

The school buildings in your town have interesting shapes, and areas that are mostly fenced off (the elementary schools, cemetery) create a navigational challenge by restricting access points and adding travel distance potentially much greater than straight line.

Heading farther afield, it looks like you have some interesting public lands - To the east, Monahans Sandhills State Park looks quite interesting. Farther southwest, you get into more mountainous terrain - Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch, perhaps? (I believe that OUSA has a national agreement with BSA to map and use scout properties). And I would guess that there is other public land (forest service, BLM) as you get down toward the Ft Davis area.
May 3, 2019 12:03 AM # 
none of the streets look too busy

You might want to mark this one as off-limits...
May 3, 2019 1:53 AM # 
You might even be able to arrange use of the golf course (it doesn't look like it is irrigated - maybe its not even still in business?)

Hey, just because a golf course isn't irrigated doesn't mean it's not used ;-) I used to play on a course regularly that wasn't irrigated and looked in much worse shape than this one does. There are even cars parked in the clubhouse carpark! This one at least has grass greens (ours were sand).

Mind you, we arranged a mountain bike orienteering event on my course one year so it's possible. I've also ridden on other courses during mountain bike O events (one in operation, one disused).
May 5, 2019 2:14 AM # 
I’ve been toying with the idea of a Sprint in Virginia City, Nevada. Maybe I’ll make a map when I retire. Ideally you could get off the streets and into the surrounding desert.
May 6, 2019 1:16 AM # 
Why wait until you retire?
Recipe for an orienteering map of Virginia City:
Ingredients: 1 LiDAR via
example USGS Lidar Point Cloud NV Reno Carson QL1 2017 11SKD7355 LAS 2018
2) Map of Virginia City and area from Open Street Map
3)Images of Virginia City from Google Earth
4) Image of Strava Heatmap of Virginia City area.
One Method: Mix all of 1 together with Kartapaullatin
Other method
Import 2 in to OCAD or Open Orienteering Mapper
Import LiDAR tiles to OCAD or Open Orienteering Mapper
Place Google Earth images in background of OCAD or template of OOM and trace in additional details
Follow same process with Strava heatmap images and trace in the trails that are actually being used.
Look on Gogle Streetview for additional in town information like fences and other small details.
Rotate map to magnetic north (+13.2 degrees)
Add meridian lines.
Look at what you have done and say "holy crap I have an orienteering map of Virginia City all without leaving home"
May 6, 2019 8:19 PM # 
Thanks for the detailed instructions. I've made a map with Kartapaullatin once, but only used it for a Boy Scout demonstration. It still takes a lot of time that I don't have, but maybe I'll start on it.
May 6, 2019 9:03 PM # 
You can also export data from open street map, but then licensing.
May 6, 2019 9:15 PM # 
There's a licencing issue with OSM? That defies the term 'Open' then doesn't it?
I know a guy who has started probably 30 orienteering maps in the last year all from an OSM framework.
May 6, 2019 11:11 PM # 
"You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt our data, as long as you credit OpenStreetMap and its contributors."
May 7, 2019 12:03 AM # 
but then "If you alter or build upon our data, you may distribute the result only under the same licence."

and then a lot of details in the license.
May 7, 2019 3:35 AM # 
That only means you can't sell or distribute your map under a more restrictive licence - so if you sell someone a copy of the map, they are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt that map further for their own purposes.
May 7, 2019 11:53 AM # 
The license is concerned about distribution of the data set, not small printed pieces of paper.
May 7, 2019 3:15 PM # 
well, I am not a lawyer, so I won't argue :).
May 9, 2019 3:55 PM # 

Quick Snippet via Kartapullautin + OOM
May 9, 2019 4:58 PM # 
Cool, thanks. What's the contour interval?
May 9, 2019 5:12 PM # 
When they're that close together, does it really matter?
May 9, 2019 5:29 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
This could help estimate it if urgent.
May 9, 2019 5:30 PM # 
Nice Hugh.
Where did you get the LiDAR? I downloaded a whole bunch of tiles from the National Map Viewer but OCAD could not/ would not open them. Yes, I had the correct UTM zone.
I'll try OOM next.
The hilly area east of town looks very good for orienteering, too.
May 9, 2019 6:00 PM # 
@origamiguy: whatever KP default is, as this was just a quick demo. ;) 2.5 meter, I believe? Steep stuff! The clicked-on version should be 1:4k.
@GuyO: Hah!
@MrWonderful: yes! Or this.
@gordhun: National Map Viewer. I processed for contours with Karttapullautin, not OCAD or OOM

Edit: 5m > 2.5m
May 9, 2019 6:01 PM # 
## Form line mode, options:
# 0 = 2.5m interval, no formlines
# 1 = 2.5m interval, every second contour thin/thick
# 2 = 5m interval, with some dashed form lines in between if needed


from my pullauta.ini
May 9, 2019 6:09 PM # 
I believe you used all layersin including intermediate ones in OOM so you have here 2.5m interval.
May 9, 2019 6:11 PM # 
Yep! @Jagge is correct ... not an OOM expert (or even user before today) ... didn't see a way to import separate 'layers' like in OCAD. Any OOM users know how? I guess I could split the dxf file up ....

But it wasn't hard otherwise. About an hour, a good bit of which was the KP processing.
May 9, 2019 6:23 PM # 
dxf file?
When I download from National Map Viewer I'm getting .laz files.
They are usually very reliable when they are there.
What is the difference? Is there another place I should be looking.
May 9, 2019 6:30 PM # 
I think you're looking for Symbols->Load CRT File and then selecting a CRT setup for the pullauta output, ie a text file with

203.1 cliff2
201.1 cliff3
115 udepression
0 uglyudepression
112 dotknoll
0 uglydotknoll
103 contour_intermed
101 contour
102 contour_index

in it. OOM keeps the DXF (or other OGR) tags and can parse them. It also has a tag list/editor which can be displayed by clicking on View->Tag Editor
May 9, 2019 6:33 PM # 
@xc-racer2: hooray they implemented! And thanks for the sample CRT. Fiddling ... see, this is why it's never really a quick map. ;)

@gordhun: dxf files are output generated by Karttapullautin.
May 9, 2019 6:40 PM # 
If you don't want to have form line between every contour you should import them from formines.dxf file.
May 9, 2019 7:04 PM # 
There we go, all fixed up above:
  • tossed symbols
  • re-imported KP DXF files
  • Symbols->Load CRT File got it all squared away
  • selected all form lines and deleted
  • added scale & interval
  • PDF & thumbnails exported (click image above for PDF)

    Thanks @Jagge, good tip!
  • May 19, 2019 6:02 AM # 
    This is the KP import CRT I use, after consulting with Jagge (who wrote Karttapullautin):

    115.000 udepression
    206.000 uglydotknoll
    112.000 dotknoll
    313.000 uglyudepression
    103.000 formline
    101.000 contour
    705.000 depression_intermed
    0.0 contour_intermed
    102.000 contour_index
    707.000 depression_index
    704.000 depression

    The big difference here is this handles the depression contours which require manual fixing, the dot knoll and U-depressions (normal and ugly), and it doesn't import the "contour_intermed", which are *uncut* formlines. See below for more details.

    Put those in a text editor, and save it. Mine is saved as "KP_out2_formlines_dotknolls_dxfs.crt" because it serves to remind me of the three files I need to import (see below).

    For KP runs with a single lidar input file, import three files: out2.dxf, formlines.dxf, and dotknolls.dxf. If you chose 2.5m contours with no formlines, there will be no formlines file. When you do this import, the 0.0 values will leave unconverted objects. Select All symbols and Hide them all. This leaves the unconverted objects. Zoom out, select them all with a mouse drag, and hit delete. Then select all symbols again and set them to Normal.

    In OCAD 11, I can do one import operation where I select all three files, then in a dialog box select the CRT, then hit Ok to import all three files at once.

    If you've run a KP tiled batch job and run the appropriate merge commands, you will end up with merged_contours.dxf, formlines.dxf, and merged_dotknolls.dxf. Import those 3 files (2 if no formlines), and again, use the CRT, and do the hiding thing to delete any unconverted objects.

    Make sure you first set the map to real world coordinates and the appropriate UTM zone (if your lidar data was in UTM). Be sure to get the northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere correct.

    A few caveats.

    The dotknolls file imported with this CRT results in brown and black dots. The black dots are "ugly knolls", which means the contour probably needs to be cut. It also results in brown and blue U-depressions. Again, the blue ones are ugly and might need contour line cuts. However---sometimes the knoll and depression data isn't worth importing. I prefer to let the mapper check them out and either use them or delete them for "basemap purposes" as they see fit.

    This CRT imports depressions as magenta lines. You can't import slope tags, so you must first draw slope tags on the magenta contours, then convert the dashed ones to formlines, the thick ones to index contours, and the thin solid ones to regular contours. I'm not 100% sure of the algorithm which picks the depression contours. I think KP usually finds the "bottom-most" contour, but not multiple depression contours inside one another, so pay attention to that.

    If you are not using this as a basemap, but instead are trying for an automated O-map, consider changing the ugly dotknolls and depressions to match the normal, (non-ugly) numbers, so they all end up brown. There's an extra step (contour cutting) for the ugly ones, so I prefer to keep them black and blue for the mapper.
    I used the ISOM 2000 symbol set *only*, so if you're having any trouble, create a new ISOM 2000 map, set real world coordinates, and do the import. If it's for a sprint map, I then convert the scale. Then open your new ISOM or ISSOM map (with the correct symbols for your desired map specification), and import the ISOM 2000 map. Play with the (three?) "import symbol" settings until it works. Alternately, you can look at the symbol numbers in my CRT list, and update it with the correct new symbol numbers for the new symbol sets.

    The CRT file should work in OOMapper, but I haven't tried it. It relies on the symbol numbers matching, obviously.
    May 19, 2019 9:15 PM # 
    What dxf file contains cliffs? Here in Cincinnati, they're not very useful because we have so few, but I'll import some and see if they're useful. (I normally give people the merged_depr.png or pullauta_depr.png so they have the cliffs and can draw them if they like. But I can see that vector format might be helpful.

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