Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Quality of maps


There's been some discussion at Attackpoint about the quality of maps and mappers. One person wrote:

Time to compile "mappers" black list

That's an interesting, though not necessarily good, idea.

The problem with creating a blacklist would be that we orienteers have some difficulty judging the quality of maps.

It is extremely hard to judge the quality of a map during a competition. The biggest problem is that it can be difficult to separate bad course setting (especially bad control placement) from bad mapping.

I think orienteers tend to over emphasize the importance of point features as measures of quality. What I mean is that you'll hear complaints like, "that boulder couldn't have been more than half a meter, the map was bad." But, a problem like that isn't necessarily a big deal.

It can also be hard to place blame. Maps can be "bad" because of problems with the basemap, fieldchecking, drafting and printing. Sorting out the blame can be tricky.

I guess we could figure out a way to measure the quality of a map, but it'd take some careful thought.

posted by Michael | 7:31 PM


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