Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Coming Attractions - Analyzing Mapread


I've been exchanging emails with a Swiss orienteer who had been doing some very interesting thinking about map reading. I plan to write more about it in the coming days, but today I want to give a very rough overview of some of one of the main ideas - categories of map reading.

You can think about map reading during a race by trying to answer a simple question for each time you look at the map. Why? Why did you look at the map? What was the purpose?

Answering the question leads you to different categories of map reading.

1. Sometimes you try to figure out where you are by looking at what you have passed.

2. Sometimes you look at the next small step - you know where you are, but you don't know the next feature you'll come to. So, you look at the map and pick out that next feature.

3. Sometimes you look at the map further ahead than the next step - you're looking for specific, significant terrain features that you haven't yet come to but that will help you navigate along the leg. These specific features function as "beacons" along your route.

4. Sometimes you look at the map because you've just come to something that you see in the forest and expect to be on the map (like a big boulder). You glance at your map to confirm your location.

5. Sometimes you look at the map to add further information about what is coming. You fill in additional details about your "beacons" or about what you'll come to between the beacons.

That is five categories of map reading. It is a simple list. But, if you spend some time thinking about it, you'll find that it gives you a very useful tool for thinking about how your are orienteering.

I titled today's post "Coming Attractions" - this is just a preview, I plan to write more and point you to some interesting resources in the next few days. Stay tuned!

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 6:51 PM


This might be of interest to your O-geeky mind: www.jegskalkommeefterdig.dk/vejvalgsanalyse.pdf
Thanks anonymous. Has anyone else noticed that elite sprints have migrated from having a fairly large percentage of trivial legs to courses like this, with fairly extreme route choice problems and very few trivial legs? It seems like the very definition of a sprint is shifting. I'm not complaining.

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