Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, October 22, 2007

Investing in maps


Eric left a comment a couple of days ago that is worth repeating (so, I will):

"A new, professionally draw maps costs several times more than the income a club can make at a competition, and that isn't sustainable."

Agreed, the first part of this comment is often true, but I'll ask the author and readers to check their math and history about the "isn't sustainable" part.

This comment has been repeated for decades, and it has never been realistic, and I believe there are harsher words that more accurately describe an old but continually disproven position.

In what other field or situation is a capital investment expected to be paid off after one event, or even one year?!.

I'll suggest a more representative time frame for the economic lifespan of an O map is on the order of 5-8 years, and I'll gladly accept depreciation input from business professionals. Granted, a large chunk of an O map's return comes from the debut national event, but that leaves the map available for many more years of service. With a large or special area, this includes the possibility of a second national event, and at the very least, many years worth of local events.

If a club, or other map producer, cannot create income from a map after the debut event, that seems like strong evidence that the map project should not be commenced. The remaining options are, find a more appropriate map project, or find more capable leaders.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:07 PM


I didn't expext this to be reposted, but I am glad, and I wanted to make an additional point anyway.

The current shortage of mappers in North America (and I suspect the rest of the world?) provides evidence that O mappers are in fact not paid nearly enough to satisfy demand, to say nothing about the non supply/demand factors such as skills, standards, conditions, and lifestyle.

Latvia has too many mappers - it is not uncommon that two mappers map one and the same area at almost one and the same time. Then again, Latvian mappers probably charge much less than what mappers are normally paid in the US.

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