Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, October 19, 2009

Orienteering map on Iphone


I tested an "experimental" feature of omaps.worldofo.com today, I looked at an orienteering map on the screen of my Iphone, with a little red dot indicating my current location. The GPS in the phone creates the red dot. It is very slick.

Below you can see the screen with my track as I walked around downtown Lawrence on my lunch hour.

This image shows where I stopped for a few minutes on the KU campus as I biked home after work.

Here is how it works (from an Iphone user's point of view):

1. You point your Iphone browser to the mobile version of Omaps.worldofo (the address is http://omaps.worldofo.com/m/

2. The screen will give you several options, including: latest additions, latest competitions, and closest O-maps.

3. Click on closest O-maps and you'll get a list, with small images, of the nearest maps in the worldofo.com collection.

4. If you happen to be on the terrain covered by one of those nearby maps, you will have an option to click on an "experimental" link.

5. The map image will open and a red dot will appear, showing your current location.

6. Move around a bit and the dot will move.

Currently there aren't a lot of maps loaded in the collection. For example, when I was in San Antonio, Texas, the closest O-maps were in the Kansas City area! Overtime, I'm sure more maps will be added.

I don't know the technical details of how maps get added. I posted maps on my blog and they get picked up by Omaps.worldofo.com. When those images are jpegs created by Quickroute, they contain enough geographical information that WorldofO gets them in the right location. But the maps I post (through blogger.com) apparently strip enough data out of the file that they aren't automatically available for the experimental feature. To get them loaded, I had to email the files to WorldofO.

What I really need to do is find a better way to post the Quickroute images, so that the maps that I upload get automatically added with the data necessary to use the experimental feature. I wish the local club (either OK or PTOC) used the DOMA map archive system.

Having the ability to locate yourself on an O' map with the Iphone's GPS is a nice trick, but it is useful? I think it could be a good way to interest tech-phone-savy kids to orienteering maps. I can imagine having a permanent course designed specifically to be used by people using their phones to see the map. I'm sure there are some other ways to use the system that I haven't yet thought of.

It won't be long before you'll be able to track another runner who is on a course. I've been using Instamapper.com to track Mary (and for her to track me) now and then. Instamapper uses Google maps as the background. It probably won't be long before an O' map can be a background.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:58 PM


I'm happy to see that it worked! I've posted all the advantages I see for having this feature at the start of this article,


The Iphone/Android version is even more accessible for "normal" people than the Garmin GPS version.

Did you use the "Experimental" or "Exp 2" mode? Different technological ways to solve it, and I was curious which works best on Iphone (as I've only got an Android phone to test on).
This is a very nice feature! I just tested it. http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=img_0057c4uy.png
I had problems first, it didn't display the map (using this map: http://www.my-maps.ch/dani/show_map.php?user=daniel&map=48). Not sure why, maybe because I had only EDGE connection the firs time and it didn't download the map file properly?
I used the "Experimental" mode.
I used "experimental" mode and it worked fine. I tested the "exp 2" mode and it didn't seem to work - I got a small red dot that was off to the side of the map image.

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