Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lack of government support?


I went for a run on Wednesday. I ran at Clinton Lake. The federal government acquired the land at least 30 years ago. The land is publicly accessible. The federal and state governments have developed facilities - like shelters, restrooms, parking areas. Various organizations - mostly volunteers and non-profits, I'd guess - have built and maintained a great trail network. It is a fantastic resource...provided largely by government support.

I ran with an orienteering map. It's a map I fieldchecked. My base map was lidar data. The lidar data provide accurate and detailed contours and planimetric features. I got the lidar data online through the Kansas Data Access and Support Center. State government created that center. A company called Sanborn Mapping created the lidar data. Sanborn was working for a federal agency. The lidar data are all provided at no charge. It is a great deal.

From time to time, orienteers complain about a lack of government support for the sport. I think they usually mean that the sport doesn't get a lot of direct public money. But it always strikes me as too narrow a view. Orienteering gets lots of government support, as the example of last Wednesday's run illustrates.

I think it is just human nature to see barriers before (or instead of) opportunities and to take advantages as givens. I like to think that if we could change how we viewed our own situations, we'd be better able to take advantage of those opportunities. If only human nature didn't stand in the way!

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 10:42 AM


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