Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nice terrain in North Dakota


I spent some time exploring the terrain I wrote about last week and I was not disappointed.  The terrain is interesting and runnable (even with summer vegetation).

You can see a GoPro chest-cam video with a GPS track and map to get an idea of the area.

The map I'd created from lidar data and OL Laser turned out to be quite good.  The main changes that it would need to be a really good map would be adding slope tags to help an orienteer distinguish depressions from hills, add the small trails, improve the vegetation detail, and add the occasional fence lines and power lines.

It would be tedious, but not difficult, to add the slope lines based on the lidar data.

The vegetation could be improved by using green circles to indicate the distinct lone tress that show up in the current map and adding some distinct vegetation boundaries for the edges of the larger stands of trees.  I think I could do a pretty good job by comparing the lidar data to Google earth images.

Getting the small trails consistent and accurate would take a mix of studying air photos and spending some time in the terrain.

Getting the fence lines correct would take a visit to the terrain.  You might be able to get some of the fence and power lines sketched in from air photos.  The Bing Maps photo has a lot of detail.

It might be worth adding some marshy ground.  When I ran around the area I didn't get my feet wet, but I saw a couple of areas that looked like they'd be marshy during part of the year.

The biggest problem with the area is where it is - North Dakota.  As best I can tell there aren't any orienteering maps or orienteers in North Dakota.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:51 PM


I've only just started reading your blog, so forgive me if you've answered this-- but,

Is your goal in this purely a mapping 'exercise'? (Mapping is the end in itself.)

Or.. would you like to host a super epic orienteering weekend? (like a Sprint/Middle/Long)


Cascade Orienteering Club
I'm not sure I have a specific goal. Mary and I went to North Dakota because she is trying to spend the night in all 50 states (and has only Mississippi left). A couple of weeks before we went, I poked around the web a bit and found the park and lidar data. It looked interesting, so it would give us something to do on our short visit.

We talked about going up there in the future for a training weekend.

It looks like heaven.

There used to an orienteering contact in NoDak but no more. I may be moving to Bismarck and might try to get something going.
The best contact for orienteering and similar things in North Dakota is probably ENDracing. They're putting on multiple adventure/rogaine-style races in 2013.

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