Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking at some lidar data


The image shows a bit of the basemap for an orienteering map I've been working on. I prepared the basemap from laser scan (lidar) data that I got for free. I used OL Laser to create a "lutning" image. The "lutning" image seems to be the best base material for this sort of forest.

The circles show some of the features that I can pick up from the data and that I show in the video below. The dashed line is a very subtle linear feature. It is the remnants of an abandoned trail.

Looking at the basemap at Rockcrusher from okansas on Vimeo.

Latest from Attackpoint

A new version of the video + GPS tracking at Attackpoint that combines the video with an QuickRoute orineteering map. Very, very cool.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 5:30 PM


Video tracking at Attackpoint


Ken has created a new tool for combining video and GPS tracks at Attackpoint. You can see an example here. The video and GPS track are synchronized. Click to start the video and the GPS track follows along. A version with tracking on an O' map is not far away.

The low-tech version - watching a head cam video with the O' map in your hand - works really well, too.

Several orienteers on Attackpoint have recently picked up head cams and it'll be interesting to see how they put the cameras to use. The obvious uses would include using video to:

1)help explain and promote the sport;
2)show less experienced orienteers how a more experienced competitor ran; and
3)analyze technique.

In my limited experiments, I was most surprised with the feeling I have watching a video of a course I ran. With a map in my hand and the video playing on TV, I felt almost as if I was running the course (without the legs being tired). I found myself searching the screen for features that I had been looking for in the distance, just as if I were running the course. I found myself remembering feelings from the race (like shuffling up a tough hill and trying to push hard without pushing too hard).

Sian Beilock described some research where elite performers watched videos while attached to something called an fMRI. The researchers could see a picture of how the performers' brains were working while watching videos. Beilock wrote,

When elite performers observe others in action, they don't just sit there idly and watch -- at least that is true for their brains. Rather, these athletes seem to play off what they are watching inside their own heads.

The quote is from Beilock's book Choke. Beilock writes more about using video in sports, but I'll save that for another day.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:31 AM


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Some fieldchecking


The map clip shows a bit of terrain that I fieldchecked yesterday. The cliffs in this area are fairly low - mostly about 1.5 meters. I've used the boulder field symbol to show areas where the cliffs are either broken up or too low to be mapped as cliffs.

I've been using a laser scan (aka lidar) basemap with 2.5 meter contours and a "lutning" image from OL Laser. You can see a clip below. With a little bit of experience, the lutning image. With a little bit of experience comparing the lutning image to the terrain, you can really get a lot of information from it that makes fieldchecking a lot easier. The small black dots are usually the largest hardwood trees. The larger black blobs are typically cedar trees. The shading on the lutning image shows the steepness of the slop (darker is steeper). If you look at the area with the cliffs, you can see some of the shapes of the individual cliffs. It is actually a bit easier to see on the basemap than on the clip that I've posted below, but you should get the general idea.

When we first mapped the area - back in the late 1980s - our basemap had much less detail. Drawing the details in the rocky areas was extremely tedious and difficult to get right. You spent a lot of time using compass and pace and there weren't many strong fixed points on the basemap (though the contours were pretty good). As a consequence, we drew fewer details in the rocky areas.

I've become a big fan of OL Laser and, in particular, the lutning image (by the way, lutning is Swedish for slope, but I like the word lutning). The images are especially useful in the sort of terrain that is predominant around here. You can download OL Laser (it is free) and read about it at www.oapp.se. Click on the English flag for a Google translation and download a short set of instructions in English.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 10:03 AM


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Head cam notes


A few notes on orienteering head cam videos...

Watching a head cam video lets you count how many times an orienteer looks at the map. Map reading frequency is something I've been interested in for a while.

The camera I've been using - GoPro Hero HD 960 - does a great job of picking up the voice of the person wearing the camera. You could run a course and narrate what you're doing. It wouldn't be quite the same as a regular run (unless you talk to yourself out loud all the time), but it would be interesting. I think it could be a useful way to help relatively inexperienced orienteers understand what a more experienced orienteer is doing.

Chris Evans is wearing a GoPro in this video (he starts his run at 4:00 in the video and you can see a clip from his head cam at about 4:15):

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 5:46 PM


Friday, December 10, 2010

Short headcam video from last weekend


Cristina ran last Saturday's race with a headcam. Here is a low resolution clip of part of her race (from 1 to 2):

I don't know much about video editing. I need to figure out how to get a reasonable sized file without losing so much quality.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:37 PM


Monday, December 06, 2010

My first look at the OUSA strategic plan


I spent a few minutes today looking at the OUSA Strategic Plan (PDF). Since I've been especially lazy about updating this blog, I was struck by one of the "metrics":

The Senior Team will generate new content on at least a twice monthly timeframe on its official blog: http://usa-orienteering.blogspot.com/

So, I took at look at the page and...well, the Senior Team has updated the page at least twice monthly three times in 2010 (January, June and October). There's only one update from the WOC (and that is from the sprint qualifying race). That's probably a good "metric" to either drop or, better yet, for the US Team to meet.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:14 PM


Saturday, December 04, 2010

Some classic Kansas orienteering terrain


Here is the terrain for today's local event. Not exactly dream terrain, but truly classic Kansas terrain. I like that it is just a 10 minute drive from my house. I'll try to post the main course later today. Peggy set the courses.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:49 AM


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