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Discussion: Open Orienteering Mapper

in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys

May 15, 2015 12:12 AM # 
I've been using Open Orienteering Mapper for a couple months (on my Mac, with a few experiments on my Android phone). I've drafted the basemaps of two 0.7 sq km forest maps (to facilitate field checking using OOM on my phone).

OOM seems as featureful and stable as I remember OCAD being when last I used it (several years ago, admittedly), despite having a pre-1.0 version number.

My AttackPointers think that it's viable for a club to use as its primary mapping tool? I'm wondering whether to suggest this to my club.

- no tracking licensed copies
- free
- versions for PC, Mac and Android (no need for virtual machines)
- everyone who occasionally maps can keep a copy on their machine
- people can practice and play with OOM, without the rush to free up a license of OCAD for someone else, maybe leading to more experience with the tool when it comes time to map
- the club's current copies of OCAD could be kept by the club's mapping director and/or mapping keeners for doing any specialty task not yet supported by OOM

- course setting seemed underpowered (but there's Purple Pen et al for that)
- anything else?

Just curious, as it hasn't crashed on me, and seems to have everything that I needed in order to draft maps, including splines, smoothing, multiple templates, georeferencing, a full symbol set (I haven't checked carefully, but didn't lack anything when drafting), rotation, printing, export to PDF, import .ocd (any version), export .ocd (version 8 only), etc. I'm interested in others' thoughts and experiences. I remember that managing the club licenses of OCAD as mapping director was always a bit of a nuisance, and the cost significant. (I checked the discussion archives, but didn't find much on this topic. Sorry if I missed it.)
May 15, 2015 6:26 AM # 
You can always use OOM as a mapping tool and then just buy the course setting module from OCAD, allowing all of the advanced course setting that it offers, while only having to pay a fraction of the price.

In my very limited experience, I find the two quite comparable, and sometimes there are features that are extremely useful that OCAD does not support.
May 15, 2015 6:56 AM # 
The 'draw another line at 45° to the last one' feature alone is almost enough to make me drop OCAD entirely, especially for sprint mapping.
May 15, 2015 9:04 AM # 
I agree OOM is a great and low cost way to get started in mapping. I recommend it to high school orienteers wishing to learn about and get started in orienteering mapping. It is good advice for any age.
The one problem I had was correct sizing the template/ background images once I had started a file. Obviously others do not have that problem.
The big advantage of OOM for me is being able to import cut outs from Open Street Map directly in to OOM. It is then a matter of selecting a symbol on the imported map, clicking on a shape or line and changing that shape to the appropriate orienteering map symbol.
This works better where the OSM detail is better. In some areas I've found OSM detail not only to be better; its been great. (For some reason, for example, the university campuses in Florida seem to have very high levels of detail shown on OSM)
I highly recommend that if you are considering a project that will involve an element of street orienteering:
1) check out what is available on Open Street Map
2) import the section that interests you to Open Orienteering Mapper
3) Convert the OSM detail to orienteering symbols
4) get further detail from Google Earth images placed as templates
5) do some field checking
and presto you have a quick and very low-cost orienteering map.
I think the only disadvantage I'm finding is getting contour detail traced from templates but in the areas I am working that is not a big problem.
And, by the way, for those who have OCAD, OOM files can be saved as OCAD 8 files and as you know those can automatically be converted to later OCAD versions.
May 15, 2015 10:54 AM # 
There is always the clubwide license for Condes for course setting. Course setting capability should not really be a consideration as to whether to use OOMapper.
May 15, 2015 12:06 PM # 
I like OOM and think it is a viable primary mapping tool for a club. But, I'm not all that familiar with OCAD.

I think the newer versions of OCAD have some built in lidar tools. So if you use OOM and have lidar data, you'll need to use something like OL Laser or LAStools in addition to OOM.
May 15, 2015 4:03 PM # 
I have been using OOM for about a year now, running on a Samsung Tab3 Android device, with a Garmin Glo external GPS unit tied to it. The combination works very well, once you get used to the routine of moving the appropriate files back and forth between your desktop machine and the tablet. I will say that the documentation for using OOM on Android devices is rather limited, but they never claimed otherwise.
Open Street Map templates are a great starting point - I have not tried converting OSM symbols to OOM symbols but most of our OSM data outside of urban areas is not very detailed anyway.
Based on our experience to date, we have decided to make OOM our primary mapping toolkit for our club mapping, for all the reasons listed in the earlier discussion. It is certainly well-suited to introductory mapping (parks, urban areas); I haven't tackled a major forest map yet.
May 15, 2015 11:38 PM # 
I too am interested in OOM, to spread map drawing from the small group of licence holders. For the foreseeable future, easy interchange between OCAD and OOM files is necessary. A few months ago there were issues with background maps including GPS data not lining up, are they still there? AFAIK I'm on the latest release 0.5.96
May 17, 2015 2:45 AM # 
I heard a brief talk once by the OOM author and what struck me was his problem of what to do about OCAD bugs. If OCAD didn't implement a feature correctly should he maintain compatibility with OCAD (ie duplicate the bug) or not. If he doesn't maintain compatibility we will all get frustrated that OCAD maps look different (I think that was the gist of the problem)
May 18, 2015 4:13 AM # 
Ah, a classic software conundrum.
Sep 28, 2015 8:18 PM # 
Has anyone been using OOM for fieldwork running on a Windows or similar non-Android tablet?
Nov 4, 2015 1:58 PM # 
Can I ask another question? I've just imported an existing OCAD version 8 map file into OOM to try and make some minor amendments. Unfortunately lots of the symbols have appeared with incorrect sizes compared to the original OCAD map.

This is most notable on small footpaths, indistinct footpaths, walls and fences. I tried to change the symbol set using one of the OOM standard sets (ISOM for 10000 scale) but when I import the line thicknesses don't all tie in.

e.g. - Index contour from OOM ISOM Symbol Set (10000) = 0.38mm, on ISOM document it states that this should be 0.25mm. Is this a scaling issue? Should it be 0.38 for 10000, and 0.25 for 15000?

It's scuppered my chances of making some simple changes to the map before a Night Race next week. I'll have to revert to getting someone with OCAD to update the map changes I had already done in OOM before I noticed these discrepancies.
Nov 4, 2015 2:15 PM # 
ISOM2k for 1:15k index contour is 0.25mm. ISOM2k section 3.1 (Scale) says:

Maps at 1:10 000 must be drawn with lines, line screens and symbol dimensions 50% greater than those used for 1:15 000 maps.

0.25mm * 1.5 = 0.38mm, so it looks like by importing into OOM you've corrected some symbol size problems in your older map, which may have been scaled incorrectly in OCAD at some point in the past. Congratulations! ;)

That said, while not "ISOM standard", you could modify the sizes of the OOM symbols for that map if you really need to. Either edit individual symbols; or rescale to 1:15k, then rescale back to 1:10k, de-selecting the "Scale symbol sizes" checkbox.
Nov 4, 2015 2:23 PM # 
Just increase the size of everything by 400% to make it easier for old people to read.
Nov 4, 2015 2:26 PM # 
Oh, and OOM has "Symbols (menu) > Scale All Symbols", too. 66.666667
Nov 4, 2015 3:41 PM # 
It seems that by trying to fix one thing I've managed to correct another, and at the same time give myself more work in the process.

Now I've got to figure out how to make very small fenced enclosures look like fenced enclosures (ie rectangle with one tick mark) using a special symbol.... oh if only I'd not started to tinker with OOM... but it was just too temping!

Thanks for the scaling advice, I have since had a look and spotted the note in the ISOM document.
Nov 4, 2015 7:37 PM # 
You could "Duplicate" the Fence (522) symbol, call it maybe "Fence Tiny Area" or something, Edit and change the "Line settings" "Distance between spots" and/or "Distance from line end" to something that fits your needs.

Of course that gets you into the "custom symbol set" realm, and all that implies ... which is probably where you were on the old map, and got where you are in the first place.
Nov 5, 2015 12:44 PM # 
Yes the old map does have it's own unique symbols (including a tiny fence symbol), which is where my problems have started. Needless to say that for my event next Wednesday we've reverted to making the changes through someone else using OCAD, and we can start to look at correcting the map using OOM when we've more time.
Nov 5, 2015 3:43 PM # 
Probably a wise decision. I went down that rabbit hole a couple of weeks ago myself, and still haven't clawed my way out. :) Our map is from 1998, as well, so many of the symbol numbers are all different, too! Fun times.
Nov 6, 2015 3:27 AM # 
If you make money from map making or can replace your time spent with dollars, then 700$ for OCAD is somewhat small number.

Say in a year you get x$ from map making and you are n times more efficient with OCAD. Then x$*(n-1)>700$ is where OCAD starts being interesting.

The "one year" is the timeframe when you buy the next version, which is more like two years.

This discussion thread is closed.