Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Thanks for sharing!

in: iansmith; iansmith > 2017-06-20

Jun 22, 2017 4:22 AM # 
We appreciate the update! (Read aloud to Anna as we sit around our campfire).
Jun 26, 2017 2:10 AM # 
Thanks for reading! I hope it wasn't too boring. Maybe we should start a training program for the next generation of administrators.
Jun 26, 2017 3:11 PM # 

Very much appreciate reading this, and some of it was encouraging. The junior report is bittersweet.

Not that it matters, but the mapping proposal was the primary thing that killed my interest in the 50th anniversary thing. I am a big outlier, I guess, with respect to mapping at the national level, but I am not a fan of incinerating money, which is what I saw that as.
Jun 26, 2017 4:34 PM # 
I also appreciate this update, Ian.

And, if j-man is an outlier with a respect to the mapping proposal, then so am I. I certainly hope I'm wrong, but I think the odds of anything of lasting worth resulting from this proposal are very small.
Jun 26, 2017 5:13 PM # 
I'm most optimistic about the SEO and marketing campaign ("Marketing project" link in my entry) that Bob Forgrave is orchestrating. The amount we're investing isn't trivial - over $14k, but publicity and attracting people is the central existential crisis we face in the US. Also, I think Bob will measure the efficacy of the program; if it generates sufficient return, we can invest more money into the program in the future. I'm a big proponent of the build-measure-learn paradigm espoused in The Lean Startup, and I think most of OUSA's programs should take this approach.

Hopefully all of these programs will yield results that will help clubs and advance orienteering in the US. I still haven't heard proposals or discussion about how we can spend money constructively on "land access;" it's not a problem that's readily solved by writing a check. Similarly, while land access can be problematic, I haven't seen data on how many clubs would prioritize it as a major issue. Finally, because the land owner organizations (e.g. DCR in Massachusetts) are so varied, it could be difficult for a single national report or product to impact a large group of clubs.
Jun 26, 2017 5:56 PM # 
I too am disappointed with the mapping proposal. I think Peter Goodwin is the only one who really thinks his approach is going to be successful, and unfortunately money is being thrown at him for it.
I will probably end up being roped in to do some training courses for it, just because I feel strongly that some other people should not be teaching bad practices.

My biggest problem with the whole mapping issue is that no one has answered the question as to why anyone who is technically skilled enough would ever want to map for a US club? It takes so much time to become proficient at all the required skills - GIS, fieldwork, drafting, etc. The return is poor, especially when clubs don't appreciate that quality maps should be one of their core assets, and just a large quantity of shitty maps isn't going to attract new people to the sport.
Jun 26, 2017 6:56 PM # 
+1 ed. No one has bothered to even consider the question. I was somewhat dismayed that our in-house economist did not slay the idea when it was being discussed somewhere around here At that point, I realized the battle may have been lost.

The whole H1B (or some other) visa thing. I've maintained forever that it is worth pursuing and is not that hard. Incidentally, with a small investment of $4K-$5K, we secured an H1B visa for one of our employees this year. It isn't that hard. But, to orienteers, it seems like the Manhattan Project. They all seem like experts on it. My attitude has always been where there is a will, there is a way.

Anyway, as I have no will for any of this stuff, I'm slinking back to the black lodge, where Eddie's awaiting me. No orienteering politics there.
Jun 26, 2017 7:18 PM # 
What was I supposed to have slain, exactly?
Jun 26, 2017 7:25 PM # 
Apparently typing "in-house economist" on attackpoint is the bat-signal for feet.

On OUSA approaches to improving mapping in the US:
1. Teach club persons how to map. This seems to be the main objective of the mapping proposal - to hold clinics and provide resources to teach people how to map. I think this can work provided there is a sufficiently large set of interested people - while I am not a mapper, it seems that making ISSOM sprint maps is easier than forest maps. However, the likely end result is a set of amateur mappers, who probably produce typically lower quality maps than professionals.

2. OUSA can contract a professional (probably Euro). OUSA could pony up the effort for a visa and pay the mapper a salary. Clubs could reserve time for projects before the mapper was brought over, and the net cost to the federation would be small (a few thousand perhaps).

3. OUSA could collect information about how each club can bring their own mapper over; this seems to suffer from duplication of effort.

Maybe developing mappers in the US has a reasonable benefit for its cost. Mapping helps people learn how to orienteer, and there are lots of cute little parks and venues that are nice to map but might be too numerous or small to warrant a professional given scarcity. I speculate a professional has a comparative advantage for producing large scale forest maps for national events.

Anyway, I'll discuss (2) with the Board. Certainly the idea has come up before, and I know Barb in particular has investigated this.

Of the 50th anniversary projects (and more generally, club challenges), I think mapping is the easiest problem to solve by throwing money at it.
Jun 26, 2017 8:03 PM # 
@feet--perhaps I was hoping that someone more qualified than me might shoot down the prospects of home-grown mapping being a viable solution from an economic perspective.


a. Apparently.
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Another porous, WOT idea. Compiling best practices is such a weak solution, inferior to actually doing.
3a. In this case, I agree with feet. Orienteering is not suffering from a lack of maps, or cute little maps. I don't see maps solving the visibility/participation problem. However, the real ones are the Eucharist of orienteering. You can't serve the faithful saltines.
Jun 28, 2017 7:09 PM # 
Some preliminary financial discussion summarizing e-mails about how to use the 50th anniversary money from January 2017.

This discussion thread is closed.