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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Why are you avoiding Route Gadget?

in: Orienteering; General

Aug 8, 2017 9:10 AM # 
You! Hey you! Yes, I'm talking to you if you are one of the 90 to 95% of the participants in the recent Canada 150 Orienteering events who is avoiding loading your routes to the event Route Gadget site.
Why are you avoiding doing something that is so helpful to your orienteering training and helpful to the event course planner?
Ever since I started orienteering -and that is close to 50 years - participants have been marking their routes on their maps and getting together after a race to compare where they have gone, where things went right and where things went wrong. Partly this has been out of courtesy and to be sociable but mostly it is because next to fitness training and staying in good health it is probably the best way to improve one's orienteering skill.
Just as teams in many sports look at game films to see what went right and wrong so too can the orienteer look at past routes to pick up on trending mistakes.
Route Gadget adds to that ability of self analysis and combined with others' routes creates a whole picture for you the participant.
Do you stay away because you don't want others to see your mistakes? Don't worry about that. It is all there in the accompanying Splitsbrowser.
Yes, you can place your route using a GPS track but don't worry if you didn't track your route. I actually find it better to manually add my route to Route Gadget. It compels a good look at the features on the map and on my route choices.
But it is not just for you and for your fellow competitors that you should put your route on Route Gadget. Think of the course setter who went to some effort to plan courses with legs that offered varied choices. He or she wants to know- deserves to know- if those choices were used. You can help make better course setters by adding your routes to Route Gadget.
Please. I was responsible for the courses at two of the O-Fest events. I'd love to know how you tackled them.
If you are avoiding Route Gadget I'd love to know why.
Aug 8, 2017 1:13 PM # 
I concur. A great way to see and think about what you did (and routes others took that you may not have thought of, and whether they were better or worse), and for the course setter to learn a lot. As a course setter, I always look at the RG after. (As an orienteer, I find that a GPS track tells me a little more about where I was traveling fast or slow, etc., at least if I animate the dots in RG, and potentially exactly where I went versus where I thought, but there's a lot to be gained by thinking back and drawing the route by hand, a bit different learning each way.)
Aug 8, 2017 2:00 PM # 
1) 90% or more of the competitors aren't on Attackpoint to see your note. RG gets basically the same (non-)response after most NA events.

To get higher response rate, you'd have to communicate what RG's about and how to use it somewhere that most/all competitors will see. (If you go to results for a coourse, anyone with a ? after their name doesn't have an AP id...or hasn't claimed their splits, but that's less likely.) Maybe the events' registrar has a communication system that would get the word out.

2) I upload my track from my computer, and I don't have that handy at the moment. :-) I'll try to remember later this week if life doesn't get in the way.
Aug 8, 2017 2:46 PM # 
Because I didn't get home to the computer with the software to download the Garmin until 10 PM last night and had to go back to work today :-) There's also photos to edit, laundry to do, and life to catch up on.

And maybe a little bit because I'm afraid to look at my Sunday tracks ;-)
Aug 8, 2017 5:05 PM # 
I'm trying to draw my route on the long (course 7), but it's not working on no. 11 no matter how many times I try clicking the middle of the control circle. I see two have entered their GPS tracking for that course, but no others have drawn theirs.

I wasn't planning to enter my route for the middle because I'm not too sure where I went wrong on no. 1 and ended up bailing out - I could only guess based on where I found myself.
Aug 8, 2017 6:39 PM # 
Sometimes when you can't get it to accept one control, the problem is actually that it didn't record you going to the previous control.
Aug 8, 2017 6:40 PM # 
Manually entering routes is tedious. Would consider if I get a GPS watch.

Can see route choices being helpful to course setters, but not sure dumb mistakes would provide useful info.
Aug 8, 2017 6:43 PM # 
+1 Guy. ;-) My errors on the COC Long are only instructional to me. Now if we'd just isolate the 1-2 leg...
Aug 8, 2017 7:38 PM # 
cwalker, yes, that can be the problem, but I've got the blue line going from 10 to 11; I just can't get it to go from 11 to 12.

I can see mistakes being of interest to a course setter at least with a reasonably large sample size where a number of people make the same mistake. Also, how difficult or easy it is for someone to recover from a dumb mistake on a leg.
Aug 8, 2017 8:57 PM # 
To me as a course setter, knowing how and where orienteers had problems is useful for designing appropriate difficulty courses in the future. Sometimes I'm surprised by where and how. But I know that airing my mistakes feels awkward. As Gord says, they're in the splits and end result anyway.
Aug 8, 2017 10:18 PM # 
Timewise they're in the splits but atually seeing where people go is useful. Plus in training I like to compare where I went with where I think I went.
Aug 8, 2017 11:16 PM # 
Who cares about instructional? Other peoples' mistakes are *hilarious*.
Aug 8, 2017 11:47 PM # 
Same around here Gord. I've spent untold hours loading events, and a club-mate has spent untold hours writing a friendly guide. Use is a few percent. I'm led to the conclusion that of a couple of thousand club members in the country there are only a couple of hundred who are serious competitors.

But when it came to changing the stupidly under-size 5yr age groups to more realistic 10's. Wowwww! All of a sudden, 2000 serious competitors!
Aug 8, 2017 11:56 PM # 
It would be a lot easier and more automatic if integrated into a mobile app that did registration and timing, displayed the map, as well as automatically uploading a track after the event. People like simplicity nowadays. When I created a thread that made people click a link to see a map, I received strong requests to inline the map, to save the click and keep everything in one window.
Aug 9, 2017 2:10 AM # 
juffy - you taken up tRicky's role on AP? And speaking of people who can't defend themselves - looking at NSWStinger's RG a few years ago when he ran off the map was... painful/hilarious.
Aug 9, 2017 2:16 AM # 
Maybe we need to mandate that all runners must carry a GPS device. Then have them download their routes at the finish line.

This would save having to carry those SI sticks and everyone's route would automagically load into RG.

Brilliant idea, if I do say so!!!!!
Aug 9, 2017 2:39 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
Use My O Maps The only way to get a result is to load your route to RG
Aug 9, 2017 2:39 AM # 
+1 AZ
Aug 9, 2017 4:09 AM # 
This was strange. I undid part of my route to no. 10, redid it to no. 10, then continued on to no. 11, and this time it worked.
Aug 9, 2017 4:45 AM # 
+1 Furlong. Just got my sprint drawn in tonight, after getting home late last night and having a very busy schedule today. Might try the other days tomorrow if time permits.
Aug 9, 2017 5:16 AM # 
But when it came to changing the stupidly under-size 5yr age groups to more realistic 10's. Wowwww! All of a sudden, 2000 serious competitors!

Try telling that to our association's 65+ population where our sole 80+ participant (at the time) didn't want to compete against the only other 75+ participant because he couldn't win but then he still wanted to run the same course so he could 'compare' afterwards.
Aug 9, 2017 6:49 AM # 
tRicky - you should know "It's all about the competitor"!
Aug 9, 2017 11:17 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
It would be a lot easier and more automatic if integrated into a mobile app

We have higher participation since using LiveLox than when we had RouteGadget. Despite the concerns expressed here, several have no problem carrying their phones with them.
Aug 9, 2017 12:08 PM # 
Can you tell us more about LiveLox use at your club? The website looks pretty cool - you just upload georeferenced maps, the event organizers create events, then your route automatically is associated with an event and displayed on the appropriate map?

Participants can carry a phone for live tracking perhaps? Or just a gps watch and upload after. THere even seems to be an automatic upload from Strava

But there is a cost, and there must be issues. Somehow this is tied to Eventor too - perhaps the same software developers?
Aug 9, 2017 12:54 PM # 
The auto upload from Strava works great. It means I don't need a computer in order to get my route on Livelox -- I've had my route on Livelox before leaving an event (watch->phone->Garmin Connect->Strava->Livelox all happens automagically).
Aug 9, 2017 1:26 PM # 
I think there is only one other area in North America that uses Livelox - Florida.
On the front end it is a great way using smart phones/ androids etc to keep track of orienteers out on course. In April I was able to track many participants in the Florida JROTC championships (schools) from the cooler comfort of my home in Canada. The tracking is comparable to the tracking available at WOC but at a fraction of the cost.
On the back end it is comparable to Route Gadget in event replay.
I thought about using Livelox for the Night-O and Retr-O at the recent Canada 150 O Festival. I backed off because of the poor cell phone coverage for the Retr-O area and because Orienteering Ottawa gets one chance at a free 90 day trial and I didn't think it was up to me to use up those 90 days in two.
Aug 9, 2017 2:13 PM # 
...poor cell phone coverage...

Well, cell phone coverage is essential for live tracking - but anyone with a GPS device other than a phone can still upload their tracks in Livelox. It is also possible to draw your route by hand (I´ve never tried that so can´t really give any comments).

Just like Cristina uploading a route has been very easy for me minus the Strava part that I still haven´t activated. Watch > phone > Garmin Connect is automatic but then I´ve saved and uploaded my GPX file separately.

Without the license you can still upload for free but only see your own route. So to be able to compare with others you´ll have to pay.

I don´t know about international rates but in Sweden an individual license is SEK 299/year. Club license is SEK 500 + SEK 20 per active member.
Aug 9, 2017 2:50 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
We tried LiveLox during the free trial period and enjoyed it. (Selfishly, it gives me great fodder for route comparison FB posts, which our clientele seems to enjoy.)

Since we liked it, one industrious member campaigned for the LiveLox subscriptions to be part of the member benefits (which had dwindled since we stopped producing a newsletter), it got approved, and so he bought us some licenses and we partitioned them out to people we thought would be active users or requested one. We'll buy more if more ask.

Some use their phones. Some power users upload from their watch after the fact.

We are a small club, so we get say *maybe* a dozen people for a streamer training (left up for a month, go on your own time, at least that I'm aware of, not all are on AP), and then for a meet, 30-80 people, and the LiveLox rates can be something like:

Trainings: 5 3 3 5
Meets: 9 16 (campus sprint) 9 12

LiveLox link is a standard part of our results post now.

As Jim noted, it's also very nice as a course setter - what brilliantly crafted route choice puzzle ended up with everyone going the same way, or what less interesting leg was solved in an unusual way.
Aug 9, 2017 3:57 PM # 
How much are you paying Mr Wonderful?
This sounds too good to be true - there must be a catch ;-)
Or perhaps it is how difficult it is to set up an event?

Seriously though - why aren't more clubs using it?
The advantages so far (especially the live tracking (for safety)) are outstanding
Aug 9, 2017 5:08 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
I think for non Eventor / US type clubs, $7.25 per year per person depending on exchange rates (60 SEK) in order to view multi tracking. I think? you can still do free for uploading or viewing only one track at a time.

Event set up is pretty easy, a few minutes, esp. if using something that does the IOF export, like Purple Pen, then georef the map, click a few settings to not accidentally make it publicly viewable prior to the event... <10 minutes ish, if you are happy with the georef.

Why not? It's pretty new, it's not free like routegadget, inertia, I speculate.

The live tracking is just plain fun - when we piloted that feature, I texted two buddies to indicate I was starting on a streamer course, then they could watch me fumble around real time (parallel spur tripped me up on the debut, haha). I hope for this year's night o that I have decent cell service and can watch everyone running around during that mass start event.

LiveLox btw is not perfect for score events - I think we create an all controls image, then just mark a start/finish. Works very well for point to point - I especially like comparing per leg, where it autorotates (ie , c #3 is directly above c #2) for each leg, makes comparisons really nice with distance, time, etc.
Aug 9, 2017 6:26 PM # 
I am ashamed to post my tracks, especially those not related to my orienteering skills.
Aug 9, 2017 6:34 PM # 
AZ As I mentioned Florida Orienteering is keen on Livelox and the keenest is Blaik Mathews who has prepared a couple of videos on using Livelox.
On the FLO OR/SI Results page you can also see the outcomes of Livelox tracking.
Aug 9, 2017 7:30 PM # 
Sounds lovely. Does it work with spotty cell coverage, at least enough to be a safety tool for knowing where to collect lost or tardy orienteers? Ever more of our orienteering areas seem to have at least some cell coverage, but sometimes only on ridges and not in valleys. Even just the ability to easily download tracks sounds useful, though.
Aug 9, 2017 9:01 PM # 
Gps should be unaffected by cell service no?

I haven't tested livelox specifically but I know on an iPhone with google maps it will continue to track you even without service.
Aug 9, 2017 10:07 PM # 
Do away with age classes.
Aug 10, 2017 12:49 AM # 
GPS should of course work without cell, but the live tracking needs it, which is a bit useful for knowing not just who is still out, but how long they'll be, and where to find them if they're lost. I suspect that spotty coverage might suffice for that, but it probably depends on whether the software can handle that well.
Aug 10, 2017 2:31 AM # 
Do away with age classes.

Well Jim and Blair still run elites without expectations of winning (as do I) so everyone can!
Aug 10, 2017 2:38 AM # 
The clothing I use to go orienteering rather precludes using my slightly bulky phone... and my GPS tracker is a little box with one button, I can't do anything with it until I'm home. Not sure Livelox would be as useful to me. This said, I definitely will add more tracks on RG, especially for the O-Fest! (not just because I'm actually happy with my results this time.. except the retr-O..)
Aug 10, 2017 4:57 AM # 
RG is less useful for those with a perfect run, except for the ego. It is most use as part of self-analysis. Maybe all those 2000 serious orienteers are drawing their routes on their paper maps afterwards, as we used to recommend:^)
Aug 10, 2017 6:18 AM # 
Some simply prefer not to post their tracks and we must accept that, that's perfectly fine.

Year ago we raffled a prize among those who posted their track. 50% of participants posted, that's about two times the usual figure.
Aug 10, 2017 9:44 AM # 
I think some people take the 'Live' part of the name Livelox too seriously.
Yes, it does have a feature for live tracking and for that you need cell coverage (and a phone). There´s lots of courses and tracks put up every week by Swedish clubs but very few actually use the live feature.

And for adding your GPS track after the race it works just as well as (or better than) other similar solutions. No need for expensive bulky phones or fancy GPS watches, a small GPS tracker works too as long as you can get a .gpx-track into your computer.
Aug 10, 2017 11:01 AM # 
Even 25% of people uploading their routes in my association would be a 150% increase. Most don't carry a GPS.
Aug 10, 2017 2:31 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
most don't carry a watch

I was tempted to build a pool of old but good enough watches and encouraging interesting people to wear, like the guy that tends to win when he shows up. I'll be upgrading my old fenix with crap-for-AR-but-more-than-good-enough-for-O battery life - I'd be happy to add tracks by lending it, perhaps other members will feel the same.

A recent rogaine I did draws numbers and tosses out a pair of trackers to the randomly selected teams, which I thought was a nice feature.
Aug 11, 2017 2:14 AM # 
We've been leaving cameras at various checkpoints in the water boxes and fruit cache in our rogaines. Great way to get pics remotely and quickly.
Aug 11, 2017 2:39 AM # 
For some reason camera traps for orienteers tickle my funny bone. Maybe it's all the citizen science projects identifying chimpanzees, wildebeest, coati from captured images. I wonder if the camera traps pick up any of the animals that come to chew the salty streamers, etc.?
Aug 11, 2017 10:15 AM # 
Reminds me of the park official on Florida telling me about the remote camera they placed to capture images of wildlife passing by in the park. They also captured images of an act of human copulation (or some term like that).
Aug 11, 2017 8:43 PM # 
Back to the discussion of Route Gadget at the COCs.
Point 1) It seems that most of the current and former members of the Canadian JWOC teams have loaded their routes. It seems these athletes would know a great training aid when they see it.
Point 2) Superstar Emily Kemp has posted her GPS tracks and they are very informative indeed. She must have felt very 'at home' in the Foley Mountain's Finland-like terrain. But what a virtual race she had with young Leif Blake of the Yukon in the Course 9 long course!
Take a look. See the link at the top of this discussion thread.
Aug 12, 2017 12:23 AM # 
As the Ottawa OC RouteGadget "guy" I would also like to see more people use it at all of our events. I'm not sure I have published it enough but use is growing. My family and and I review lots of events to study options (generally ending up saying "why the heck didn't I see that route choice?"). We find it a very useful learning tool (granted not the only option now).

Setting it up takes about 15 minutes after the event, assuming I have the required files from the meet director or course setter. Much of that time is spent georeferencing the map to make it easier for people to add routes. I have also written a small program to convert the course and results files from the XML V3 format that is used by our teams normally, to V2, that RG works best with. If anyone wants to discuss my process and/or get my translation program I would be happy to share. In Canada we are lucky to have Orienteering Canada host RG which simplifies things for clubs. There is an issue in that the management side (not users) uses some Java which is becoming harder to support (a version of RG out of the U.K. Needs no java).

As for O-Fest 150, at last count, we have had 214 routes uploaded or drawn.
Aug 13, 2017 8:53 AM # 
In Ireland Routegadget upload is integrated into the results management software (Ór), as is uploading and publishing of results on the IOA page (
Aug 14, 2017 11:33 AM # 
I miss having it for races in Australia, used it all the time in the UK. Seems like they used to have a site regularly updated in Victoria until about 2014 then virtually nothing since :(
Aug 18, 2017 5:27 PM # 
O-Fest 150 now has 227 routes either uploaded or drawn.
If you want to see the Emily/Leif battle Gord Hunter mentioned 4 posts back, jump to:

Or check out all the O-Fest events at

This discussion thread is closed.