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Discussion: Orienteering start-up in O desert

in: Orienteering; General

Mar 28, 2019 1:54 PM # 
OUSA just received this inquiry, which I wanted to throw out to the general community. How do you get O to places where there are few or no orienteers, when a *tourism person* (ie, non-orienteer) asks?

I hope to get some guidance within a day or so to steer them in the right direction. (I emphasized the question about a course to go to.)

I live in Tennessee and am a member of of the Morgan County Tourism Alliance in a very impoverished county but surrounded by 2 national parks and several state parks and state natural areas. Orienteering sounds perfect for this area. Is there a course one can go and learn how to setup a course and map and run something like this for kids and beginning runners?
Mar 28, 2019 2:17 PM # 
Each year the scouts put on a week long orienteering course at the Philmont Training Center. For more details I suggest you contact Brian Coleman.
Mar 28, 2019 2:20 PM # 
Is there lidar data available? Because then it is easy to create a map...
Mar 28, 2019 2:21 PM # 
Each February and October the Greater St. Louis Area Council's Map and Compass Committee puts on a course for adult leaders which covers orienteering maps, orienteering, and the compass and a lot more.
Mar 28, 2019 2:29 PM # 
Interesting question Janet: how to establish a legitimate OUSA completely by newbies?

At an O-Ringen in Sweden one year, they had an exhibit about 'O in the Early Years.' This was back when O was being invented early last century. Courses then were very simple: they stressed route choice, not control finding. A course might only have 3-4 controls, and take half a day to complete! Control features were mountain tops and big lakes...not shallow reentrants and 1m 'cliffs.' The sport then seemed to be to choose the best route for those long legs; finding the control was simple: control markers were 5'x5' big!

Maybe we need to consider a second-tier of O clubs. That goes back to these basics, and does not worry about the fine points of the sport such as mapping standards, techniques, or national competition. And simply offers the joy of being out in nature, on a nice spring day, with any state park tourist map in hand, and a few easy objectives.
Mar 28, 2019 3:59 PM # 
dofishman, does the council teach how to MAKE O maps? Is Brian Coleman at Philmont?

Chitown, you have some good ideas ...

Note that this is a tourism bureau asking the question, not a scout group.
Mar 28, 2019 4:18 PM # 
Linear Ice:
A permanent course would be a good start.
Mar 28, 2019 6:36 PM # 
Pretty sure I've got some unprocessed lidar for Frozen Head SP. It's pretty far down my priority list, but it's in Morgan County, Tennessee.
Mar 28, 2019 8:29 PM # 
Maybe we need to consider a second-tier of O clubs. That goes back to these basics, and does not worry about the fine points of the sport such as mapping standards, techniques, or national competition. And simply offers the joy of being out in nature, on a nice spring day, with any state park tourist map in hand, and a few easy objectives.

I like the idea. In Tennessee the official illiteracy rate is 30%, the real one is much higher (I lived there I know). There are very few people there who would be able, based on their culture, tastes, educational level, to appreciate the modern orienteering in all its subtleties. But bringing them some simplified version would make them happier, hence less violent.

PS: Ian Wilson showed me once, long-long ago, an orienteering map of an area near Manchester TN. It was ordered, produced, but apparently never used by anyone??? I do not remember details, except that the map looked good. I guess Graeme Wilson might know details about this map.
Mar 28, 2019 8:37 PM # 
unprocessed lidar for Frozen Head SP

From what I know of that park*, it's probably best that it remains unprocessed.

There was a woman named Meg who really got excited about orienteering a while back (25 years?), and she moved to Tennessee and was determined to bring the sport to that state. It's possible that the map yurets mentioned was connected to her. Unfortunately, she seemed to vanish once she went there.

*If you don't know, look up "Barkley Marathons".
Mar 28, 2019 8:51 PM # 

Yes, this does look the real Tennessee. As I mentioned before ARs are very active in the region.
Mar 28, 2019 11:04 PM # 
Garrett. Meg Garrett. (Thanks to Nancy's memory. )
Mar 29, 2019 12:26 AM # 
Meg Garrett made a map of Cedars of Lebanon SP, which I think is the one to which Yurets referred.
Mar 29, 2019 1:16 AM # 
Hi All and Janetl, I suggest you give her My O NA article aka "Making a Good Enough O Map " , by Bob Rycharski, fall 2018 O NA issue. In It I (not a mapper myself) describe partly what she or anyone needs to do. HVO had an Out of date Ramapo Mtn (Oakland NJ Map), and a really small oakland parking lot and aggressive Local Cops (Ticket Blitz for illegal parked O'ers in the woods at the events 15 or so years ago.

Well, I myself live in the next town over and knew of a Back Beach Park wanaque, NJ entry Point (Ace Foot Bridge), not on the original map. Paul Bennett scanned the existing map and did a quick and dirty Trail update and entry point addition. Took 6 to 8 Months part time OCAD in 2017. Held two club events., the second of which HVO should Use to use LIDAR and remap the whole park (many problems, technical in nature, errors in the contours 45% more rock than the Old map showed in the new parts near the Footbridge, and such)
Bottom Line, get a map, Scan it in Power point or OCAD, Make a map that is not that detailed but that it can be used to orienteer (beginners say) and train newbies and get people interested in hiking with map and compass. Or get USOF friends, Gordon Hunter (USOF) did my Allendale NJ new Topo base map (late2018, Lidar), I did the field work (Jan and feb 2019) and Paul Bennett (HVO) did a Graciously nice OCAD 8 version for my NJ Scout event in 2 days, 30 march. This is another OCAD map done in 3 or 4 weeks part time, and its great that the local Bergen County NJScouts are in for a real treat, this map is accurate and 99% correct. . ANotheR awesome Victory for the ... Rycharski Orienteering Group - Better known as the "ROG" - O club (unofficially), :-)

Anyway, get a map, learn how to PC map your park (does not have to be fancy at first) , apprentice to a more experienced mapper, Ask GH in FLA if he is available (Thanks again Gordon) or get tutored by one even if distant, and JUST MAKE the MAP. My 2 Cents.... If I can oversee Mappers and create 2 Topo Good Enough Maps in 2 years, Anyone can do it, if they want learn
Mar 29, 2019 4:14 AM # 
Unfortunately, she seemed to vanish once she went there.

Maybe she's still out doing one of those half day orienteering events.
Mar 29, 2019 9:42 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
Funny to read that I'm not the only one who have followed the Barkley Marathons and used that as a trigger to locate and download lidar covering Frozen Head.

I never made a full map of the area, afair the total amount of las/laz files was quite large...
Mar 29, 2019 11:15 AM # 
Thanks for the shout out Robert. I hope things go well with the scouts.
I'm thinking we are all missing the point with the request from the tourism association.
It is not likely they are looking to form a local orienteering club.
It seems that the word is getting around when tourism associations get together to talk with other tourism associations that sports tourism is a very lucrative market.
So they look around and ask themselves 'what sports could we attract to hold their events in our county/'
They also ask 'what can we give our tourists to do once we get them here?'
Sometimes, and often thanks to a certain ex-OUSA ED, the answer comes back 'Let's check out orienteering."

I have been involved with two such inquiries in Florida. One county just does not have the terrain. Another offered the other Florida club pretty well everything but kitchen sinks to bring a national level event to their county and to the great park there. Incredibly those other guys turned them down. So don't blame me if you are missing out on an early December 'Winternational' Orienteering event in sunny Florida.
But the guys to put Morgan County in touch with are Jim Hall and Chris Gikkas from Asheville NC.
Chris has done more for orienteering in his area in his few years with the sport than any of us have done in ten or more years in our own areas. And I mean ANY of us. Mastered mapping? Check! Holds regular events? Check! Holds clinics for school groups? Check! Built his own e-punch system? Check! Made orienteering maps in TN? Check.
Mar 29, 2019 11:25 AM # 
Maybe they were holding out for the sink before committing.
Mar 29, 2019 12:20 PM # 
Gord, thanks for the mentions of Chris and Jim. I'll see if they will help out here.
Mar 29, 2019 7:47 PM # 
Peter Goodwin has put on some mapping clinics for OUSA. Brian Coleman is developing a course on how to make an orienteering map.

If you just want to hold a simple orienteering event you can always use the parks topographical trail map or a High Resolution Aerial Image.

If you have an area you would like to map you can always hire a professional mapper.

Janet first off OUSA should have a standard package for this. I would ask them for more details on what they are looking for. How much time they have to make this happen and what kind of budget they have? To get started I would suggest they do their homework and attend a local and a national event put on by one of our clubs (OCIN).
Mar 29, 2019 8:17 PM # 
For complete newcomers, a White course using a USGS map with trails added is appropriate in a number of ways. And that's easier than ever to create these days.
Mar 29, 2019 8:29 PM # 
If you just want to hold a simple orienteering event you can always use the parks topographical trail map

Is it meant as a joke?

If you have an area you would like to map you can always hire a professional mapper

Well, that depends
Mar 30, 2019 1:19 AM # 
A good question to ask would be what the tourism outfit is seeking, what do they hope to achieve, etc.

Tennessee has several permanent Orienteering courses. If the county tourism alliance can pull in interest of the national and state parks them maybe there would be funds for mapping and permanent courses and programming—try out Orienteering sessions, Kids programming, family fun Orienteering event, etc.

Leverage Barkley event—why just run when you can run and navigate.

Seek out a partnership with local schools.

Seek out a partnership with local community organizations to start an Orienteering Club.
Mar 30, 2019 3:55 PM # 
These folks seem new and have established a well working club recently:

It is plausible that they may have had some coaching friends in nearby QOC country.

You may want to reach out and draw upon their experiences, starting up a club.
Mar 30, 2019 4:14 PM # 
Reminder - the original request was from a county CVB asking how to bring orienteering to their community. We're jumping the gun to getting a club started there.

I emailed her some suggestions (and blind-copied Jim and Chris, hoping they'll chime in too), including a photo/scavenger hunt type event similar to one I did in Albany, NY, and street O ideas. Linked as well to the OUSA permanent course information page.
Apr 3, 2019 12:56 PM # 
Before you get too excited about the presence of national parks, you might want to talk to the rangers there. Most national parks are not particularly interested in hosting orienteering events. I don't know why. Of course, there's a whole lot of good terrain in Tennessee outside of the parks that would work fine if mapped.
Apr 3, 2019 1:55 PM # 
It may be that a basic map can be made of the "grounds" around a visitor center that will have enough points so that people can be using a map to find permanent controls. This kind of map can relatively easily be made using aerial photos (and perhaps LIDAR or USGS contours). If the person in the area helps with basic field checking (do the things that the remote mapper indicated are there really exist?) then a basic map can be made. Obviously LIDAR would help but it isn't really needed for a basic beginner map. There are some people who have volunteered to make this kind of map.

There is the ultimate question, however, will it ever be used? The people on the ground need to invest some of their time and effort so that they then will encourage the use. It is also valuable that the person doing work on that end also is not the only one interested in the project because if they leave, so will the promotion of the map.

And yes, we should probably develop a package of information that we can use to reply to this kind of request.

This discussion thread is closed.