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Discussion: denoting on map area with pine trees

in: Orienteering; General

Jun 29, 2019 10:46 PM # 
Jun 29, 2019 11:38 PM # 
There's an orienteering mappers' discussion group where I posted photos of what probably was a similar area but in Florida. It is a pine forest with relatively scattered trees and certainly no full canopy. Next to the stands of pine are very runnable and heavily tree canopy covered areas of mostly oak.
There is only one open runnable symbol so I wondered if maybe the pine plantation should be as shown as rough open scattered trees, just like on your map sample. I showed photos.
The universal opinion of the mappers who responded was 'no, that pine area is open forest. Period.'
They agreed with you.
Jun 30, 2019 1:51 AM # 
If the area you (gordhun) mention is in fact relatively scattered trees with no full canopy, why would it NOT be mapped at rough open with scattered trees? That would distinguish it from the runnable woods with heavy tree canopy.
Jun 30, 2019 4:54 AM # 
Seems to vary based on the mapper. I ran in a sprint event in Lithuania a little over a week ago and the map showed white in areas of very runnable parkland with very sparse tree cover. The green dot was used if a tree was all on its own but if there were two or more on a patch of grass, well white it was. The scattered tree symbol was not used at all on the map. It was harder to explain to a newbie who was with us: "white normally denotes runnable bushland but here it just seems to be random trees".
Jun 30, 2019 1:40 PM # 
Yes, I've seen this white-for-parkland on numerous maps, including from some good eastern Euro mapper friends, who are otherwise very competent. Some people are canopy oriented, but baffling to (most?) others. I will continue to emphasize the ground area, because that's where the orienteer's eyes are focused.

So, on the pine issue, what is the ground cover? Is it more like forest (white), or is it more grass-like, reflecting increased sunlight (rough open, w/scattered trees)?

The black dot veg boundary symbol hasn't been mentioned yet. The example seems (low res) to include it. Often this can be sufficient to indicate a contrasting forest type, and is the most common ISOM-legal solution for pine plantations, but only if the area has a distinct edge.

If this plantation is extremely distinct, and you are willing to go illegal, I'll suggest applying the green-only part of the orchard symbol. I've always thought that orchard symbol should be a broader "plantation" symbol and should have separable components, the green dots and the background color, with white being an option. For most examples the official green dots are too bold, and bring unwanted runnability implications, but I always thought that a subdued delicate green dot pattern provided an intuitive picture for typical pine plantations, and have applied this on a few maps.

In the primitive early years, (1960's, 70's) multiple mappers (east Euro?) saw pine plantations as significant enough to map them with their own symbol, this in an era when there were very few symbols, period. Since then the pendulum has swung to ignoring or downplaying pine plantations, but I am sympathetic to the idea of wanting to highlight them a little bit, depending on context.
Jun 30, 2019 2:20 PM # 
I wouldn't call it "illegal". I think "nonstandard" would be a more appropriate word.
Jun 30, 2019 5:34 PM # 
Here is a sample of the area I questioned the Orienteering Mappers Int Facebook group about whether this area should be open forest or rough open with trees. There were three other photos, too. Unanimously the mappers opined that this area should be mapped open forest, some saying it was the run-ability and not canopy of the forest that mattered most.
If you are not able to see the photo it may have something to do with your status on Facebook.
And yes, Eric, I ended up using the black dot vegetation symbol to demarcate the difference between the pine forests and the oak hammocks.
Jun 30, 2019 6:13 PM # 
A lot depends on context, so it's hard to judge by a lone photo. In New England, that would be rough open with scattered trees. In Colorado it might be a different story, because that's as dense as the forest gets.
Jun 30, 2019 11:04 PM # 
I checked the photo, and completely agree with JJ's point. It could go either way.

Yes, again, CONTEXT. Does that word appear anywhere in ISOM?

I use "illegal" facetiously, rueing MC's "zero tolerance" attitude.
Jun 30, 2019 11:13 PM # 
When I mapped the area questioned by Sherpes the camp had just sold off all the mature hardwood trees, leaving only young trees and masses of discarded branches. The untouched pine groves seemed like a different world. It was like walking up to a castle wall when approached. I had seen other mappers use custom symbols to denote special types of forest vegetation, so I decided to experiment. That was only my second major map project. Now that I've completed 17 maps and the hardwood forest has made a recovery, I'm thinking about converting the special pine grove symbol back to the normal dotted veg boundary and light green for those areas.
Jul 6, 2019 3:32 PM # 
Mapping highly runnable areas with canopy as white is standard for Trail orienteering. If you were on a sprint map that was used or mapped for Trail-O, that would impact the way the mapper handled this. We use open with scattered trees pretty sparingly.

Also, around here we would probably map Gordhun's pines as white. If you've ever been to Mt. Pinos, you know that the trunks out here are widely spaced.
Jul 6, 2019 8:47 PM # 
wmoc sprint q today was rough open for what I am used to be white.
I don’t like it at all, it is not distinguishable enough while running, it looks like pale yellow whitch suggests worse runnability than full yellow or full white, so it only adds to confusion. Trees formed full canopy, especially near arena, so it should be 100% white in my book.

This discussion thread is closed.