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

Discussion: Orienteering by design (a sideproject)

in: Orienteering; General

Oct 15, 2019 9:12 PM # 
Long-time reader, rare poster.

I wanted to share a side project I recently started. It's me interviewing creators within the orienteering scene. It started as a way for me to combine my interests (Orienteering & Design) to learn about design patterns that work for our sport and to give me the challenge to develop a site.

I have had the pleasure to write about @ken and also 'Control app' a GPS analytics app for iOS made in Helsinki.

I am working to get some more content up soon. If you have any feedback please let me know! Likewise, if you have suggestions on interesting projects. You can write here or directly to me at
Oct 15, 2019 11:28 PM # 
Sweet interview with Ken! Good work Will! Thanks for sharing.

Other obvious candidates for interviews might be Jan Kocbach (World of O), Jarkko Ryyppo (Route Gadget), Mats Troeng (Winsplits, QuickRoute).
Oct 15, 2019 11:47 PM # 
great interview indeed.

“ I think there is a lot of opportunities to improve live/replay coverage of orienteering, and design is a huge part of that.” -Ken

Any thoughts on this? Athletes required to have their own head mount camera sending live feed?
Oct 15, 2019 11:59 PM # 
Pink Socks:
+1 on the project.

Design is anything that has been created by someone, and where they have made conscious choices.

That's from the About page for the project, and so far the interviews and suggestions have all been related to computer programs and websites. Those people are worth interviewing for sure, but I'd also be interested in hearing about other people who have contributed design to the sport of orienteering.

Obviously, software is designed. Some other suggestions in addition to the ones above:
-- Purple Pen (Peter Golde)
-- Open Orienteering Mapper (Kai Pastor)
-- LIDAR processing (Jarkko Ryyppo & Terje Mathisen)

Cartographic symbols and specifications are also designed, so I'd be interested in interviews with people on the mapping committees and those who know the history of orienteering cartography.

Obviously, orienteering courses are designed. I'd especially be interested in interviews with people who have designed high profile races with a lot of design constraints (ie: arenas, spectators, television cameras, temporary fences in sprint areas). There are a lot of conscious choices here!

Event formats are also designed. Who came up with the urban sprint format? What about the Billygoat? The Street Scramble? The London City Race? And other successful non-traditional formats? Conscious choices were all made here, too.

And equipment, too! Electronic punching. Thumb compasses! Studded orienteering shoes! A lot of thought goes into the designs of these things!
Oct 16, 2019 12:10 AM # 
I'd nominate Hammer for the Adventure Run format for Raid the Hammer.

And whomever created the THOMASS format in Ontario. Dave Donaldson perhaps?
Oct 16, 2019 2:11 AM # 
Symbolic control descriptions?
Oct 16, 2019 9:15 AM # 
Thanks for all the positive feedback! I have opted not to have any analytics tracking so its always nice to hear feedback.

Nice to see some great suggestions (it helps a lot) and definitely some names I hadn't thought of! I am starting off with the low hanging fruit which is software & web but I am planning on also talking to some broadcast-related people as well, I know there is an interesting project in Sweden with remote production of orienteering.

I think event format is an interesting topic, I'll see if I can find someone to talk to there. Maybe a bit about the new knock-out sprint? It's a bit trickier to find the right person to talk to in these regards since they usually grow out of several efforts.

Course design is super important for orienteering but not my focus right now, I think that would need a slightly different format than the one I have started with. This is also something I think we as a community are good at highlighting (maybe not as focused but still I read interviews from time to time with course setters), and where there are better people than me to do these interviews. But maybe in the future if I feel I have covered other design areas well. Or if I get a contributor that is passionate about interviewing high profile course setters.
Oct 16, 2019 9:19 AM # 
@gordhun > Super interesting topic with a lot of choices made (Why is a black dot on the map a rock but on a description its a triangle?). I have worked as an icon designer and its one of the most challenging things you can do.

Unfortunately, Kjell Staxrud recently passed away.

Maybe we know someone else that worked on it as well?
Oct 16, 2019 11:38 AM # 
Triangle for a rock is easy - the symbols are B/W - dot was already being used to indicate a brown dot on the map so another symbol was needed for boulder.

For control descriptions I would try someone on the IOF Rules committee - they are responsible for that.

For knockout sprint try contacting someone in the IOF office - it seems to be being driven from there.
Oct 16, 2019 11:45 AM # 
I was at the IOF Congress that approved the symbolic control descriptions. There were many who thought they would not work. But having already by then encountered the problem of other language control descriptions not once but seven times I was all for them.
Even in english a re-entrant could also be a gully, draw, valley, small valley, gulch and probably a dozen other interpretations. Now there is one symbol.
I hope you can find a colleague of Kjell's but I suspect he has already left the interview information behind, possibly in a NOF posten issue.
Oct 16, 2019 1:51 PM # 
Re: Symbols/Kjell Staxrud
I have a vague memory that the Swede Kjell Larsson (mapper/map collector/course setter...) also was involved in introducing the symbols for control descriptions - at least in Sweden. I don´t know were to find him these days but I think he moved from Främmestad to Nyköping or Södertälje some years ago?
Oct 16, 2019 2:11 PM # 
Catching Features!
Oct 16, 2019 6:39 PM # 
Knock-out sprint sounds like a pretty direct knock-off of cross-country skiing sprint racing. Made for TV, and to maximize chances for collisions, roughness, etc. Witness e.g. Ustiugov getting so upset after Klaebo cut him off that he felt it necessary to give Klaebo a shove after the race ended.
Nov 13, 2019 10:32 AM # 
Posted a new interview with Katherine Bett who does the commentary for IOF broadcasts. I thought it was interesting.

I have some new interviews hopefully coming soon as well. In the meantime, I added some new features so that I won't be spamming updates here on Attackpoint:
- You can now subscribe to an email list to stay updated on new interviews (no spam I promise).
- And an RSS feed if that is your preferred way of ingesting content online.
Nov 23, 2019 4:11 AM # 
Thumb compass design. Still evolving.
Nov 23, 2019 1:40 PM # 
Thank you. That was a really interesting interview with many topics of interest, from how to be effective as an announcer, observations on the knock out sprint format, and the idea of an orienteering podcast. I'm looking forward to your future work.

This discussion thread is closed.