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Discussion: Quickly Creating O-maps from Aerial Photos

in: Orienteering; General

Feb 5, 2021 6:35 PM # 
Since there aren't many traditional events recently and I've ran most of my club's maps multiple times by now, I'm looking at other avenues to train. Golf courses seem to be an OK solution for now since most of them are not covered with trees and the ground is visible in aerial/satellite photos. They are not so exciting as running in the woods and there isn't any topography involved but it is still something to work with.

Golf courses seem to always be consisted of a limited variety of features: grass patches, a few pools, bunkers (sand traps), a bunch of tress, a parking lot and maybe a few buildings. They should be relatively easy to map (in my opinion), so easy that I wonder if there is any app or software that can convert an aerial photo to a basic orienteering map. Any ideas?
Feb 5, 2021 9:43 PM # 
I don't know of any app/ program for that BUT you can:
1) Use the air photo itself as an orienteering map. It is a 2-D image but as you say there isn't much topography involved there. Lots of people do that for training.
2) You can pull an Open Street Map map of the golf course into Open Orienteering Mapper or OCAD and go from there. In fact OCAD will automatically convert the Open Street Map symbols to orienteering map symbols and then with OCAD one can pull google earth images directly into the map background and add more symbols of things you see in the photo that were not on the OSM map.

But don't underestimate golf courses or ex golf courses as orienteering venues. I have staged several night orienteering events at a golf course in Canada.
My next event -in a week - will be at the site of a former golf course in Florida. The topography is good, .5 meter contours, lots of woods, water features, distinct trees, old shelters and sand traps now depressions. We'll probably only be able to use this site once as it is slated to be a mixed housing and commercial development but thanks to OCAD, Open Street Map and free USGS LiDAR it was very inexpensive and quick to map with most of the work being done in the evenings at home.
And out of curiosity I did a google search for closed golf courses in Florida. There is not a shortage of them. Amazing!
Feb 5, 2021 9:57 PM # 
I'm not sure there is an advantage to using air photos for your task. I think it might be better to use an online mapping tool, as gordhum suggested in his second point.

For example, see this pdf at the SOA website, scroll way done to: OpenOrienteeringMap PseudO MapCreation Guidance

This discussion thread is closed.