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Discussion: Mapping: To 512.1 or not to 512.1? That is the question.

in: Orienteering; General

Nov 18, 2022 5:01 PM # 
Greetings - I'm nearly done with an ISSprOM 2019-2 map of the Cadet Area at the Air Force Academy in Colo Springs.

One remaining issue is the application of 512.1 "Bridge or tunnel entrance" along the entire boundaries of certain large, simple, contiguous buildings which, or are at their exterior sides, very obviously 2-level canopies.

It has been recommended to me that I post here and on the fb Orienteering Mappers Int'l page for suggestions.

I'm leaning strongly toward omitting them on the basis that they add no actual information in this situation (only visual noise). Everywhere that the 512.3/522 is applied on this map is canopy at both the upper and lower levels, and can be easily pointed out in the notes and legend as such. To apply the 512.1 "Bridge or tunnel entrance" symbol to declare that a materially contiguous 2-level canopy feature can be entered anywhere at its lower level is redundant - a canopy, obviously, is passable at its lower level.

On the other hand, the bias from one highly respected US mapper, some seasoned orienteers, and some excellent posts on the fb Orienteering Mappers Int'l page* leans toward applying 512.1 generally around these 2-level canopy structures.
* under "To 512.1 or not to 512.1...that is the question"

Were I to crudely summarize the fb thread "score" so far: 1pt for "don't use the 512.1," 2pts for "use the 512.1." I don't think any of the posts have really acknowledged the relevance that this being a 2-level CANOPY has on the matter.

For those who are interested, could you please take a read through the fb thread and comment here (or in the fb thread) as to whether or not you would apply around the entire boundaries of the 2-level canopy features and why?

I and others have posted a pretty good set of images and examples on the fb page, so I won't duplicate them here.

No need to bring up the 'don't map it if it's too complex' notion (different topic/under consideration) or the value of doing the least controversial thing, already aware of these concepts.

Perhaps this is the pivotal question to which your individual answer will be most revealing and helpful (ref the "Vandenberg" photo and map snippet): would you expect to have have any difficulty identifying a route from the point where the photo was taken to a control located on one of the 418 Small prominent trees on the opposite side? I'm confident you would not fret about how to cross the upper level or set off running around the perimeter of the building trying to find a way in, even if you didn't read the notes or the legend... :-)

Please cite/link/upload any actual real examples of formal event mapping where a large, contiguous, 2-level canopy has had 512.1 applied around the entire canopy boundary. My eye has found no examples of 512.1 applied around 2-level canopy structures in the IOF "Guidelines..." document, nor any explicit guidance addressing the 2-level canopy situation.

It will be very helpful if you specify in your reply whether you are referring to the application of 512.1 to the "Vandenberg" building situation or to the "Fairchild" building situation.

Thank you.
Nov 18, 2022 6:09 PM # 
You need the triangles all the way around the outside. Without the triangles, there is no way for a runner to know how they get to the lower level. The fact that the upper level also happens to be a canopy rather than an open area is irrelevant.

It would be very interesting to see a Vandenberg map snippet that includes the 'bridge' shown in the photo in the comments. If you're not using triangles I find it difficult to see how a runner can correctly interpret that as bringing them out on the upper level.
Nov 18, 2022 8:34 PM # 
Thanks, I see the point of using 512.1 to indicate where to pass at a lower level (when not so obviously a canopy...), but I don't see how that would indicate how to get to the lower level (from the upper level) - going from a higher to lower level, or v-v, would entail a stairway or slope landform (both are elsewhere on the map). Perhaps I misunderstand your first paragraph...

Agreed that the upper level being a canopy is not relevant, but basically none of the responses I've had so far directly ack the relevance of the lower level being a canopy and consequent redundancy of adding symbols to indicate that the entirely passable lower canopy is entirely passable...

I'm going to go ahead and add the 512.1. I don't think it's really right (or necessary) to do so, but enough people assert that it's correct that adding it will probably prove to be the controversy-avoiding, and therefore wiser, option.
Nov 18, 2022 10:12 PM # 
It is necessary to do so.

At the edge of any area passable at two levels (512.3, aka candy-stripe), there are only three possibilies:
1. Neither level continues. Shown by candy-stripe touching something impassable (typically, a building (521) or uncrossable wall (515)).
2. The bottom level continues. Shown by the underpass/tunnel entrance "triangles" (512.1). Entrance can be very long/broad.
3. The top level continues. When there is lots of space, this can be shown with the underpass/tunnel (512.2) square dashes...which is really showing the limits of the lower level, leaving the top level unaffected. If space is constrained, the simple change-over from candy-stripe (area passable at two levels, 512.3) to whatever the top level is suffices. You could make an argument that step/edge of paved area (501.1) might, at times, be useful at this transition.

Wait, isn't there a fourth possibility--both the upper and lower levels continue? This is, by definition then, not the edge of the area-passable-at-two-levels (candy-stripe, 512.3).

The color of the candy-stripe always indicates the top level of the two structures. That's why canopy (522) is a candy-stripe option but building (521) is not a candy-stripe option. If you can run through a building, it is, by definition, a canopy, not a building.

I think of the lower level as the "white" in the candy-stripe. You know it's passable, but you can only assume it's the same as the surface before/after. Of course, the bottom level would just revert to the old canopy if the top level wasn't passable...and you don't know the surface of a canopy--you just know it's passable.
Nov 18, 2022 11:06 PM # 
Sample image Can't get AP to show sample directly, which is a me thing, not an AP thing:)

Without a map snippet showing the entrance to the upper level, the fb help or AP help won't be much help...happy to look at it privately.
Nov 18, 2022 11:28 PM # 
Nov 19, 2022 12:15 AM # 
Very helpful reference image, thank you! It prompted me to add in some short lengths of 512.2 one-sided tunnel at the lower level boundary of passable and impassable.
Nov 19, 2022 3:53 PM # 
That's why canopy (522) is a candy-stripe option but building (521) is not a candy-stripe option.

If I remember correctly this will change soon, buildings will get the same stripe option.
Nov 19, 2022 4:41 PM # 
And the bits of Vandenberg that are crossable on the lower level but 'buildings' on the upper level look like the perfect example of where candy-striped buildings would be the neatest solution.
Nov 19, 2022 6:38 PM # 
We had a mapping meeting recently where it was explained in great detail about why a building cannot be striped, although I forget the explanation. I did question it at the time since other uncrossable features (e.g. water, olive green) can be.

When I say 'great detail' I mean it was about a ten second explanation that I just accepted because we'd already moved on from the multi-level part of the meeting before I realised buildings were not included.
Nov 20, 2022 2:17 AM # 
How would you tell if a passage through a building should be mapped as 522 (canopy) or 512.3 with 50% black diagonal stripes?
Nov 20, 2022 6:31 AM # 
If there is no multi level in play and the passage is just a passage at the main level, then it can be canopy. Makes it clear there is only one level. If you have multi level and stripes anyway and part of it is runnable at lower and upper is a building, then stripes. Like this striped area with varying colors illustrates boundaries of the lower level (without some parts of the same feature being mapped without stipes as a canopy just because upper level you can't see is not runnable just there).
Nov 20, 2022 8:55 AM # 
@simmo A building can only have stripes if the entrance to that area is not directly next to the building.
It should just be used to highlight that there is a tunnel passage that also passes a building. Else, if the passage begins or ends at the building, you should use canopy.
Nov 21, 2022 1:37 AM # 
I'm still trying to recall the discussion but I think it was along the lines of if it were a building at the upper level then you'd map it as canopy because you can never run on top of a solid grey canopy anyway. Having it mapped as striped building rather than canopy might clear up whether there was something (i.e. a building) or nothing (i.e. just a plain shelter) on top of the canopy.
Nov 21, 2022 2:50 PM # 
re striped bulding - here is my take... If there is a section of the underpass that is under a building and a section that is runnable on the upper level (as well as the lower level) you should map the building using stripes (or if you insist on sticking to the existing spec just building with 512.2 square dots). You can't map these segments with 522 canopy because then it becomes unclear if the canopy area is accessible from the upper or lower level.

Here's an example:

<- not sure why this image isn't loading - direct link.

Otherwise, and whenever possible, a tunnel under a building should be mapped as 522 canopy.
Nov 21, 2022 8:22 PM # 
Neither the image nor your link are working. Your explanation makes sense though even without the graphic.
Nov 21, 2022 8:59 PM # 
Looks like maybe the image address is some sort of restricted or private site, so just entering the address isn’t enough to get in. Maybe recopy the images to a public site?
Nov 22, 2022 2:36 AM # 
d'oh. Thanks Mike - I should have been able to figure that one out. The link should work now but the image still isn't loading. It's on dropbox and I'm not super familiar with it.
Nov 22, 2022 2:41 AM # 
Nov 22, 2022 3:04 AM # 
Thanks Brooke!
Nov 22, 2022 9:19 AM # 
I can see what you're trying to do, but frankly it's (a) confusing and (b) pointless because why would you put a control in, or a leg through either the lower or upper level? Best to show the lower level only (with canopy) and tape off the two access points to the upper level.

Also there appears to be a ramp down to the lower level (lower left centre), but only accessible from the upper level by climbing over a passable wall? How does that work? If the wall can be passed by everyone from 8 to 80 years, then why show it (or map it as a single step line). If not passable by everyone, then it should be mapped as impassable, the bottom of the ramp taped off, and the triangles removed.

No sign of any other access from lower to upper without backing out and going around outside the whole complex.

I enjoy sprint events, but it's beginning to look like veterans like me should avoid anything that has 'multi-level' in the event description.
Nov 22, 2022 12:07 PM # 
Whereas discussions like this make me increasingly inclined to skip sprints altogether and stick to the forest, which is what got me interested in orienteering in the first place. In places that don't have twisty medieval cities, I can see course setters increasing drawn to utilizing multilevel to the greatest extent possible, We had some of that at the last sprint I went to, and I didn't find it entertaining at all. But that's just me.
Nov 22, 2022 12:24 PM # 

1. Upper left example. Why the square dashes (512.2, underpass/tunnel) between candy-stripe and buildings (upper right and lower left of your example)? Wouldn't a clean, normal building edge impart the same information? Namely, building edge, hard stop, both upper & lower levels.

2. Upper right example. Although it is strange that ISSprOM doesn't explicitly say that a building (521) is uncrossable in the building definition, a building is used in paragraph 3.3 as the very example of an uncrossable feature. So, I'd question whether this upper right example is "technically to spec."

I'm am very glad you cut the contours through the multi-level area of interest. I can't think of an example where a contour in candy-stripe would be adding more informational value than confusion value.
Nov 22, 2022 1:47 PM # 
Particularly since it's debatable what a contour would even mean in a multilevel building context. Any meaningful routing of a contour would most likely have it inside an uncrossable wall somewhere anyway. Any contour cutting diagonally across would almost certainly be wrong.
Nov 22, 2022 2:04 PM # 

still a bit confused as to what's shown here: can the area mapped with 50% grey stripes be accessed on the upper level? If not then it seems odd to use a version of 512.3 "Area passable at two levels"

I think bottom right example is a better representation - agreed that it may not be clear to runners on upper level (before they get there) that canopy area is under a building rather than e.g. a glass roof but not sure that's really important - all they need to know is the extent of the upper level and that the only access points are on the SE side (Analogy would be if running towards an area largely enclosed by olive green - you don't expect the map to tell you what the olive green actually is or how the boundaries are marked, just how to get in and out of the accessible bit)

It also clarifies that any control inside the N corner (as map samples oriented) of the building must be on the lower level.
Nov 22, 2022 3:58 PM # 
I appreciate all of the comments. I'll try to answer them all here in order.

@Simmo I agree that it's complex. These kinds of areas are definitely pushing the limits of mapping and what is orienteerable. Such extremely complex areas exist in forest too. This is an example of part of an EXTREMELY complex multilevel area that I mapped to test the boundaries of the mapping standards and my own abilities and knowledge as a mapper. I've used the area for a novel training event but wouldn't use it for a competition. See article here and direct link to map here.

Personally I don't think this particular parking garage example is too complex but everyone has a different bar for that.

Re passable wall... You can see on what that looks like. It's a jersey barrier that would feel weird to not have mapped but you can get around the end of it. Looking at it again maybe a clear gap at the SW end between the passable and impassable walls should be added.

1. maybe - I can see the argument both ways on that. I don't know what's better and in fact, I've since realised that in the image I've posted I actually haven't been entirely consistent.
2. I'm basing my 'technically to spec' comment on examples in the IOF's Guidelines for complex urban structures document.

I treat contours in sprint areas very artistically! They need to be more representative than accurate in most cases... Also, in this case, both the upper and lower level of the parking garage are flat.

Based on my experimentation and experience and conversations with other I think the definition of the striped symbols needs to be reworded. It should be "Area passable underneath with upper level mapped". The spec doesn't currently allow striped buildings but that is due to be allowed in future. On the other hand it does allow striped purple out of bounds, striped olive green, and striped impassable green which are also not runnable on the upper level.

And re your argument that you don't know what to expect with olive green... I think that's a problem too with the way that symbol is defined and gets used. I don't accept the argument all you need to know is passability which sometimes gets brought up. If that were truly the case all you would need is 2 symbols - passable in white and impassable in black and you'd be good to go. But we don't orienteer that way. We orienteer off of what we see in the terrain and we can orienteer better when we know in advance what we are going to see. Passability is obviously paramount but I want to know what I'm expecting to see before I get there.
Nov 22, 2022 5:39 PM # 
@ Canadian
Thanks: the thing is, we already have a symbol for "area passable underneath a building" - 522 Canopy. See LHS of p13 of Guidelines for Complex Structures for examples - presumably these should also have stripes and sharks teeth?
Noted that IOF Map Commission are proposing a change but the meeting minutes say "it was decided ... in case of a tunnel going under a building (symbol 521) to allow the building area to be stripped ... Such a tunnel shall have its entrance and exit away from the building. On the contrary it shall be a canopy." so in your example 522 canopy would still be the correct option under the proposed new spec.
Nov 22, 2022 5:59 PM # 

In the case being discussed it has one entrance or exit right at the edge of the building but others are away from the building. In my mind the striped building symbol better shows both the situation on the upper level (as discussed above) and the continuity of the lower level.
Nov 23, 2022 2:41 AM # 
Why am I thinking of rabbit holes? Actually a better analogy would be fixing a puncture. A patch on a patch on a patch. The time comes when you need a new tube. Or to take the analogy a bit further, go tubeless.
Nov 23, 2022 5:56 AM # 
Canadian's map of Place du Portage is a work of art. It would be interesting to see the results of the event and how long it took for people to "sprint" 4km. I had a quick look but couldn't find any. I agree this is an extreme example of multilevel mapping - maybe the sport needs a new category - "Head scratching O"?
Nov 23, 2022 1:24 PM # 
@O-ing thanks! I put a lot of time into that project.

Unfortunately there are no results. As it is a busy urban area and we were just doing a training I only put pun flags out. I think even our Team Canada athletes took about 40 minutes. There was a lot of standing still at controls trying to figure it out :)
Nov 23, 2022 8:25 PM # 
@Canadian's Lebreton Flats and Place du Portage multi-level sprint maps look like a blast. Also, under the category of "Head Scratching O" there's this 5-level beauty from 2018 Vancouver Sprint Camp
Nov 24, 2022 10:35 AM # 
One underdiscussed thing about ISSprOM is the importance of interaction between mapper and planner. Here, if only one of the levels is relevant for a particular competition you should only show that one.

In Jeff's example, thinking as a planner, I can see very little value in using the upper level - especially if the map shows building corners where there are no building corners, of doesn't show them where they do exist. So as a planner, I would likely ask for the whole two-level section to be grey

There's always been a philosopical issue of "whose side is the mapper on?". Are you trying to map everything you see? Stick rigorously to spec? Provide helpful control sites for a planner? Make life easy for the competitor? Most of the time, these things are not in conflict, but often they are.

And a key word in this post is "you". In a forest map the map seldom needs to change from event to event, in ISSproM it does, possibly even from one side of a map turnover to the other.
Nov 24, 2022 10:48 AM # 
I recall someone displayed some maps recently that differed between the public race and the elite race where certain elements were mapped OOB for one but not for the other.

In Canadian's examples above I find the top left one the most informative. The top right at speed I'd probably mistake the whole NW side for a building and miss the fact that there's a way under and the bottom left as he says it's difficult to know which side the canopy is accessible from. If I approached it from the top level I'd be very disappointed at encountering a building. The bottom right is better (and I think to the current specs) but it'd need to be looked at in a race rather than blown up on a computer screen to pick it to bits.

If you were to exclude the upper paved area from an event (and map the whole area as canopy) then it'd surely need to be taped off to prohibit access.
Nov 24, 2022 11:07 AM # 
That was the WOC 2022 sprint relay - a multi-level area was shown as out of bounds for the WOC race because it was considered too complex to be fair, but was used for the public race.
Nov 25, 2022 12:34 PM # 
If you were to exclude the upper paved area from an event (and map the whole area as canopy) then it'd surely need to be taped off to prohibit access.

Depends on the level of event. You certainly need to do something to make it clear you cant get under the canopy from the south. For a small event you probably wouldn't get permission to close areas, so purple hatch on the access road to the south (where theres room) and a purple line to the north (where there isn't room on the map) would suffice. Nobody will gain time from going in there. Maybe blair can advise whether going on top of a canopy is a disqualifiable offence?
Nov 25, 2022 10:51 PM # 
More referring to the fact you would be approaching from the southeast (from either side of the SE building) expecting to see a canopy and instead there's a paved area in front of you.
Nov 27, 2022 2:13 AM # 
I agree tRicky. While I understand the reasoning behind mapping for the course I feel it's problematic for the various reasons already touched on.

This discussion thread is closed.