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Discussion: Open Orienteering Map

in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys

Jan 12, 2010 2:57 PM # 
The Open Orienteering Map may work well for setting low cost urban orienteering events. More information may be found here.
Jan 12, 2010 9:17 PM # 
Ahh...... Mr O Brien has been at it again!
Fantastic Stuff ............. Very Intelligent!
Jan 12, 2010 9:33 PM # 
OO Map me....
Jan 13, 2010 12:10 AM # 
Very cool
Jan 13, 2010 5:22 AM # 
Good to see the use of the term 'Pseud-O' for low cognitive demand orienteering is gathering momentum.
Jan 16, 2010 6:50 PM # 
Lovely...does a good job near my home...shows the public pathways even within the city. A great way to join the nearby orienteering maps for a "traverse", with route choice between.
Jan 17, 2010 1:46 AM # 
Brilliant. The pseud-o maps really do look like the deliberately limited detail (except for contours) we produce and run on here.
Jan 18, 2010 4:37 AM # 
NSW Stinger:
any suggestions as how you could incorporate contours?
Jan 18, 2010 11:31 AM # 
Anything to add Obewan?

Note... Craig has been developing a map for Bendigo street series in Open Street Map.
Jan 19, 2010 5:38 AM # 
How do you work with the scale? and then put into OCAD do you have to trace over it like off a topo map
Jan 19, 2010 10:37 PM # 
Cool App ... but data poor in my neck of the woods:
Jan 20, 2010 1:36 AM # 
Well, what are you waiting for? Get busy editing it. :)
Feb 2, 2010 9:24 PM # 
All good points above. As TheInvisibleLog mentions I am in the middle of a) updating the data around Bendigo to b) create a map to run the first street-o of the season.
I will take a look at and see if it works.
The immediate advantages that I can see for using open streetmap (OSM) include;
> a single source of data
> anyone can make an edit to update the map
> a map can be generated of any area (so long as the data exists)
> the coverage is excellent in most major capitals of Australia
> the data can be downloaded in shapefile format and imported into OCAD if you want to really want to go that way.

In response to NSW Stinger, contours can be added as can be seen in They are derived from Shuttle Radar (SRTM) and are therefore pretty coarse (good enough for MTBO?), not sufficient for FootO. That is not to say that contours couldn't be served from another server and be displayed under OSM data.

The one thing people have to understand is that any edits going into OSM must be from copyright free sources. This obviously excludes many of the current sources from which we derived existing maps such as council supplied data.

I am planning to write an article for the OVic/Orienteering Australia once my event has been run and won.
Feb 3, 2010 12:00 AM # 
I'd be very interested to see the results, obewan.

re. Contours - while it sadly doesn't help you guys in Bendigo, I'm currently playing around with Nearmap's terrain imagery. I've generated contours for one of our street maps using a combination of Photoshop and OCAD, but I'm hoping I can tame ArcGIS sufficiently to get it to generate them for me.
Feb 3, 2010 1:10 AM # 
Thanks all for the comments.

I'm hoping to get contours onto the map in due course. They will be SRTM-based, so not particularly accurate or pretty (i.e. sharp edges) but should be OK for informal use. I'm also looking into a more regular update of the data behind the map, so edits in OSM flow into the map more quickly. The most immediate goal is to allow creation of high-quality printable PDFs of specific areas. Just need to get some time to do all of this ;-)
Feb 3, 2010 2:16 AM # 
NSW Stinger:
Unfortunately there's not much data for Gippsland- ie lots of work to be done.
I look forward to reading your article obewan.
Feb 3, 2010 2:22 AM # 
Haven't had the opportunity to use Nearmaps terrain data. Not sure if taming ArcGIS is ever a possibility. I would suggest you look at other open source tools to process the data, ArcGIS just doesn't handle anything with complexity IMHO.

Ollie - I am lacking time as well. I wonder if anyone can offer us some more?
Feb 3, 2010 2:53 AM # 
Heh...I've been bashing away with every open-source tool I can find, and each of them has its own quirks - most of them are written to deal with one particular type of data and don't want to know about anything else. That's fair enough - someone's written it for their particular needs then been nice enough to release it for others, and coping with everyone else's strange datasets is what programs like ArcGIS are for.

For example, every tool I've found that can generate contours requires a GeoTIFF (or some other georeferenced format) file to work from, and some of them are *VERY* fussy about tags. ArcGIS will swallow any old graphics file, you can then georeference it using any vector data you have (eg. OSM data) and generate contours on the spot.

This is the kind of thing I've managed to do with a combination of Nearmap and Photoshop: linky. Some fiddling with channels to get a nice colour ramp, blurred to remove the buildings and posterised to give discrete levels. Open that in OCAD and trace the borders between colours, generalising where appropriate. ArcGIS will do the posterise and trace the edges for me, but as you noted it's a bit finicky.

I had high hopes of using some of NASA's ASTER data to do the same kind of thing, since they give you free access to their 30m DEM files, but the data is noisy as hell on a small scale. :/
Feb 3, 2010 3:14 AM # 
Another thing I am looking at is using LiDAR data for contours. Access to this data is pretty difficult although it exists across a fair portion of Victoria. LiDAR is truely detailed data & ArcGIS is almost incapable of handling it unless processed it tiles.
I had a "play" with some freely available LiDAR data done for the Tasmanian Government. I had a go at re-creating the Pittwater contours - refer to the other thread for more detail.
Feb 3, 2010 5:12 AM # 
Sounds the first convincing argument for OCAD professional?
Feb 3, 2010 1:04 PM # 
Is there an easy way how to download vector data from OSM within a specific area? And upload (Ocad)? I made this map which I want to make public and let people update it. Any idea how to share it?
Feb 3, 2010 7:53 PM # 
Not much route choice ;-)
Feb 3, 2010 10:09 PM # 
I'd use JOSM to extract the data for a specific area and then use osm2shp to convert it to a shapefile.
As TheInvisibleLog suggests you will need OCAD Professional to import the shapefile, however you could then convert the shapefile to DXF and import it into OCAD standard. Considering all the features would have to be re-coded in OCAD, importing a shapefile or DXF is really irrelevant.
In regard to sharing maps (files) I have been looking around for an appropriate solution for a while, one that includes versioning and some form of user authentication. We use Mediawiki for our web site which handles versioning well, but doesn't really handle permissions all that well (not out of the box anyway). The other option is a separate Document Management System (DMS) of which there are plenty, but finding an appropriate one that isn't too complicated fo rhte average computer user, while still maintaining the necessary specifications is difficult, plus it requires hosting.
If I were you I'd start another thread and pose the question to see how others handle it.
Feb 4, 2010 1:12 PM # 
The Como project looks interesting:
Feb 4, 2010 6:21 PM # 
There is an online tool for OSM download OSM Extractor. The shapefile download works only for small areas (cca 1km2).
Feb 4, 2010 11:34 PM # 
COMO is interesting, but as far as I can tell it is just going to 'skin' JOSM/Merkator with an orienteering specific toolbar. Using the IOF standards already documented on the OSM wiki, it is already to begin using JOSM (and other editors) to code features in OSM.
As the COMO wiki points out, rendering is the important (difficult) part, but with sites like OpenOrienteeringMap I think this can be easily overcome.
I should also be possible to set courses by adding points to OSM and coding them perhaps orienteering::control="start/finish/standard" and control=* (the number or name you want displayed). Using something like Kosmos you could then render an orienteering map with courses on a customised map. This is something I have been experimenting with.
As with open source applications, there are dozens of ways of skinning the cat and each will have its strengths and weaknesses depending on what you require.
I will be writing an article in due course and will post it on here.
Feb 25, 2010 12:56 PM # 
OpenOrienteeringMap now has a course builder, that will generate PDFs containing score-style courses that you can build using the website. The PDFs are vector-based, i.e. should look really good when printed to a good printer. See the "Create a Map" link at

The map also now generally keeps up to date with the main OpenStreetMap server, with a lag of a few minutes. i.e. if you add in some roads in an OpenStreetMap editor, then they should appear in OpenOrienteeringMap - you may need to refresh or close/reopen your browser to see the updated images. Creating PDFs will always use the up-to-date data in the database. This feature is highly experimental at the moment and very likely to break.
Feb 25, 2010 4:26 PM # 
The latest Ocad10 update supports direct .osm import.
Feb 26, 2010 2:29 AM # 
Awesome work Ollie! I just took a map printed from OpenOrienteeringMap on a training run with me today and I can't overstress how cool it is to be able to print an orienteering map of anywhere in the city to run on.

Keep up the great work!
Aug 9, 2012 1:06 AM # 
Is it still working, I wonder? Nothing renders for me at finer than a certain zoom level, and PDF export gives Python errors.
Aug 9, 2012 1:29 AM # 
Not really relevant, but has the bike trails on Blue Mountain (Peekskill NY) mapped!
Aug 11, 2012 12:49 AM # 
Hi Tundra - I've had to drop the global database tables for OOM in the last week, as the space on the server is needed for someone else's Olympics-related data (it's a shared server at work). Hope to get it back up in the next few weeks.
Feb 11, 2013 5:32 PM # 
So I think open orienteering map no longer works for creating street-O and other maps in the USA?
Feb 15, 2013 8:13 PM # 
In Germany it doesn´t work as well.
Feb 20, 2013 4:12 AM # 
Aren't they now charging people for using it - you have to buy the data?
Feb 20, 2013 4:37 AM # 
...are you thinking of Nearmap, Jenny?
Feb 14, 2014 2:14 AM # 
Hi all, OpenOrienteeringMap now works again for the USA, for Germany, and indeed the whole world. See for details.
Feb 15, 2014 12:55 AM # 
Great! Thanks, Ollie.
Feb 15, 2014 7:31 AM # 
Awesome, great stuff Ollie
Feb 15, 2014 7:58 PM # 
Three cheers for OOB!
Feb 17, 2014 3:40 PM # 
lost jokes:
Good news :)
Feb 17, 2014 3:53 PM # 
That is good news!
Feb 18, 2014 12:17 AM # 
Thanks - one thing I forgot to add is I've also open-sourced the stylesheets that generate them, and am open to pull requests, so if you'd like to see the map enhanced, then please have a go at editing them and I will try them out.

This discussion thread is closed.