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Discussion: ISSprOM2019 Again

in: Orienteering; General

May 21, 2019 1:23 PM # 
As usual there will be surprises, misinterpretations, conversion issues, work-arounds, etc, and this community has been helpful to tease these out. So I start this topic for the purpose. A similar thread has diverted into ISOM scales.
May 21, 2019 1:31 PM # 
Can I postulate that this is not so much a SPRINT spec but an URBAN spec. How do you suppose it will work in forest or rural open land? While we use a lot of schools and campuses, we've had some wonderful rural sprints - apart from the legibility.

I've always had trouble seeing the brown path symbols on a rough open background, and the new spec doesn't let me use a darker brown infill any more. It is reserved for traffic. At least the small black dashed track has been increased in size, maybe it was an error before.
May 21, 2019 2:06 PM # 
Yeah I've always had difficulties differentiating between rough open and the lighter paved symbol too, even on the screen.
May 21, 2019 9:52 PM # 
I completely agree with gruver's URBAN / SPRINT distinction, and the brown path symbols have always been the most problematic symbol in non urban settings.
Why can't the traditional black path symbols be an option, other than MC's campaign to eradicate that word.
Oh, I know, because that would involve mapper's judgement, and the use of eyes in the terrain and on paper, which would not produce a quantifiable violation.
May 22, 2019 11:57 AM # 
Well there IS a reason not to use black dashed lines in the urban situation, where we use thick black lines to represent barriers. But that doesn't generally apply in rural areas. I have been using the small black dashed track at 150% of ISOM size, and I have been using the larger black dashed track too (also at 150% of its ISOM size). The former has now been legitimised, any support for the latter?

For larger tracks (large enough to think of as having edges) the brown infill track symbol would be OK subject to the sideline thickness and darkness of the brown. The changes document says we mappers have trouble determining what is urban and rural. Is that enough reason to make the symbol invisible in the countryside?
May 24, 2019 9:32 AM # 
I like the way that the passable wall has been defined as a TWO-SIDED thing, by separately defining a one-sided wall. Plus they are black, the gray ones were often invisible as well as being ambiguous.

What do APers think about the smaller threshold for knolls and depressions, and the absence of a minimum for boulders? I have been used to applying the same minimum on sprint maps as for ISOM.
May 24, 2019 10:20 AM # 
I'd always had issues whether to map a retaining wall as a wall or a cliff. Now I know.
May 25, 2019 9:51 AM # 
I really like that the wall is defined as two sided (i.e. its something you know can see as you approach). And I'm pleased they ditched the grey wall which too up lots of space while still being invisible.
In practice, I doubt it will be possible to see the difference between the wall and one-sided retaining wall symbol.
The spec has gone silent on uncrossable retaining walls. I picked up an injury and a DQ falling off one once, since when I always mapped them as cliffs with tags. That was technically wrong in ISSOM, but maybe it isn't wrong any more?
May 28, 2019 11:55 PM # 
"What do APers think about the smaller threshold for knolls and depressions, and the absence of a minimum for boulders? I have been used to applying the same minimum on sprint maps as for ISOM."

I have been waiting for others to take up gruver's query on this worthy topic, in part because I don't claim any expertise on sprint/urban map standards.

From an ISOM, or general mapping perspective, I believe context is everything, from the regional setting down to the immediate surroundings of a feature.

Sure, for a nice round number, the 1.0m min for boulders is a good place to start, but I've always believed this could / should vary up to ~50% in both directions, and I sense that most mappers and users understand this, although not necessarily active AP debaters, nor regulators.

I found reassurance for this on the last WOC maps I've been on (Trondheim Norway 2010) where I noted many 0.6m boulders on the maps in appropriate places (at least from my perspective) where the visibility was good, and there weren't other features competing for attention, and the boulders were clean, not camouflaged with moss, or high ground cover.

Boulders are probably the best case for a generally lower standard, because the symbol is the most compact on the map, and the feature is an "up" feature, usually highly contrasting in the terrain, and unlikely to move :-) .

U depressions and V pits are a little tougher to justify, being "down" features and also occupying much more map space relative to their visual impact.

Urban contexts usually provide exceptional visibility, justifying lower standards, but often with more competing features nearby.

Yes, when mapping, I usually have a metric number in my head, as a helpful guideline. Nevertheless, the main question is not what a feature measures, but how does it strike honest eyes in the terrain and on paper, relative to other features, mapped and unmapped.
May 29, 2019 12:36 AM # 
Map specs are a bit like legislation. The legislature passes the law, and then the courts interpret that law.
May 30, 2019 6:42 PM # 
The problem with that analogy is that our legislature and courts are often (usually?) the same entity, and sometimes the same individual.

I accept the fact that we don't have a democracy, nor proper separation of powers, but I do expect our system to be a benevolent form of governance, with some checks and balances, that prioritizes the activity on the ground, not the self importance of the bureaucrats.

I can't claim to be central to the IOF, MC, and SEA activity, and I probably don't hear about the well functioning situations, but almost everything I hear sounds like headbutting dysfunction, authoritarian will enforcing the nth degree of the spec vs reasonable requests for modifications from the people doing the work.
May 30, 2019 11:29 PM # 
Like I said. ;-)
May 31, 2019 4:25 AM # 
Eric thank you for your views, and also the elegance of your writing.

I don't have the pessimism about our institutions that you and Log express - isn't there a new convenor of the MC? But more importantly I hope this thread can return to questions of "how do we do this?" and "is that what the authors intended?"

I welcome the 5m contour interval (as it makes what I was doing legitimate:-)) Round here the terrain is either steep or flat valley floor (where a contour line is meaningless). The public reserves which form the majority of our close to home orienteering are, guess what? The land that was too steep for farming in the early days, or too steep for urban development in recent times. The ownership system here does not allow orienteering through people's' back yards, as I read in another thread.
May 31, 2019 5:06 AM # 
I am not pessimistic. I think I am realistic. No matter how much good work is put into a specification, the use of the specification will bring to the fore issues such as are being raised in other on-line forums. Recognising this is not a criticism of the work done by the MC. I just wonder if the process of developing the specification should have included time for the development of maps in different terrains as was done with the previous spec. I think that approach might be less difficult than the working document approach being used for this spec. In making my legal analogy I was in the main referring to the perception of judges as being on a spectrum from black-letter law judges to interpretative judges. I can see a similar range of application of the spec in mappers. I do have concerns about both specs, but I am taking a black letter law approach (stronger than the MC) to implementation of the spec as a tool to test the spec for our terrains.
May 31, 2019 9:27 AM # 
The ownership system here does not allow orienteering through people's' back yards

Quite unfortunate if you own your back yard but still can't give permission for orienteering.
May 31, 2019 11:55 AM # 
I didn't mean that Jagge. I can give permission if I choose.

What I meant was that there's no "freedom to roam" here. That means no presumption of access, a lot of owners to ask in the urban areas I was thinking of, and such a low "yes" rate that it's not usually worth asking. Fences are the norm, often high ones. If you landed from a space-ship, you would think, "don't these people LIKE each other?"
May 31, 2019 1:09 PM # 
Our "freedom to roam" does not give us permission to arrange any orienteering events or access back yards. Just hike alone in forest with no buildings nearby.

Around here public land/parks are too "open" for sprints, no complex route choices. So private land is needed, that means plenty of land owners needs to be asked, I know a case where was hundreds. Huge job, sometimes insane, forest races are a lot easier to arrange, often just couple of dozen land owners. Like you wrote yes rate is crucial, that yes rate may sink if map fail to show OOB clear enough.
Jul 8, 2019 5:54 AM # 
The top world events always provide food for thought. Bulletin 4 for JWOC has some notes about the sprint mapping, eg some local features that would and wouldn't be shown.

Now that the event has been run we can get a feel for the place via the TV, and the published maps. I see the available routes were largely dictated by olive green and the green/black no-go colour of ISSOM, which presumably were different in the terrain - maybe gardens vs taller vegetation. Now that green/black is going to disappear, I wonder if everything being olive is going to be a problem. (Not that I was a fan of green/black, it wasn't different enough from dark green for me.)
Jul 8, 2019 10:57 AM # 
It a bit weird that they carefully defined what man made features were mapped (good) but didn't explain the difference between green/black and olive, which has always been subject to mapper interpretation.
AFAIK the new ISSprOM is leaning toward it being illegal and difficult to go through 100% green. So by implication, olive will be illegal and easy to get through (e.g. flowerbeds)
Jul 8, 2019 12:10 PM # 
Graeme remember that all the "thou shalt not" stuff is to be removed from the spec and put in the rules. The rules will no doubt say "don't go thru olive green" but what will they say about 100% green? And in practical terms will the rules committee be as staunch as the former mapping committee about variation requests, heh heh.
Jul 9, 2019 11:40 AM # 
@gruver I do remember that being said, but (what I think is) the latest ISSprOM valid from 2020 still has it in...

section 1.1 "Shall not means that the definition is an absolute prohibition."
section 410 "Impassible vegetation shall not be crossed"

Maybe by splitting the definition it in two the mapping committee are hoping the rules committee doesn't notice...
Jul 9, 2019 3:16 PM # 
Hmmm, also 515, 518 and 529 "shall not be crossed". And 301 water. And 520 olive green. Maybe there are others. I dunno what's happening there.

So, 410 the ordinary 100% green "shall not be crossed" and the Danes, had they been under the new spec, could have used 410 where they used green/black.
Jul 17, 2019 8:54 AM # 
Have begun to build a local version of ISSprOM, prior to propagating it thru the club's collection of close-to-home maps. I have some personalisations to plug in - additional road widths, GPS and boundary lines for the mapper etc.

The mapping includes a lot of steep terrain, bushclad and farm - that mysterious land which lies between what is suitable for mapping at 1:15,000 and the urban landscape which the sprint spec is focussed on. It's our bread and butter because its in public ownership and its close to where people live. Our people by and large are not elites. It works well for us at 1:5000 and I may leave the scale there.

The crunch question - what am I going to do with the brown track symbols? At present I am pretending everything is "rural" and using the darker brown and thicker sidelines, and they are sort of legible But they are DEFINITELY NOT heavily trafficked!

I will (and always have) used the larger black track from ISOM - used to be 506 now 505 - at its 150% size as most sprint symbols are. Maybe I should go further and use ISOM 504 vehicle track.

A bit of advice at this stage could prevent time-consuming re-work later on. Maybe I should go the whole hog and use ISOM with say 150% symbol sizes - but the mapping seamlessly extends into downtown areas and ISSOM seemed to work for us. Thanks.
Jul 17, 2019 9:23 AM # 
My thoughts on this are that ISSprOM was always intended for an urban or park environment. It was never well suited to forest (or farm). In particular (as you mention) the brown/black track symbols are often very hard to see in non-urban areas and that will be more of a problem withe the new version.

I have never understood why people use it for forest maps. Using sprint mapping symbols on forest maps I find everything looks terrible - too thin and spindly.

If I am mapping forest areas at a larger scale I stick with the ISOM symbol set, but don't fully enlarge the symbols So for example a map at 1:10000 with no enlargement of symbols or with 125% enlargement, instead of 150% percent.

Or in the case you mention of a forest map at 1:5000 I have found a symbol enlargement of 200% works well. (If you do the maths that is the same proportion as a 10000 map with no symbol enlargement). That way you have contours that are 0.28mm and you can use the ISOM tracks.

The other advantage of doing it this way is it is then much easier to take extracts from larger forest maps to use at 5000. All you have to do is change the scale and the symbols sizes (both simple operations). There is no need to convert from ISOM symbol set to ISSprOM - which is much more difficult.
Jul 17, 2019 10:27 AM # 
gruver and robplow: here you can find my map for the Oz sprint champs which has a lot of forest tracks (click on either of the maps to go to his archive). I used the lighter brown shade (C5 M17 Y25) and they show up quite well. Didn't have any complaints. You can find details of shades I used for other symbols in the previous issprom discussion.

(The map quality in this archive isn't too good; unfortunately the actual map file never got posted on a website anywhere, but I can send you a copy if you email me at iinet net au)
Jul 17, 2019 1:00 PM # 
Simmo, looks like a fine map (and terrain) using the Sprint standards, but to my eyes, one thing is inescapable, The small black dash trails are actually visually stronger than the trails which are presumably one or two grades stronger, but drawn in Sprint standard light brown. This is simply absurd.

In an urban or even park setting, I have no disagreement with the Sprint standards. Here the runnability significance provided by trails is not important, because everything is fast runnability, but in a forest setting, trails are very important, especially in a terrain which has significant green as well, like this one.

Also, the 4000 scale map is helpful for reading the light brown rails, but this enlarged scale would not be needed if the trails were drawn in black.

I'm glad you got no complaints, it reflects well on the map content, and possibly the course setter, but I think it is clear that mapping all the non-urban trails in black (with proportional enlargement) would be an undeniable improvement.
Jul 17, 2019 6:31 PM # 
The two problems are using black for tracks and walls/buildings (ISOM) vs brown for tracks and contours (ISSOM) at .a recent event we tried to address this within ISOM by "overuse" of paved area where there are buildings. It worked really well: although there are big inconsistencies across the map, it is clear to read everywhere and the runners have enough cues to know whether they're in the urban/parkland north or the steep/forested south.
It's allegedly "ISOM" because, like gruver, we wanted the black track symbols in the woods.
Jul 17, 2019 7:35 PM # 
Thanks for posting, and thanks to those responsible.

So what is so difficult about this, and why can't the IIssSprrrrosoOM simply adopt these urban/forest options, not politically, that's a risky issue, but simply in language and mapper/ mapreader reality?
Jul 17, 2019 9:04 PM # 
There is too much black in ISOM. I found this recently at the Wawel Cup (Poland) with intermittent tracks running along the bottom of cliff lines. Very hard to distinguish between the two.
Jul 17, 2019 9:39 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@tRicky: This is exactly why we were supposed to get the grey vs black option for rock vs path/track symbols in ISOM 2017, but it was removed during the final rounds. :-(
It would have been perfect for the O-Festivalen maps in Larvik this year.
As leader of the Norwegian Mapping Commission I accepted a request by the organizers to use "light black", i.e. 80-90% for rocky objects: Visually this is still darker than most offset printed black, but it was sufficient to make the paths stand out a bit, making them significantly easier to read.

On this link they seem to use the same shade though:, same for the gps tracking:
Jul 18, 2019 12:02 AM # 
ISOM: Too much black
Jul 18, 2019 2:58 AM # 
EricW the brown tracks are drawn to scale; I was able to do this because the hill-shading from the LIDAR showed the graded edges of the gravel tracks exactly. Had they been drawn in black, the lines would have been almost 2mm thick in places, - and how for example would you draw the junctions accurately?

There is no black line symbol for such tracks in ISSOM or ISSProm. If I used the ISOM symbol, 0.35mm at 1:15000 scale translates to 1.3mm at 1:4000 scale. Compare this to 0.4mm for impassable wall or 0.5mm for impassable cliff. It would, in my view, make a mockery of using thick lines to indicate impassability.

Then there's the decision to choose between a solid line for driveable road (most of them were) or dashed for a vehicle track (a few of them). Some varied in driveability along their length, so which do you choose?

In contrast, the black footpaths varied in width on the ground from 30cm to over 2 metres, but were not gravel. The narrower ones were barely more than animal tracks, while most of the wider ones could barely be noticed if crossing them. I actually toyed with the idea of leaving them at the ISSOM spec of 0.18mm, but in the end decided to use the new ISSProm 0.27mm. Had I stayed with 0.18mm then they wouldn't have appeared (to your eyes) stronger than they actually are.

In my previous post I should have mentioned that under 14s and over 45s all used 1:3000 scale. See Bruce's log to view this scale.
Jul 18, 2019 7:01 AM # 
We have recently mapped several sprint maps according to ISSOM2007. For our event in August we are considering converting to ISSprOM2019. We have made a Facebook poll to get some feedback from participants on what they prefer. In one area we have used the black-green for hedges that are not allowed to be passed, although they just are 1m high. Using olive-green doesn't work well for the hedges as they are very short (8m), so we will use dark green and hope that competitors will not jump over them.

Does anyone already have a ISSprOM2019 OOM symbol set?
Jul 18, 2019 3:31 PM # 
simmo, the main point that I and others are making is that black trails better perform the most important function of trails in a forest setting, that is most clearly displaying the route choices, for quick-glance decisions.
I don't see anywhere in your comments that you argue against this. Can we rest our case on this issue?

I will grant you this, much of your area is right on the edge of the urban/forest definition, which makes it a great venue, but also more challenging to apply forest principles than with graeme's example.

On your map, my eye could be satisfied if the brown trail symbols were simply stronger, with darker brown fill and/or thicker black edges, but as shown, they are unnecessarily weak. given their importance around the green, and possibly through white as well.

To address your questions-
" for example would you draw the junctions accurately?"
"Some varied in driveability along their length, so which do you choose?"

The mapper draws trails as accurately as the scale allows, just like mappers have done for decades, without it ever becoming an issue. These trails could easily be done at 5000, avoiding/minimizing the overly thick black line issue. I can agree that going to 4000 and 3000(?!) would aggravate the black line problem, and helps the readability of these brown trail symbols, but that strikes me as a self defeating rational, or at least illustrates the absurdity of the situation.
Jul 18, 2019 7:50 PM # 
most clearly displaying the route choices, for quick-glance decisions.

Generally in ISSOM, you run on light colours: pale brown, yellow and white.

One way to get contrast is to make forest green. In sprint "normal running" means paved surfaces, and green forest is anything <80% normal speed. So I think its right to map typical ISOM white-woods as ISSOM-green, using white only for super-clean parkland with trees.

The reason I do this is not nitpicky rules-purity, its because the fast running brown paths show up clearly.
Jul 18, 2019 8:54 PM # 
Won't somebody think of the scattered trees symbol???
Jul 19, 2019 9:47 AM # 
You could use scattered trees.
Fundamentally I don't like it when ISOM white generally means "where you want to run" and ISSOM white means "where you don't want to run"
Jul 19, 2019 1:18 PM # 
I don't like scattered trees symbol.

It is very hard to distinguish between 402 and 404, thats why I would prefer if mappers keep on using "white" instead of 402 for urban "forests"
Jul 19, 2019 1:25 PM # 
Fundamentally I don't like it when ISOM white generally means "where you want to run" and ISSOM white means "where you don't want to run"

Of course if you put it like that it seems illogical or inconsistent. But it is not the only way to see it.

What ISSOM/ISSprOM are saying: irrespective of the type of map (sprint or forest) white means runnable forest and all other yellows and green are relative to that same base line. Seems very logical and consistent to me.

You might argue that your philosophy is MORE logical. Maybe. Others would disagree. Both ways of seeing it have pluses and minuses but the fact is ISSOM/ISSprOM have gone with the latter and that is not likely to change.

So do your sprint maps have no white? Or white is what others would map as scattered trees.

Either way that would mean when running on one of your sprint maps the runners need to adjust to a classification of vegetation that is different to all other sprint maps? Is it really worth the trouble?
Jul 19, 2019 2:10 PM # 
ISOM 2017 page 6 has a runnability table, indicating that yellow and paved areas are faster than white (forest). While ISSprOM doesn't have the same table, the principle would be the same. Therefore at sprint events, runners should assume that white is potentially slower, and it shouldn't need to be mapped as green as suggested by graeme. Green should be reserved for areas that are much slower.
Jul 19, 2019 2:34 PM # 
I don't see why white in ISOM and ISSPrOM would be any different.

I don't like scattered trees symbol.

I guess we shouldn't use it then.
Jul 19, 2019 4:48 PM # 
@simmo at sprint events, runners should assume that white is potentially slower,
Yes, and that's exactly the problem: you can't pick the best route from the map because the white might be slower or it might not be.
I use ISSOM white where I'd advise runners to go straight, green when they should at least think about going round. No runners ever had a problem with it.
Jul 19, 2019 5:25 PM # 
you can't pick the best route from the map because the white might be slower or it might not be.
you can if you use the scattered trees good running symbol.

What you suggest above was to map what would be white on a forest map as light green on a sprint map. If that had been done on the map Simmo linked to above the map would look very different and I am sure most runners WOULD have had a problem with it

For another thing light green means poor visibility as well as slower running.
Jul 19, 2019 7:16 PM # 
White is slower than yellow, I think that's the inference. Yellow dot should essentially be the same speed as yellow (with the occasional requirement to sidestep a tree).
Jul 19, 2019 7:27 PM # 
For another thing light green means poor visibility as well as slower running.

I could grumble about this statement, but I think it gets too far off the topic.

I agree with tRicky's point, I think. White with yellow dots is basically mowed grass with trees here and there. Light yellow with white dots is a meadow with some trees. White in some cases can be essentially as fast as yellow, but it's uncommon. But maybe white with yellow dots doesn't have a place on a sprint map if you're mapping every tree.

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