ISOM2000 Symbol Extensions

This page was installed by of MAPsport Services on 5 May 17. It consists of symbol numbers used by Michael to extend the OCAD default symbol table. Includes some variations to the OCAD default preferred by Michael - shown in bold. Extensions cater for foot orienteering (eg fences to be hidden for some courses, vs boundary fences that must stay on) and for rogaine and MTBO mapping.

Extensions to the OCAD default colour numbers are also given below.

There is no agreement by anyone else to use these numbers, though their use would minimise symbol table bloat. They are recorded here mainly for the benefit of Michael's clients and anyone working on maps that he has produced.

The numbering keeps clear of the ISOM2000, ISSOM and ISMTBOM specification numbers. The new ISOM2017 has a lot of number changes. While not specified in the mapping specification, OCAD is introducing new colour numbers to go with ISOM2017. It is possible that Michael may need to revise some or all of these numbers.


  • 101.001, 201.001, 104.001, 103.001 Contour/Index contour between, associated slope tag and formline, Symbols which allow alternate contours to be separately identified so that contour interval can be halved/doubled with a couple of clicks. Specially applicable to rogaining maps - 20m is the topo standard and suits steep country, but 10m is better (and available) around urban areas where larger scales are often used.
  • 101.002, 104.002 Contour from other map and associated slope line. May be used for council contours which are sometimes finer than the desired orienteering ones. May be used for topo contours which are sometimes too coarse, and intervening contours are introduced by some sort of interpolation. File size can often be reduced significantly by deleting these contours, but I would always export them to an "old stuff" file first. Never throw any source material away completely.
  • 101.003 Discarded contour. For situations where extensive contour modification is done, keeping the old contour just in case. Usually temporary, until quite satisfied with the improvement. Extensive contour modification is heady stuff.
  • 106.000 Earth bank. Overhang at the ends removed. My preference, the overhang also creates a problem with very short banks.
  • 106.001, 106.002 Earth bank topline and separate tag; used to create nicer looking bendy banks where the tags would otherwise intersect.
  • 106.003 Earth bank thicker topline for very high banks.
  • 106.004 Earth bank with shorter tags (two thirds) for places where there isn’t much room; I often used it alongside roads.
  • 203.001, 203.002 Passable rockface and tag; used to create nicer looking bendy rockfaces where the tags would otherwise intersect, see earth banks above.
  • 109.001 Large erosion gully with one pointy end. Handy for branching gullies. Not used on this map.
  • 402.001 Yellow dot for hand-drawing “open with scattered trees”, avoids the edge effects of 402.000.
  • 404.000 Rough open with scattered trees, using green dots as allowed by the spec. Dot size 0.6 compared to 0.82 in spec, to avoid an excessively green appearance, it needs to look open.
  • 405.000 Symbol for “white forest”. Sometimes useful to “draw” passable forest, then it can be changed eg to light green for different audiences. If a map is to be used for MTBO, I use it for “white for foot but unsuitable for biking”.
  • 420.001 Large green blob for eg patches of fight.
  • 502.003 Wider major road.
  • 501.002, 502.002, 502.004, 503.002 Road versions with red infill. An elegant way of showing out of bounds main roads, by changing the fill colour to red. Other methods clobber paths that go closely alongside, eg on bridges. Of course its an unfortunate colour for colour-blind people.
  • 503.003 Narrow sealed road, sometimes handy for MTBO where the seal/gravel distinction is important.
  • 512.001 Bridge sprint version. Possible this may come into ISOM.
  • 515.001 Railway sprint version. Possible this may come into ISOM.
  • The std fence symbol 522.000 is used for “fences on all maps”. Other fence varieties as follows: 522.001 fence no tags on all maps (useful for stockyards). 522.002 fence on some maps (to allow hiding). 522.003 fence no tags on some maps.
  • The std ruined fence number 523.000 is used, but the gap is increased from 0.38 to 1.88. The rationale is that it should clearly be used for, and look like, a fence with gaps. A ruined fence which still has continuous wires and takes time to cross is functionally no different from a regular fence.
  • 523.002 ruined fence on some maps (to allow hiding).
  • 525.000 Crossing point. My convention is that no crossing point symbol is used where a road or track crosses the fence, since a crossing point is implied. Other varieties as follows: 525.001 Smaller crossing point, the std one is sooo big! 525.002 Smaller crossing point on some maps (to allow hiding, goes with appropriate fence types)
  • 526.001, 526.002 Building and canopy insides (gray) from the sprint spec, which may be adopted by the new ISOM.
  • 526.004, 526.005 Building and canopy outlines from the sprint spec, which may be adopted by the new ISOM.
  • 527.009 Area not mapped. Especially handy in urban areas, can underlie everything and detail progressively be added on top.
  • 529.002 Paved area no cover-up. Uses a lower version of brown where eg distinct trees are planted in parking lots and need to show through.
  • 601.002 Blue north line with arrow-head. My practice is to add north lines as part of layout.
  • 711.002, 711.003 Out of bounds symbol for MTBO.
  • 831.000 to 840.000 MTBO track and other symbols (NZ version).
  • 904.000 to 948.999 various text symbols, with the 2nd and 3rd digit implying the point size. Generally the .000 and .002 suffixes are used for arial fonts, and .005, .006 suffixes for fancy fonts.
  • 961.000, 962.000, 962.001 Areas and lines for use by logos.


The colour table is based on an OCAD default, as modified by me. It combines those for standard maps and MTBO. Colour numbers are not compatible with the sprint colour numbering, grrrr. (The OCAD colour tables are constantly changing in detail; I’m on a mission to at least adhere to solid colour numbers!) I list the significant deviations from the current OCAD default here. Some of them are not used on this map but are part of a wider picture.

In colour table order from top to bottom:

  • 203 Upper White. Knocks out everything below. This may be a hangover from a previous OCAD colour set, might be superceded by the OCAD Layout facility.
  • 204 Purple Transparent. Way of putting control circles under the detail. Might be superceded by separate course-setting software.
  • 130 Reduced black if MTBO. This is important for MTBO which requires that non-track black features be reduced to 70% to emphasise the track network. Appropriate symbols use this black which for foot-o is full strength. By changing this one setting all non-track symbols are reduced for MTBO. There may be some rarely used symbols that have been overlooked for this treatment.
  • 209 Red. An elegant way of showing out of bounds main roads, by changing the fill colour to red. Other methods clobber paths that go closely alongside, eg on bridges. Of course its an unfortunate colour for colour-blind people.
  • 107 Blue. This is important and IMHO a major flaw in both the spec and the OCAD table. (Though maybe there’s something I don’t fully understandJ) The specified “overprint” setting allows yellow to show through blue and make green streams (and with lazy drawing, green lakes). The problem is not evident on-screen in normal view, and may not be evident when viewing a pdf depending on your Acrobat settings. The problem may not even show up if your printing house does not recognise “overprint” in its printer management software. But sooner or later they will roll in new software (ours did!) and you’ll have green streams. I switch off the overprint setting for blue in the colour table, so that blue knocks out other colours.
  • 124 Yellow 35%. Not always used, but in areas with a lot of open land, symbol 401 is often reduced to 70% yellow. When this is done, the pale yellows 403 and 404 need to be reduced too.
  • 125, 126, 127 Various Grays at the bottom of the colour table; useful for a fill colour eg “not mapped”.
  • 128 Lazy Olive Green. Same as 111 but at the bottom of the colour table, would enable “out of bounds” to be drawn under a whole residential area for example without clobbering anything else.