OHV Condes Guidelines

This section could contain advice for planners using the software Condes, which acts as a layer on top of a digital map file. On this layer the user can put control circles, join circles into courses, choose control descriptions (pictorial and text), print maps, export pdfs for others, and many other things.

The advice is specific to the OHV situation. It may contain links to other sources of help, since Condes is used all round the world. Here's a link to a short Youtube video that Wgtn OC has assembled for foot-o planners.

But at the moment no-one has written the OHV advice. Except for rogaines, where we are (in 2017) encouraging the use of Condes rather than relying on the mapping officer to do the control placement. Here it is. Readers/users should report any difficulties they have, so that this advice can be made more useful.

Condes for Rogaines

CONDES can read and display the map file, and has tools for placing controls, linking them together into courses, producing the pictorial descriptions, and a heap of other stuff that is handy for foot orienteering. It will generate a pdf that is the form we send to our printer.

For rogaines the purpose of using it is spreading workload and skills, and reducing dependence on one or two people. In terms of software it is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, think of it in terms of succession planning.

  1. The process can start when the mapping officer sends you a map in OCAD format. This is a file with extension .ocd. It may or may not have the border and legend on it at this stage.
  2. Download CONDES from www.condes.net
  3. Possibly you can play around with it unregistered, but OHV has a club licence. To use that, register on the way in. The club name is Orienteering Hutt Valley. Get the "registration key" from the club secretary or programme coordinator.
  4. When you open Condes and start a new event it gives you a wizard to help you specify the map file. Once you specify the above file it reads it behind the scenes, knows what scale it is, and you’re away.
  5. You have a choice of event type. Call it “foot orienteering”. It doesn’t know about rogaines.
  6. All you’re going to do is stick control circles on the map (and a start triangle). The things you can stick on the map are in a toolbar down the RHS. Click on the control circle and click on the map where you want it to be.
  7. Now a rogaine-specific thing. I recommend you use letters or 3-digit numbers to start with (because when you come to allocating the score and final numbering you need to know what you’ve converted and what you haven’t). If you over-ride the first number that Condes suggests (31) with say 201 then it will suggest 202, 203 etc. Or you can use letters.
  8. There’s something that trips me up all the time. Choosing things to stick on the map seems to put you in “add mode”. And of course you never put a circle just right and immediately you want to tweak its position. To get into “edit mode” you need to (from the toolbar on top of the map window) “select course object”. Then clicking inside a circle will select it and you can drag it into a new position. Otherwise every click adds another circle.
  9. You can drag the number independently of the circle. Somewhere there’s a natty “fine adjustment” for the control circle.
That’s basically it (for getting your rogaine circles positioned). Later in the process you’ll want to renumber the controls. Change the map file that sits behind the circles (when the mapping officer gives you a fancy layout). Generate a pdf for the printer.

There’s context-sensitive help. If you can't work out how to do something please ask. Its easy to send the Condes file to and fro (they are REALLY small) and someone else can look at your controls on their computer.

Control descriptions and questions you’ll have to do outside Condes. Its possible to store text against each control but there isn’t a way to export them. Well there is, but as a graphic (not text). Reason is that the software is aimed at orienteering (ie pictorial descriptions). We’ve asked the program author to provide it.

Now here are the details for some of these later tasks

  1. We recommend you leave the final numbering of the controls to the last moment. Click on "Edit Controls" on the left of the map window, double-click on a control, and change the number in the dialogue that appears. You'll get a warning if you try and re-use a number. Make sure you haven't got any 3-digit ones left (except maybe for the odd 100 etc.)
  2. The Mapping Officer will send you a map layout. This is another ocd file with the unwanted area trimmed off, a legend and border added, and possibly a slightly different scale. Open your wcd file and go to the top left of the map window. Pull down the list of canvases and make Canvas 2 the selected one. You can have one canvas in effect at a time.
  3. Go to the "Canvas" menu up top and under the "Map…" option define the map for this canvas as the new file. Condes will recognise the new scale and by some mathematical wizardry will display the circles correctly in relation to the new map.
  4. Control Circles and Numbers. We've traditionally used thicker circles than the orienteers, so a setting needs changing. It's in the canvas menu under "line dimensions". Change "circle line width" from 0.35mm to 0.6mm. And under "course colour" you can tick "make white outline on control numbers". Another tradition is somewhat bigger numbers. In the "Course Layout" menu choose "Setup overprint nuumbers". Under Fonts for control numbers, and control codes for "all controls", click in the box and up the size from whatever it is to 18pt.
  5. Tidy-up. The circles and numbers sometimes cover up important detail, such as track junctions. When you're in edit mode for a particular control, you can choose the scissor tool (above the map window towards the right). Then clicking on the circumference of the active circle will take out a standard-sized bite. You can also drag the number around, especially if circles are close together, they can be ambiguous. But don't cover up anything you need to nav by.
  6. To prepare for printing use the "Print Area" menu. There’s a "show-hide frame" option, that’s talking about the Condes (blue) frame. Our standard map layout has a green frame in the map file so hide the Condes frame. (It will turn into a red virtual frame.) It has handles on the mid-sides, drag the virtual frame to just outside the green frame.
  7. For test prints, in the print menu choose “all controls”. (The other options are for orienteering where there may be several courses.) You can preview.
  8. There are sometimes border problems – part of the edge falling off the paper - something to do with margins within margins etc. Don’t worry about that, the mapping officer will sort that out - send the wcd file. He will use “export to pdf” (and worry about the proper margins). And deal with the club's printer.
  9. If you have less than 27 controls you can get the questions printed on the back of the map. In this case send a Word or PDF file to the Mapping Officer, and arrange to get clipcards for the teams to write on. If you have more than 27 controls, include an answer column in the question table, and get the question/answer sheets printed yourself.
  10. Bound to be some more useful hints, we'll add them here as they come up.

This page was written by and updated on 4 Apr 17.
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