OHV Fieldwork Instructions for Sprint Maps
The Valley Floor series of Maps
After pioneering sprint orienteering for many years (no-one was doing it when we started O-Max) we successfully used the ordinary mapping specifications. In 2007 the IOF brought out special mapping specifications for sprints and orienteers are now quite used to them. We need to get our valley floor maps to comply. We have a series of abutting areas up the valley from Eastbourne to Te Marua, with an outlier at Kaitoke Campground. Small rural areas and steeper areas don't suit the sprint speci as well, and we'll continue to use the standard specifications for those, see Park Mapping for them.
So we have started "The Sprintify Project". The Mapping Officer is doing a "rough conversion" of the files so that the sprint symbols are there; and taken the chance to put the latest aerial photos in the background. The process is to complete the symbol conversion, and fix positioning errors caused by old photos not being as good. There will be a temptation to add extra detail because this is "the fashion", but it's very time-consuming - not so much in the field but in the drawing. The priority is to get the existing features in the right symbols and in the right place.
This page is adapted from our "Park Mapping" instructions with special mention of the changes, and will be gradually changed as we do more mapping under the sprint spec. Don't expect it to cover everything instantly.
- Scale: While the sprint spec allows either 1:5000 and 1:4000, we will use 5000. Other clubs are getting carried away with ridiculous detail. A fieldwork scale of 1:2500 is recommended.
- Printing: It is recognised that older orienteers deserve a larger scale for standard maps, ie the spec is 1:15,000 for elites and 1:10,000 for vets. So a sprint map at 1:5000 could well be printed at 1:3333 if the course will fit on the page. Going the other way (eg for a longer event) is possible up to say 1:6000 but it's not advisable, and planners would need to avoid controls in any complex areas. Or even route choices that rely on tiny gaps between buildings as they won't be legible.
- Contours. We have 5m contours from Hutt and Upper Hutt councils. They have been fitted in, but there's a job to mesh them in with miscellaneous hand-drawn contours that we used to have. Basically they are fairly meaningless on the flat except for the stopbanks. You can add/fix formlines if you see an interesting shape but you're not supposed to have more than one formline between adjacent contours. You can use red on your fieldwork to represent brown. Note: the sprint spec calls for 2 or 2.5m contours. Lets get the things you can see done properly first.
- Try and draw roads to scale. the mapping officer can give you a printout with the aerial photo showing. On your fieldwork it will be fairly obvious that two parallel black lines means a road. Use dashed lines to mean gravel roads, if there are any.
- (For cartographers) Whereas our old maps had just a few road symbols of different widths, in the sprint spec they are drawn to scale. To make things easier we have set up half a dozen different widths, and only if none of them suit will you need to draw your own edges and fill in. In theory there's a set of these roads for sealed, gravel and stairs, times two for urban and rural, Whew. We have a mixture of urban and rural character (the riverbank). We will use the RURAL symbols because the brown is darker and the sidelines thicker and hence more legible. This also avoids strange urban-rural transitions.
- Kerbs - forget them. Aren't we orienteers who can leap a fence at a single bound? A gutter or kerb is a nothing in terms of speed, kerblines reduce the readability AND THEY TAKE AGES TO MAP.
- Verges - due to line thicknesses, anything under 2m isn't mappable. So we don't show a 2m footpath and a 2m strip of grass, and is it important anyway? Now a 4m verge is maybe mappable if we're picky - so here's how to decide what it should be. What does it feel like overall - footpath, grass, scattered trees, or forest? Use that. Quite often this means that the paving will go from fence to fence. Other times paving will go from kerb to kerb with yellow or white from karb to fence.
- Driveways. In deciding how to do a verge, ignore the driveways.
- Paved areas. Draw an outline in black and put a "P" inside. The outline would be dashed if it's gravel. Paved area can also be used for bark under playground equipment. (Well, it's brown isn't it???) And the rubber stuff that is sometimes used under play equipment.
- (For cartographers) If you have to resort to drawing edges and filling in, use the RURAL edge and fill. We have provided two rural fill options, one covers up detail like trees and edge lines (but helps at road junctions) and one doesn't. Use what seems right in the circumstances.
- Small tracks eg on the riverbank. Strictly speaking there's only one dashed line track in the sprint spec. Everything else is supposed to be like the road symbol. We think that the very small informal track should be a small dashed line symbol 507, (draw a single line with a "7" on your fieldwork) and larger well-trodden tracks should become the bigger dashed line symbol 506 (draw a line with a "6"). An indistinct track would be an "8". The "constructed" tracks should be brown like a mini road so draw two parallel lines as close together as you can. But don't worry about footpaths beside roads, they can be assumed by the runner - just the separate ones. (See "verges" above.)
- (For cartographers) The sprint spec has the 1:15,000 size for symbol 507. We use the enlarged 1:10,000 size, as most of the sprint symbols are. We use the enlarged 1:10,000 size for 506 too.
- Out of Bounds Roads. We have been using road symbols with red instead of brown ("tomato sandwich") to mean "do not use or cross", as its neater than purple crossing-hatching and olive green doesn't seem quite right. (Example, SH2 and the bridges across the river.) In your fieldwork draw the no-go roads in red but of course you probably need to fit in an allowable footpath beside them:-))
- Buildings. We don't have much building detail so far, but we've done one or two schools and the civic centre. As above, concentrate on what's on the map already. If you do get interested in a school or shopping centre, be prepared for a LOT of time. There's a building outline, and fill; and a canopy outline and fill. In your fieldwork black lines of a rectangular shape are usually obvious as buildings. You can use a "C" to distinguish those shapes that are canopies.
- Smallest building or paving detail. At our scale of 1:5000, dimensions less than 2m are meaningless. (That's the "footprint" of an impassable wall.) Forget about notches and porches and canopies less than 2m across - they do not exist! Where there's a narrow passage between two buildings you need to shrink the buildings to make the gap stand out.
- An interesting example of a small building is the bus shelter. It's a canopy but with impassable walls on three sides. The thickness of these walls makes it ridiculous. But they are interesting features and not too close together, so why not show them as a free-standing canopy with no walls?
- The spec has crossable and uncrossable wall symbols. In your fieldwork make the uncrossable obviously thick; and the crossable can be a thin line with blobs like in the ordinary speci. There's a strange ambiguity that the "wall" can be one-sided (like a bank) or two-sided. If there's room, try and use the cliff symbol for the one-sided ones. Cartographers, it is going to come down to your skill to reduce this ambiguity.
- Boulders. On the riverbank there are big concrete blocks and flood protection boulders. They are represented as boulders, boulder clusters or boulder fields. There's no boulder cluster in the sprint spec but we've added one. Draw them in your fieldwork as they would appear on the map.
- Dry riverbed. The river at normal flows has dry stony areas. These should be shown as rough open stony ground (fieldwork code perhaps "SG".) The precise waters edge doesn't matter as it changes with flow and even over time, sketch in rough black waters edge lines and scribble some blue between to show water.
- (For Cartographers) The spec says the stony ground dots are randomly distributed, this is ridiculous as you would have to draw each dot, just use the sandy ground area symbol. The rivers edge needs to be the black bank line (the river is usually not to be crossed) but the thinner "cultivation boundary" is used to demarcate the riverbed-vegetation boundary. (It's quite a distinct and permanent line, and the dotty vege boundary would give odd effects beside the dotty stony ground.) The 75% blue is used for the river, only occasionally is it safe to cross and specific event instructions would tell competitors if and where this is allowed.
- Streams. They only have to be 1m wide before the actual size exceeds the standard "crossable watercourse" symbol, draw these with a blue "6" (flow likely) or "7" (flow unlikely). We also have a thicker blue line for 2m watercourses, code these as a blue "5", above that draw the actual banks - blue for crossable and black for not. Scribble a bit of blue between the lines so the cartographer can tell it's not a road.
- Culverts. The "spring" symbol has been used where stormwater culverts exit (or enter for that matter). It's not in the sprint spec, have to think about this one.
- Vegetation: code as for standard orienteering, a green outline and a green number which is the last digit of of the symbol number in the spec. (Go on, read the spec!)
- Mowed areas. Areas of trees which are mowed underneath are shown as "scattered trees", fieldwork code a green "2". Individual trees within such areas may well be distinct enough to show individually, see below.
- Distinct Vege Boundaries. The edge of mowing is a frequent case for using the "distinct vegetation boundary" of black dots. Don't try and draw dots in the field, use a black line with a "16" code. When evaluating distinctness, think of a kid at white level, could they use it as a handrail? BTW How long since you followed a kid on a white course? Edges of flower gardens would be better as the "cultivation boundary", use a black "14" line.
- Individual trees, they need to be immediately recognisable. You can use a green circle (trunk over 0.5m) or a green blob (trunk under 0.5m) or a green cross (stump) but they would have to be quite distinct. A tree in a carpark or on the road berm for example. Don't show individual trees where they are scattered all over the show, use the "fast forest" or "scattered trees" area symbols. A massive tree with a big canopy (see the aerial) might justify a white blob around the green circle, draw that as a green line (ie fieldwork would show two concentric circles). But you should shrink the canopy-line you see on the photo, orienteers don't go round looking up at the sky.
- Power lines: we don't show them. Except for pylons
- Tunnels and Underpasses: Used to be shown by a 30% black line (grey). This is supposed to become a pair of black dotted lines. Wide areas where passage is possible underneath something are a problem, such as the riverbank where you can pass under a bridge which you can also run over. A work in progress, we are currently showing the riverbank extent under the bridge with the dots, and any paths under the bridge with the grey. Multi-level things like carparks are out. Officially, there is a single running level, with optionally a canopy over it.
- Fences: Not usually shown on the private property, but they do occur on parks, and there are short sections of post and wire for flood protection on the river bank. Ignore those low railing things with gaps that are designed to keep cars off the grass. The uncrossable fence can be used on the edge of the passable area, eg in a business area to distinguish a yard from a building.
- Residential, business, just plain unmapped area: There are heaps of private areas in the valley floor and we have been using a special colour 50% grey at the bottom of the colour hierarchy which is drawn under the whole
map. The specification says olive green, we'll draw it in progressively. Cartographers, a byproduct of the gray underneath is that white has to be explicitly drawn, it isn't just an absence of anything else as usual. There's a symbol for it, number 405, green "5" on the fieldwork.
- The Man Made Object. It needs careful discrimination, there may be lots of them in a park or reserve. The minimum size is around park bench size, but seats are so common that we're progressively taking them off. A seat would have to really surprise me to put on - maybe on a walkway where there are no others for miles. (Analogy: On a rocky map only the biggest rocks are shown, it's all about "significance in context".) So picnic tables are in, rubbish bins are out. Signs would have to be massive to be on, as pretty much every road junction has them. A lighting tower on a sports field might be tall but to a runner looking straight ahead is it any different from the million and one poles and posts that are round the place? Play equipment is by judgement, there are often a lot close together, a few representative crosses may be used. In some situations it may be better not to put any crosses at all. Point features are only useful if the object stands out from other things around it. If there are too many objects, ask yourself which one(s) stand out. Put them in, and forget about the rest.
- Special point symbols. We're using the "feeding trough" symbol for picnic tables and fixed barbeques. It's like a short arrow with the point to north. Monuments are included in "cairns" which is a circle with a dot in the middle. This could extend to fixed artistic sculptures. Small tower (the "T") is used rurally for trigs, maybe some big signs would qualify as a "tower" but they would have to be massive, as they are just background noise in urban areas.
- The sprint railway symbol is thinner than the standard one and has let us show both of the double railway tracks, which in turn lets us show the platform between and the ramps accessing them. There will be some tidying up to do. Don't use it for model railways, that comes under "tramways" as the runner can cross them; so rare that you'll probably remember the difference.
- There are bridge side-lines which don't exist in the standard spec. They will need to be added.
The page was written by
and updated on 28 May 17.