OpenOrienteeringMap, a website for creating a PDF street orienteering map of anywhere in the world based on OpenStreetMap data, has seen a massive upsurge of use since various countries starting locking down their populations during the Covid-19 crisis. Suddenly, many people have found their exercise limited to around their home area, and, if they aren’t lucky enough to live on a “proper” orienteering map, OOM is a great way of getting a simple map quickly – with blue plaques and (for the UK) postboxes pulled in with a single click as potential control sites.
At the same time, there have been a number of initiatives to combine the basic orienteering concept of navigating with a map between points, with the use of GPS receivers on the smartphones most of us carry, and their increasingly high-resolution screens, to virtually “punch” a control by being in the correct location, and carrying the map on the phone.
MapRunF is one such project – with an Android and iPhone app. Courses can be created on the phone itself using Google Maps aerial imagery, or .ocd format maps and courses loaded in from OCAD or Mapper. But if you want the authentic orienteering experience without needing to do “proper” mapping, OpenOrienteeringMap now offers two buttons to easy the import into MapRunF.
Once you’ve saved your map and course, you can click on the KMZ and KML buttons to download a map and courses file respectably. You can then upload these to Check Sites, note down the ID number, and load it into your phone running MapRun F. Straight away, you have your orienteering map and courses, ready to run!
The KMZ map file does not include the courses or start/finish marker, as these are contained within the KML course file. However, it does contain any crossing point “bridge” symbols or do-not-cross “X” markers that you added.
The KMZ and KML files also work in Google Earth:
Try OpenOrienteeringMap – the UK and Ireland editions update daily from OpenStreetMap, while the Global edition updates once or twice a year – but you can create a map at any time! Look out also for a daily updating Australia version soon.