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GPS Courses at Hickory Run
  • Topic created by gahlswede on Thu May 21, 2020 at 9:30 am
    Greg Ahlswede (gahlswede)
    gahlswede
    Num Posts: 12
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Stuckey Pond
    First O: 1998
    Hello!

    I just uploaded 4 courses (beginner, intermediate, advanced 1, and advanced 2) to the GPS punching at UsynligO.


    Orienteering in itself is a very safe activity during a pandemic. However the trip to Hickory Run could have potential complications. Please practice all social distancing guidelines in traveling to Hickory Run. I would also recommend no one from over two hours away traveling for these courses. Carbon county was recently moved to the yellow phase. Let's make sure we all can get there and beat this virus!

  • Reply by Petr on Sun May 24, 2020 at 10:58 pm
    Petr  Hartman (Petr)
    Petr
    Num Posts: 34
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 0
    Greg,
    thank you. I did the Adv.2 course at HR. It was great.
    The audible signal was right on at several controls. At some I had to do little circling around the feature. In average it was about 10 meters off. 20 m at most. Tending to the west. Not bad, guessing that the original map probably wasn't georeferenced. For instance, number 8 control was right on, but going from #12 to 13 passing by, I picked up the signal when I was about 50 m to the south.
    This is the way to go. I don't mean only for this corona situation. If we have problem with volunteerism, this could be our last best option. At least it would work for the advanced courses.
    Petr
  • Reply by gahlswede on Mon May 25, 2020 at 8:38 am
    Greg Ahlswede (gahlswede)
    gahlswede
    Num Posts: 12
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Stuckey Pond
    First O: 1998
    Thanks for testing Petr. The original map was not georeferenced. So I did the best I could to georeference it, but I'm not sure it could ever be perfectly done for some of our field-checked maps. 

    GPS punching works extremely well for all of the maps I've made with lidar, but that's likely because everything is drawn according to real-world location rather than legibility for runners.

    And yes, I agree, for local meets and club trainings, GPS punching seems like the way to go to ramp up our level of activity while not overburdening volunteers. For national meets and national championships, I hope we never leave behind the precision of flags and e-punching. I'll keep testing stuff out to see how I can improve the experience!
  • Reply by furlong47 on Mon May 25, 2020 at 2:30 pm
    Julie Keim (furlong47)
    furlong47
    Num Posts: 297
    Primary Club: SVO
    Fav map: Fair Hill 1:15,000
    First O: 1994
    I, for one, would not want to see a majority of local meets using GPS punching. I generally do not take my phone orienteering as I can't afford to damage it. I've had plenty of excursions or falls into water, mud, or rocks that would have done just that. Orienteering clothes typically don't offer a secure way to carry a phone. It doesn't even fit in my small Camelbak. We also have members who don't own smartphones. 

    I do think it is great for trainings, and for strange circumstances such as these. 
  • Reply by gahlswede on Mon May 25, 2020 at 2:47 pm
    Greg Ahlswede (gahlswede)
    gahlswede
    Num Posts: 12
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Stuckey Pond
    First O: 1998
    I've been using a camelback for years with my phone stashed in the pocket. It's worked perfectly. 

    But this is also why I prefer using O-range on my watch. I believe Usynligo is also developing similar software for watches.

    I think Petr is right in that it's best for advanced courses. The advanced courses tend to be the ones that require the lion's share of the work to set up. There also seems to be a bit of hesitation on the part of course designers to make a truly physically challenging advanced course at a local meet because of the amount of extra work it would create.

    If it means I could run a course at a local meet that actually challenges my physical and technical limits, then I might start really attending local meets. As it stands right now, most of DVOA's local meets are far too much travel for what they can bring to my training. And I don't want event directors and course designers to undertake titantic efforts of putting out and picking up those controls to make me happy. 

    So, I'm not saying that we should make a revolutionary shift to all GPS punching, but perhaps the most diehard orienteers who want a 14k long would be happy with a GPS punching course. And it would mean minimal extra work for a course designer.
  • Reply by gahlswede on Mon May 25, 2020 at 3:01 pm
    Greg Ahlswede (gahlswede)
    gahlswede
    Num Posts: 12
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Stuckey Pond
    First O: 1998
    And absolutely yes to using this stuff for training!

    Moving forward, I will be happy to set up long-term GPS courses that anyone can download at any time on any map. It could be like a permanent course that we change every X months.
  • Reply by Petr on Mon May 25, 2020 at 9:53 pm
    Petr  Hartman (Petr)
    Petr
    Num Posts: 34
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 0
    After my testing with gps for mapping, I was surprised how close I was. Knowing you georeferenced the map with only few points.
    The comment about possibility of using this for local advanced courses has to do with my observation of decline in events participation. A trend we haven't been able to reverse. Specially seeing the big crowds in parks now. At Spring Pond parking wasn't overfilled, but at the office cars parked where normally they wouldn't allow. I guess there was 200 cars at the falls. How to tap to this interest? 
  • Reply by kathyu on Tue May 26, 2020 at 2:07 pm
    Kathy Urban (kathyu)
    kathyu
    Num Posts: 556
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 2004
    I'm looking forward to trying your courses at Hickory Run.  I've already experimented with a QR course and enjoyed it.  I am coming at this from a recreational orienteer's point of view, just looking to get out there and have some O fun and exercise.  There are more than a few technophobes in DVOA, but believe me, I've downloaded two different apps for orienteering and it is easy. 

    Kathyu
  • Reply by JanetT on Tue May 26, 2020 at 6:53 pm
    Janet Tryson (JanetT)
    JanetT
    Num Posts: 46
    Primary Club: EMPO
    Fav map:
    First O: 1990
    We went to Hickory Run today and ran the advanced courses (Glen did the longer one; I did the shorter one). For me, the fact I could adjust the volume on my phone made UsynligO the winner; I can barely hear my watch chime and it missed a couple of points, whereas UsynligO announced I was "there" (within 20m), sometimes before I saw the feature. Thanks for setting it up, Greg!
  • Reply by kathyu on Wed May 27, 2020 at 6:58 pm
    Kathy Urban (kathyu)
    kathyu
    Num Posts: 556
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 2004
    Dave and I did the intermediate course.  At the start we met a couple similar age as us just finishing the permanent beginner course and about to start the other permanent course.  Gave them the DVOA pep talk.  They live right near South Mountain.  But I digress...I carried my phone and the impulse to "cheat" and use the direction and distance to control features was overwhelming and I got to several controls before Dave.  Also if you set the sensitivity to too large a range you actually get the happy tune before you see the feature.  
    Seriously, for self-education, you need to stash the phone where you can hear it but not use the cool features unless you get seriously lost.
    And finally, your phone will have a usable copy of the map and a compass so you can be almost empty handed.  Good or bad?  your call.
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