MapRun at Longrun
Course now open to all
You can use a smartphone to try a course created with MapRun, an app which uses GPS signals for controls. It uses parkland and riverside paths on the west of Taunton.
- Print a copy of the map off (here).
- Please download the app onto a smartphone, if you have one.
- The basic app is free and sufficient for this exercise.
- The paid for app is $6Aus (£3.50) and has more features.
- Load up the Longrun & French Weir event onto your app; it's in the UK / Other folder, near the top
Please take with you
- The map
- A smartphone. Please ensure if has plenty of charge. The device needs to have a GPS chip, otherwise it can't "read" the virtual controls!
- If you have an armband for your phone, so much the better. You only need to look at it to check your virtual 'punch' has registered. The club also has a limited number available to borrow.
- Suitable footwear (over winter, Longrun has churned up on some paths and around its gates)
- If you're intending to venture out onto Longrun in the dark, bring a headtorch, a spare, spare batteries, a whistle and a compass if you normally use one.
You are responsible for your own safety on the course and take part at your own risk.
Is a 20 minute 'score' course; a score means you can take the controls in any order you like. You can take longer but penalty points are deducted!
The course uses the eastern half of Longrun Meadow, French Weir Park plus the connecting path north of the river.
Bagging all the controls would mean a near 3km route, but you don't need to go nearly as far as that to see the app in action.
It's not a serious competitive exercise but you may want to challenge yourself. You can return to the terrain at any other time of your choosing to try it again, again to a time limit. If you don't fancy venturing out onto Longrun, you can do a short, simple loop round French Weir Park instead.
The Start is adjacent to the bridge across to Longrun, by the COACH centre.
Don't visit the Finish till you actually need to! As with any virtual control, it will register when you go within a few metres of it. Though if you still have controls left to visit, the app prompts you whether you are sure you actually want to finish.
After finishing, the app prompts as to whether you'd like to upload your results to the MapRun website to compare against others.
Introduction to MapRun
MapRun is best suited to events in urban and semi-urban areas.
MapRun, also known as MyOMaps, doesn't need kites, control units or permanent course posts. Witness the impressive ways a neighbouring club in the South West is already using it, following the links - see further below.
Basically, MapRun relies on GPS readings (pinpointed from Google Earth) of locations of street furniture, typically lamps and post boxes. Quite a few in the club will already be familiar with urban score events using street furniture where you take a note of say a lamp post number to prove you've visited the site.
With the new method, your control 'punches' are registered via a smartphone, which vibrates or buzzes when you're within about five metres of the control. First though you need to download the event onto your MapRun app and activate your run via a PIN code obtained from the organiser. Afterwards you have the option to upload your result onto the event leaderboard online, via a single click. Automatic postings to RouteGadget are possible but not for this occasion.
The course has already been tried out. The app was originally been piloted in Taunton's Holway & Blackbrook area, which we've used for urban orienteering before. A trial course has been set up using MapRun. Please contact Jeff Pakes or Roger & Judy Craddock if you'd like to try that one out.
Traditionalists can be reassured, despite all this technology, paper maps are still being used!