MapRun (also known as MyOMaps), doesn't need kites, control units or permanent course posts- just a smartphone app. Several courses have already been set for use with the app throughout the county.
What's the format?
The format is what we orienteers call a "Score" course- that basically means you pick the order of the controls you want to visit.
Afterwards, you can upload your score and time to the web and compare how you did with others who have attempted the courses separately or with you.
Courses are sited in popular urban areas where there is a good mix of parkland, residential roads and footpaths. Your base is usually a shopping parade or public car park.
When will the courses be used?
The courses are intended for use as low key events, perhaps for summer evenings. Please contact Jeff Pakes if you would like to be the organiser for such an event.
Our next series is planned for Winter 2019/20, running from November to March, with possibly five or six events, held monthly.
How does it work?
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.
You prepare by downloading the event onto the free MapRun app. Some events are protected by a PIN code, especially in advance of meets scheduled for certain dates. Once you've loaded up the event, you would 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. View everyones' routes on RouteGadget afterwards (for most events).
Traditionalists can be reassured, despite all this technology, paper maps are still being used!
Will there be any courses in woods?
MapRun is best suited to events in urban and semi-urban areas. The GPS tracks picked by phones in the woods may not be as accurate.
Also, from the course planner's point of view, it is harder to place controls with accuracy unless multiple GPS readings are taken in the field. The usual method of placing controls, "dropping pins" on locations as viewed from above on Google Earth, is not as nearly as effective, with tree foliage obscuring potential sites!
- MapRun is the brainchild of Peter Effeney. Link to the official website
- We are grateful to him for his advice and support in utilising the app