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Planning a Street Series Event

Last edited: Sat 13 Jan 2024

On this page, we'll show you how to create a course ready for a GPS-punching Street Series event. There are some (hopefully) helpful instructions on planning courses for MapRun. It is important to work through all the videos in order the first time you come to this.

Before we start, a quick terminology explanation for the purists: Throughout I'll be using the term GPS as it is the phrase in common usage. I do, of course, mean GNSS. Most devices in use in the UK will have access to GPS (American), Glonass (Russian), and BeiDou (Chinese), with really modern ones also accessing Galileo (EU).

Quick Checklist

  1. Plan the course with consideration to good GPS sites and particularly avoiding the chance of an accidental finish punch. The majority of controls should be streetlamps. Avoid general things like road junction as there is nothing to indicate which part of the area that is.
  2. Create a kmz. This will be the virtual base map.
  3. Plot your course on Google Earth.
  4. Create a kml. This will be the virtual course.
  5. Generate a CheckSites code. This is for testing and Controlling.
  6. Use the CheckSites code to test the course on the ground.
  7. Do any changes needed.
  8. Send kml, kmz, ppen and base map to the MapRun administrator.

Planning Requirements

Please also note these requirements:

  • there are three courses (long, short, and accessible) - short and accessible punch controls in any order, long is an odd/even blocks course; accessible has a different map with accessibility warnings added
  • scoring is done by control number rounded down to nearest ten
  • the PPen files with the course on (usually one file for long/short and one for accessible) should just contain the all controls - don't use the PPen score course function
  • the purple Xs indicating a disallowed route are not used as they are hard to see in the dark - OOB hatching should be used instead
  • any roads over 30mph limit are marked as OOB or put in mandatory crossings
  • start and finish are within sight of registration
  • start and finish are on the road/carpark ie. accessible by wheelchair
  • any restrictions to wheelchair access in the area, eg. steps or width restrictions, are mapped on the accessible map using uncrossable boundary or OOB area in PPen
  • any controls which cannot reasonably be accessed by wheelchair are removed from the accessible map
  • there are sufficient controls within range of the start that someone in a wheelchair doing a fast walking pace can have a worthwhile course

More info on preparing the PPen file for a street series event is available here. It includes image templates you'll need to include for things like the key and the scoring system.

A kmz file is needed to provide an orienteering map on the app.

This can now be achieved very easily through OOMap. Video to come, but basically, find the area you want to use, set not to show clutter like fences and hedges, then export pdf and kmz.

Road bends and road junctions are not good as they are very large and the competitor won't know which exact bit is supposed to be the control and can waste a lot of time (dangerously) crossing the road trying to find it.

You must use locations that are clear both in the aerial view and on the ground. The series baseline is to use streetlamps or telegraph poles for as many controls as possible. Playground equipment and benches can be good. Fence corners are sometimes effective. Road bends or junctions are not suitable.

For tall things like streetlamps, make sure you put the pin at the base. Often a shadow will be on the image which will help.

Let's get a feel for how to use Google Earth to plot courses...

Remember to put the controls in the correct order in the menu, from S1 to F1. For a score course, you still need S1 as the first in the list and F1 as the last, but the order in between doesn't matter.

When saving the kml file, please use the naming convention 'event course PXAC'. eg. Wellington 2020 Long PXAS B50 PZ.kml The PXAS tells the app that it's a score course, the B50 says 50 minute blocks scoring, and PZ puts in a PIN. You will also need to save a copy for the short course eg. Wellington 2020 Short PXAS Q50 PZ.kml

This can help to show you the area you are using. Do not use it to place the pins, though - this must be done using the aerial images.

Once you have output the course as a kml file and the map as a kmz file, there are two more steps to create a CheckSites code that will let you check the course works.

First you have to tile the kmz using MapRun Utils. Then you have to create the test event using CheckSites.

For more information on how to use the code to check the course, see Controlling for MapRun.

Making the Map

Now go here to create the map.