How to plan a Street-O event

These instructions describe how to plan a Claro Street-O event using the Open Orienteering Map (OOM) website.  They are based on work done by Chris Dicken (thanks Chris!). OOM has come a long way and you should be able to do what you need to just using this site. The idea is to be able to plan an event remotely with the minimum of effort.

You can open these instructions as a pdf (to save or print) here. All downloads are also at the bottom.

Step 1 – Setting the Map.
In your web browser open http://oomap.co.uk/ and navigate to where you want to have your map. You can do this by:

  • entering a valid postcode (top right)
  • dragging (by hold down left mouse button) and zooming in using the mouse wheel or (+/-) top left

Screen 1

Select “StreetO” (top left, left button) to get a map which is just street lines. then choose Sheet A4 and whether you want portrait or landscape.

There is a choice of scales. You should use 1:7,500 or 1:5,000. Think about this; the area may dictate a particular scale and the scale may also help you devise your course. The 1:7,500 scale allows you to use a larger area in which you can scatter your controls more widely,
allowing longer runs between the 30 controls that you should aim for. 1:5,000 gives you a smaller area to play with, but you can place your controls closer together and devise more intricate courses demanding careful navigation and more route choices than
1:7,500.  It is also more realistic for competitors to visit all 30 controls at 1:5,000, but you should use at least 75% of the map area in placing controls at this scale.

To set the map area, left click with mouse at centre of the area you want. You will see the area that has been defined with a grey background. You can move the box by clicking on and moving the blue ‘centre marker’.

Step 2 – Setting the Controls.
Left click inside the box will then allow you to add Start /Finish (it uses the same place – score events only) or a Control site. You’ll need to number the control site (1 to 30). Don’t bother with a description and use a score of 10 for all controls.
In order to find lamppost location, you can use North Yorkshire County council website (www.northyorks.gov.uk). Zoom in using a postcode or the mouse as before. All lampposts are shown as red or green dots (depending if they stay on all night). If you click on the dot you’ll get some info. The Col_Num is the number on the lamppost. Note that sometimes you have to click around the dot to get the data and not all data is complete – see FAQs below if so.

Be careful to locate the control as accurately as possible as it can be easy to get the lamppost wrong when they’re close together.
You’ll need about 30 lampposts to make a good 45 minute score event.
You can’t move controls, so if one is incorrect then you’ll need to delete the control, in the list on the right side of the screen and then put it in again in the correct position. You can add red X markers to show out of bounds roads if you need to.

When all done, put in a Title like “Winter Blues 1 – 7 Jan 14” (i.e. overwrite OpenOrienteringMap by clicking on the pencil) at the top right side where all the control descriptions are. Overwrite the race instructions too with anything (they won’t show) to avoid a Validation Error on saving.

Once happy, save as pdf, using the box at the top of the screen. OOM will give you a map code (e.g. “The map # is 5475c511cda42”). Make a note of it, as you can use to retrieve this map and controls if you want to make further changes. The number changes every time you save. The saved pdf will be in your downloads folder.

Step 3 – Printing the Map.
Simply print the pdf!  As we need to plan for wet weather, you can either print on plain paper and provide map bags or print on the back of old waterproof maps.  You should be provided with whichever you choose – just ask.  The usual judgement call applies to map numbers. We have never had more than 20 (yet!) but often more than 10.

For control cards, there may be some in the kit bag, you can print your own on the same waterproof paper. You can download the template here.

Step 4 – Risk Assessment.
These events are registered British Orienteering events and we need a risk assessment to be done. There is an example that you can download here.  Ask if you need help. This is not optional.

Step 5 – On the Day.
You need to be at the start location ready to go by 6.15pm.  You should be wearing hi-viz clothing.  Be ready to record names and collect £3 per entry. You can use this register if you like. The money goes to Linda (on the day if she is there!).

You need to give a safety brief (example), ensure that all are wearing hi-viz clothing (compulsory) and that any under 16s must stay with their parent(s).  Hand out maps upside down. When ready, send them off and start the timer (best to use two if you can in case one fails). As they return, record the time, name and collect the card straight away.

Step 6 – Results.  Using the collected control cards, complete the results template – see bottom of the page.  Instructions are on the second page of the spreadsheet.

Money.  If the Treasurer (currently Linda Kelly) is at the event, then give her the entry takings. If she is not then either:

  • pay the amount in to the club account online (details below) if you have the capability and email details to the treasurer.
  • pay in cash to the club account at any Lloyds Bank branch and email details to the treasurer.
  • if the above is not possible, retain the takings until a handover can be arranged, with a note of event date, location, BO event or activity number and amount.

Club account details:
Claro Orienteering Club
Sort code: 30 93 91
Account No: 00419108
Reference: BO Event or Activity No and name of area
(The BO number is important – you can find it on the BO events calendar)

Job done! Put your feet up.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if the lamppost numbers are not available on the council website?

Three options:

  • You could go out and check on the ground if you have time, but do not feel obliged to. These events should be minimal effort.
  • Leave it blank and let the competitors tell you. If there is not a clear majority you might have to check or make a unilateral decision.
  • Use a different lamppost!

I won’t be able to check the map or the controls. Is this OK? – Basically, yes.  By all means check if you want to or have the time, but don’t feel obliged to. Simply state in the briefing at the start that you have not checked them, so any errors in controls or map detail are the same for all. This is not the National Championships.

I have identified some changes that I want to put on the map. How do I do updates?

There are several options, some harder than others:

  • You can sign up to OpenStreetMap.org, which is the open source project that the maps are produced from and once verified you can make edits and contribute. Note that you have to verify by email and that edits take a few days to appear. This is the best as the edits remain for others, but it will not be for everyone.
  • You can ask Vince or someone else who is signed up to do the edits for you as above.
  • You can edit the pdf image if you have the knowhow and capability (probably using Adobe software), but if you can do this perhaps you should consider option 1.
  • You can load the pdf into OCAD if you have it and do the map edits on top of the background image and print from OCAD.
  • You can print a paper copy, draw on it, then scan and print or colour photocopy.
  • You can wish you never asked!

Can I use other software e.g. Purple Pen?

Absolutely. You can load the plain pdf map into Purple Pen and use that if you prefer. You might be prompted to install “GPL Ghostscript”, but this is very straightforward.

Downloads