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.

NOTE 1.  These instructions were prepared before we were blessed with COVID-19.  The virus’s advent resulted in the introduction of various organisational/planning measures to allow orienteering to continue whilst observing certain social distancing rules imposed by the UK Government.  These measures are set out in the attached document called “COVID-19 Measures” and should be applied so long as the social distancing rules remain force.  They appear at the end of these instructions [AS FROM 8 JAN 20 NEW LOCKDOWN MEASURES APPLY MAKING ANY STREET RACE IMPOSSIBLE – THESE INSTRUCTIONS CANNOT THEREFORE BE MADE USE OF FOR THE TIME BEING, ALTHOUGH MAPRUN VOC COURSES MAY BE OFFERED ON A NON-COMPETITIVE BASIS]

NOTE 2.   CLARO now offers a MapRun Lampo course identical with the paper map based format comprehended by these instructions so that runners can enjoy the course on a smartphone map or a paper map.  A set of instructions on how to organise and plan a MapRun Lampo course appears at the end of this guide.  Quentin Harding ( created the MapRun instructions and is happy to help anyone new or unfamiliar with the format.

Step 1 – Setting the Map.
In your web browser open 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, although that number is not mandatory. 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 worth remembering to put a reasonable number of controls nearer to the Start/Finish to cater for slower/newcomers/young people to gain a fuller experience and enable them to run loops.   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 20 for all controls.

Controls are lamp posts.   Competitors find these on your map and report the lamp post number on their control cards.  You can find the numbers yourself by visiting your chosen lamp posts individually.

MapRun enables other control sites to be used.  For consistency’s sake, use lampposts in both formats.

Alternatively, you can use this North Yorkshire County Council website:

This link has been known to change without warning so if it does not work or you cannot find it later, the way in as as follows:

1. Go to NYCC Home Page

2. Go to Transport & Streets

3.  Click on “Report a street light problem”

4.  Click on “Tell us about a street light issue anonymously”

5.   Click “Continue”

6. Choose “Map View“ or “Satellite View” and zoom in as needed.  Note the postcode/location search option.

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 commencing with the lamp post number.  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.

It should be added that every now and then the map goes offline or Is difficult to use.  It is not you!   Check with NYCC or the Club Fixtures Secretary.

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.

Prepare your on-the-night Briefing Note (template at the end of these instructions)

Do not spend too much time fussing over your planning or issues with the software.  You are not alone.  Help is available: contact Quentin Harding – as above.

Step 3 – Printing the Map.
Simply print the pdf!   This should come out as A4 with a 5mm border.  You should print this so that the map is on one side and your Briefing Note is on the reverse together with the PIN number necessary for the MapRun people to load the courses onto their smartphone.  This will have been generated as part of your production of the SmartRun course.  There are two ways of doing this.

(a). DIY!  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.

(b)   CLAROprint.  Contact Quentin Harding (  Quentin runs the Club printer.  If you send him your .pdf with a note of the BO event reference number, he will do the printing for you. He needs reasonable notice to do this, so it is worth checking with him during the week before the event what he needs.

The usual judgement call applies to map numbers. Competitor numbers vary.  We can have as few as 10, but as many as 25 (January 2020). If in doubt over-supply.

For control cards, there may be some in the Lampo kit bag.  You can print your own on the same waterproof paper or ask Quentin.  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.

A special COVID-19 Risk Assessment is also necessary.  As matters stand, this may be unnecessary.  Contact Richard Kirk (

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 £4 per entry in respect of entries a on the day if any – see below for newly-adopted pre-payment arrangements. You can use this register if you like. The money goes to Linda (on the day if she is there!).

You should have paper maps for all runners printers as above whether they are using those maps ore their smartphone.

You should draw peoples’ attention to the Briefing Note on the reverse of their map, 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.

Entries.  CLARO now operates a pre-entry system where runners can elect to reserve and pay for runs in some or all of a Lampo series in advance.  This system is operated by the club Treasurer, currently Linda Kelly (email), and you will need to liaise with her to obtain a list of the booked contestants for the event you are runner

Money.   The pre-entry system has been so successful that as Organiser you may find you do not need to with taking money at the event.  However, we do not want to be unwelcoming to the occasional last minute request for an EoD so be prepared to take £4 (£3 plus £1 for a late entry) in cash or by credit/debit card. CLARO has a credit/debit card machine and associated hardware to take EoD fees cashlessly.  Linda Kelly keeps this so you will need to liaise with her to have the use of it on the night

If Linda Kelly is at the event, then give her the cash entry takings, if any. 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, 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.