Author Archives: OCAD Team

Show Background Map Favorites

Thanks to the Background Favorites option, you can quickly and easily switch between different background maps when drawing.

In the Manage Background Maps dialog, you can make a background map visible in the background favorites by turning on the eye icon in the corresponding cell.

In this example, four different background maps are loaded: An areal image, a slope gradient map, a hill shading map and a vegetation height map. The last two are marked as background favorites.

As you know, the topmost visible background map is displayed in OCAD. In this example, the aerial image is therefore displayed, when we switch to Draft Mode.

If you now switch to the Draft Mode (Only Background Map Favorites), the two background maps marked as background favorites are displayed (in our example the hill shading map and the vegetation height map). The hill shading has been set as transparent so that both files are visible together.

You can switch the View Mode in the Status Bar (see image above) or in the View menu. You can also set a Shortcut to quickly navigate through the different View modes, e.g. Alt + V.

Which View modes appear in the loop can be set in the OCAD Preferences. For example, if you are not working with Spot colors, you can omit this mode.

Orienteering Symbol Sets Updated

OCAD has updated its symbol sets for orienteering and sprint orienteering after a revision by the IOF.

The new symbol sets are valid from 1st February 2024 and mandatory for IOF events from 1st January 2025.

  • Update Orienteering Symbol Set due to ISOM 2017-2 Revision 6

The most important changes:

New symbol added for Retained earth wall | New symbol added for Dangerous pit | New symbol added Continuing point after map exchange | Renumbering of certain symbols | Certain symbols for minimum sizes removed
  • Update Sprint Orienteering Symbol Set due to ISSprOM 2019-2 Revision 6

The most important changes:

New symbol added for Retained earth wall | New symbol added Continuing point after map exchange | New symbol added Area with obstacles | New symbol added Area runnable at lower level (521) |Renumbering of certain symbols | Certain symbols for minimum sizes removed
  • How to update your maps to the new specifications?

In OCAD, you can update a map drawn with ISOM 2017-2 or ISSprOM 2019-2 to the latest symbol set by using the function Update Symbol Set.

For maps that are drawn with an older symbol set, use the function Symbol Set Conversion. Check the page Symbol Set Overview to find out which symbol set you are using.

Course Setting Competition Swiss Orienteering

OCAD has been sponsoring prizes for the Swiss Orienteering course setting competition for many years.

The aim of the competition is to set good and level courses for certain categories and to comply with the required framework conditions.

The course set by former orienteering world champion Thomas Bührer impressed the jury the most.

Click here for the analysis (German language) and the winning courses.

OCAD Sketch App Update 1.4

We have added some new features to the OCAD Sketch App.

To update the app, go to Google Play Store (Android) or Apple App Store (iOS), search for OCAD Sketch and update the app.

See here a short video of what has changed.


– Sketch colors can now be filtered and sorted.


– Zoom buttons can be hidden – see project settings.


– The Eraser can be resized – see project settings.


– The Sketch layer can be hidden or just dimmed – see layers menu.


– All background layers can be shown or hidden all at once – see layers menu.


– Bug fixes and performance improvements.

Upcoming OCAD Events

Two events are taking place this week in which OCAD reports on news and newly added functions. Both events can be followed online via Microsoft Teams.

– British Orienteering Development Conference
Thursday, 18.01.2024 | 20:00 – 21:30 Swiss time (UTC+1)
English language.
More information and registration.

– Swiss Orienteering Mapping Conference (Kärtelertagung)
Saturday, 20.01.2024 | 13:30-17:00 Swiss time (UTC+1 )
German language.
More information and registration (deadline 17.01.2024)
In the morning, OCAD offers an OCAD Sketch App workshop, which can not be followed online.