Tag Archives: Course Setting

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 B├╝hrer impressed the jury the most.

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

Review of OCAD Development 2023

We hope you all had a good start to the new year and wish you all the best for 2024.

In this blog post, we take a look at what has been added to OCAD over the last year in terms of functionality and learning aids.

OCAD Route Analyzer 2.0

The Route Analyzer 2.0 now also takes into account the relief and the runnability. With it, the fastest routes can be calculated in urban as well as in classic forest terrain.


Optimized DEM for Course Setting Available

To ensures that the climbing and slope gradient are included in the route calculation of Route Analyzer 2.0, an optimized elevation model can be embedded directly into the map or course setting file. This significantly reduces the file size of the DEM and makes it easier to exchange.

OCAD Sketch App Improvements

Improvements have also been made to the OCAD Sketch App:
– A scale bar to improve the distance feeling within the app
– Additional colors for sketching
– Improved position display of the internal GPS on Android devices

Learning Aids

  • OCAD Basics
    An exercise, that teaches both basic and advanced drawing and editing functions in an interactive way. Available in different languages.
  • Recordings on YouTube
    Webinar on creating and using base data for orienteering maps.
    Video on how to create a digital elevation model.
  • Symbol Sets

The following symbol sets have been updated in 2023:
ISMTBOM 2022
ISCD 2024

Specification for control descriptions updated

The specifications for the control descriptions have been slightly adapted by the International Orienteering Federation IOF and published as ISCD 2024.

The new symbol sets are valid from 1 January 2024 and are already available in OCAD (Menu File > New > Course Setting project for orienteering).

The most important changes:

  • Color of the control description on map now black by default (optionally still purple, see the Course Setting Options).
According to IOF, control description sheet on map should be printed in black.
New symbols for map filp and railway are shown.
You can change the color of the control description in the Course Setting Options either to black or purple.
  • New symbol added for a map flip (turn the map over).
  • New symbol added for a railway or tramway.

Create Digital Elevation Models in OCAD

To use the OCAD Route Analyzer 2.0, course setters need a current map as well as a Digital Elevation Model (DEM).

This is loaded into the map or course setting file and ensures that the climbing and slope gradient are included in the route calculation. The DEM is typically created by the cartographer and has traditionally required a lot of memory.

The DEM can now be optimized and compressed without loss of quality for route calculation. This significantly reduces the file size of the DEM and makes it easier to share. The optimized elevation model can also be embedded directly into the map or course setting file, as is already possible with layout images.

How to create an optimized DEM (Video)

More information (Wiki)

Scale during mapping on mobile devices

On mobile devices, you can zoom in and out at will. Zooming in is appreciated by the map makers as it allows more precise drawing and sketching and more accurate display of the background map.

However, by zooming in and out, map makers are not working at a fixed scale and so the sense of distance within the map is lost. This was easier when mapping with pen and paper where the scale was fixed.

A few things can be done to improve the feeling for the scale on a mobile device:

Working with the OCAD Sketch App

  • Make use of the scale bar that has been added in the latest update of the app. The scale bar can be turned on or off in the settings.
  • Adjust the distance between the north lines. You can do so in the settings.
    E.g., set it to 1mm in a project with a 1:10’000. This gives you every 10 meters a line. In a 1:4’000 project, use 2.5mm to get a line every 10 meters.
  • Know the different line widths. It is advantageous to know the line widths and to sketch objects accordingly. E.g., an impassable wall on a sprint map with a line width of 0.4mm and contour lines with a line width of 0.21mm.

Working on a Windows Tablet

  • In OCAD Desktop, it is also possible to check directly during drawing whether the drawn line or area object corresponds to the minimum dimension of the IOF, as we explain in this blog post.