Tag Archives: Route Analyzer

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

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)

OCAD Route Analyzer 2.0 Released

The OCAD Route Analyzer 2.0 has been released as a beta version.

Thanks to the consideration of runnability and relief, the Route Analyzer 2.0 can find the fastest routes between two controls in urban as well as in classic forest terrain.

The fastest calculated routes (blue) and alternatives (red).

The previous version of the Route Analyzer is limited to 2D sprint maps, because it assumes a constant speed and only distinguishes between passable and impassable map objects. The shortest route is displayed as the result.

Comparison between the old and the new version of the Route Analyzer. The left route option is shorter, but has more meters to climb than the right option.

Consideration of runnability and relief

To find the fastest route, the Route Analyzer takes into account the distance, the relief and the runnability.

Therefore, resistance values are assigned to the individual map symbols. These are based on assumptions and can be changed in the settings. It is well known that the forest is not equally runnable depending on region and season.

The influence of the relief must be divided into two factors: The difference in altitude in the running direction and the slope transverse to the running direction. The latter causes a reduced speed when running along a steep slope.

In order to take the elevation into account, a DEM has to be loaded. For runnability, each OCAD symbol is assigned a resistance value, which can be adjusted manually.

Taking these influencing factors into account, the algorithm calculates the fastest route from one control to the next. Alternative routes can be added with via points, which are mandatory to pass. In OCAD, the distance, climbing and expected running time are displayed for each route.

The fastest calculated routes (blue) and alternatives (red) in the WOC 2023 Women Relay.

Up-to-date map symbols and elevation model required

A prerequisite for correct functioning with the new calculation method is a map with a current set of symbols and a digital elevation model (DEM). When assigning the resistance values, OCAD accesses the map symbols. If their properties (symbol number, color values, line thickness, etc.) are within a range defined by OCAD, an assignment is made. An up-to-date symbol set that complies with the specifications of the International Orienteering Federation is therefore advantageous.

The DEM is normally created by the map maker to calculate e.g. contour lines or a hill shading map. Newly, the DEM can be more easily passed on to the course setters as an optimized and compressed Course Setting DEM (ocdCsDem) due to the greatly reduced file size, or even directly embedded into the map file or course setting file.

Resistance Layer and hill shading map.

Many application possibilities

Thanks to the relative time difference between route variants, the Route Analyzer 2.0 can be used as an aid for planning exciting route choices in all orienteering disciplines. In addition, it can be used to calculate distance, amount of climbing and expected running time along the ideal route of an entire orienteering course at the push of a button. Besides, the Route Analyzer 2.0 can also point out undesirable or dangerous routes, e.g. due to missing restricted areas or unclearly drawn maps.

Whether the displayed route is actually the fastest route depends on individual factors such as personal strengths, in addition to those already mentioned such as region and time of year. With the help of GPS routes, the fastest route can be determined in retrospect or at least guessed. Nevertheless, it is exciting to compare the personally favored routes with the calculated results.

Route comparison by Jan Kocbach (World of O) WOC 2023 Women Relay.

Route Analyzer supports SkiO and MTBO courses

The OCAD Route Analyzer now also works with SkiO and MTBO courses. As usual, you need to download the current Service Update from the Help -> Download Update menu in the OCAD program to use this functionality.

When you open a MTBO or SkiO Course Setting project, you will see the purple bar of the Route Analyzer at the right side. Everything except the tracks/paths is assumed to be impassable, which can be controlled by checking the function Show Impassable Features.