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Instructor's kit for O-mapping courses
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Just as orienteering itself, special maps made for orienteering originated in the Nordic countries. To begin with small corrections were made to official maps, but soon special orienteering maps were produced. The first multi colour orienteering map was made in Sweden in 1955 and by the late fifties many maps were being made, especially in Norway. The quality varied greatly, because every ‘mapping expert’ had his own methods and used his own symbols. In 1961 the first mapping committees were formed in Norway and Sweden to co-ordinate and standardize mapping for orienteering. Already at this stage it was obvious that an international body was necessary to deal with mapping problems and standardization. At the IOF Congress in 1965, the first IOF mapping committee was appointed, with Jan Martin Larsen, Norway, as chairman, and work on the first international drawing specifications for orienteering maps commenced.

In 1969 at a mapping conference in the then Czechoslovakia, attended by representatives of 12 IOF member countries, the map committee’s proposal for these drawing specifications (a trial print had been made in 1967) was discussed and accepted: orienteering was now a real international sport.

These ‘International Specification for Orienteering Maps’ had an important impact on the development and appearance of orienteering maps throughout the world. However experience with the first specification showed the need for certain changes, in order to improve the legibility of the map and to give a more comprehensive representation of the vegetation. In 1975, a new, more detailed and comprehensive version of the specification was accepted by the Congress in Bosjön, Sweden. The specifications we are using now represent the second revision of the 1975 edition and were approved by the Congress in Cambridge, England in 1990.

A new revision to the specification is being discussed and it is planned that this revision will be published in 2000.

Orienteering is now an established international sport with competitions all over the world. It is very important for the future expansion of the sport and essential for fair competitions, that the maps should be produced in accordance with the drawing specifications and that interpretation of the symbols should be as consistent as possible. This is the main task of this Instructor’s Kit.

Since the first publication of this Instructor’s Kit many technological developments have taken place which affect the way orienteering maps are made. Some of these technologies are now firmly established in the production of O-maps, others will no doubt become the norm with further improvements, increased availability and reduction in costs. New sections to the text cover these new practices while some of the traditional ones are now mentioned only in brief.

How to use this Instructor’s Kit

The Instructors’s kit consists of three resources: the text, the slides and the photographs.

Text: The text (which you are currently reading) is provided to give the Instructor background material for the course, it is not intended to be presented directly to the students on screen.

Slides: These are the main resource used by the Instructor during the course, in the previous revision they were provided as overhead transparencies (OHP’s), now they can be used directly from computer or printed on film to produce overhead transparencies. A few of these slides will need to be printed on paper for either classsroom exercises or reference material for the students.

Photographs: A set of photographs are provided, the majority of these show examples of features in the terrain and can be used for discussion on how these would be mapped, the remainder show examples of materials and equipment used in the map making.

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