Virtual Orienteering - MapRun in Aboyne

MapRun in Aboyne

MapRun in Aboyne

Some of you may have read in the Dec issue of Compass Sport about an orienteering app that has been developed in Australia and recently trialled by North Gloucester OC. The tool "MapRun" allows you to set up and take part in "Virtual" orienteering courses using your smartphone. You run a course using either the map on your phone screen or a paper version, and your phone will automatically beep when you reach the correct location of each control (nothing marking it on the ground). At the end of the course your results and split times can be saved into a results table alongside others who have run the course.
I am currently looking into the potential of this app for use in Scotland and have set up a test course in Aboyne. It would be a real help if some of you could trial the app and course and give me some feedback on how it worked for you. The course is set up so that you can run it whenever you like. Read on to find out how...

25th Jan 18

The MapRun app is available for both iphone and android and can be downloaded for free from your phone's app store. Once you have the app on your phone you can enter your details (name etc.) and then select an event to run. Go to the "MR UK" folder and then "MR Scotland" and you should find an event called "Aboyne PXAS PZ ScoreQ40". Select this and it will download the map and course to local storage on your phone (maybe a good plan to do this at home where you have wifi). When you are ready to run, select "Go to start". You will be asked for a pin which is 0918. Go to the start point (by the gate into the green in Aboyne), click on "Start the gps" and hopefully your phone will beep to tell you that it has found the start point and the clock has started ticking.

The course was planned as a linear course starting with control no 31 and running in sequence through to 53. However, it has been set up as a "score" course which means that you would be able to register the points if you run them in any order. It's up to you how you want to do it and whether you want to run it all or just part of it. The full linear course length is 8.0km actual run distance.

Your phone should beep once you reach each control point. Sometimes you may need to slow down and stop for a couple of seconds, or move a few paces until it registers. Once you've finished running, go to the Finish (same place as the Start). The phone will beep again and after that you should be able to save your results and also upload your trace to Strava if you have an account. Please note that you participate at your own risk as the course is not registered as an organised orienteering event.

Because of the way the app works, some of the control points on the screen version of the map are not perfectly centred on the mapped feature where the control is. I have adjusted these in a version that you can print out and run with as an alternative if you prefer to use the map in a traditional way (probably more beneficial from a training perspective for regular orienteers). You can download the .pdf for this here. Note that the full course will need to be printed on 2 sides of A4 at 1:5,000.

If you plan to use your phone screen to navigate with, then make sure your phone has plenty of battery juice - mine died in the cold the first time I tried it!

Don't forget to tell me how you got on - all feedback useful!


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