Open Technology Meeting

Posted on | August 27, 2016 | Category: News

An audience of around 50 came along to hear about some of the latest developments in orienteering technology at an open meeting of the IOF IT Commission. Eleven short presentations were made, covering a big range of topics.

Touch-free electronic punching is now the norm at international races, but developments in design, functionality and speed are bringing the equipment up to new levels. Three of the companies in this business described the work they are doing and some of their future plans.

“Orienteering Parks: Take it easy! Make it easy!” was a presentation about creating a technology-driven permanent course. A video showed children with Smartphones first registering themselves at an airport self-check-in style screen (a ‘DIY O-Terminal’), getting a print-out that enabled them to tap to start, then taking a map and going round a course, scanning a bar code at each control point. Finally they tapped at a finish reader, which automatically generated a print-out of elapsed and split times. Absolutely no organising manpower needed at the time!

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Photo: Flemming Hjorth

The role of GPS in TV production was another theme; it is a central element in story-telling and has ‘cool graphics’. Its use needs careful planning so that route choices and mistakes made by competitors can be described in the clearest possible way. Rotating the maps and using some hill-shading are improving presentation. There are many future development possibilities, all geared to make it easier for the commentator and the viewer to follow the race and pick out the decisive moments.

Some quite specialised contributions covered aspects of map production and race support services, and the final presentation centred on IT security: perhaps that USB you were just given by that friendly guy over there isn’t quite what it seems to be ….


Slides from the presentations will be posted on this website later.

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