Olles Maps

On orienteering maps. By Ales Hejna, leader of Olles - the orienteering map maker. http://www.olles Need an advice or even a map, write me :)


Big comparison of mapping approaches.

Bruno Nazário asked me if I still have the data from Orienteering mapping seminar that was held in 2000 close to Jíčín.

And I found it, made a gif and even added a new map from laser data. 16 mappers - 16 different maps.

In 2000 there were no GPSs, no laser data, very poor areal images, no tablets... Only very rough topo map and self measured pacing.

This explains the big variety of mapping. These days laser data, gps support maps with reliable skeleton. Terrain wise - the biggest challenge now is generalization. Interpretation of vegetation - that is another matter - that still varies greatly mapper to mapper.

Which map and why would be your favourite?


A photo from three-day training of novice cartographers in the Czech Republic. Twenty-three mappers-beginners learned how to make maps.

This year I only took part as a slide :D

The guy pointing stick at me is Libor Pecháček, diligent OOM developer (among many other things).

Photo by Luděk Krtička. Is it correct that no more mylar and pencil is taught - only digital cartography?

Photos from Olles Maps's post 17/06/2022

Orienteering with zombies. Jukola impressions by AI.

Photos from Olles Maps's post 30/05/2022

So rewarding to read such orienteer's comments:
(I made part of the map :)

✔ This is what I do orienteering for.
✔ Beautiful terrain, plus a very challenging course.
✔ Terrain 11/10
✔ The Ore Mountains in all their beauty and hardness!
✔ Erzgebirge survival
✔ The best orienteering I've run in the Czech Republic
✔ Great terrain, which is hard to find elsewhere in the Czech Republic

Screenshots and translated from O-News.cz.
Photos from Oddíl OB, Nejdek Orienteering.


There is an interesting background story to WOC Long.

The WOC director Jan Picek writes: "It was Friday, November 6, 2015. We were with 58 juniors and youth on a training camp. In the evening Petr Karvánek visited us and gave a lecture "How to prepare in winter for summer". After the lecture everyone had to write down their orienteering career goals. Someone listed running out of A license, another winning the Czech Republic Champs. Petr Karvánek joined in and wrote a completely different wish from the rest. It said, "Set a classic course at the World Championships." He commented that he will probably never make it, but it is his secret dream. I promised him that if one day I would have a chance to influence the choice of WOC course setter, I would approach him.
Neither 10 nor 15 years have passed. In the year and a half since that memorable camp, the Czech Republic won the bid to host the 2021 World Championships. And Petr Karvánek was the #1 choice to set the long course."


MapAnt.es is going vector! Some "test" areas in Spain can be directly downloaded in OOM. Such a cool feature!


German Wikipedia has a very comprehensive classification of Hochsitze :)

- Ladder seats (simple, partly covered ladders with seating, often leaning against trees, partly covered),
- High seats (free-standing construction with side facing, often with roof),
- Pulpits (semi-open and fully enclosed raised seats with side facing and roofing),
- Mobile perches (mobile by being mounted on trailers or by wheels),
- Climbing seats (portable seat frames that allow a hunter to climb up tree trunks),
- Driven hunt stands (simple, relatively low stands without a roof, which allow the standing shooter freedom of movement for shots in all directions during driven hunts).
- Ground-level hides or pulpits (partly semi-open, partly closed and covered hides)
- Portable hunting umbrellas (made of different materials, partly mirrored for a particularly good camouflage effect)


I found a T´s hatchery!


30 hunting towers per square kilometer!
What is your record?

On the last map I found 63 hunting towers on 2,1 km2 map.

Photos from Olles Maps's post 26/09/2021

What mapper does on holiday?
He can't help himself and maps anyway 😂
All streets and paths of Kaprije mapped ✔️


Garmin Glo after 5 years of use. Still going strong. Just tested battery and it lasts 12,5 hours.


The visuals and tv production of World Orienteering Championships 2021 Czech Republic is just stunning.

Mapování a život orientačního běžce | B running magazine: běžecký časopis 04/06/2021

"On more than one occasion, I have also made very peppery comments about the quality of a map at the finish. I often blamed my mistakes on the mapmaker. However, when one delves a little into the world of mapmaking, one gets a very different perspective than the average member of the orienteering community. In short, it is not at all easy to translate reality into the plane of a map, and to do so in a way that is both standards-compliant and provides clear and readable information."

That is an excerpt from article Mapping and the life of an orienteer by Vojtěch Král who is also an active mapper.

Published in B magazine. The whole eight issue is devoted to orienteering. The hardcopy has 250 pages! and is beautifully designed. Many photos, illustrations, maps, interviews.

Mapování a život orientačního běžce | B running magazine: běžecký časopis Všichni to známe, ať už z poslechu, nebo jsme sami v cíli nadávali na mapaře. Často můžeme slyšet ten typický nevybíravý slovník naštvaných orienťáků, kteří kvůli domnělé chybě mapaře pokazili svůj závod. Pokud jste zrovna na straně závodníka, rádi si svou troškou p...


Such sad news, Håvard Tveite passed away.
I met Håvard during my years at Map Commission IOF. He was the driving force behind ISOM 2017 and a strong proponent of legible, well generalized maps. Long distance was his king discipline - he would never permit deviations from 1:15000 scale maps.

Håvard was always helpful, good humored. I remember how he smiled and winked at me at times when I needed encouragement.
My condolences to the family and Norwegian orienteers.

Photo taken by Lazslo Zentai at MC IOF meeting in Frankfurt 2015. I assume we were discussing the minimum size of boulders.



Happy birthday Norway!

That reminds me I am out of Stabbur-Makrell and dringendly need to get up there. I hope it goes this summer :)

Timeline photos 09/05/2021

I fondly remember this terrain! Beautiful area indeed.

Our first ever O-Talk is tomorrow at 7:00! The theme is “The Best Race of Your Life”. This is your opportunity to share your story about that one amazing orienteering race that you'll remember forever.

Check your email for the link!


And one more 3D map. This time with WOC2021 event centre in Staré Splavy on the left and some sand stones on the right.

Photos from Olles Maps's post 25/04/2021

Made a comparison of autogenerated laser orienteering map by Mapant ES and an old orienteering map we did in La Seu d'Urgell. Pretty good job - given we had no lidar available back in 2006.

For the Mapant ES kudos to Manu Juradović!


Experimenting with new definition of sprint impassable fence.


19,8 kilometers, 774 meters climbing covered in one mapping day. That might be my record.

What is your walking average per mapping day?

Walked at Kost - training area for World Orienteering Championships 2021 Czech Republic.


I updated the map just in time for Catching Features World Orienteering Championships :)

I hope runners were happy and all the features depicted on map were well recognizable in terrain :)

I watched the Relay Final and it was quite gripping. Many interesting route choices . Kudos to the organizers and orienteers!


Timeline photos 11/01/2021

Can you find the BUCHbox on map?
Link on map in comments.

Sprint training in Marbach SG to prepare the coming season and EGK European Orienteering Championships Neuchâtel 2021
Photo by Rémy Steinegger


Stumbled upon my map from 1996! Ocad 6, free hand, no laser, no ortophoto, no gps, weird colours, rootstocks in brown, everything measured with compass and pacing (even contours).

Orienteering maps (and mee too :) ) traveled a long distance since then.

Photos from Olles Maps's post 05/01/2021

The right way to draw multilevel structures on sprint maps:
✔ Symbols 501.2 Paved area in multilevel structures, 512.1 Bridge and 512.2 Underpass or tunnel should be used together.
✔ Sides of bridge that is passable only on the upper level shall be mapped as impassable walls (typically bridge over impassable body of water).
✔ If a multilevel structure is too narrow, dots for underpass could be omitted.
✔ An impassable barrier that connects to the lower level of multilevel structure shall be drawn with a graphical gap. Such an impassable graphical gap shall be 0,15 mm wide and white to ensure legibility.
✔ A barrier inside multilevel structure shall be always clarified in competition guidelines.

✔ I started to use the white graphical gap also on the whole edge of the lower entrance into multilevel structure. It further enhances clarity and shows distinctively the slope direction.

That is a short part (and a rough translation) of a very thorough document on sprint orienteering by Czech Orienteering Federation published at the end of last year.


Customizable palette!

Open Orienteering Mapper will offer customizable palette.
This will make scribbling more legible and thus efficient.
Kudos to the OOM developers!

What would be your choice of colours?

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