Solution Sheets in Trail Orienteering







The solution sheets/maps made available at the end of trail orienteering competitions consist of a collection of mini maps showing the flag positions at each control site. Here is an example of one of the mini maps:


(NB: This example has lost resolution by being scanned for insertion in this document. The laser print of solution sheets direct from the map file are very much better.)


The mini maps are enlarged scale (typically 1:2500 from 1:5000) segments of the competition map. If necessary, they are rotated through 90o or 180o so that the viewing direction is roughly from the bottom of the sheet towards the top. An arrow is added to each map to show the direction of north.


Three special symbols are used to show the positions of the viewing point, the control flags and, where applicable, the unflagged site of a zero answer problem.


The answer letter A-E or Z is added to each map.


Finally the solution sheet/map is titled and the map scale added.



Summary of method


It is assumed that the starting point is the competition map in OCAD format, printed with the courses and the description sheet.


The solution sheet/map is an OCAD map consisting of a collection of parts of the competition map and the description sheet. These are extracted using the partial map facility, altered as required and then imported into the solution sheet/map.


The aim is to have all the controls from the competition, including timed controls, on a single solution sheet. This determines the size of the map segments and their enlargement. Typically a 3cm square at twice scale is used. Long range or widely spread problems may need a special size.


The special symbols are generated by duplicating and modifying existing symbols (for specification see below). The colour purple may be used or, if a stronger colour is preferred, red may be added to the colour table but it needs to be advanced up the colour table so that it overlays all colours but black. The symbol for the control markers has previously been a miniature flag but WTOC 2004 found this to be unsuitable where the markers are close together and/or precision is needed to show the exact position.



Detailed description of method


The following notes are extensive and intended for an OCAD user with some basic experience. As always with step-by-step instructions on software use, the telling is much more laborious than the doing.


If the OCAD program being used for preparing the solution sheet (e.g. OCAD7) is earlier than that used by the mapper (e.g. OCAD8), then the mapper will need to export the map in the earlier format. When working with this format the warning that there are hidden symbols appears and may be ignored.


Extracting and adjusting the map segment


Decide the final size and enlargement of the map segment as it will appear on the solution sheet. For example, 3cm square at twice scale.


On the competition map select Extras/Partial map/Define boundaries. Adjust the boundaries of the window to give the required size square using the coordinates. The example is 1.5cm.


Drag the window over control 1 to include the viewing point and other relevant features.


Extract the segment by selecting Extras/Partial map/OK. Save as new file (e.g. C1).


Leaving the competition map on the desktop or saving it with changes, open the file of the segment extracted (e.g. C1). Enlarge the map by selecting Extras/Stretch map. Set both horizontal and vertical stretch to required enlargement. Example is 200%.


If necessary bring the map back into view by selecting View/Entire map.


Enlarge the symbols by selecting Symbol/Enlarge, set the same enlargement as the map stretch and check the all symbols box, then OK.


If required, rotate the map by 90, 180 or 270 degrees, using Extras/Rotate.


Do not delete the control circle and number at this stage (although unwanted purple markings from other controls can be cleared).


Save the file (e.g. still C1).



Laying out the solution sheet/map


Duplicate the first map segment file using File/Save as (e.g. WTOC D1 Solutions).


The reason for this is to ensure that the solution map and the imported segments have the same set of symbols. Merging two different palettes can produce colour changes and other strange effects.


Draw a box round the map segment. Use a rectangle off the palette and edit the line width and colour to your preferences.


Set the layout of the solution sheet. A useful technique which gives a neat result is to duplicate sufficient copies of the map segment box just drawn and lay them out accurately, using the grid and co-ordinates. Leave sufficient space between them so that the pictorial descriptions, the north arrows and the answer letters can be inserted without confusion as to which maps they refer. Add the title and anything else (or temporary markers in their place) that extends the solution map beyond the map segments.


Check using File/Print/Window, selecting paper size and orientation as appropriate, that the solution sheet will print correctly.


If this check is satisfactory, the remaining controls may be extracted.


Extracting and adjusting the remaining controls


Return to the competition map.


Select partial map. The window should still be sitting over control 1. Drag it to control 2. Extract and save it as a new file (e.g. C2).


Repeat for all the other controls, saving each in a new file.


Do not forget the timed controls, which are not printed on the competition map.


For each control in turn, open the file, stretch the map, enlarge the symbols, rotate if required, and save.


Extracting and adjusting the control descriptions


Return to the competition map.


Measure the width of the description list.


Select partial map and adjust the window to fit over the description for the first control. Do not attempt to fit the window exactly, leave spare above and below. Save the partial map in a new file (e.g. D1).


Open this new file. Trim off the vertical stubs extending above and below the box and remove any other unwanted material that the partial map may have picked up. If necessary change a thick horizontal line to a thin one, or vice versa, if preferred.


This description box needs reducing using the Extras/Stretch map facility. For example, if the description box width is 5cm and the map boxes on the solutions map are 3cm, the horizontal and vertical stretch will be 60%.


Reduce the symbols by the Symbol/Reduce/All symbols facility.


Save (e.g. still D1)


Open the solution sheet map.


Import the first description file (e.g. D1). Position, using the mouse, above the map segment for control 1.


If satisfactory, go back to the competition map.


Select partial map and drag the partial map window to cover control 2 description. Extract the partial map to a new file (e.g. D2)


Repeat for the remaining control descriptions.


For each control number in turn, open the description file, reduce it, reduce the symbols, and save (e.g. D2, D3).


Building up the solution sheet/map


The solution map already consists of control 1 and its descriptions and empty boxes for the remaining controls.


For each control in turn import the map segment file (e.g. C2) and drag across to the waiting box. Do not edit the purple at this stage.


For each control import the description file (e.g. D2) and position above each mini map.


The north direction arrows are now prepared. A suitable arrow might already exist in the palette. If not, an existing arrow, such as the last column direction arrow in the description list, can be duplicated and altered as required. For duplication instructions see the section below on adding special symbols.


For each mini map add the north direction arrow from the palette and align it in the correct direction with the Direction of area patterns tool. This is much easier to use and more accurate that the rotate tool next to it in the tool bar. The correct direction is easily seen from the purple control number which has been left for this purpose. This number may be removed at this stage but do not remove the control circle yet.


Repeat for all controls.


Making the special symbols


The symbols used at WTOC 2004 were:

        for the flagged positions a dot of 1.2mm dia with a small hole in the middle, to allow very precise positioning;

        for the unflagged positions a 1.5mm circle.

        for the viewing point a standard cross 1.5mm across;


The colour red was used. This had been added to the competition map through use of a logo which contained red. Otherwise red can be added to the bottom of the colour table by selecting Symbol/Colors and scrolling down to an empty row. Click on the colour box and set red to 100% and the others to zero. Click on Close and enter Red in the name column.


If red is used, it needs to be advanced up the colour table, otherwise it will be obscured by other colours. To do this click on the name then advance up the table using the Move up button. Position red immediately below Black code 0. Experience has shown that the black symbols, such as boulders and crags, overlaying the red gives the best information.


If using purple, this needs to be dropped down from its top position in the table to immediately below Black 0.


The first special symbol, the dot with a hole, is simply a thick line circle. To effect this a circle in the palette needs to be duplicate then altered. The purple control circle is as good as any.


To duplicate, click on the circle using the right hand mouse button. Select Duplicate then click either button. The original symbol remains selected with the duplicate symbol immediately to its right. Move to the duplicate and select with the right mouse button. Choose Icon. Modify the icon to indicate the new symbol it is useful to infill a top corner to further indicate a modified symbol.


The next step is to right button select Edit. This brings up the Point Symbol edit box. The name of the new symbol may be entered, if wished. Select Edit which brings up the edit facility with the symbol greatly enlarged. Activate the symbol by clicking on the centre of the grid.


Change the parameters for the dot with a hole:

Colour red, if desired;

Line width 0.45mm;

Diameter 1.2mm.

Select Apply and, if the symbol is correct, select Close then OK.


The second special symbol, the zero answer circle, is also quickly generated from the control circle symbol.


As before, duplicate, change the icon and enter the editing facility.


Change the parameters to:

Colour red, if desired;

Line width 0.25mm;

Diameter 1.5mm.

Then Apply, Close and OK.


The third special symbol, the viewing point cross is more simply generated. Again duplicate an existing cross, modify the icon, alter the size of the symbol to 1.5mm across (horizontal not diagonal) by using the right click Enlarge/Reduce, then right click Edit to change the colour and, if needed, the thickness of the lines.


Adding the special symbols


If the planner is not preparing the solution sheet, then he or she has to be present for adding the special symbols to the mini maps.


Firstly, for each control click on the centre of purple control circle to activate this symbol. Select the special symbol to replace this and click the Change symbol tool. The advantage of this procedure is that the flag (or no flag) symbol is automatically positioned at the centre of the circle and no judgment is required.


Remove any other purple course markings.


Add the other special symbols.


Add the answer letter and check that it agrees with the solution apparent from the mini map.


All of these need to be positioned with great care. It may be that the planning/controlling process is not fully complete and the solution sheet is therefore provisional.


Once the special symbols are fixed and the title, scale and special symbol legend added, the solution sheet/map is ready to print.


That is all there is to it!



Notes prepared by Brian Parker

IOF Event Advisor in Trail Orienteering

Sept 2004