Orienteering with MapRun
What is MapRun? UPDATE (APRIL 2021 - Use MapRun6 now)
“MapRun” is a smartphone app that you load onto your phone.
How does it work?
MapRun uses the GPS on your smartphone to track your location. When you get within a few meters of the control site, your phone beeps and vibrates to tell you that the app has registered the control. If it is a Rogaine, you are automatically allocated the control points. If it is an orienteering course, the app ensures competitors do the controls in the correct order (and allows for complexities such as pivot controls).
What are the benefits of MapRun?
The app is growing in popularity because of the following benefits:
What’s the catch?
Like any technology, it is not perfect. Because GPS accuracy varies between phones and between locations, the competitor can sometimes be required to move around until the control is registered on the MapRun app. As with any technology, a small proportion of competitors may have trouble with their phone or the MapRun app, resulting in them getting an incomplete result. The number of problems is steadily reducing as phones and the MapRun app become more reliable.
How to load and use MapRun
Load MapFun6 from the App Store or Google Play.
It looks like this:
Run the app – It initially gives a page like this (older version but very similar):
- Click on Name and enter your details
- Use Select Event (New Zealand, Auckland ) to find the event of interest OR use Events Near Me
- Use Go to Start to get things under way
- Allow a couple of minutes for the phone to accurately get your GPS location. This could be your planning time
When you are ready to start:
- Walk to where the start triangle is shown on the map, your phone will beep, timer will start, and you are underway
- You can use the map on your phone but most people find the paper map is easier to use
- When you get to a control your phone will beep (if you have the sound on). If you don’t hear the beep, you can also check the app and it tells you the last control number it recorded
- If it doesn’t beep straight away, move around a bit as the GPS signal can vary a little
- Important: Once you have left the start/finish area to do your course, do not pass back close to it until you are finishing, or the finish will register and the software will believe you have finished. And you can’t start it again!
When you have completed your course:
- Once you are within Wi-Fi access your course will be automatically uploaded by the MapRun software
- Go to the results section, you will then be able to compare your time and route with the results of others that have also run it
If you don't have a smartphone or don't want to use the app but have a Garmin watch that will give you a gpx file of your travels, you can load this into the event. You do this by going to http://www.p.fne.com.au/#/gpsupload and using the gpx file. The website also needs first name, surname, gender, last 2 digits of year of birth - the results are categorised by age - and information on how the gpx file was created. There are two options: 1) the watch was started at the very beginning and at the finish or 2) the watch was started prior to going to the start and was left going as you ran through the finish. With this second option the software itself works out the time you were at the start and the finish. You have to tell it what option you used.