Permanent Courses using GPS, Maprun an Orienteering app for your phone

The “MapRun” orienteering app allows you to set up and take part in “Virtual” orienteering courses using the GPS 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. Clyde have a number of courses available that you can run any time you want to. They are listed on the SOA website along with all the other courses in Scotland. Click “Read more…” below for more details.

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 “UK” folder and then “Scotland” and finally “CLYDE”. Select the file for the course you want to run, e.g. “Baljaffray Med” 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). I would also recommend downloading and printing the map file from the list below so that you have a paper map to navigate from. When you are ready to run, select “Go to start”. Click on “Start the gps” then go to the start point shown on the map and your phone will beep to tell you that it has found the start and the clock has started ticking.

At the moment CLYDE have six courses available. Three are based on the Baljaffray Shopping Centre and are standard linear courses. The fourth is a 45 minute score course based at Milngavie Community Library, the fifth a 90 minute score based at the Country Park Visitor Centre and the sixth is a short course in Levengrove Park in Dumbarton

Your phone should beep when you reach the start point, and at 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.

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. These have been adjusted in a .pdf version that you can print out and run with using the paper map in the traditional way. This is recommended for several reasons: it will use less phone battery; it will allow you to store your phone away in a pocket as you run; the control points will be more accurately centred on the mapped feature. The pdf files for all courses are below.

If you plan to use your phone screen to navigate with, then make sure your phone has plenty of battery juice, especially if it’s cold!

Many thanks to Sarah Dunn for lots of help in setting this up. All the course in Scotland, including the CLYDE ones, are listed on the SOA website.

Photo of authorPosted on 27th Mar 20
by Dave Robertson

 

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