Posted on 01 January 2012 by Thomas Schöps

The year 2011 is over and it is time for a status update here. My semester abroad is finished and due to different semester times my next semester starts in more than three months, so I’ve got a lot of free time now. Time to party? No. Time to work! ;-) So I am going to announce the next project I am working on, and this time it is a bigger one:

openorienteering Mapper

… is a program which aims to replace OCAD, the current standard for drawing orienteering maps. Sounds like re-inventing the wheel? Here are some of the reasons why I think that this is important:

  • OpenOrienteering Mapper will of course be an open source program and so it will be freely distributed. Clubs do not need to pay expensive license fees anymore and can spend the money for more useful things, e.g. making maps.

  • If all goes well, the program will be able to run on Android devices and take advantage of their GPS and digital compass functionality. This way, lots of cheap hardware will be available for mobile use.

  • The program will be multi-platform and work well on Windows and Linux. A Mac port would not be a big effort either. As I do not own a Mac I will not provide that directly though, but any interested person can grab the source and create one.

  • Some additional benefits:
  • As the program is open source, of course everyone with programming skills can contribute to it and improve it.
  •  I hope to offer a better usability than the current standard mapmaking program …

Currently, the program is still in an early state though. At the moment, it is already possible to define map colors and to load and georeference base maps, and to draw on base maps (intended for use when surveying with a mobile device). Map drawing is not possible yet. So, why do I blog about it if the program is not ready yet?

  • To generate interest: if you are an orienteer and programmer and think that this is a useful project, you are invited to join it!

  • To get feedback: if you are a mapmaker and intend to use the program when it is ready, you may want to give some feedback on what I present here. Of course I can in no way guarantee that wishes will be implemented, but it is always useful to hear other opinions.

  • For self-motivation ;-)

I hope that you agree that this is a useful project - if not or if you have other things to say about it, feel free to leave a comment here.

I plan to blog about the bits which are already working part-by-part the next days and, after that, to keep you updated on the development. So, let’s get back to coding for now … ;-)