YMP Map of the Month: May 2021

The Youth Mapping Program‘s Map of the Month for May 2021 features Bensalem High School in Bensalem, PA. Remote mapping was performed by Chris Gikkas with a field checking team comprised of Marine Corps JROTC cadets and their instructor Retired USMC Master Sergeant Shawn Worthen. Chris comments that the teams of cadets produced “a perfectly marked-up map that made my revision work quick and easy.

MCJROTC Cadets learning about the mapping process with remote YMP mapper Chris Gikkas.

Chris goes on to say “The best part of the whole experience for me was the Zoom video call with Mr. Worthen and the cadets. We reviewed a sample fieldwork map I had sent from a previous YMP project, went over the history and basics of orienteering, the mapping process, what a great map looks like (and why,) and how they’ll use it once it’s made . They were engaged, with thoughtful questions, and I believe this communication really boosted their confidence. Given their high level of participation, the Bensalem cadets can be extra proud of their new orienteering map.

YMP Map of the Month: April 2021

The map of the month for April 2021 features Santiago High School in Corona, CA. Orienteering USA president Clare Durand (LAOC) served as remote mapper for this project. The field checking was performed by the Santiago HS Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (AFJROTC) cadets and instructors.

This project serves as an excellent example of the types of field checking questions prepared by the remote mapper (after the initial map drafting) and the responses returned by the remote field checkers. For this map the cadets reviewed the map areas in question and returned their response to Ms. Durand in only 3 days! This sort of team collaboration results in a very quick turnaround of maps in the YMP program. View the full map.

Image: Santiago HS website

Some excerpts from the mappers notes followed by examples of the field checker responses:
(Download the complete response document here.)

General Notes on what to look for:

Safety – make sure any major items that affect the safety of participants are accurately represented on the map.

Stairs and Ramps – I found it difficult to tell where there was stairs vs just a ramp. Please check that I didn’t miss any important stairways.

Building/Canopy – Canopies are places where there is a roof, but you can walk underneath. I was able to identify some of this, but I imagine there are some that I couldn’t see. Please let me know if I have missed any significant canopy areas. If any architectural drawings exist that show the difference between the roofs and where the actual building walls are, that could be helpful.

Traffic Islands – some seemed to be dirt and others paved. Check that I got them right.

Vegetation – I mostly mapped trees with the smaller dot symbol because they seemed to mostly be smaller or else they were very tall palm trees with only a thin trunk near the ground. If any tree is noticeably larger and you want me to change the symbol just let me know.

Out-of-bounds – The private land in the NW corner is mapped olive green to show it’s out-of-bounds. I’ve also used this for some smaller areas in the campus where it seemed reasonable. This symbol can be used anyplace that you want to restrict runners from entering. Let me know if I’ve missed anything important.

Specific questions. These areas are outlined in red and numbered on the map. Some numbers appear more than once. 

  1. Could use some pictures of this area. I can’t determine what are the paths/ramps and what is not a travel path.
  2. Are gates generally open or shut? Should the fence continue across the driveways and/or sidewalks?
  3. Crossable or Uncrossable Fence? It looks like it might be easily crossable, but mapping as uncrossable makes it illegal to jump the fence.
  4. Dirt as yellow or as brown? Yellow would indicate an “open area” not normally used as a walking path. Brown would indicate a more regularly traveled area.
  5. Is there something here that should be mapped? I can’t tell what is there.
  6. Are these properly mapped as canopy? Are they closed wall on any side other than the backstop?
  7. Is the northern wall here an uncrossable wall or just a curb or low wall? I can’t tell under the trees what’s going on. Perhaps a picture of this area would be helpful.
  8. What are the details on these corridors? It looks like they are two floors with a stairway and maybe an elevator shaft? And then they open to the ground in opposite directions depending whether you are on top or bottom? Pictures would be helpful.
  9. Please check that I’ve interpreted this area correctly and that there aren’t any hidden features under the trees that should be mapped.
  10. Is it possible to get to this courtyard without entering a building? Perhaps via a canopied corridor either under the circular area or the SE building gap? If it is accessible to a runner, then I could use some pictures from inside the courtyard. I especially want to see the extent to which there is canopy around the edges. If it is not accessible, then don’t bother. Also will need picture(s) of the access points to map them properly.
  11. What is here? Is it worth mapping?
  12. Are storage containers permanently here? Should they be mapped?

Be sure to check out the Youth Mapping Program pages to find out more about how to get a map made for your school or youth organization as well as information on how to join the growing team of YMP mappers.

YMP Map of the Month – March 2021

The Youth Mapping Program Map of the Month for March 2021 features a map of Roughout Ranch in Redding, California produced by YMP mapper Bob Bolz.

The Roughout Ranch Foundation provides meaningful opportunities for vulnerable children and special needs clients through life skills and equine assisted activities.  The organization is looking forward to adding self-confidence skills through navigation on their new map of the property.

YMP Map of the Month – February 2021

The Youth Mapping Program February Map of the Month feature is the William A. Hough High School in Cornelius, NC.  Due to Covid-19, the Hough HS JROTC unit has not met in person, says Walter Siegenthaler who provided the ‘eyes-on-the-ground’ field checking of the new map.  A multi-session series of virtual classes has been conducted via Zoom to about 45 cadets and it is anticipated that in-person use of the map will commence toward the end of the month.

Mapper Chris Gkikas (WNCOC) notes “This was my first time working with the YMP and it was a great experience from start to finish. Jon (Campbell) is a fantastic map consultant and effectively raised my mapping and drafting skills to a whole new level.  The map was drafted entirely in Open Orienteering Mapper, a free and open source alternative to the industry standard OCAD.”

Are you interested in flexing your cartography skills and joining the growing team of YMP mappers?  Sign up here.  Note: Mappers for the YMP are remote cartographers with field checking performed by persons from the recipient organization collaborating with you remotely as well as support from the core YMP consultant.

YMP Map of the Month – January 2021

As we head into the new year, Orienteering USA’s Youth Mapping Program (YMP) is moving ahead full steam. At last count there were seventeen (17) new maps in production by 17 different mappers, plus an equal number of remote field checkers serving as ‘eyes on the ground’. And the committee has more map requests queuing up!

This month’s featured Map of the Month is a 1:4000 scale map of the campus of the Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD. It was created by YMP mapper Julia Doubson with field checking by BHSU Professor Christine McCart who heads up the Outdoor Education Program on campus. Professor McCart will utilize the new map in her PE 100 Orienteering Course as well as RECR 242 Outdoor Skills class. She also intends to share the map and resources with PE teachers in the local school systems.

If the map looks familiar, its probably because we ran this as our Puzzle Friday feature a few weeks back on New Years Day. You can check out the puzzle of this and other maps in our Puzzle Friday archives

Puzzle Friday: Black Hills State University

Happy New Year everyone!! Just a quick post to bring you a puzzle version of the January YMP Map of the Month: Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD. We’ll be highlighting the Map of the Month in a future post, so stay tuned for more details on this brand new map.

Puzzle Friday: Auburndale Park

Happy Friday everyone! Today’s puzzle brings us another look at the December Map of the Month from the OUSA Youth Mapping Program – a mashup of the full Auburndale Park map along with photos shared with us by Channon Ames of the Newton Parks & Rec department. Some of the images were part of their Photo-O while others are of initial users of the new map. Have fun!!

YMP Map of the Month – December 2020

From inception to running programs in just two months – that is the whirlwind story of this month’s YMP Map of the Month – Auburndale Park in Newton, Massachusetts. Back in September Newton Parks Recreation Manager Channon Ames was investigating options for socially-distant, outdoor activities that could be offered by the city when she received a timely email from OUSA member Navigation Games. While meeting with Navigation Games president Barb Bryant she learned about the Youth Mapping Program and its associated grant program.

Channon was paired up with YMP’s Andrea-Ingrid Schneider to remotely map the park with Channon serving as ‘eyes on the ground’ to assist Andrea in the map making process.

Channon says Andrea “was amazing to work with.  The information she was able to pull together using online resources from half-way across the country was incredible.  Andrea was able to guide me through the process of field checking areas and correlating images to the map in order to produce our map.

By late October the map was complete and recreational programs were quickly underway. As of mid-November the park has already:

  • Run a 4 week introduction to orienteering program at Auburndale Park for 21 children in grades 2 – 6 with Navigation Games
  • Run a photo scavenger hunt at Auburndale Park for 30 children in grades 6 – 9 using the pictures from the map checking process.   
  • Installed a permanent orienteering course at Auburndale Park with the help of a local Eagle Scout and his troop. 
    • The permanent course includes posts with control signs, punches and QR codes. 
    • The signs give information about the history, features and native species of the park, making the courses fun for orienteers and the general public. 
    • 9 of 11 permanent markers are wheelchair accessible and plans to make trail improvements to the remaining 2 markers will make them fully accessible as well.      

There is still much more to come for orienteering in Newton. Channon and the Newton Parks Department are in the process of getting maps created at Cold Spring Park, Kennard Park, Nahanton Park and Edmand’s Park in the spring.

Eagle Scouts from local troops have been lined up to add additional permanent courses in those parks as well. Channon is planning to share her experiences via a zoom meeting with the Metro West Regional Massachusetts Recreation Association in early December to hopefully get orienteering into even more metro Boston area park programs.

“I can’t wait to offer more programs in our parks to youth, families, scouts, summer day camps, after school programs, middle and high school clubs, adults and others to help teach and promote the sport of orienteering.”
Channon Ames, Recreation Program Manager 

Interested in getting involved with the Youth Mapping Program as a remote mapper? Fill out the form here.

We will leave you with this fun online jigsaw puzzle of the Cove section of the Auburndale map for your enjoyment. Click on the ‘Reload’ icon in the lower left to shuffle the puzzle if necessary and have some fun.

OUSA Youth Mapping Program

Hello OUSA clubs & affiliates,

The Youth Mapping Program (YMP) Committee would like to call your attention to this relatively new national outreach grant program to help match mappers with schools and other youth nonprofit organizations who want to create small sized maps for orienteering teaching purposes. This is an excellent twofold way to grow orienteering in your community through
schools and other non-profit youth based programs, while supporting your mappers, extending the reach of projects available for hire. Applications for mappers and schools are at the bottom of this message.

Announced last year on the OUSA website, already 20 + organizations have requested a map and a short list of mappers have applied. The first round of matching and grant funding was awarded in January 2020, as a small test sample of the program. We are now ready to expand this program, continuing to review applicants for matching and funding on a quarterly basis. Our next round will be awarded this summer.

Mappers do not need to physically go to the site to create a map, but by using online resources and cartography software, will work with a designated representative from the youth organization as “eyes on the ground” to get the terrain physically checked over. The mapper will work with an OUSA YMP consultant to ensure the map meets the published guidelines. Schools and youth organizations will be requested to define the areas and size they want mapped, from school grounds to local parks. They will be assisted with any questions by this committee regarding suitability and scope of the project. We hope to get as many small teaching maps into the hands of youth and educators as possible through this program.

Please pass this message along to any and all that you feel would benefit from this program. Orienteering clubs, please reach out to invite all members, particularly those with children or ties to schools to get involved locally with outreach to promote this national, grant assisted Youth Mapping Program. Applications are ongoing, with a June 30th deadline to be considered for Round 2.

To learn about this opportunity, please go to this link. Grant Rubric information for map project suitability is listed in the side menu. Note: Link updated 8 January 2021

Mappers who would like to join the program should apply here.
Schools and youth organizations who would like a map to help teach orienteering should apply here.

Eileen Breseman, YMP Committee Member