2017 - Mapping Workshop Summary


14 people joined in a mapping workshop at Rochester’s Falls Classic National Event for "woods” mapping. The workshop started with a discussion of mapping principles, pace count, and setting magnetic north. After a view of the Lower Falls in Letchworth State Park (which was quite spectacular), participants used the provided LiDAR base map to map a series of reentrants, spurs, and complex topography.

After lunch (which included enjoyable conversations), a straight-line transect was mapped using a compass bearing. Trails, buildings and interesting contours were encountered and discussions about how to map these features ensued. Because some in the group have some mapping experience, the conversations were often animated. Next, fields and “green” areas were mapped using the LiDAR vegetation information and participants found it nice to have the LiDAR data at their fingertips.

The last mapping was along a flat “shelf” incised with lots of reentrants and other features. Along the way, discussions of how to map particular features were, again, sometimes animated. One thing that the participants discovered was that the LiDAR allowed them to know where they were and then they could easily map the area. At the same time, the discussions amongst participants and the leaders showed that there were many ways to map a particular area, all of which could allow a runner to know what the terrain looked like.

In the evening, Matt Robbins discussed what LiDAR could produce and how to process it. Some people learned about what was available and determined it could be easier to ask someone else to get the data, the maps. Others increased their abilities to download and process the LiDAR. It seemed that everyone gained more knowledge of what LiDAR can provide and how to get it.

The last session was related to how to make park and/or schoolyard maps. At a suitable area, the participants worked with the aerial photos and discussed the problems with mapping the area, how to represent things and what needed to be on the map.

In each session there were people with different backgrounds, some with little or no experience and others with some mapping experience. The combination allowed for great feedback and learning for all those involved. Thanks to Bill Cusworth and Matthew Robbins for their help in putting on these workshops.


See the Convention page for complete schedule

Similar to the sessions held in New York in September, several mapping workshops are being organized in conjunction with the OUSA Convention and the QOC-organized Two-day Classic Championships. The details are still being worked out but three separate sessions will be available. One will be "woods mapping," the second will be "a look at LiDAR," and the last will be related to "mapping parks and schoolyards." These sessions are open to anyone who has an interest in learning more about mapping. There is no charge for these workshops, although you need to sign up so there are enough materials for each participant. Contact Peter Goodwin for more information.


Friday, November 10th (the day of the convention):  Woods mapping workshop at 9:00 AM. This workshop will involve hands-on work on how to map in the woods. Discussions about how to map particular features will be the focus of the workshop as well as how to put the field notes into a computer.

Time to be determined: A presentation about what you can get from LiDAR, how to obtain LiDAR data and how to process it. This may be part of the convention or it may be at another time.

Sunday, November 12th: This workshop will be after the Sunday event at the carpooling site. Participants will be able to learn more about how to make a park/schoolyard-type map.

— Peter Goodwin

edited 9 November 2017