In Street-Orienteering you are given a black and white map that provides
a very detailed view of the area that you will walk/run in. The sample map
below shows a map that was used for a recent event - while this one is not
pure black and white, the colours shown illustrate the key points very well.
Things you need to know about a Street-O Map
- Streets and roads are shown as solid black lines or dashed lines for
tracks. In general, no street names are shown on the map (except perhaps
for boundary roads - as a safety precaution). Some of the major roads - or
divided roads are shown as thicker or two distinct lanes.
- Areas where you can move through - such as parks, ovals, vacant lots
are shown in white
- The start area is marked with a triangle
- There are 20 controls on the map; these are shown as circles,
numbered 1 to 20. Usually, the each control circle has a dot in its centre
or is skewed to one side to indicate the precise location of the control.
- There are control descriptions which tell you what you’re
looking for as you approach a control (e.g. light pole or park bench). In
some cases a control description can contain a number - e.g. Light Pole
(36) - in this case the light pole is the one outside house number 36.
(Note that in the map above - all controls are on light poles).
- The light brown lines shown are contour lines - in moderate areas,
these are usually 5m contours, in hillier areas they could be 10m contours
- it's wise to check the
master map or ask the course setter before you run. If you don't
understand how to interpret contour lines, see our training guide on
Reading Contour Lines
When you first start orienteering, you'll notice that there's a bunch of
squiggly lines and various shapes on your map - each of these represents an
object or terrain feature that you will encounter if you run in that
direction. The table below shows some of the more commonly used symbols:
un-crossable fence (yes, I know that to some people nothing
is un-crossable - but it is high and you could hurt yourself. This
symbol means - please do not cross this fence - i.e. not to be crossed).
the direction of the arrows shows the direction of water flow. We
generally ask people not to cross creeks - there is a danger from snakes
in some areas and climbing down the banks causes erosion.
- where you can cross creeks and other obstacles
the whiskers point down the slope.
Building - the shape of the black area is usually based on the shape of
Man-made object - in a park, this might be a park bench or a seat.
play-park or play-equipment - quite frequent in suburban maps
Golden Rules for ALL Street-Orienteers
How to Read a Street-Orienteering Map
Taking part in your first Scatter Course
Taking part in your first Score Course
How to read contours
Street-O Strategy - a Guide for Beginners
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