Forum: Northeast Region
Topic: GPS-O Event
started by: mafg

Posted by mafg on July 17 2003,7:17 am
The location has changed.  I'll give you more details when they are available (09/14/03)

So ... lets say I give you a set of coordinates that you can punch into your GPS along with a few clues. Then you go out, with your GPS guiding you, and you do a bit of hiking and a bit of bushwhacking. After a few wrong turns and some adjustments in your course, you finally locate what you set out to find!

I'll bet you're thinking that you just completed another Geocache, right?

In fact, you actually just completed the first leg of the very first Rochester Orienteering Club GPS-O!

On Sunday, October 5, 2003, starting from 12 Noon to 2 PM, the Rochester Orienteering Club (ROC) will host its first GPS-O meet at the Pinewood Girl Scout Camp [N42 26.867 W077 40.413] in Arkport, New York -- just a quick ride from Rochester. Since the camp is privately owned, you should only visit the camp during the hours that the meet is being held. For a map to the camp, click here.

Traditionally, an orienteering event is designed to test the compass and map reading skills of the participants - and, if they are so inclined, it can also test their endurance and speed. Several courses of varying difficulty are laid out at each meet. The courses consist of flags (controls) that are placed out in the woods or in the park. The map that is provided for the event has the locations of the flags marked on it and together with a clue sheet and a compass, the orienteers make their way around the course competing to achieve the fastest time to find all controls. Of course, you don't have to compete, you can simply go to have an afternoon of fun. As you can see, except for a few minor differences, Orienteering and Geocaching have a lot in common!

The actual event will go something like this:

1. You arrive at the meet site and check in at the map table to get your unmarked map, your list of clues, the coordinates of the flags, and your punch card. Maps are $3 for members and $5 for non-members.

2. You look over your materials and you enter the coordinates into your GPS.

3. Once you've got your course plan ready, you head over to the start table.

4. The starters log you in and assign you a starting time (usually within a few minutes).

5. Ready ... Set ... Go!

You're off to find the first flag. Using your GPS and the detailed orienteering map, you should be able to estimate distances and use landmarks to determine a good route to the first control -- and of course, you find it!

6. Now that you've gotten past the first hurdle, it's on to the rest of the controls.

7. When you've found all the controls, you head back to the finish table to log your results.

8. Finally, it's on to the refreshments where you can meet other orienteers and GPS'ers to share stories and to check your results.

If you've never tried orienteering before, now is a good time to do so. You'll have the benefit of using your GPS, and you'll learn about traditional orienteering as well. When you're done with the GPS course, you can test your skills on another course using a compass instead of your GPS.

If you're planning on attending the meet, please post a note indicating your intentions so that the ROC can print up the right number of blank maps for the GPS-O event.

Hope to see you there!

Posted by mafg on Sep. 28 2003,9:23 am
Hi again,

It looks like the October 5th event will be held at Durand Eastman Park in Rochester New York (N43 13.753 W077 33.702).

Due to some difficulty getting the Pinewood Girlscout Camp, the meet at Durand is being put together at the last minute. At this time, I have not seen an advance copy of the map which would allow me to go out and record some of the controls so that we could have a GPS event. I am, however, hopeful that I will have something early this week (09/28) so that I will be able to get this event coordinated.

Please keep an eye on this cache as I will be updating it as I get new information this week.

Sorry for the confusion - I'm just a pawn in this game!


Posted by mafg on Oct. 03 2003,9:27 am

Hooray! It looks like this event will indeed take place.

Yesterday I obtained a copy of the map for the event. It will be a Random-O. A Random-O is an event that consists of numerous controls being established. Each participant can go out and find as many as they want in any order. Finding a predetermined number of them is equivalent to completing the various levels of an orienteering meet, i.e., a white course, a yellow course, an orange course, etc. The number needed for each course will be announced at the meet.

The GPS-O portion of the meet will be structured like this. There will be 20 controls. You will receive a map of the area without any control markers, a clue sheet that describes each of the controls, a sheet with the latitude and longitude of each control, and a punch card to keep track of each control that you find. The latitude and longitude have been determined by scanning in the map and then electronically locating each point on the map. I will attempt to field check each point for accuracy, but due to the change in the original location and the short notice that I have, I may not be able to check all of them. I'll do my best to have accurate coordinates.

Since this is the first GPS event, please bear with us if it still has a few glitches. It should be a lot of fun and we look forward to any suggestions you may have for changes in the format and for other GPS events.

Please call the ROC Hotline at 585-377-5650 to get last minute updates on the meet.

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