Jenni Adams in the Piopio forest, Waitango 2007. Credit: Jamie Stewart
Race Start NZ Champs 2015 Middle – The Rockery Onewhero. Credit: Karen Woods
Auckland Orienteering Series 2015 – Woodhill. Credit: Karen Woods
Selfs Farm Summer Orienteering
Mapping Changes For NZ Orienteers – June 2017
By ONZ Mapping Committee - Tue 20 Jun 2017 3:08pm
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Changes to Our Maps

To all orienteers,

The IOF has agreed a new mapping specification for standard orienteering events. Over the next few years you will run on a mixture of old (ISOM 2000) and new (ISOM 2017) mapping. The organisers will make it clear what you are going to get. Sprints are different – they are covered by the ISSOM 2007 (note double “S”). Here are the most significant changes you will see, as well as some useful reminders of unchanged rules.

Download “Changes to our Maps” as a printable information sheet (PDF 537KB)

Form lines

2017-mapping-changes-form-linesYou may notice that form lines are thinner. This is intended to avoid a false impression of steepness.

Broken ground, Stony ground, Boulder field

2017-mapping-changes broken ground, stony ground, boulder fieldThese symbols may have different densities. The denser patterns are intended to show reduced runnability.

Water body

2017-mapping-changes water bodyLakes, rivers and marshes have a black line around them to indicate they are “uncrossable”. However, this is a judgement by the mapper and if you think you can get across you are allowed to try (this differs from sprints, where high speeds and safety considerations apply). Planners and controllers should not present dubious route choices to runners.

Water trough, Water tank

2017-mapping-changes water trough, water tankIn New Zealand, water troughs are now shown with a blue asterisk, and tanks have gone from a black circle to a blue square.

Scattered trees

2017-mapping-changes scattered tressThe yellow background may be strong or pale, for smooth or rough footing. As now, the dots may be white (trees) or green (bushes or thickets) but as this has rarely been used it may be a surprise.

Vegetation boundary

2017-mapping-changes vegetation boundaryThe mapper may use either black dots or a green dashed line. There will be only one type of vegetation boundary on each map.


2017-mapping-changes railwayThe railway with black cross-bars has been replaced by the alternating black-white line, as used in sprints. If passage along the railway is not allowed (the usual situation) it has a strip of olive green on each side.

Out of bounds

2017-mapping-changes out of boundsAs in sprints, olive green is now used for gardens, residential and other areas not permitted to enter. Areas you are not allowed on are now olive green, black vertical stripes and purple criss-cross hatching (for temporary or last-minute changes). You can’t use roads or tracks in these areas unless there’s a gap in the colour.

There are further changes “under the bonnet” designed to make maps more legible. The Mapping Committee is preparing more comprehensive advice for mappers, including ways to convert existing maps. The new specification, and a mapper-oriented list of the changes, is available on the IOF website:

Download “Changes to our Maps” as a printable information sheet (PDF 537KB)

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