OTrax – New orienteering route analysis tool
By Christo Peters - Wed 2 Aug 2023 7:51pm
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Greg Bacchus is a software architect with a passion for exploring new technologies in his leisure time. Over the last 4-5 months, his spare time has been dedicated to writing code for an orienteering route analysis tool named OTrax.

Greg began seriously contemplating how orienteering courses could be uploaded for training and events some time ago. Earlier this year, he realized the potential for working with the insights gained from comparing routes online. And, yes he knows about similar products like Routegadget, and Livelox, but Greg is particularly interested in building a NZ-specific application that’s both free and easy-to-use.

By keeping the project local, OTrax can grow and evolve to focus specifically on what the New Zealand community needs. Greg is eager to collaborate with anyone interested in using OTrax, aiming to understand their preferences and how the tool can be enhanced to serve both current and future use cases.

As the amount of data grows, so do the opportunities. Greg plans to take the software further, with many ideas for different areas in which data analysis can aid users. The first step, however, is to gather as much data as possible. Greg would love to see every NZ event published on OTrax. With the ability to pre-load a map and event, security measures are in place to ensure that competitors cannot see any details (controls or map) until they are automatically released when the event concludes. He invites anyone running an event, be it competition or training, to publish the event on OTrax, enabling orienteers to analyze their routes, see where they went (or went wrong) and compare with others who have done the same course. Please reach out with any questions.

To facilitate orienteers getting their activities into OTrax, Greg has already integrated with Strava for super-simple activity import. Activities can also be easily uploaded from regular TCX, GPX, or FIT files. In the near future he is also hoping to complete direct import from Garmin Connect. With everyone’s route choice loaded for the event, we will get a clearer picture of the challenges faced out on the course and find the perfect combination of speed in terrain.

For training events, it’s beneficial to see the group’s routes, timing, and pace en-route. Challenges can be reviewed immediately or right after the event, and future integration with win-splits will add extra advantage. The tool can also be used for visualizing planning digitally from a distance.

For further development, Greg is eager to communicate with anyone interested in contributing, particularly in documentation and communications, development, or offering sponsorship to keep it running, as it is important to him to keep it free to use. He’s also seeking feedback on what you think is an important feature, and what would work for you and improve your map and orienteering analysis. Get in touch and check out:
https://otrax.app/
dev@otrax.app

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