Freitag, 15. März 2019

Mappers Blog: Focusing illusion.

fig.1. A post by Rob Plowright under a thread about mapping details in the facebook group Orienteering Mappers Int.

I want to keep this for my records as it can be seen as a nice example of the focusing illusion that contaminates orienteering maps.

It works like this: The mapper constantly overestimates the importance of the feature s/he is just looking at. S/he imagines a course setter or a runner complaining on the generalization of just this feature and thus s/he is horrified of imagined scene. The only viable solution is to map the actual situation in detail, even if in detail makes the map hard to read and to identify the feature itself.

The problem with this approach is obvious. While the course-setter could also be infected by the same focusing illusion the athlete definitely ain't.

The athlete focuses on solving the orienteering task. His/her attention is on matching map with terrain and execution of route choice.

Watch this video. I think this will make my point clear.

As long as the map does not provide wrong information, harming a route choice and thus spoiling a race to the athlete (closed entrance mapped open; impassable fence mapped passable; green worse than mapped) or in other words as long as the gorilla does not block the way, the athlete would never complain about some out-of-bounds stair/bridge generalized. Meanwhile over-mapping due to unconsidered focusing illusion is missing to map in accordance to the maps purpose.

Dienstag, 29. Januar 2019

Olav is my hero

Olav Lundanes lost his temper after finishing ABOM-long last saturday.

About ten seconds after running into the finish, Gustav Bergman running in some seconds earlier clapped his shoulder to congratulate Olav for his winning. As Olav was frustrated over Bergmans behavior in the forest he overreacted and threw some gravel after Bergman.

The action is documented here

Even though Olavs action was very rude in a manner that he later apologized to Bergman, his frustration is justified and expression of the high standards of orienteering he advocates. So see below his point of view. (src:

Btw. The IOF vision to extinct the map reading from orienteering, we have seen it coming almost 9 years ago.

Dienstag, 4. Dezember 2018

TV is more important then a fair long distance

... På långdistansen vill löparna ha tre minuters startmellanrum, det gillar inte tv alls.

Så hur löser man det dilemmat?
Bra fråga. Om du inte kan tv-producera ett mästerskapsarrangemang så är ju frågan om det är värt att lägga tid och pengar på det. Så krasst är det. Att göra orienterignen till en tv-vänligt sport är var viktigaste uppgift för att få mer pengar i sporten. ...

Aron Less, chair of the IOF foot o commission, skogsport 9/2018

Montag, 5. November 2018

Swiss Orienteering Team history 1999-2019

I updated the Swiss Orienteering Team history. Now it is 1999-2019. It is published here

fig.1. Simona Aebersold takes big steps nowadays.(src.
Next year we will miss long time A-team runners and mutiple WOC medal winners Judith Wyder and Fabian Hertner after 10. resp.13 seasons in the Senior Elite Team.

Otherwise only one big change: Simona Aebersold takes the big step into the A-Team from the Junior Team directly. Such did not happen the last 20 years.

Promotions: Katrin Müller and Deborah Stadler (Anschlussgruppe->B-Team); Timo Suter (from Junior Team -> B-Team);Marcia Mürner, Sakia Bruchmüller, Silvan Ullman, Andrin Gründler and Andrin Bieri (from Junior Team-> Anschlussgruppe); Eline Gemperle, Lea Widmer, Siana Senn, Hanna Wey, Jonas Soldini, David Zürcher, Manuele Ren, Pascal Schmid (all new Junior-Team members)

Relegations: Thomas Curiger (from U23->B-Team); Sven Hellmüller (from B-Team->Anschlussgruppe).

Drop-outs: Andrea Roggo and Térence Risse from Anschlussgruppe, Hanna Müller from B-Team. Andreas Rüdlinger, Sven Aschwanden, Alain Denzler and Raffael Huber were all part of the temporary EOC contenders Team dissolved after EOC 2018.

This years aspect of the Swiss Team history is the number of actual members over the years. No big changes here actually, aside with the reintroduction of the Anschlussgruppe, the number rised the last two years.

fig.2. Numbers of members of the Swiss National Team 1999-2019

And a second aspect. Which part of the Team remains, while how many drop out or get promoted to the Team.
fig.3. Dynamics inside the Swiss Team.
 With medians of 40 remaining, 9 dropping out and 10 getting promoted, we can roughly say that 20% of the Team gets replaced per year.

Dienstag, 21. August 2018

The same complete joke every WOC.

Gustav Bergmann: Another thing I have to write about is the 2-min start interval at the long distance. This has been discussed several times before, but it is a complete joke not to have 3-min interval between the runners. There is way too much grouping. A lot of people, including myself this year, had help from other runners. I can’t see why we can’t have 3-min start interval! The fairness of the sport would improve so much. I can’t see how any other factor can be deemed more important.

Mittwoch, 11. April 2018

What is a good re-run curve?

Well, the after-noon after the Swiss Team Selection Sprint in Novaggio a so called re-run was held. The athletes were allowed to enter the terrain after the Sprint, then re-embargoed and about three hours later started to a second run on the same course.

fig.1. Performance index of the Sprint (blue) and re-run (red)

A basic idea of such a re-run is to characterize an athletes running and technical performance, as to get a perspective of the athletes potential. So what do we see here?

1) The position of the peak of the red curve represents an athletes running potential. The more right the peak lies, the better. The more pointed the line is, the more all-round the athletes running skills. In the actual case the tip of the curve is relatively broad. That is an indication for varying running skills for different type of terrain (uphill, flat, downhill, stairs a.s.o.).

2) The difference of the both blue and red peaks positions represent the degree to which "orienteering" is slowing down an athlete. In the actual case the peaks are about 8% apart.

3) The shape/pointedness of the blue line represents the stability of an athletes orienteering performance. In the actual case, the athlete suffered two smaller and one bigger miss.

Keep in mind, that the Performance Index is represented "by control". Relatively small misses on short controls get more weight compared to bigger misses on longer controls.

Some more examples

fig.2. Another athlete... Compared to the first one, this athlete is competing close to its running capacity (peaks only 1.2% apart), but its orienteering is not stable. The red peak is a bit more pointed than for athlete 1.

fig.3. Another athlete ... had a close to perfect day. :-) . With a small peak difference of 2.7% and two pointed shapes.

fig.4 So what about this athlete... :-)

fig.5. Two athletes in comparison. blue & green from the one, red and purple from the other. Both ended up with the same running time for the sprint. What do you see here?

So well. I started with a question and  I hope, you can answer it yourself now, can you?

(The more pointed and to the right the re-run the better, the more pointed and close to the red the blue one is, the better)