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.


Rob Plowright hat gesagt…
Dieser Kommentar wurde vom Autor entfernt.
Rob Plowright hat gesagt…

I hope everyone who reads this blog will also read the comments I have made on the Facebook Discussion MArtin references. Martin's blog post only gives one side of the discussion.

you wrote:

"The mapper constantly overestimates the importance of the feature s/he is just looking at"

You are saying I am overestimating the importance of the features in this particular case. That is just your opinion. I disagree, obviously. It is fine that we disagree. But for you then go further and say that because I disagree with you I am guilty of over-mapping and other sins against good mapping is a bit much. I have been mapping for many many years at the highest levels (as I am sure you also have). I agree with pretty much everything you say about mapping from the runners' perspective. I disagree about what the the average (elite) runner would see and consider important.

"the athlete would never complain about some out-of-bounds stair/bridge generalized"

In my long experience of orienteering (mapping, coaching, course setting, competing controlling, etc, all at the highest possible level, in many different countries: again no different to you imagine) that is exactly the sort of thing that runners complain about if they don't understand the mapping and make a mistake - things being over- generalised to the extent that they are no longer recognisable as what they are.

You might be critical of my decisions in this particular case - but you should not accuse of me not understanding the very basics of orienteering mapping. Like you I work very very hard to produce maps that are accurate, easily understandable and legible and will result in the fairest of competitions.

Every mapper sees things very differently - just look any of those examples where several mappers map the same area - they are always very different. I see things differently to you - obviously.

I have no problem with a healthy discussion and with being disagreed with. Anyone who reads the Facebook discussion will see that. I do have a problem with you publicly questioning my competence and reputation as a mapper on you blog. On Facebook everyone has an equal platform. Sure I can write a reply to your blog (as I am doing) but that is not the same - many people will probably just read your post and not notice or not bother to read any comments. They will go away with the impression that I am poor mapper.