Freitag, 3. November 2017

The Swiss Team towards EOC at homeground - Selection history 1999-2018

fig.1. Daniel Hubmann on his way to his 18th season for the Swiss National Team, and of course going strong as always. (Image provided by and taken from Daniels athlete profile)

The Swiss Team communicated the selections for the Teams of 2018.
Elite National Teams
Junior National Teams
Only a half year before the EOC 2018 in Switzerland, the big goal for many Swiss Athletes, we see only few changes on the level of the Elite Team.

A-Team: Judith Wyder, Sabine Hauswirth, Elena Roos and Julia Gross stay in place but Sarina Jenzer got relegated to the B -Team.
 U-23:  Sina Tommer continues to the B-Team (due to reasons of age). Former Juniors Sofie Bachmann and Valerie Aebischer build the new U-23.
B-Team: Annina Brunner, Lisa Holer, Martina Ruch, Paula Gross and Hanna Müller remain, Sarina Jenzer and Sina Tommer change over (got somehow relegated) from other Teams. Sandrine Müller and Lisa Schubnell dropped out. Kerstin Ullmann retired
Juniors:  Simona Aebersold, Marcia Mürner, Saskia Bruchmüller, Elena Pezzati, Siri Nyfeler remain. Elisa Bertozzi, Katja Brütsch, Eliane Deininger, Anja Probst and Siri Suter got selected for the first time. Debora Stadler and Katrin Müller dropped out due to reasons of age.

A-Team: No changes. Hertner, Howald, 2x Hubmann, 2x Kyburz ( Indeed A-Team initials promise a bright future for Joey H. and Sven H. :-)
U-23: Thomas Curiger continues, Joey Hadorn advances from the Juniors Team. Jonas Egger and Sven Hellmüller got relegated to the B-Team.
B-Team: Tobia Pezzati, Noah Zbinden, Simon Dubach, Riccardo Rancan, Florian Schneider and Christoph Meier remain. Jonas Egger and Sven Hellmüller come from the U-23. Pascal Buchs comes from the Juniors. Andreas Rüedlinger (after 10 years) and Térence Risse dropped out.
Juniors: Andrin Gründler, Timo Suter, Silvan Ullmann, Nicola Müller, Chamel Zbinden and Tino Polsini remain. Reto Egger, Marius Kaiser, Fabian Aebersold and Mattia Gründler got their first selections. Joey Hadorn (U-23) and Pascal Buchs (B) took the next step. Nick Gebert and Florian Attinger dropped out due to reasons of age. Oreste Garbani dropped out.

I updated my Swiss National Team history. You find it here. This year I thought, I would answer the following question: Being selected for the Swiss Team for the first time. How long can you expect the party going on? - But I have to admit, that the data collected is not sufficient for the purpose to answer this question. While only covering 20 seasons many of the long careers are not covered either at the beginning or have not reached their ends yet (Daniel Hubmann is entering his 18th season as National Team Member in 2018) . So the answer is as rough as "between 1 and 18 years, maybe."

Some questions that instead might be answered (based on the material presented above) are:
Q: How many percent of the Juniors make it to the Elite National Team?
A: Women: 42 % directly,  3.6% later (f.ex. Elena Roos), 2.4% of the Elite National Team never were member of the Junior National Team.
Men: 39.6% directly, 4% later (but career never lasted longer than 2 seasons).

Montag, 7. November 2016

Swiss Team Selections 2017

As Swiss Orienteering got more detailed on the changes in both the National Team as the National Junior Team it is no longer necessary to go into details (just they missed to mention that Florian Schneider changed to the B-Team as he no longer counts as U-23).

But I updated my overview table on the Swiss Team since 1999.

As this years detail I choose the number of years in the B-Team.There Andreas Rüedlinger screens an impressing stamina. He got selected for the tenth season as a member of the B-Team... Note that the average number of seasons for men selected for the team is actually 3 seasons, while the median is as low as 2 seasons.

So here the top ten men:
1. Andreas Rüedlinger 10 ong.
2. Raffael Huber 8
3. Andreas Müller 7
-. Benno Schuler 7
5. Christian Ott 5
-. Dominik Koch 5
6. Christoph Meier 4 ong.
-. Marc Lauenstein 4
-. Andreas Kyburz 4
-. Severin Howald 4
-. Alain Denzler 4

At the women side there is no one in sight to challenge Angela Wilds  leading position, with only Lisa Holer in an ongoing series of 3 seasons. Here the average number of seasons is 3.4 and the median is 3 seasons.

1. Angela Wild 10
2. Franziska Wolleb 7
-. Caroline Cejka 7
4. Ines Brodmann 6
-. Sara Lüscher 6
6. Rahel Friederich 5
-. Bettina Aebi 5
7. Lea Wegmüller 3
-. Lea Müller 3
-. Noemi Cerny 3
-. Sara Würmli 3
-. Judith Wyder 3
-. Lilly Gross 3
-. Sophie Tritschler 3
-. Lisa Holer 3 ong.

Mittwoch, 5. Oktober 2016

Make long distance great again

If I was the GOD of Orienteering, I would make two  changes in regard of the long distance at WOC. These just to make the long distance the epic it deserves to be. Runners for the podium shall be allowed to show their best performance uninfluenced by other runners. Pack running is not part of the game. Indeed it is its spoiler.
fig.1. WOC 2016 winner Olav Lundanes at the run in. Followed by Daniel Hubmann (3rd) and Matthias Kyburz (7th). (photo: Jan Kocbach,
fig.2. Tove Alexandersson (1st) and Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg (3rd). In the background Sabine Hauswirth (10th) and Mari Fasting (7th).  (photo: WOC2016)

1) Folded starting field

If TV production really needs a 2 min. start interval, I would stick with the WRE-ranking to define start order but would fold  the starting field in half.

So instead of:
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
There will be
5 6 7 4 8 3 9 2 10 1

That way the weakest runner work as buffers between the strongest and the runners going for the medals have a reasonable 4 min start interval...

2) Bonus Sprint

Then I would skip all sorts of butterflies but introduce a simple situate separator method called "bonus sprint".

This bonus sprint just separates the pack leader from the pack. The pack riders are sent to a minor running loop (without map) to give the pack leader a reasonable head-start. Meanwhile the pack riders get the estimated time the running loop takes withdrawn from their running time. (So: if they run to slow, they loose time. If fast the win some seconds; method described here)
So easy, Göran Andersson.  Wasn't it?

Mittwoch, 18. Mai 2016

Mappers Blog: Locator- and Basemaps Zürichberg

Here is a glympse on the locator-and basemaps I composed for the coming project, a revision of Zürichberg (fig.1.). As the relief is generally unspectacular, I will not be able to use the micro-contour relief (fig.2-3) as an location-tool. So I hope vegetation height (fig.4) and conifers (fig.5) will do the trick. 
fig.1 The old map from 2008.
fig.2. ... a relief ...
fig.3. ... the contours 1.25m ...
fig.4. ... the clearings ...
fig.5. ... and finally the conifers.

Figures 3-5 are pngs with transparencies, thus can be used combined.

Freitag, 8. April 2016

Unplaned experiment on competitor steering on 2nd Swiss national competition 2016

In the aftermath of last weekends 2nd Swiss national competition it turned out that the organizer renounced to overprint all of the out-of-bound areas which they agreed with the local authorities.  Some were left undisplayed because the course-setters thought these areas would be avoided by common sense and because they only would make the map less readable (destroying the big picture, important in this type of terrain).

Once the local hunting party found that out, the press was concerned ...

The whole case reminded me of a project I collaborated  some years ago where we were sitting hidden in the forest and peeked for orienteering competitors willingly and unwillingly crossing into marked as unmarked OOB  areas. (For the records: we did not see any willingly crossings but many unwillingly crossings).

How well did it go last weekend?  - I ran a script by Jarkko Ryyppö on the route choices drawn in RouteGadget. The script basically assumes that the route choices drawn by the runners of one class represent the class as whole and in equal shares. ( 5 route choices drawn in a class with 30 competitors each get to represent 6 runners). Obviously, the more route choices you got the more representative the result turns out. The results shown here base on 218 route choices/17% of all competitors route choices.


fig.1. Competition map with "runner density". All OOB (on map as undisplayed) areas are marked in purple.

OOBs on the map

 fig.2. OOB on map
 fig.3. OOB on map
 fig.4. OOB on map
fig.5. OOB on map

 fig.6. OOB on map
 fig.7. OOB on map
fig.8. OOB on map.

What we can see here is a very high compliance by the participants. Except from the OOB on figure 6 where some few cut the south-western corner of the OOB (not marked in terrain.) all these areas seem to be a 100% followed. This high score likely  is also due to smart course setting (it should never gainful to cross an OOB)

Undisplayed OOBs

 fig.9. Undisplayed OOB
 fig.10. Undisplayed OOB
 fig.11. Undisplayed OOB
 fig.12. Undisplayed OOB
 fig.13.Undisplayed OOB
 fig.14. Undisplayed OOB

At the undisplayed OOB we find three uncrossed areas, fig.9, fig.12 and fig.13, which worked fine according to the course setters reasoning. fig.10 and fig.12 both show a single crossing. In case of fig.10. it looks like a GPS inaccuracy. In case of fig.12. it is just a very bad route choice.

Finally the OOB on fig.13 had a lot of crossings mostly along the track on the ridge. It turned out that this lay on the way of a possible route choice for M45 to the second control plus was more or less the only alternative to their sixth control (see fig.15; similar for M35). Also several runners of  M18 passed the ridge and one of them left the track towards south-east. Also some ME, MAL runner. In this single case there is a clear miss by the course-setting in regard of the OOB.
fig.15. M45 6th control.


The combination of course-setting and overprinting OOB areas resulted in a very high success rate in regard of keeping OOB areas free from competitors. Of course there might be a bias on the overprinted OOB as people are not to admit public that they breached the competition rules.

Even without overprint the impact on the OOB was minimal as long as they were consiered by the the course-setting team.

Observations during other competitions suggest that the rate of crossings of overprinted OOB areas is generally  low but unlikely zero. Marking the areas border does further reduce the number of violations, but will not reduce this rate to nothing.

Freitag, 5. Februar 2016

Mappers Blog: Use an external GPS to work with Mapper on Android

As my colleagues at Orienteering Mappers Int. reported some difficulties to get their external GPS linked to OCAD on a Windows OS, I thought I would just test how well this went  with Mapper on Android...
fig.1. Heading for a happy end: Mapper on Android and SXBlue II GPS.

To get to use an external GPS on Mapper there are two basic steps to do:

1) Pair the GPS with your phone via Bluetooth.
  • Put the GPS on
  • Enable the phones Bluetooth
  • Scan for new devices
  • Pair phone and GPS by entering the PIN.
2) Mock your phone to the external GPS position 
  • Install the app Bluetooth GPS on your phone
  • Get developper status on your phone
  • Change the setting "Allow Mock Locations" to yes
  • Open Bluetooth GPS; connect; enable Mock GPS provider.

Mittwoch, 28. Oktober 2015

Mappers Blog: Bannwald Setup/ Symbolization, localization and cartography

My most recent project is about to end and therefore it is maybe time to take some notes. I mapped the area of Bannwald as part of the map Seebodenalp, a cooperation with Heinz Tüscher. My part consists essentially in a steep, forested slope with partly dense vegetation and partly abundant rocky features. The area has been mapped before in 1984 but has never been updated since.

 fig.1. Map from 1984


I had to figure out, how to tackle the task and there where basically two questions to answer.
1) How to get there? - The slope is situated from 700 to 1000 a.s.l. and starts about 250m above the closest transport stop in Küssnacht a.R. (about 50km from where I live). There is a cable car running up to Seebodenalp but with a restricted time table and a restricted connection to the public transport. No cheap accomodation in the area. I can not loose to much time getting there and away.

2) How to localize? The regional council provides us with a laser-DEM and -DSM but it was produced in back in 2002. This means it has a relatively poor point density, is rastered, filtered (extracted leaf-trees), smoothed (extracted boulders) and in regard of the vegetation partly outdated. Thus a pretty oldtimer compared with a nowadays point cloud. In a relatively uniform slope with lots of stones and cliffs and rocks but also green features to be localized, such a base is not sufficient.  As the slope is facing north-east GPS is no big help (actually when ever was GPS  a help :-P).

New tools

Thus I was forced to update my setup and did this by:
1) Buying a scooter
fig 2. A scooter is the mappers best friend...

2) Borrowing a Range Finder 
fig.3. No! The Range Finder is the mappers best friend.

It is a TruPulse Range Finder able to measure horizontal and vertical distances, something especially handy in steep terrain.

Usual Hardware/Software-Setup 

Otherwise I the setup has not changed essentially since my last documentation. I am still very happy with the combination of OOMapper on a waterproofed Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (inductive pen technology).
fig.4. The Bannwald Setup (note the waterproofed pen)

Hybridal Mapping with OOMapper

One of the advantages of OOMapper compared with OCAD is the possibility to map hybridal: While you can digitize smaller features right away, you just can sketch features "under construction" f.ex. contours and larger areas with undergrowth.

 fig.5. Screenshot Hybridal Mapping with OOMapper.

Symbolization, localization and cartography

For me nowadays, mapping is a three step procedure, symbolization, localization and cartography (generalization & legibility) or with other words: What (aka ISOM)? Where on the map? and Does the map work (aka cartography)? 


While it was a big part of the job to localize map features correctly in the older days, I aspire to have this problem solved beforehand. Localization should generally be no big question. In the case of Bannwald I could base localization on these three base maps I could switch between.
fig.6. As done before I work with the 1.25m contours which also work as bands for contour and evtl. form-lines. Basemap calculated with OL Laser.

fig.7. The contours I combine with the vegetation height (the contour layer is semi-transparent). Basemap calculated with OCAD.

fig.8. Rarely I also used the steepness perspective. Basemap calculated with OL Laser.

Finally the mentioned range finder was the crucial tool in regard of localization. The model I borrowed would be able to directly communicate with OCAD by bluetooth. Although myself working with OOMapper I had to manually draw the measured distances on the map. For this purpose I used a helper symbol consisting in a 20m long scale.

fig.9. Helper symbol 20m scale

fig.10. Map draft with included range finder measurements.

Life cartography

Besides the possibility to switch between base maps as it suits you best, digital mapping has an other big advantage in contrast to the good old analog one: Now cartography can be considered on-site. I do this by using a set special set of symbols, I developed for the purpose of field work. This leads to that all cartographic conflicts can be solved right away.

fig.11. Some symbols of the field set.


So this was probably the hardest job I ever made spending 18 days to map 1.3 sqkm. If I would not have adapted my setup, it would have taken much longer. The map will be published next spring to be used for the 39.Innerschwyzer OL. Come and try!

Montag, 26. Oktober 2015

17th season in the Swiss National Team for Baptiste

The selections for the Swiss National Senior and Junior- Team have been published yesterday.

Changes for the new season 

fig.1. After 12 seasons with the National Team Sara Lüscher retired. (; Sara Lüschers athlete profile)

Retired/not selected: Sara Lüscher (29, A), Bettina Aebi (25,B), Marion Aebi (22, B), Andrea Roggo (20,J), Laura Diener (20,J), Sonja Borner (18,J), Remo Ruch (20,J), Jannis Schönleber (19,J)

In came: Valerie Aebischer (18,J), Katrin Müller (18,J), Deborah Stadler (18,J), Simona Aebersold (17,J), Marcia Mürner (17,J), Sebastian Baumann (19, J), Nick Gebert (18,J), Andrin Gründler (17,J)

Upgraded: Sven Hellmüller (20, J->U23), Kerstin Ullmann (20, J->B), Lisa Schubnell (20, J->B), Sandrine Müller (20, J->U23)

Years in the National Team (incl. 2016)

fig.2. The Nestor of the Swiss National Team: Baptiste Rollier looking forward to his 17th season in the red-white dress. (; Baptiste Rolliers athlete profile)

Baptiste Rollier 17 seasons
Daniel Hubmann 16
Fabian Hertner 14
Andreas Rüdlinger 14
Rahel Friederich 13
Judith Wyder 11
Andreas Kyburz 11
Raffael Huber 11
Sabine Hauswirth 10
Martin Hubmann 10
Matthias Kyburz 9
Julia Gross 8
Sarina Jenzer 8
Florian Howald 8
Alain Denzler 7
Florian Schneider 6
Elena Roos 5
Lisa Holer 5

Overview Swiss National Team Since 1999

I updated the chart with the selection dynamics since 1999.

Dienstag, 20. Oktober 2015

Mappers Blog: It was not your fault! Blame the map.

A short analysis on the Glarus Schwändi Map, used for the Swiss Middle Championships last weekend. I was the mapper and I ran the H 40 course for testing purposes. What I am doing now is go through the course and check where the mistakes where made and look for possible map related contributions.

The map

So first, here is the competition map. Have a look at it. Which controls might be tricky?

 The rates of mistakes

Here is what winsplits says, if we apply the default 20 seconds/20 percent rule.

And btw. he total number of participants is 46.

Control by control 

The first control is a short one and actually pretty easy. I can be spotted from 50m. Still there is a 30% mistake rate (MR) here. Partly it can be explained with the stressed starting situation. But otherwise one has to admit, that the control ring mask the bigger land form. Also there is a missing dash point on the eastern small knoll.
Same excerpt without overprint.

The second control was easy on the leg, but it seems some (20%) had problems to find the right side of the right stone here. Note how the contours interfere with the black objects.

Then a series with easier controls to 4 ....
... 5, 6, 7....
... 8 and 9. The easiest control of the course.
10 also looked easy but it some took it too easy. Might be a consequence of the climb to 8.
In this section the overprint again masks the terrain. Mostly the dell on the way into 11 and along the gully towards 12. At 12 the MR starts to rise again to over 20%. The mapping inside the control circle is not that clear.

And now to the most tricky section. At 13 MR is 30%, 14 tops with 43% and 15 follows with 21%. 13 and 14 are pretty easy legs, if you look on the map excerpt without overprint below...  13: follow the ditch, 14: follow the valley. A smaller mapping issue can also be spotted south-east  of 13 where the contour has a gap crossing the ditch.

After a pretty physical leg to 16 with a low MR 17 and 18 came back with 26% MR both. The cartographic issues here: The small knoll south of 17, suiting as attack-point is very prominent, but was drawn with a form-line due to over-correctness. A possible source of irritation.  Then on running speed it was not possible to see that the 17th was no boulder but a knoll. Small brown surfaces just melt together with black.
The cliff for the 18th control was, as you can see from the excerpt below, added to make a control point by the course setter...  and therefore was the least prominent cliff mapped on this map.

The last control was no problem from this side. But the elder Hubmann lost some precious seconds going straight over the hill from south-west. Also here the over-print mask the contours.


1) Check for the effect of the overprint on the terrain representation, not only the control ring but also the connecting line.
2) Check for legibility issues not only for features with the same color but also between features with similar colors (brown-black)