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All about Maps

Our maps have been generously donated by a number of groups involved in navigation sports. The material below provides an introduction to the types of maps and courses that we use for this activity. The training pages on the Suburban Adventure Racing site provide an excellent introduction to the parts of a map and the symbols present.

In addition to maps, we also provide courses. A course is an activity associated with a map - some courses ask you to complete a challenge while others ask you to see what you can do in a given time.

Let's have a look at some examples...

Types of Map

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Colour Maps

Colour maps are great for daytime running in parkland or more complex urban areas. The colours allow the mapper to show you more detail of the area around you. Once you understand what the colours and symbols mean, you can navigate with confidence past lakes, across creeks, around vegetation knowing where you are all the time.

Colour maps allow the course setter to set much more interesting courses - as the controls can be located in, behind or near the mapped features.

The main disadvantage of colour maps is cost - typically 70 cents per page instead of 10 cents for black and white.

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Black and White Maps

When running at night or in low-light conditions, black and white
maps are best. If printed with good contrast, these maps can be more readable than a colour map.

While the courses are less challenging navigationally, a devious course-setter can still set an entertaining and challenging course on such maps. If street-running is your thing - for whatever reason - these maps provide a low-cost, simple entry into navigation sports.

Common types of Courses

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Line Course

The Line Course is the most common type of orienteering course; all orienteering competitions use this format - with the winner being the fastest person that completes the course successfully.

To do so requires the runner to visit controls in order - as shown in the map to the left. The challenge for the course setter here is to provide interesting "legs" between controls - to provide the runner with alternative routes that test the runner's ability to determine which is fastest and perhaps safest.

Line courses are usually graded - Easy for beginners, Moderate for budding navigators and Hard for experienced orienteers.

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Score Course

The challenge in a Score Course is to accumulate as many points as possible within a given time; all rogaines are score courses.

In some score courses, all controls are worth the same - so it really comes down to visiting as many controls as possible. More commonly, controls are worth different numbers of points - in a rogaine, the first digit of the control number tells you the value of the control.

The key benefit of score courses is that "one size fits all" - one can put say 20 controls onto a map and then let the participants decide how far they will walk or run.

Score courses require an additional skill - due to the severe penalties for arriving back after time. The ability to plan a route that is achievable in the time allocated with options that can be added or dropped as time runs out is paramount. 

If you've never done a Score Course before - check out Score Course Strategy for Beginners.

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Scatter Course

In a Scatter Course, the course setter tells you how many controls you must visit to complete the course successfully.

In Street-Orienteering, there are usually several scatter courses - check out the map to the left. The A course has to visit 17 control, while the other courses get progressively less. Novice runners are encouraged to start with the C or D course to get familiar with the concepts first.

For more info - check out Your First Scatter Course

Is there a map near me?

Yes - there are lots!

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The key here is to stay local. Viruses cannot travel from suburb to suburb - but they can be unwittingly spread people driving from one area to another.

There are lots of orienteering maps around Melbourne - if there isn't one near you, please get in touch and we'll supply one if we can.

All of this is subject to Government regulations - please keep up to date on what's allowed and what's not before heading outdoors.

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Choose from the large selection of latest pre-made blocks - full-screen intro, bootstrap carousel, content slider, responsive image gallery with lightbox, parallax scrolling, video backgrounds, hamburger menu, sticky header and more.


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Eastern Suburbs

The Suburban Adventure Racing Team that provides a Tuesday Night Series during the Summer months provides full colour maps for your enjoyment. The area has lots of open areas in which you can run or walk.

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Western Suburbs

Provided by Bayside Kangaroos Orienteering club, the Western suburbs of Melbourne have many interesting street-running opportunities. The complex urban terrain in places like Kensington provide a challenge for even the most experienced navigators.

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Surf Coast

Want to get away from home for a day or so? Orienteering Victoria's Surf Coast Series provides open-air enjoyment along the Victorian Surf Coast beaches


© Copyright 2020 - Suburban Adventures - All maps/resources freely available on a Creative Commons basis