5 Atahu Grove, Lower Hutt, New Zealand Phone (04) 566 2645

(written Jan 00, minimal update Aug 07)

I wrote the letter below to NZ orienteering clubs in January 2000. Reviewing it seven years later, the reasons for employing a professional mapper are every bit as valid, and it has needed minimal updating.

What has happened since is a shift to remapping as opposed to brand-new maps; and the development of the Sprint-O, MTBO and Rogaining disciplines with their differing mapping needs. MAPsport is undoubtedly the NZ leader in mapping for MTBO; among the leaders for sprint and rogaine; and at the forefront of remapping technique. The national grid is used to correct old distortions and to prepare for new sources of data.

MAPsport has always been committed to the development of orienteering, above commercial objectives. (No BMW in this drive:-)) The emphasis will now be on skill and technique transfer by working alongside others on your projects. I look forward to working with you.

To The Mapping Officer: (Originally written early 2000)

It is now nine years since I began mapping professionally. Although busy now, I know you plan well ahead and I welcome enquiries for work in 2000 and 2001.

Here's what I can do for you.

  • Meet Your Deadlines

    I have fieldworked in snow in the winter. I have fieldworked to 9pm in midsummer. I have burned the midnight oil to complete drawings. While scheduling work is tricky for a one-man band, once I have given an undertaking, I will meet it.

  • Overcome Your Problems

    Extensive experience with poor basemaps. Interpolating additional contours. Amending existing drawings and scribings, or computer cartography. Matching basemaps from different sources, at different scales. Combining fieldwork of others and judging what needs another look.

  • Save You Money

    I prefer to hand over my fieldwork as an OCAD file, cutting out the old "survey draft". All you have to do is add the "cosmetic bits" such as title, logos and border. Of course I can do that for you if you wish!

  • Give Added Value

    Written proposals, progress reports and forecasts. Checking cartography for errors and omissions. Suggestions for start areas and course design. A speciality is a report on all features mapped, to assist other fieldworkers on the project to map consistently, and help the planner. This is provided at no extra cost.

  • Latest Technology

    I installed the first copy of OCAD in New Zealand. (I still have a digitiser which that version required! No more, thankfully.) I produced the first "disk-to-laser copier" map in New Zealand. I did the first print on a digital-offset printer in New Zealand.

  • Give You an Excellent Map

    This is the bottom line, isn't it. The map must represent the terrain, and be readable.

    Clubs are asking me back for further work. What better endorsement than that? For more information on the quality of my work, talk to:

    • Contact details may be out-of-date but list is illustrative...
    • of Auckland OC (09) 521 9535
    • of Hamilton OC (07) 889 7608
    • of Hawkes Bay OC (06) 879 8078
    • of Red Kiwis OC (06) 323 8987
    • of Kapiti HAVOC (04) 298 7781
    • of Hutt Valley OC (04) 564 8458
    • of Marlborough OC (03) 578 7137
    • of PAPO (03) 366 0628
    • of Dunedin OC (03) 476 4346
    • of Southland OC (03) 213 0661
    • of Esk Valley OC (Australia)
    • of Thames Valley OC (England)

  • What Will It Cost?

    I work on a "time and materials" basis, and a good estimate of the final cost is not usually available until well into the job. I appreciate the difficulty this presents to your club decision-making. From my varied experience I can give you an estimate - but it will be no more than that.

    Bear in mind the different degrees of reliability of estimates. If I haven't been onsite with the basemap in my hand then it will be based on what I judge to be a "similar" map. It might prove not to be similar. Walking around with the basemap is better. But sometimes complexities only reveal themselves during the work.

    A revision of an existing map can be even harder to estimate. Each block may have had a different history of basemap, mapper, use/disuse, and updating. The old map may not even show which parts are currently usable. Joins may have produced overlaps or underlaps which have been "fudged over". In many cases you would be better to start again from scratch!

  • Conclusion

    Paying for mapping at all may be a change, with an impact on the fee structure of our events. I don't think all mapping should be left to professionals - every club should have members mapping or learning to map. But the impact of major mapping projects on a club is severe. Haven't you got enough to do?

    I'd like to repeat a comment about the sharing of workload within a club:
    "Only a few of us can map, but we can all help with [our fundraising project]"

    Can I help you with your mapping programme?

    Yours in orienteering,

    5 Atahu Grove, Lower Hutt, NZ.
    Phone +64-4-566 2645, or feel free to contact me at Major Events.