MapRunF and Planning for Re-start

SOA workshop Tues 19th May, 7pm

We are all hopeful that full Lockdown restriction may shortly be eased to give some greater flexibility for people to take part in outdoor recreation, albeit initially on an individual or small group basis. I am sure everyone will be excited at the prospect of getting outdoors to take part in some real orienteering again in some format or other. The sport has lots to offer for this situation as we are naturally on our own for much of the time and social distancing can be integrated without great difficulty. The recent communication from BOF sets out how this might pan out as restrictions are gradually lifted. In preparation for this, it is worth planning for what resources can be made available for everyone to enjoy. On Tues 19th May, at 7pm, the SOA will host a Zoom workshop to discuss how clubs can use MapRunF to help play a part in this. Please sign up for the workshop here.

What can clubs do?
Initially, clubs can help support members to be able to enjoy some orienteering activity and training on their own. The smartphone virtual orienteering app MapRunF offers one such opportunity and has recently been updated to simplify its use and include more flexibility of formats. MapRunF courses can be planned now, ready to be quickly tested and launched as soon as it is appropriate.
Two ways that clubs might think about using MapRunF are:

  • For existing members
    o How about planning a number of different courses and setting a club challenge to see who can complete them all in the shortest time?
  • To attract new interest
    o How about planning some very simple courses that could be used by novice families looking to add interest to their daily exercise and home-schooling?

What can families or individuals do for themselves?
The latest MapRunF version includes a QuickStart Event feature which allows you to set up a course very quickly using just your mobile phone. The course can be set up using any kind of map image, or indeed simply using a satellite image if no map is available. This is ideal for anyone wanting to set their own course up close to where they live. For families, it could be a great way of combining home-school geography, technology and PE into one, as well as adding some variety to their daily exercise!

Where to set courses up?
It’s worth remembering that satellite signals can be disrupted by a forest canopy, so the app will tend to work better in open, parkland or urban areas, although you can still give it a go elsewhere to see how well it works.
With all MapRun courses, please be mindful of any local access restrictions, especially anything special that has been put in place because of Covid-19. In general, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code should apply for use of an app such as MapRun, but please don’t risk the future of the sport by using in areas where access is generally difficult.
Stay Local Stay Safe Protect the NHS

Support with getting started with MapRun
Next week, Tues 12th May, BOF is hosting a Webinar on using MapRun. We would encourage SOA members interested in MapRun to take part in the BOF Webinar and then join us in Scotland at an informal Zoom workshop hosted by SOA Development Manager, Sarah Dunn, on Tues 19th May at 7pm. The idea of this second workshop is to share ideas and experiences from using the app and to help trouble-shoot where anyone has had problems. If you are interested in attending the SOA Zoom workshop on the 19th, please sign-up here, by Sun 17th May at the latest, and you will be sent the login details for the event:

Any queries please contact

How MapRunF looks on your smartphone