MapRun - Orienteering using your Smartphone

compassmap An exciting new way to enjoy orienteering has arrived in the last couple years. It is now possible to go orienteering as an activity you can do on your own time, using your smartphone and GPS technology.

MapRun is a smartphone app, that can let you download an orienteering event and run it on your own time. MapRun events are set up by local orienteering clubs and posted as part of their regular event schedule.

To participate, you need a Smartphone and have downloaded the MapRun app (available from  Google Play or the App Store) to your GPS-enabled smartphone. For best results, you should use the latest MapRunF version. There is even a MapRunG version intended for Garmin fitness watch users.



How it Works

MapRun is an app which allows you to use your smartphone to go orienteering by displaying a map and controls for you to find in a mapped area located in a park, forest or in urban terrain. Just like regular orienteering you are provided with an orienteering course with a Start, Finish and controls. Unlike regular orienteering, there are no physical control flags that you will see, instead when you reach a control (such as a trail junction, rock, fence corner, etc), your smartphone will provide you with an audible beep and/or vibration that lets you know you correctly located the control and are in the right location.

Once you start the MapRun app, select your course and 'Go to the Start' your time starts and your adventure begins. Your phone will beep at the Start, Finish and each control you correctly visited. Once you head through the Finish, your timer will stop and you will be able to instantly see your results along with your GPS track. Your GPS track is not visible until then.

Your local orienteering club may provide you with an option to print a map at home and then use the MapRunF app to beep when you reach a control point. This is the closest to real orienteering. These printable maps are made available to you once you have registered for the event.

Alternately, you can use the map displayed on the MapRun app to navigate by. Your current GPS position is not shown on the map but it will beep when you reach a control and show it as completed. The disadvantage of this method is the map area is only as large as your cellphone screen and you may have to zoom in and out as you navigate. Also, you cannot use a compass!


Here are the Steps

1. Open the MapRun app, and select 'Events near me" and choose your course. (ensure your cellphone is fully charged!)

2. Travel to the location of the event, and click "Go to Start" on the app. Enter an Event Code (provided by the organizer) if prompted.

3. Run through the Start Triangle on the map to start. Ensure you get a beep. The clock is now running!

4. Visit each control using either a printed map or the MapRun app as the map. The app will beep as you enter the control circle and also flash on your display. There might be a slight delay for the beep. The app will also show your elapsed time. It will not show your route.

5. To finish, run through the Finish Double Circle or the Start Triangle if there is no Double Circle on the map. On most Street O maps the Start Triangle and the Finish Double Circle will be the same location.

6. Check your results! Your results will be saved automatically and you can see other runners results. If your cellphone data is not turned on you may upload the results later when you are in range of WiFi.

7. Compare your route to others! This is an exciting feature of MapRun. If you click 'track' in your results listing, it will display your GPS track on your course map in RouteGadget. RouteGadget has some very powerful features, that will allow you to check the routes of other orienteers as well see an animation of your course. Check the next page on this website, to learn more about RouteGadget.


MapRun in Action

Here is a short video that demonstrates how MapRun can work on your Smartphone:


To learn more about MapRun and how it works visit the MapRun website. Enjoy this new way to orienteer!