May 14, 2015

Bannock Creek-- Saturday, May 23 – An Entirely New LiDAR Map

Join us for our second orienteering adventure on a LiDAR map. Last year Sergey treated us to a meet on a LiDAR map in the Sawtooths. It was so well received that we have since had the Dutch Lake venue professionally mapped using the LiDAR contours to begin a basemap. The Bannock Creek terrain is similar to Gold Rush above the hydro-mined area. Ponderosa Pines predominate in what is mostly a runnable forest.

We are offering three courses. For the advanced orienteer there is a 6K course covering enough vertical to ensure a good workout in addition to the runnable forest noted above. The intermediate orienteer will travel mostly in runnable forest punctuated by numerous spurs and re-entrants with some added climb in the last kilometer. Novice orienteers will venture a little off-trail along linear features or will search for large prominent features.For those who have run Gold Rush many times this is an opportunity to use the same skills in new and unfamiliar terrain. Due to the absence of trails there will be no truly beginner course. It will be necessary for participants on the novice course to identify features like boulders and re-entrants on the map. If you are a novice and unfamiliar with orienteering map symbols, the meet directors and experienced orienteers will gladly give you a brief explanation before you depart on your adventure.

All three courses (novice, intermediate, and advanced) begin and end about four miles up the Pine Creek Road (USFS Road 304).

Because cut branches on the ground often make the footing unstable in many places, you should bring sturdy shoes and good judgment about when to be cautious.

In the desire to minimize waste and save myself some printing expenses, please RSVP to me no later than Wednesday May 20 with your name and intended course choice (and if you want an extra map or two for a larger group.)  My email is jnm2870 AT cableone DOT net.  If you decide to show up impromptu, I expect to have a few blanks on hand and you will get to copy your course the old school way.
Who: Orienteers of all ages, novice to advanced.

When: Saturday May 23. Courses will be open for starts from 10am – 12. Courses close at 2 pm. You may arrive within this window to try a course, as participants start separately a few minutes apart.

Finish and Parking Location: Pine Creek Road between mile 3 and mile 4

Restrooms are not available. You should be responsible for your own water.
Format: Classic. 
Cost:  $10 per person/team, $5 for a single junior, free to CTOC members (more info here)
You may want to bring: a watch, a compass, a snack, a whistle and a cell phone. (Some compasses will be available to borrow)
Bannock LiDAR Sample
A word about LiDAR: Several government agencies have acquired high resolution mapping data for land management. In Idaho many of the LiDAR projects are undertaken for hydrology studies. The process involves a low altitude GPS guided laser scan resulting in a digital elevation model with accuracy sometimes in a range below ten centimeters. These data have been made available free to the public in many cases.

A Finnish orienteer developed free software to convert LiDAR data into contour maps with vegetation colors. Using his software we have found the contours to be extremely accurate. Sadly, we have not been able to optimize the vegetation mapping parameters to the point where there is usable detail. The vegetation mapping gives the orienteer little more than a general understanding of density in the area. Because so much of this map is runnable forest the low level of vegetation accuracy is not a serious drawback, especially on the intermediate map.

Director: John Murray

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