Rules, Appendicies and Guidelines
Mappers Newsletter
Map Registration Scheme
Mapping Awards
Ordnance Survey
Cartographic Software
Ocad and GPS
Online Mapping
Printing Maps
Mapping Schools

Mappers are responsible for:

  • Preparing a base map
  • Selecting the map scale that is appropriate to the event
  • Surveying the area
  • Drafting the map and getting it checked/assessed
  • Ensuring that the quality of the final map meets the required standards
  • Selecting a suitable area for an event in conjuction with the event organiser
  • Obtaining permission to use the area or ensuring the organiser has permission
  • Liaising with the planner of the event (important for Sprint maps)
  • Discussing the printing of the map with the organiser and planner of the event

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Rules, Appendices and Guidelines

All events registered with British Orienteering are governed by a set of Rules, and their associated Appendices.

Different types of events and competitions are regulated by a set of guidelines, each specific to a type of event or competition, which give competitors and event officials information about what should be expected.

The latest versions of the Rules, the Appendices to those Rules and the Event Guidelines along with valuable information for mappers can be found by following the links detailed below.

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Mappers Newsletter

To join the British Orienteering Mapper’s newsletter you need to login to the website and sign up for the Mappers newsletter. If you have forgotten your password, please use the 'forgotten password' button.

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Map Registration Scheme

Map Group has received a number of queries about insurance for mappers, map registration and map assessment following the recent launch of the new fixtures list and registration system.

Map Registration

The New Fixtures List and Registration System went live at the end of 2011 and includes an event number on the competitions tab. This is the number to be added to the map and replaces the Map Registration number.

The elements of the old map registration number, association and year, can be derived from the event/fixtures database along with details of use but these are no longer necessary for record/statistical purposes. However clubs may wish for archival or other purposes to add these as prefixes to the event number on the map.

There is no longer a need to register a proposed map by sending to the National Office the old MR1 and associated forms.

The map database is now replaced by the data held within the event registration details. The map data held can be queried by Mappers (as supplied by Map Group) and Fixtures Secretaries using the ‘Map Report’ under Event Reports that can be found by logging into the website for those users with appropriate authority.


The British Orienteering Insurance Policy is for Public Liability Insurance; it provides cover for members against claims for damages, negligence, etc. Such claims are relatively rare, but can be expensive. All mappers are advised to be members of British Orienteering in order to have this protection, and landowners are likely to require it. The British Orienteering policy does not cover accidents, personal injuries or personal property unless these involve a claim for damages, negligence or the like. If you want to insure your property against loss, theft or damage, or insure yourself against accident or medical costs, you must make your own arrangements; your household insurance may provide this cover. British Orienteering Public Liability Insurance Cover applies to the mapping activities of all mappers, provided they are a member of British Orienteering and earn less than £6,000 from their mapping activities. Professional mappers earning more than £6,000 per year will need their own liability insurance. This operates regardless of whether an area is being mapped for a British Orienteering event or activity, or is under consideration for mapping/permission. For other maps such as schools where these are not a British Orienteering activity it is recommended that mappers confirm that they will be covered by the Third Party insurance of the organisation commissioning the work or consider having Public Liability insurance for this purpose.

Mapping Awards

To encourage the production of high quality maps the Map Group, on behalf of British Orienteering, awards a number of trophies to encourage high standards of mapping and related activities.

Chichester Trophy

The Chichester Trophy was donated by the Honorary President of the British Orienteering Federation in 1971, Sir Francis Chichester. The Trophy consists of the binnacle compass used on Sir Francis' 'round the world' yacht, Gipsy Moth V, mounted on a wooden plinth. The Trophy was first awarded in 1971 to Robin Harvey and Sue Bone for their map of Leith Hill. It was originally awarded for the Best Map produced in a single year, though later it was awarded for multiple maps or contribution to mapping. In 1985, with the introduction of the 'Bonington Trophy', the 'Chichester Trophy' reverted to the original concept of the best map produced by an amateur mapper.

Silva Trophy for Professional Maps

With the high standard of professionally surveyed and drawn orienteering maps being produced in Britain, the British Orienteering Map Group decided, in 1992, that a new trophy should be awarded in recognition of these mapping companies. The Map Group annually awards the 'Silva Trophy' to the best professionally produced map. This trophy, sponsored by Silva U.K.Ltd. is made from Stourbridge crystal. This irregular shape, called cullet in the trade, is formed when the unused crystal cools. The base was made by Mike Baggott of Harlequins from English elm and the solid silver plate was purchased from a bullion supplier in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and engraved nearby.

Bonington Trophy

This trophy was donated to British Orienteering by its honorary President, Sir Chris Bonington, the world famous mountaineer. The trophy consists of a piece of rock collected from the summit of Mount Everest on Chris' 1985 expedition, mounted on a wooden plinth. It is awarded annually for the 'best contribution to mapping' which can cover a whole range of activities related to mapping.

Walsh Trophy

This trophy was made by Mike Baggott of HOC and is sponsored by Walsh Shoes. The trophy is made of old walnut with a triangular cross section and an etched plate with an image of Canary Wharf, London. It is awarded annually to the best urban or sprint map drawn to ISSOM specification.

Previous Award Winners

Previous Award winners can be found here. For more information on all the mapping awards, please contact the British Orienteering National Office.


OCAD 10 is available from the Ocad website.

OCAD 6 is available from the OCAD website as a freeware version but note that it is not compatible with Windows 7 or later.

ISOM 2000 symbol set updates for OCAD

The British Orienteering standard OCAD symbol sets have been updated to include a number of minor corrections, to use ISOM 2000 symbol numbering and OCAD 9/10 colour table numbers. The ISOM 2000 sets are updated to version 4 and the ISSOM (Sprint) to version 2. These can be downloaded below. This includes the ISOM standard 1:15000 and 1:10000 sets and ISSOM 1:5000 sets for OCAD versions 8, 9 and 10. These latest symbol sets are primarily for drawing new maps. They may be used to convert an existing map to use the new symbols but maps will need to be checked carefully after conversion. A useful method is to export a bmp from the old map and open it as a background map in the converted file.

Guidance documents

Full details of the latest OCAD symbol set updates with advice about the colour table are available here.

Ocad Helpline

British Orienteering Map Group have set up an Ocad Help Line.  This is organised initially by Bruce Bryant of Octavian Droobers who can be contacted by email. If he is unable to answer your question then he will refer it to others in Map Group.

Download OCAD Symbol Sets

OCAD Symbol sets - These compressed files contain Normal (ISOM 2000), Sprint (ISSOM 2007) and Course setting symbols for specific OCAD versions:

Mapping and Ordnance Survey

From 2010 a new contract with the Ordnance Survey (OS) has been imposed on British Orienteering and there are several consequences resulting.

Printed Maps

Firstly, they are claiming their copyright on virtually all orienteering maps. Obviously maps drawn directly from OS material are included but also other maps based on photogrammetric plots (set up using spot heights) and even those with national grid references are covered under the heading “derived data”.

This means that all these maps should include the statement “© Crown Copyright 2015 100015287.”

Website Maps

The size limit of maps that clubs may include on their website must not be greater than 200 sq. cms of paper at the original scale. The image on the internet cannot be capable of being edited or customised in any way, neither must it disclose any addressable co-ordinates. There is also an annual reproduction charge for each image displayed of £4.75 payable to Ordnance Survey through British Orienteeing.

The map extract should include the wording “© Crown Copyright. All rights reserved. 100015287. BOF Map Registration No …” and the website should state “This website contains mapping data licenced from the Ordnance Survey with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Licence Number 100015287”

Maps used with Routegadget are covered as they are sent to the Routegadget website and as they are accessed from there they are covered by the Routegadget OS licence.

POC Maps

Some clubs wish to include maps of permanent courses for downloading. These maps are provided and often funded by local authorities. The option given to British Orienteering is that this is not covered by their agreement and clubs would be required to take out their own licence for each map at considerable expense. A preferable alternative would be for the maps to be placed on the local authority website under their licence agreement with links provided from the controlling club site.

School Maps

For school maps produced by members of British Orienteering, the maps should include an event or activity number. This will provide the mapper with insurance for public liability during the survey. However, if the map is not to be used for a British Orienteering registered event, the OS copyright agreement for the map should be provided by the local authority as it will not be covered by the British Orienteering contract. Mappers who produce orienteering maps of schools and other educational establishments should be aware that the Ordnance Survey has changed their licence arrangements following the introduction of schools opting out of Local Education Authority (LEA) control and that this affects the production of orienteering maps for academies and private schools.  Further information and guidance can be found here

OS and LiDAR Copyright Logos

OS and LiDAR 2016 - 17 Copyright.pdf
OS and LiDAR 2016 - 17 Copyright.ocd9
OS and LiDAR 2016 - 17 Copyright.ocd10
OS and LiDAR 2016 - 17 Copyright.ocd11
OS and LiDAR 2016 - 17 Copyright.ocd12

Please note: These links have been tested with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, if you only have Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge and have trouble using the links, please contact the National Office.

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Cartographic Software

  • Ocad – Popular cartographic software, developed by Hans Stienegger, for producing Orienteering and other kinds of maps.
  • Condes – Course planning program and map over-printing software.
  • Adobe Illustrator - Software that is commercially used for cartography and mapping.
  • MapStudio – Website offering symbols and resources for drawing Orienteering maps in Adobe Illustrator on either Macintosh or Windows platforms. The symbols on the website available for download have been compressed using the Stuffit program, popular on the Macintosh.  Macintosh and Windows versions of this program can be downloaded separately from
  • Ortelius – For Mac users
  • IOF map Commission software page

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International Orienteering Federation

  • Website for the International Orienteering Federation Map Commission.

Groups and Organisations

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OCAD AND GPS Websites regarding using GPS with Ocad

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UK Online Mapping and Aerial Photography

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Printing of Maps

IOF Printer Test Resources for download:

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Mapping Schools

Below are links to documents and OCAD symbol sets for mapping school.

OCAD is a mapping programme, an older version is available free to download at: you will also need a ‘Symbol Set’ for school mapping for the version you download, these are available below:

The symbols sets, once downloaded, should be copied to the relevant OCAD Symbols folder - typically C:Program FilesOCADxSymbols where x is the version of OCAD installed. They should then be available to use in OCAD when opening with file "New" command.

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Support and Guidance Documents

The following information and resources may be of use to you:

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Accreditation and Training Scheme

Map group are currently developing an accreditation and training scheme, details will be published when available.

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