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Map Making Workshop

June 12th-14th, 2023, 6-8pm
San Diego Mesa College

Come join a map-making expert for three evening classes designed to help you create your own orienteering map! 

We are thrilled to welcome Rex Winterbottom, a mapping expert, to town to help us enhance our orienteering map making skills. During this free workshop, we will cover tutorials and share resources to help you launch your mapping projects. Rex will provide supervised coaching to practice field checking and drafting, ensuring you gain the necessary skills to create high-quality maps. Graduates will matriculate with the abilities and confidence to create an orienteering map of their own for use at an SDO event. 



  • A passion for maps and orienteering. 

  • Attendance at all three sessions

  • Commitment to use your new skills to create a map in the San Diego area 

  • No minimum technical navigation skills are required. The best mappers are often not competitive orienteers. 


Required Equipment:

  • Laptop (Mac or PC ok)

  • Mobile phone (for field checking)

  • Thin "Sharpie" or permanent markers of different colors 

  • Clipboards (letter size is okay, legal or tabloid size preferred)


Day 1 - Monday, 6-8pm


Topic: Getting started on a mapping project

  • Finding and processing data from various sources, such as aerial imagery, existing maps, government warehouses, LIDAR, and GPS tracks

  • Preparing a map in OCAD or OpenOrienteeringMapper by selecting a scale and symbol set, importing contours and aerial imagery, and aligning non-georeferenced images

  • Printing aerial imagery for field checking


Day 2 - Tuesday, 6-8pm


Topic: Enriching the base map to reflect the real world

  • Visiting different areas of one of the mapping project venues and discussing our approach

  • Annotating terrain features through field checking and practicing this in various areas of the venue


Day 3 - Wednesday, 6-8pm at Mesa Community College


Topic: Drafting a map using field checked imagery


  • Scanning field checked printed aerial photos and aligning them to the basemap in OCAD/OpenOrienteeringMapper

  • Techniques for drawing curves and shapes to represent linear and area features, editing, resizing, rotating, and duplicating objects or groups of objects

  • Using multiple windows/displays to compare different sources while drafting

  • Preparing a map for use in course-setting, including adding a legend, magnetic north lines, saving a "print" copy, finding the magnetic declination, and rotating the map to point to magnetic north.

Slots at this workshop are limited. Please email with questions or to express interest in attending. 

Event Location

All workshops will be hosted at San Diego Mesa College.
More logistic details forthcoming. 

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