Migrating to ISOM 2017

A Chinese version is available for this story: 將地圖轉換成 ISOM 2017

by Raphael Mak

Orienteering addicts would not have escaped from the news that the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) has sanctioned the implementation of the newest version of the International Standard for Orienteering Maps, ISOM 2017. The use of ISOM 2017 has already started and, in case you are not aware of it, you are officially required to use ISOM 2017 starting 1 January 2018.

ISOM 2017 has many changes that aim at improved readability, not only for elites but also for other orienteers like this boy. Photo: Alicia Lam

With less than three months to go, there is still plenty of time for you to convert your maps. Here’s what you should do:

1. Read the ISOM 2017 from head to bottom and from bottom to head

Pretty important step to get you familiarised with what’s different. It’s at http://orienteering.org/resources/mapping/international-specification-for-orienteering-maps-isom-2017/ .

2. Download ISOM 2017 symbol set

Get your map files converted in one go.
OCAD 11/12: http://ocad.com/blog/2017/04/international-specification-for-orienteering-maps-isom-2017-symbol-sets-for-ocad-12/
OpenOrienteering Mapper: https://github.com/OpenOrienteering/mapper/tree/3d2661aae4fd4eccf55d65d9ab53bc0c7b6fbde6/symbol%20sets

After downloading, use the convert symbols function at your software. Check for irregularities and correct them.

Some of the most obvious changes to watch out.

3. Print your map at 1:7500 and check readability

ISOM 2017 stipulates a strict 1:15000 scale policy with respect to mapping. All 1:10000 maps shall be at exactly 150% size of the original, without exceptions of any kind.

I recommend to use a draft print of 2x scale (i.e. 1:7500) to check readability. Note the features that are too packed together, or that you cannot possibly draw on. Simplify them.

Note, also, that the distances between some of the symbols have also changed in ISOM 2017!

4. Final check and done

Make a brief check of the map on-site if possible. Update the map info — tell the world you have an up-to-standards map here. Then, you’re done!