Maps of Maps 3: Database of UK Orienteering Events

MoM3Following the Map of Maps 1 and 2 projects, I’ve been working on an unofficial, location aware database of UK orienteering maps. It is based on the official UK list, for which I have a script which grabs and parses 90% of the events there (it has trouble with the multi-day and really big events, so I add those manually.) I’ll be clearing and repopulating the database on a regular basis from BOF, so if there’s mistakes on any of the events added by “bof_reg_basic”, you’ll need to contact BOF, not me, for the data to be corrected.

Take a look yourself and leave feedback or ideas for improvement below.

It’s in beta at the moment and there are some bugs – events with special characters in their names are not parsed perfectly. Also, it doesn’t look too great in Internet Explorer – I recommend using Firefox for the full experience.

Acknowledgements to Luke for the regex and code for screen scraping the BOF page, Attackpoint for the idea for location-based information, phpcoord for the directioning code, Jibble for the UK postcode geocoding, Google for their Maps API and members of Nopesport forums for the inspiration.

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10 Comments

  1. It looks good.
    IE6 only seems to mess up the coloured pins key location, so still very usable.
    But no map in IE5 or 5.5, still, that will teach people to use a proper browser.

    The eternal problem, do you dumb down to the lowest browser level or accept that some people will not see what you intended?
    As long as they are warned in advance I don’t see a problem.

  2. This is great! I wonder though if the concept of time could be represented by size rather than color? eg, events closer in time could have bigger pins than those several weeks away. Or if size is a problem, using more or less color rather than different ones. A totall filled in square for next week, 3/4 filled for two weeks, etc. That way the visual is complete.

  3. Looks good.

    Guess list is sorted by region within date?

    Might help to insert a sort by “Night” wthin these, so that (for Saturdays in particular) daytime events appear first.

  4. Paul – thanks very much for checking it out in IE6/IE5.5 and Firefox. I’m checking the browser of visitors to the site, if a significant number do use older versions of IE, I’ll look into making it work better. It’s difficult for me to test in IE5.5 though, the only PC I have is at work and has IE6 only.

    Mike – Thanks!

    Cristina – I’ll put in an option for that shortly – so that people can choose for numbers instead of colours to be displayed.

    Alan – It is, yes. I definitely agree that night events should be appear after the same-day day events. I’ll tweak my query to do that.

  5. Excellent. Be good to be able to filter by date as well – e.g. just select two weekends away – or whatever.

  6. Very slick Ollie – haven’t found any bugs so far… I’ve a few suggestions for you which you might well have thought of already 🙂

    – Think it would be good if you moved the GG map link to the event name so while reading through the list, people could just click on an event and find out where it was on the map in the top right corner.

    – Could you include a website link on a club name in the google “speech bubble” that appears? – easier than looking through the list of fixtures to find the relevant info.

    – Info on the punching system might be good

    As for event sorting, could you include an option to sort by distance from a place rather than region? And a link to streetmap as well, if that’s doable?

    There seem to be a few too many incorrect GRs but suppose you can’t do much about that…

  7. Nice idea, it would be really good if you could add a select facility to choose distance – avoids getting colour coded events 200 miles form home coming up!!

  8. Mark & Jane – I like both of those ideas, I’ll definitely incorporate them when I next get some free time for development.

    Ian – agreed, I’ll move the link there, it makes more sense than where it is right now.

    And yes, I need to work on the bubble contents and put all the information there – what’s currently there is just a quick hack.

    I’m afraid it will be difficult to include information on the punching system, as there’s not much of that on the official list and also I do want my list to be a cut down list containing just the bare essentials and a link to the event’s own website.

    Sorting by distance may be tricky as the data is delivered to the webpage preordered from the database, and only then do I calculate the distance.

    Streetmap linking is not easy, as they insist on linking by postcode (which I don’t have) or by numeric form of the grid reference (which I don’t currently store/convert.) Is there anything in Streetmap that is not available in Multimap?

    For incorrect grid references please please please tell me about those, I am in contact with the official list owner and will be able to get them corrected asap – and it’s really important for my list that they are good!

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