Basic Roamer Internet Table-Top Rally Championship 2012
Map Marking Questions and Answers

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This is a list of comments I have extracted from Route Card 0 solutions that require a response, plus I’ve added some of my own questions and answers which should clarify a few points.

Much better than counting churches!

That's a comment I was hoping for. Although one competitor is saddened by the demise of Route Checks.

I've already submitted my route but am actually a bit confused as to why we turn left in Little Totham [on the practice Route Card 0] when that is a white. Otherwise, good though I'm very out of practice!

The Route Card states coloured roads only unless stated. There is a specific mention of "white" for the route to fit through Little Totham.

Could you describe the various map zoom levels for me?

At the OS 1:50000 scale view there are two levels of zoom. I refer to the lowest definition as Zoom 1 and the higher definition as Zoom 2.
At the Street view there are also two levels of zoom. I refer to the lowest definition as Zoom 3 and the higher definition as Zoom 4.
When marking your route you should use Zoom 4.

I found that using the arrows to move around the large map, you had to be very accurate clicking the direction arrows else you got a marker in the wrong position.

Yes, if you don't left-click exactly on the panning arrows in the top left corner the click may be interpreted as a plotting point which you will then have to erase with a right-click.
Better maybe to drag the map yourself. Left-click and KEEP the mouse button pressed down; drag the map to where you want; let go of the button.

Keeping your position between the two maps was tricky because of differences of scale, but otherwise very impressive.
As a former programmer, I understand the problems this software must have caused!!

Zooming-in and out is best achieved using the scroll wheel (if you have one) on your mouse - wheel away from you to zoom-in; wheel towards you to zoom-out. Note that wherever your mouse cursor is at the time, the zooming operation will preserve your position on the map at the new scale.

Couldn't get the hold down Ctrl to bring up the blue marker. Didn't seem to be able to insert extra markers on tricky bits of the route e.g. to tighten it up round corners - is this supposed to be possible?

There are two ways to insert markers see Practice Marking a Route. Don't know why the blue cross didn't appear!? Inserting markers is best done at Zoom 4.

1) As its taken me about 3 hrs to complete this practice route I hope I get quicker when doing the main routes !!
2) Took a little time to plot route on map but It will be lots better next time. Very enjoyable.
3) Once you get the hang of it hopefully it will be easier and more accurate pin point plotting.

You will get quicker with practice and using some of the tips on this page.

Have I understood the instructions correctly that it will not be possible to skip sections that we can't do and go onto the next as we could previously - or even move about between sections on the basis of the guessing from the titles what they are about eg tulips or herringbones etc. - this has always been part of the fun for me.

If I've styled the Route Cards correctly they should start with the easiest and finish with the hardest. You won't be able to access Route Card 2 until you've submitted Route Card 1 and so on. This is to a) indirectly add some time pressure to complete the Route Cards, b) prevent a rush of answers near the closing date, and c) to be able to post comparative results in sequence like they would appear on a real rally.

My first attempt at an online 12 car, my mouse froze on the four point cursor a few times, but all in all it was reasonably straightforward, cheers! This is my first attempt at an online navigation event, the software seems sound! Thanks for all your effort.

Mouse freezing? Must be all the recent cold weather? Seriously, I can't explain that. See if you can reproduce for me.

A little bit difficult to delete selected points - deleting last point was fine with the right click, but took a couple of goes to get a selected point deleted with Ctrl held down. Overall, nice, easy to use, intuitive software.

Practice makes perfect, I hope. You should soon get the hang of it.

1) Laptop display and touchpad not ideal for this, must try a mouse.
2) Struggled to get the route to click on the road, using a laptop so went and bought a mouse and seemed to work, 3hrs to plot first half then 10mins to do rest !!!!!

I hate touchpads - too fiddly! I would recommend using an external regular mouse while map marking on a laptop.

1) Reminded to save at regular intervals when I did nearly all of the route in one go and it decided to drop out when I tried to Save.

Good practice - save regularly. Whilst the map marking system has been checked on a clean PC environment using the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome, there may be be local issues which might influence the process which would be impossible to cater for.

1) Last point marked sometimes gets placed under previous point. Have to move previous point to show last point marked so last point can be moved to correct position. then previous point has to be moved back to original position.
2) Everything seemed to work well with marking software. At one point (around 100 points marked), the next point was not where I was clicking. I saved, went out of the page and then back in and everything was fine.
I look forward to seeing the scoring after I submit the route! Thanks again for all your efforts in putting on the 2012 TTR!

I can't explain what was going on there. If you are marking at Zoom 4 (recommended) your points shouldn't need to be too close together to define an acceptable route.

Prefer to trace route continuously using left button (like using a pencil on real map) instead of having to click points. This would speed up plotting.

I wish, but there are technical difficulties and overheads in attempting such a solution. I also think this would frustrate those who don't have a steady hand to trace the road. The point-by-point marking is my best compromise.

Route Cards could have check boxes next to instructions so each instruction could be ticked off online.

Well, this would take me ages to set up, plus some of the instructions might be purposely unpunctuated or mis-punctuated to fool you. My best advice is to print the route card and tick manually.

I have picked up a penalty at PC1 but I have gone the correct way around the triangle.

I see you have revised your route and all is clear now.
Everyone should tweak their route for Route Card 0 and resubmit until they have zero penalties.

The escape key deleted my last bit the first time!

I can’t reproduce this problem. The escape key is ignored by the software!

Often when points are close together it seems like nothing has happened when clicked but the point is actually on top of the previous. Small issue when you realise.

The points marked at the Zoom 4 need not be too close together. PCs will not be placed on very twisty bits of roads because there could be large variations in the correct direction of approach or departure.

Map size keeps changing using Apple and on large scale had blank grid squares with ? in the middle, had to change computers to complete.

I can’t verify operation on an Apple, but know that marking is not possible (yet) on an iPad because of the lack of mouse-click control. I hope to accommodate additional platforms and browsers in the future.

1) First time using this type of plotting but got the swing of it. More points required in largest scale me thinks.
2) How many waypoints should I use!
3) My first EVER tabletop/online navigation. Still a bit unsure as to how accurate you have to be around the junctions. As a result I've possibly gone a bit overboard with the number of markers I've plotted. On the whole though - very good.
4) Do you have to make the route follow the road instead of point to point ?? Ah yes I see now that accuracy is key !!!!
5) Crikey; you have to be VERY exact in marking the route - my poor old "map and pencil" mind will take a while to adjust!
6) Surprised how many points needed to define route, not looking forward to routes in Wales!

Having plotted your Route Card on what you see at the Zoom 2, mark the route using the Zoom 4. You should effectively chop up the roads into straight bits between bends – just like the example in the Practice Marking a Route guidelines. This is how the master route will have been created. The centre of any piece of road should be enclosed by the “tramlines” created from your joined points.

1) On max resolution additional triangles appeared in several places - e.g. 8883 0935 and 8868 1380, so took the shortest route.
2) Query on how to deal with junctions that become triangles when using largest scale - I used shortest route but that might affect PCs, particularly directions of approach/depart.
3) Like the new format but noticed a difference in answer map and printed pdf map at SH 73 just before finish. PDF map has no yellow triangle whereas answer map does.

Unless otherwise specified you should plot the Route Card based upon what you see on the largest version of the 1:50000 map (Zoom Level 2). Where you see additional triangles at the Street View maps (Zoom Levels 3 and 4) effectively ignore them and mark the shortest route. There will never be ‘sneaky’ PCs placed at such potentially ambiguous points.

I've noticed that sometimes there are variations in the course of the roads between the OS and Street Level views, particularly on some of the white roads.

That's right. You should mark your route on Zoom 4 and follow the roads that you see. When your route is unzoomed to OS view the tramlines may appear to be slightly out. Don't worry about this, your marked route will be compared with the master route at the highest zoom level.
Note that some of the "whites" appeared as light grey bands at Zooms 3 and 4, you should follow these bands as closely as possible.

Some of the whites on the OS views aren't shown on the Street Views!?

Right again. You'll need to mark your route as best you can at Zoom 2. Because of this uncertainty of where the road goes precisely, PCs will never be placed on these sections of route.

Give me some tips on how you mark a route.

I solve the route card by referring to the PDF map (printed on an A4 sheet of paper) and looking at the displayed map (Zoom 2) where I might want to check extra detail like the spot for a spot height. I roughly mark the route on the printed map.
I then transfer the "paper" route to the Zoom 2 map with a series of points marked at junctions and other convenient places to get the overall picture of where the route goes.
Finally I go to Zoom 4, insert points near key bends in roads and then drag them to cover the course of the route.
Oh yes, and I keep Saving my changes as I go along.

Can I use my own OS maps for solving the Route Cards?

Yes, but only at the scale of 1:50000 - BUT BEWARE ... the maps I am making available to you are streamed in real-time directly from the OS map database; therefore there is the possibility that they may be more up-to-date than your paper maps.

Can I refer to other maps to plot my route? Some mapping sites use, for example, OS 1:25000 scale maps.

No. You should plot your route only via the maps supplied for the Route Cards - unless otherwise stated. However, it will be useful to have access to the Google Earth software. Here's a secret - one of the Route cards will show a marked map on GE which you will be required to transfer to your OS map.

I absolutely love the way you have done this. You deserve a medal. Can see no problems other than for myself when trying to find the limits of the map/plotting area.

The plotting areas are automatically set. The PDF map will extend to the boundary of plotting area, and you won't be able to drag the screen maps beyond the plotting area. They are quoted in case some competitors decide to plot the routes on their own (up-to-date) OS maps.