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Getting Starting with OCAD Cartography


The OCAD 11 Getting Started Guide

With a flurry of OCAD Starter editions sold in recent months this should be a useful guide. It is included with each

Bezier curve drawings
Bezier curve drawings

installation of OCAD 11 and you can easily access it via the Help menu in OCAD. It contains links to the OCAD wiki for fuller treatment of various items.

Or here it is. Getting Started in OCAD 11

Drawing Bezier curves

While the Guide covers the basics of drawing those wonderfully useful and professional looking Bezier curves, there is also a sheet of exercises (image at right) that I find very useful.  This Bezier exercises OCAD file is found in OCAD at File | Open Sample Map by selecting Samples / Bezier / BezierExercise.ocd

You will also notice a BezierExerciseResult.ocd file to check your attempt against. The image at right can also be used as a drawing template by loading it as a background image via Background Map | Open and navigating your way to the Samples / Bezier folder within the OCAD 11 program folder. Or if you want a version with English translation then download it here – Bezier exercise with English translation

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From GPS and Google Maps to Spatial Computing

Curious about spatial computing? Or more than curious?

Course logo
Course logo

This course from the University of Minnesota via Coursera delves into spatial computing for geographic information systems (GIS). Now that might seem heavy going but the course caters for three different goals of participants;

  • Curiosity – learn about one or two spatial concepts of interest to you
  • Concepts – learn about spatial concepts but not get involved in programming or statistics
  • Technical – the lot!

Why might this course interest you?

If, like me, you use data from various sources then you will doubtless have run into issues ranging from data formats to co-ordinate systems to projections to …. So you might want more than a passing knowledge of what you are dealing with.

I am hopeful the Curiosity track will increase my knowledge of co-ordinate systems and projections so I can bother Russell Rigby a little less. And if I can get through at least some of the Concepts track maybe I will further broaden my knowledge of ESRI Shape files and the like as I use them in nearly every map I produce.

This course introduces concepts, algorithms, programming, theory and design of spatial computing technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS), Google Maps, location-based services and geographic information systems. Learn how to collect, analyze, and visualize your own spatial datasets while avoiding common pitfalls and building better location-aware technologies.

Best of all…

It is free unless you specifically want a certificate of attainment.

You will find out that egocentric maps exist but they are not necessarily your maps 🙂 And did you know orienteering maps are allocentric?

Sign up here. But be warned, it does take a fair bit of time and commitment. 8 weeks of 4-10 hours per week. However I understand you have until Christmas to complete it.





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Is that clearing worth mapping?

Stochastic screening

Translating symbol size to ground size and vice versa

This is the first of occasional tips aimed at less experienced mappers. They can be selected via the 101 (as in course 101) tag.

Not infrequently I think a small clearing might be worth putting on the map only to find that it is microscopic when I add it. Sure, if it is very important to navigation, I can exaggerate it on the map but that is rarely the case.

Another frequent poser occurs when mapping a track. Is a noticeable but shortish section of change in rideability feasible to show?

I realised I would save a lot of time if I knew while in the field whether these and similar features would be distinguishable on the map.

Translation table

This table can be translated both ways. Although it is for foot orienteering maps, the principles can be used to prepare for other situations and indeed for other scales of orienteering map. The image below is low resolution (click on it for a larger image) but download links for high quality PDF and OCAD files are also given below.

When you see that the symbol for a small boulder translates to 6m spread on the ground, you quickly realise why boulder cluster and boulder field symbols are necessary. This situation also reinforces why the relationship between features is important as we  cannot always plot them precisely on the map.

ISOM 2000 symbol to terra firma sizing

If the person who created this guide back in 2001 contacts me, I will be pleased to acknowledge their work.


[ilink url=”” style=”download”]ISOM symbols sized on the ground[/ilink] This pdf is at 1:7,500 for ease of reading.

[ilink url=”” style=”download”]ISOM symbols sized on ground – OCAD 9[/ilink]  This is a zipped file. OCAD v9 format offers widest compatibility.

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