Controls from a master map at Calero Resevior

Mapping Resources

The IOF specifications for orienteering maps (i.e., general, Sprint, mountain bike, and Ski-O) are available on the IOF website here (
Comments about the IOF specifications, and links to the main documents (including links to local copies that are much smaller files), are available here.
OUSA has an extensive section on mapping here ( (As of June 2020, the information is being actively updated, so the link might not work correctly or the information might have changed.)
This drawing program was created for cartographers and is the standard software for producing orienteering maps. Orienteering Unlimited ( is the primary contact for OCAD ( sales and support in North America.
BAOC has a club license for OCAD 8 that can be used by event course setters.¹
OCAD is a Windows program. It can be used on a Mac that has a Windows virtual system installed.
If you need to use a BAOC license for OCAD, start by contacting the .
If you need to access the OCAD file for a BAOC map (e.g., for course setting), contact the . If you make changes to a file, be sure to send the new file to the .
If you want to use a newer program to edit a map before course setting, you could use OpenOrienteering Mapper (OOM), which is freeware (and has a Mac version). The latest version of OOM can open files from all versions of OCAD, and can save to OCAD versions 8–12. There appears to be no loss of information to open an OCAD file in OOM and then save back to OCAD format. (Note, however, that there is loss of information if you save from a higher version of OCAD to OCAD 8. For example, OCAD 8 doesn't support georeferencing with a real-world coordinate system.)²
Comments from Bill Cusworth, an Experienced Mapper
My personal feeling is that OOM is a fine program for "drawing" an orienteering map, and is able to do most of the things that OCAD can. I've used OCAD for so many years that I find OOM a little difficult, but people who use OOM all the time are very happy with it. However, OOM can't do any Lidar processing to produce contours and vegetation mapping, etc. When using OOM, most people use a free program called Karttapullautin ( (KP) to process the Lidar data. KP is a home-grown program with no fancy user interface, and is not very easy to use in my opinion. But for a simple neighborhood or school map, maybe you don't need contours or other Lidar data. But you probably need an aerial photo, and in OCAD you can just pull the photo into the background from within the program. With OOM, you would have to find the aerial photo somewhere else. Another neat feature of the new OCAD is that you can click a spot on the map, and it will open up the Google Streetview image for that location in another window. It's very handy for urban areas.
Also, keep in mind that there are some small differences in the way some features are shown between the two programs, so if you open an OCAD file in OOM and save it back to OCAD, it usually will not be identical. It's usually small things like where the tick marks are on a fence symbol, where dashes in trails show up, and other small things like that. But it is nice that OOM can open and save to the latest version of OCAD.
This software is not actually used to create orienteering maps​—​it is used to create courses on those maps. In addition to showing the course on the map, Condes creates the control description sheet (i.e., "clue sheet"), and provides the information used by the E-punch system.
BAOC has licenses for Condes that can be used by event course setters.³
Condes is a Windows program. It can be used on a Mac that has a Windows virtual system installed.
If you need to use a BAOC license for Condes, start by contacting the .
Look at USGS aerial or SPIN-2 satellite photos of almost any location in the US at 1-meter resolution. (A bit slow over a dial-up line.)
Note: As of June 2020, it appears that the TerraServer no longer exists. If you know of a successor or replacement, please tell the . is the Open Forum on Participatory Geographic Information Systems and Technologies. The website includes a list ( of sources of free imagery.


¹ OCAD 8 is "ancient" (probably at least 15 years old), but it is perfectly fine to use to update a map that has been stored by OCAD 8. OCAD 9 was the last version with the option of a club license; newer versions require per-user licenses.

² Thanks to Bill Cusworth for pointing out the existence of OpenOrienteering Mapper (OOM) in June 2020.

³ BAOC has a "club" license for Condes 9, but newer versions require per-user licenses. The BAOC license for Condes 10 is limited to 40 users, so care should be taken to remove Condes 10 from your computer when you are done using it. (If you have another project later, you can request a license again.)