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I am sitting here in Reno, just now having time to read the Forum.

This convention was a great opportunity to speak directly with those involved in the Registrar job, and we hashed this over quite a bit. If it were up to me, we would migrate to electronic submission as fast as possible. However, after discussing this issue, I now understand the issues the Registrar must deal with. That said, I am of the belief that the migration can be done, but with strict guidelines.

My first comment is directed to the flow Mark has suggested. I don't think we want paperwork flowing to the certifier, back to the measurer (for updating), then on to the Registrar. I don't think that is efficient, and it also breaks the chain of custody, as Pete calls it. I think the files (or paperwork) need to flow one direction, only.

As for the electronic files, there are several opportunities for paper to change to digital files, and each opportunity is an acceptable option. First, as a measurer, I can make my files digital. I must follow guidelines, though, and not just send whatever I want.

If I send my map and app as paper, the Certifier can scan the map. He can choose to add the cert number with legible handwriting, or put it in a typewriter prior to scanning, OR he can scan it and add the cert number with software. Either way, he then can send the map as a png file, 300 dpi and 8.5 x 11 inches, named (for example) "CO08001DCRmap.png". (Or, he can deal only with paper, and mail all to the Vice-Chair.)

If I send my paperwork electronically (the App as a PDF, and the Map as a PNG), the Certifier can add the cert number to the PNG very easily.

After creating the Cert, he can scan it, or save it directly as a png, naming it (for example) "CO08001DCRcert.png". He can then send the PNG files back to the measurer, or print and mail them back.

Either way, he has created the PNG file that will then be used by the Registrar. The files are still quite viable by the Vice-Chair, and can be printed by him, if so desired. Or, the VC can simply save them to his computer, and forward to the Registrar.

When the Registrar receives those files, he can open the Certificate file (or print it, but I think that would be a waste of trees), and enter the info into Access. He would then Save As into his Certs folder, dropping the "cert" from the filename (if it is really necessary to do that). He then saves the Map file into his Map folder, dropping the "map" from the filename. He can put a copy in his "upload" folder, ready to send to USATF.

After doing this, the measurer has either a file or a paper version of both the Cert and Map, with the cert # on the map; the Certifier has at least digital files of each; the VC has digital files of the Cert and Map; and the Registrar has the PNG file he needs to upload to the USATF site. Also, if the Registrar wants to start including the Cert as part of the images available on the USATF site, the Cert is already in PNG format, and it should be a simple matter to include it to USATF.

If the Certifier does not want to deal with digital files, or does not want to deal with PNG, then the VC can do the scanning or change-of-format contortions, if he chooses. Or, he can send the Registrar paper.

I think there is a way to bring our craft into the digital age, and not create extra work for those not so inclined. However, I do believe that, going forward, there should be some expectation for certifiers or vice-chairs to be digitally-inclined. As we streamline this process, more of us will be digitally fluent, and that won't be an undue expectation of someone in the processing chain.

I am looking forward to seeing other opinions regarding digital maps and certs. Are there many certifiers that don't have access to a scanner and software, which would prevent you from migrating to digital, if the Registrar and Regionals want to move in that direction?
Last edited by duanerussell