Skip to main content

Here is what happens when I receive a packet of certificates from a Vice Chair:

1) Put an ID number lower part of the right side of each certificate. This makes the certs easier to find in the file cabinet.
2) Put all the certificates in numerical order.
3) Scan the certificates and give each image file a filename identical to its course ID.
4) Scan the maps and give each image file a filename identical to its course ID.
5) Rescan portions of certificates which have map components on two sides of the sheet. Rename.
6) Enter the course data on the course list.
7) Change the status code on courses that replace previous courses.
8) Add new measurers to the list of measurers.
9) Put the certificates in the file drawer.


The main problem I’m having is photographs on course maps. They do not copy or scan well. They are a fairly recent development, but I’m beginning to see an increase. This needs to be handled on the certifier level, with measurers instructed that photographs are simply not acceptable on course maps.

Two certifiers are presently sending me electronic copies of course maps in the proper format for direct entry into the image files sent to USATF for use in the search engine. These contain color photographs and/or a multicolored map. I disagree on the use of color, as it requires any user to use a color printer or copier to make copies, and I don’t think this is user-friendly. However, I’m accepting them. It is extra trouble, but so far I’m willing to handle it. Anyone wishing to do this should contact me for instructions as to format – any old electronic image will not do.

So, certifiers – if you are prepared to send electronic map copies, in the proper size and format, yielding a nice clean copy, you may do so. They should be sent to me at the same time as you mail paper copies to the vice chair. If a measurer sends you a course map with photographs on it – such as an image from Google Earth – make them do a proper job and create a map that will yield a good image when copied.

Note that the copies received by the vice chair should be legible when copied.

So – Certifiers - PLEASE – No more photographs on course maps.

One more thing - please be sure that the course map contains the same ID as appears on the certificate. If this isn't done, things go haywire.
Last edited {1}
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

The present format for maps sent to the USATF web site search engine is:

.png format
8 ½ x 11 size
300 dpi
(above translates to 2550 x 3300 pixels, .png format)
File size will typically be in the 200 KB range, although some are bigger and some smaller, depending on the amount of detail in the map.

When Mike Wickiser began scanning maps, at the beginning of the online search engine, he scanned the maps in .tif format, which resulted in great detail but large file size (around 4 MB each). When Stu Riegel became registrar, Keith Lively, then USATF’s webmaster, Stu, Bob Baumel and I worked until the above format was agreed upon. Detail is not as good as before, but it is good enough. I’m continuing to produce the maps in the above format.

Almost all active courses have maps stored in the USATF search engine. I say “almost” because perfection is impossible to achieve, and some error will inevitably creep in. Some of the errors are made by certifiers and some are mine. They are corrected when found, but not all are found.

As registrar I don’t enjoy receiving material in two ways. The process of scanning and entering requires many keystrokes and constant attention being paid. Having part of the job requiring a different procedure leads to extra time and extra potential for error.

Having a measurer prepare a map in the proper electronic format may or may not be of help. The certifier is the one who forwards the material onward, and he or she must add text to each map before this is done. Unless there is a compelling reason for use of electronic format coming to me I would rather not have to deal with it. It makes the job harder, not easier.

In the past certain requests have been made for measurers and certifiers to add things to the certificates and maps. While most have been helpful, some have not, and it has been found that for a uniform product some things must be done at the registrar level.

Note that we have been scanning certificates as well since Stu became registrar. I am continuing this. In about 8 more years all the active courses will have electronic images of both certificates and maps. This will permit us to discard 30,000 pieces of paper which hardly anybody has a use for, and we may, at some time, become brave enough to rely totally on our electronic copies.
The reasons for worrying about file size are quickly disappearing (or have already disappeared).

A 500Gb hard drive, which could store 50,000 10Mb maps, can now be purchased for under $100.

In June of 2006, 72% of households with internet access had broadband access. I couldn't find more recent data, but prior to 2006 that percentage had been going up at a rate of more than 10%/year. In all liklihood it is more than 90% now.

If it costs next to nothing to store them and very little time to download them (for > 90% of households) I don't see a reason not to allow a file size of 3-4Mb.
File size was largely influenced by the wants of USATF. They are the ones who store the files.

It's easy to scan almost any size and format. Uploading to USATF will take longer. I don't know whether that is a problem.

I'm temporarily in the job and I don't really care what size is used, but I'm not going to have another go-around with the formatting issue.

A suitable person who wishes can take on working with USATF on this.
Having handled the task of Course registrar for several years, I am keenly aware of the amount of work required. Aditionally I learned from Pete that volunteers should have authority to do things their way as long as the end goal was accomplished. You can't micromanage someone and expect them to stay involved.
I would like to try sending certs and maps electronically. It is easier for me and could save on postage. That is all well and good until it creates extra work for the guy who has to handle hundreds of certificates at a time. There will likely come a time when we transmit certificates and maps electronically but until such time as doing so saves the Registrar time and hassle, I am happy to continue with the present method.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.