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I won't quibble with Pete's statement that photographs on maps look crappy when they're scanned - I know there's a degradation in quality w/ each step of printing or scanning.

That said, if a map is processed electronically from measurer to registrar (and thence to the USATF server) the quality can be maintained, especially if color photos are used.

I am NOT, however, advocating an exception to the "no photos" edict on course cert maps. However, it might be worthwhile to create a separate "race director's cut" that does have photos for those who are verbally challenged, like some RDs seems to be.

I regularly measure courses for a race director who can not read maps no matter how detailed. Every race of his I've measured I get a phone call the day before (or sometimes race morning) asking for the location of various points on the course. Since I started putting photos on the maps, the phone calls have stopped. This is truly a case where one picture is worth a thousand words (in this case, words I don't have to listen to).
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I agree with Jim.

What we need to certify a course is pretty basic, and there is no reason not to send the race director all sorts of supplementary material. Photos of splits and key points can be helpful, as can a course map appearing on a supplementary web site.

Nothing in our procedure prohibits sending the race director all sorts of extra stuff.
One thing I will say as a measurer - photos are a hell of lot easier. I usually carry my cel phone w/ me on rides and just use its camera to snap photos of S/F and other key points. Downloading and importing into the map takes some time, but less than drawing.

Is it just me, or does the S/F diagram take the most time for others too? I'd say it's more than half the time to draw the map for me.

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