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I suggest that in addition to the standard one- page hardcopy map that is submitted with the application, a measurer also be required to submit a link to a Running Routes (USATF website) map of the course that he has created. The time required to create this type of map would be minimual. A map of a 10k course could be created in 5-10 minutes. The purpose of the map would not be to reproduce all the details of the hardcopy map. It's purpose would be as a confirmation of the course route and a rough confirmation of the course distance.

I see two main advantages of this map:

1) Gross errors in the hardcopy map could be discovered by the measurer or certifier. There have been cases where the wrong street name has been put on the hardcopy map. This type of error would be discovered when the distance of the electronic map would turn out to be significantly different than the certified distance.

2) Many maps are not drawn to scale, and this sometimes makes it difficult to follow the course route. Having both the hardcopy map and a to-scale map would greatly benefit someone trying to recreate the course route.
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Good idea, with one glaring (to me) problem: Running Routes maps are not editable. Make a mistake, and you have to start over. Bummer on a marathon course.

I much prefer, as it is editable, and can be kept private. The only people that can see it are the ones you send the link to. It does not appear in any search results.

If you did choose to make it public, then it could be found by someone searching for that race name. No problem there.

As much as I would like to stay within USATF, I just cannot recommend Running Routes over, due to the editablility factor. I won't use Running Routes, as long as is available.

You don't want people to find your maps? You making treasure maps or something? Smiler

I would want these maps to be easily found by people. That was one of the points.

There is an "undo" on Running Routes. Not as nice as being able to edit any where at any time, but it's not as bad as having to start over over when you make a mistake. You only have to back up to your mistake.
When I have race directors draw their route before measurement, we keep it private, so no one sees the route-in-progress. For the use you are describing, it wouldn't be private.

I had a marathon where we sent a "possible" route out in Nov. to the race committee. The route was changed dramatically in a park, but the person who marked the course on race morning used the November course. Not even close (half a mile off!). And he should have known better. That is why I keep my treasure maps to myself, until everything is finalized.

I like being able to edit the route after the police have had a look at it, and made changes, instead of having to re-draw the entire map. I don't know if you can delete a map from USATF, either. Can you?
Requiring that more be done has the effect of discouraging new people, and this is bad. When one has experience with the various online mapping programs, experience at measuring, and a high-speed internet connection it’s no big deal to produce online maps. For a newbie to be required to do it – in addition to what we already ask of them – would make the job even harder.

New measurers may not possess all these things, and requiring them to do online maps in addition to the existing measuring and map drawing may discourage them from even trying.

Also, the question of which map is the “official” one may come up. Sometimes the online version may not match up exactly with the paper certification map. Which one is “official?”

I occasionally visit my son who lives in rural Virginia. His area is not clearly covered by aerial photographs and an online map would not be possible. Newly built areas also may not be covered by aerial maps. Thus we could be in the position of requiring the measurer to do the impossible.

There is nothing preventing a measurer from referring to a certain online map, and putting the info on the certification map, but to require that everybody do this is, I believe, a bad idea. The paper map must stand on its own to define the race course.

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