An iPhone/iPad app for Orienteering and ARDF

Filed under: Latest News by Joseph on December 11th, 2012
For much of 2012 a small but intrepid team of beta testers has focused attention on an iPhone/iPad app for Orienteering and ARDF. And thanks to their bug reports, and countless software updates addressing them, the app has evolved into a capable and reliable tool, with features that make it truly interesting for navigation sport enthusiasts. The app has now been used for hundreds of hours, in all kinds of weather, various terrain, on city walks and woodsy orienteering practices. What was learned has matured the app and readied it for a bigger challenge: Open Beta Testing.

Below are listed some of the app’s capabilities. If it sounds interesting, you own a compatible iPhone or iPad model, and you wouldn’t mind using the app and providing occasional written feedback on your experiences, then please contact me for information on becoming a beta tester. If you have expressed an interest in the past, and you are still interested, then please contact me again so I can update your information.

Feel free to share this invitation with others who might be interested in testing the app.

If interested in Beta Testing please contact:
  • Hardware: iPhone 3GS; iPhone 4; iPhone 4S; iPhone 5; Any Model iPad with GPS, including iPad mini
  • OS: iOS 5.0 or later (subject to change)


Orienteering and Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) are supported. The app provides everything needed to run a course: map, course, and compass data. The app also provides tools to help you readily create courses. The app can simulate signals for the “fox” radio transmitters in the woods, tremendously simplifying ARDF practices. Automatic notification of arrival at control points makes flags an optional accessory for both orienteering and ARDF practice events.


Three skill levels help keep beginners from getting lost, while letting advanced athletes conveniently run courses without unwanted assistance:

    • Beginner: Extra navigation support helps novices learn the sport; in-app map, course, compass info, and bearings for ARDF.
    • Intermediate: Some extra navigation help; in-app map, course, compass info, and bearings.
    • Advanced: In-app map, course, compass info. and bearings.


The app helps with design and distribution of orienteering and ARDF courses. Courses can be created within the app while at home or while vetting it in the woods. When course design is complete, its file can be shared by email without ever leaving the app. Course files can also be created and viewed using Google Earth running on a PC, and then emailed as attachments to participants can directly load them into the app.


Results for orienteering activities get saved to Google Earth-compatible KML files that include competitors’ track (the path followed), locations and times of control finds. Results for ARDF are the same as for orienteering but also include color-coded bearings with estimated fox locations based on bearings taken.


Courses and results files can be shared using either email or iTunes. (On-device map database files must be installed using iTunes.)


  • On-line street maps by Open Street Map (OSM).
  • Custom maps you and others create, stored on your iPhone/iPad, which can include regulation orienteering maps


All the results and course files used by the app can be displayed in Google Earth. Results files support animated Google Earth playback of your activity, with speed and elevation profiles, and all the other tools supplied by Google’s product, including simultaneous playback of multiple tracks.

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