Best orienteering route-choice

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About best orienteering route choice web app

Best-orienteering-route-choice is a demo web application for analyzing forest orienteering route choices. The main feature of this app is the ability of automatically computing the fastest route from the map.

How we compute the fastest route

Our algorithm computes an approximation of the real fastest route on the terrain. The algorithm works as follows:

Is the fastest route the same as the best route?

No, it isn't. Best route choice depends on a lot of factors other than terrain runnability, first of all the execution difficulty in terms of navigation. For élite orienteers, with exceptional navigation skills, the fastest route is often the best one. Anyhow, the knowledge of the fastest route is a valuable information for many aspects of an orienteering race.

Who can benefit from this app

  1. Orienteers can have a lot of fun using this app: it is interesting to think a route and verify if it is the "fastest route from the map". It can be a good mental training, too.
  2. Course setters can use it as an instrument to support the course plannig because it eases the evaluation of leg's choices, especially for long legs. Moreover, it can help to predict the race time.
  3. Race organizer can use it as an objective method to measure courses' length and climb.
  4. Orienteering coaches can tailor the symbol-speed table for each athlete and analyze their performance better.

Future plan

We'd like to develop this app in many directions and adding the following features: add more maps, let users upload maps, let users change the symbol-speed table, entire course analysis, GPS integration for tailoring speed table, and more.


The project is run by Marco Della Vedova, computer scientist and (average) orienteer, and Lucia Curzio, geographer and (good) orienteer.

You can reach us at If you want to get updated on the project, you can fill the google form.

Symbol-speed table

Symbol Description Pace (min/km)
109.0 Erosion gully 5
110.0 Small erosion gully 5
201.0 Impassable cliff 15
201.1 Impassable cliff 15
202.0 Rock pillar 9999
203.0 Passable rock face 10
203.1 Passable rock face 8
203.2 Passable rock face 8
210.0 Stony ground 8
212.0 Bare rock 7
301.0 Lake 9999
302.1 Pond 9999
306.0 Crossamble small watercourse 5
307.0 Minor water channel 5
308.0 Narrow mash 6
310.0 Mash 5
310.1 Small mash 5
311.0 Indistinct mash 5
401.0 Open land 3.5
401.1 White for yellow 4
402.0 Open land with scattered trees 4
403.0 Rough open land 4.5
404.0 Rough open land with scattered trees 4.5
406.0 Forest: slow running 5
407.0 Undergrowth: slow running 5
408.0 Forest: difficult to run 6
409.0 Undergrowth: difficult to run 6
410.0 Vegetation: very difficult to run 7.5
502.0 Major road 3
503.1 Minor road under construction 3.5
503.3 Minor road 3.5
504.0 Road 3.5
505.0 Vehicle track 3.5
506.0 Footpath 3.5
507.0 Small footpath 4
508.0 Less distinct small path 4.5
519.0 Stone wall 5
522.0 Fence 5
523.0 Ruined fence 5
524.0 High fence 15
526.0 Building 9999
526.1 Small building 9999
527.0 Settlement 9999
529.0 Paved area 3.5
529.1 Bounding line 4
529.9 Stairway 4.5
530.1 Small ruin 10
534.0 Pipeline uncrossable 9999
853.0 Bounding line 4