“How to orienteer” info card


Hej! It’s been long since I used this blog. From today on, the “How to orienteer” info card is available for download (PDF 930KB) from the following URL:

http://bit.ly/HOWTOORIENTEER (opens in a new window)

You can download and use the file for free in private and where the activity is not charged. In which case the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License applies: (please quote Raphael Mak as author)

Creative Commons License

You must pay a license fee for its use if you are using it at a charged activity. Charged activity includes but is not limited to: public courses, training, competitions, books, magazines.

The license fee is:

  • HKD 15 / SEK 20 per copy printed if printed by yourself / used online
  • HKD 20 / SEK 30 per hard copy (folded card) sent to you if you prefer

Payment is by:

  • In HKD: PayPal to raphaelmak@gmail.com, or email me to ask for bank account details
  • In SEK: PayPal to oresaasia@gmail.com, or Swish

Please inquire through either of the above emails if you need. Happy orienteering!

The model of all indoor orienteering: Stockholm Indoor Cup


From time to time, the captioned competition turns up in orienteering websites and discussions. Yes, this is the Stockholm Indoor Cup, which has inspired orienteers around the world to organise similar events.

The competition usually takes place in a school: (note that in many Germanic languages the term gymnasium refers to a high school)


A few rules need to be observed:

  • All staircases are marked with orange plus a letter to identify them across all floors, e.g. the staircase K in the above map will bring you to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor.
  • The violet lines, which block the corridors in the map, must not be crossed, and they are taped exactly as it is (so no chance of accidental disqualification). (The hatched and solid violet areas, of course, are also out of bounds.) This makes the entire school a maze, and has the effect of lengthening the course plus throwing in a lot of fun.
  • Unidirectional arrows in orange are one way (2/F, near staircase G) are one-way, with one-way signs and “do-not-enter” sign posted onsite.
  • The green rectangles and squares are tables.
  • That the library shelves (2/F, the room that control 20 is in) are marked in grey, DOESN’T mean you can cross them like canopies in sprint maps.

Note that this school has the main entrance on 2/F. (1/F being the “basement” that is level with the ground outside)

The following is an illustration of how controls 3 to 4 can be tackled, using staircases L->K->E->G. (I lost upwards of 5 minutes on this leg, taking two full loops to get out of the error)

sthlm inomhus ilustration

A few more photos:

To be continued tomorrow (day 2).



Probably the orienteering event with the smallest area in the world 可能係世界上範圍最細嘅定向活動

MetOC, Orienteering, Sport

With the World Orienteering Day coming on 24 May this year, the Metropolitan Orienteering Club (MetOC) is going to organise (or more accurately re-enact) what is probably the orienteering event with the smallest area in the world in Kowloon Park.

How small is it? Well, to illustrate, I shall only have to use an excerpt from my SI Piece (that is, a music piece for SPORTident units) and a video of the premiere:

都會定向會將於世界定向日 (係五月廿四號、五月廿四號、五月廿四號呀,好重要所以要講三次) 喺九龍公園舉辦「可能係全世界範圍最細嘅定向活動」! 咁,究竟有幾細? 請睇以下小弟為定向打卡器而作嘅樂曲「譜」同埋首演錄影嘞:

SI Piece 1.png

Besides this, there is also a “slightly more normal” orienteering course — learn more at MetOC’s Facebook Page!


定向(最)基本功: Stop, Set Map, Select (停、正置地圖、選擇前進方向)

Orienteering, Orienteering coaching 定向教學, Orienteering Level 1

由今日開始我會喺度打一堆定向相關教學。因為諗住係淺白教學,用中文 (粵語) 打。

我敢講,做咗Stop, Set Map, Select之後,超過一半嘅錯誤 (mistakes) 都會消失。


首先: 停喺度 (夠進階嘅,又或者想訓練得勁啲嘅,可以原地踏步)

跟住就係戲肉: Set map (正置地圖)

set map.png即係要將地圖同實地對正咁解。如圖,地圖上小徑方向同實際小徑對準,池塘喺小徑右邊。記得對埋前後左右地形邊邊高,邊邊低呀 (睇等高線 — 唔識嘅話遲下再教)!

最後: 你要行邊邊? 睇你條紫色線 (賽程,course) 指向邊啦,記得諗好哂去下一個control (checkpoint,控制點) 先好行呀。

其實stop, set map, select唔止定向有用呀,平時出街唔識路都有用架,開住Google Map問路記得set咗map先好行呀! 唔好做路痴係咁盪失路啦!

(註: 以我所知外國教練好少咁樣一套教嘅,不過相傳 (聲明,只係相傳,小弟未能證實) 係由瑞典黎香港支援定向發展多年嘅Perola Olsson推廣stop, set map, select嘅全套教法嘅,所以香港嘅教練通常都會使用呢個教法。)

Stop, set map, select is the most basic technique in orienteering and can probably prevent over half of the mistakes in a race. Stop really means to stop, set map means to rotate and align the map to match the real world features as seen by the runner (e.g. in the above picture, note the direction of the path and the relative position of the pond; you should also note the terrain around you, shown by the contours on the map), and finally select the correct path to the next control.

It’s not just useful in orienteering — it’s useful when you’re on the street with Google Map’s help too!

The teaching of the stop, set map, select technique as a package was said to be championed by Perola Olsson, a Swede who helped a lot in the development of orienteering in Hong Kong. Coaches in Hong Kong thus teach the basic technique in this manner, emphasizing its importance in the orienteering process.

Release of the ISSOM passability placard for public use

Maps, Orienteering

Today I am releasing the ISSOM passability placard, which adorns my sprint orienteering maps since 2015, for public use under the CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.

The license means, in short, that you are free to use the placard in any of your works as long as you attribute it to me (there’s an attribution in the files which you should keep) and use the same license to release the placard.

The placard describes which features are allowed to be crossed and which are not. It helps beginners identify passable and impassable features. Symbols are at 1:4000 scale.

ISSOM passability placard (600dpi)

In transition

Music, Orienteering

The HKOC Open Sprint Event was finally over last Sunday, successfully held save for major delays resulting from a faulty control unit and the resulting surge in results workload. This was my first orienteering event as organizer and I must thank every official and competitor who helped keep the event running, among other people who made it possible, and I apologize for all the hiccups.

Course-wise, much more needs to be learnt (this is my first time setting ranking courses), especially on setting sprints, my favourite orienteering discipline. Another issue is the enforcement of ISSOM-passability – balancing fairness and performance and not have multiple angry disqualified competitors turning up in front of you is tremendously important on the success of a sprint event, especially when it’s part of the Hong Kong team selection. (It is – the selection result is due in May.)


These two years saw a near-complete change of me from musician-orienteer to orienteer-musician. This has tremendously affected my habits, life, goals and aspirations as my search in identity continues. With graduation imminent I have come to miss the music student’s way of life. The future, to me, is still a vast unknown – but to continue on a music career it’s always a sine qua non to learn continually from other people, other experiences and other cultures.

Composition is a tricky discipline in that it necessarily involves some subjective aesthetic judgement. Thus it’s always a good idea to keep trying and finding new opportunities. Networking is a big area to improve given my introvert character. (Don’t wait for opportunities; find actively.)

It is also worth reminding that changing the living/learning/working environment every while or so is an important part in lifelong learning. Getting stuck at a place for too long is seldom a good idea.

And of course, a self-composed piece to be performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic is something I could hardly have dreamed of as a boy, which is however going to happen next Saturday! So do come and listen! (And meet Maestro Sheng)

Goats, fog and maps

MetOC, Orienteering


The second MetOC training was done this Monday (23 February) on Black Hill in the fog and wind that the new Year of the Goat brought. The place offered good fell running (albeit with some undergrowth) and called for terrain concentration. Thanks for your support, and I hope you have enjoyed them. More photos are available at facebook.com/metropolitanorienteering. (One more still coming up on 14 March – see the FB page for details)


Designing publicity material for the event you hold is fun, and this time I’m doing it in a minimalistic way. (Echoes of New Era?) Of course, remember to make entries! 🙂

By the way, do you know that the 26 April event is probably the first ranking race in Hong Kong to make use of an OpenOrienteering Mapper drawn map? (The coming MetOC Champs in September as well – details expected late March) It’s a free, open source alternative to the mainstream OCAD. It’s easier to draw, too, if you don’t want to spend thousands of bucks to upgrade to the latest OCAD version.

MetOC – Metropolitan Orienteering Club

MetOC, Orienteering


After a sequence of meetings, document work and procedures, the Metropolitan Orienteering Club is officially launched to the public in the preceding week.

The foundation of MetOC originally stemmed from the idea that a new club can empower more orienteers previously under-represented in the Orienteering Association. Then I was able to call on the help of some orienteering friends, most of whom are from my university. The club evolved as a potential platform to organize trainings and competitions for which new possibilities can be created. It is also hoped that more orienteers can therefore contribute to the sport and make it flourish.

MetOC will organize three trainings (31/1, 23/2, 14/3) mainly targeting at students but also welcome to all, as well as races in the later part of this year. Visit http://www.facebook.com/metropolitanorienteering for more details.

Mid-December – planning the year 2015

Music, Music event promotion, Orienteering, Raphael Mak - myself

Mid-December 2014. Perhaps a bit late to plan the next year (or might be just in time).

2014 has been indeed a year never before experienced. Compositions, maps, super long trips. Ever tumultuous and changing society. Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mongkok revolutionizes our urban spatial experience (and above all political, but remember that planning is also political – search for relevant urban planning literature).

Next year I will be graduating, which means I should hold a graduation recital (not a must, though). Then I realized that I have too much material to present – my newest plan is to hold 4 concerts – 2 recitals at City Hall (the venue I had my composition concert last year); 1 ensemble concert and 1 orchestra concert at CUHK. They will be in around June or July. I’ll release details later.

Orienteering – Stay tuned for the new club I have founded with some friends, the Metropolitan Orienteering Club (MetOC). I have 3 mapping commissions in 2015: one for a sprint ranking race in Tseung Kwan O, one for a team event in Shatin, one for the annual championships long distance event. I’ll have to work hard in the local annual championships this year – if I do well enough I might get a chance to go to the World Championships in Scotland.

The most important thing – master studies. I’ll be applying for the Master of Science in Urban Planning programme at the University of Hong Kong. But I’ll be applying to music postgraduate programmes as well in case it doesn’t get through.