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Lost Time Orienteering

06 Nov 2016 . category: projects
#orienteering #webdev

I volunteer with the Cascade Orienteering Club results team, managing software and hardware that verifies course completion and calculates results. As soon as I started in this position, I noticed opportunities to simplify both pre- and post-meet tasks. Working off and on over about a year, I developed a web tool that simplifies the job. Fifteen minute tasks can now be completed in seconds, without worry of error.

LostTimeOrienteering header

Many of the tasks are data transformation, some are more complex calculations:

  • Load registration information from a couple sources into the meet management software.
  • Assign point values to finishers
  • Format results for posting to the CascadeOC website
  • Calculate team results
  • Calculate series standings

While the tool is developed for CascadeOC, the architecture is such that any club may be able to leverage the tool for similar tasks with a little bit of additional configuration work.

Technical Notes

Python is my go-to language, and I’ve now built a number of sites using the Flask web development micro-framework. I’m hooked up to a SQLite database, which handles the (tiny) load with no issues.

Major shout-out to Windows Subsystem for Linux (aka Bash/Ubuntu on Windows). I’m able to develop on my PC without messing around with VMs or a linux partition, and I get an accurate representation of how the code will run on my web host’s linux box.

You can view and make your own fork of the code on GitHub; pull requests welcome.


Eric Jones builds software that helps people. If he's not at a keyborad, he's probably running through the woods with a map and compass or carrying groceries home on his bicycle.