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Happy 21st Birthday, World of O!


Which birthday present do you want World of O to get for its 21st birthday? A new front page which is responsive and works on mobile and tablets? An improved 2DRerun front page which works well on mobile? A fully working events.worldofo.com? An official and fully working version of WoOSplits? Strava-integration in 2DRerun?

World of O turns 21 today – quite an age for a website – and still going strong! To put it into perspective: Google is not even 18 years old – the internet is 24. Going from 5000 page views in 1995 to millions of page views in 2015 alone, World of O has gone a long way! From the first small trials until today: World of O has all the time been driven by my personal interest to know about what happens in the orienteering world.

Please add a comment, send me a message to help me decide which feature to give World of O for its birthday!

More about the birthday present and how you can influence it below – but first some history.

Working version from the 90’s & from around 2005


What is now known as World of O was live from January 24th 1995 (see snapshot above from 1996). The original version of World of O was a linkdatabase, orienteering map database and email address database which was updated “by hand”. In 1996 some forms were added to make it possible for people to add links and email addresses by themselves. I will not repeat all of the history here – but you can see some snapshots through the history of World of O from 1995 until today here. See also:

Birthday present for the 21st birthday: New/improved feature

Turning 21 is a big thing, and therefore a proper birthday present needs to be prepared. I have got a lot of ideas and half baked solutions which I use actively myself, but which are not ready for prime time. World of O’s birthday present will be full focus on finishing one of the features described below. Please add a comment, send me a message to help me decide which feature to give World of O for its birthday!

Alternative birthday presents:

  • A new front page which is responsive and works on mobile and tablets. While more and more of the Internet traffic is based on mobile phone and tablet, the World of O front page is not the most user friendly from a mobile phone or a tablet. I have done some attempts on mobile versions, for example this responsive version which works on mobile, tablets and desktop and this mobile only version. I have not been happy enough with them to put in all the work to a full version yet, but maybe a full, responsive World of O front page could be a good birthday present for World of O?
  • An improved 2DRerun front page which works well on mobile. While the analysis part of 2DRerun gets updates monthly or even weekly, the 2DRerun front page is stuck in the web technology from several years ago. Not very user friendly, and difficult to find what you are looking for. I have done quite some work on a new responsive version which works a lot better in many respects (and this test version is the version I use personally and which some of my contacts use), but  it has been difficult to find time to prioritize getting it finished for the regular user. Maybe a new 2DRerun front page could be a good birthday present for World of O?3drerunnew 
  • A fully working events.worldofo.com. The World of O Calendar (cal.worldofo.com) is a good, international event calendar, but (1) it lacks links to results and (2) only events added manually by event organizers is added. To solve both (1) and (2), I set up  events.worldofo.com several years ago. This page is still only a test site which lacks many features, and the link has never been officially posted anywhere. I use it a lot personally when looking for events, maps, results and pre-race preparations – this concept has a lot of potential. Maybe a fully working events.worldofo.com could be a good birthday present for World of O?
  • An official and fully working version of WoOSplits. If you have been reading analysis articles at World of O the last years, you have surely seen a new type of splits analysis illustrations. These are made using a web-based splits analysis tool, WoOSplits, which gives you an automatic text-based analysis of the race among a lot of other features. The link to WoOSplits has never been officially posted anywhere, and there are also some errors occuring now and then, so it is not up to prime time, and no support whatsoever is given. Still, I use it A LOT personally when doing competition analysis. Maybe an official version of WoOSplits could be a good birthday present for World of O?
  • SPAS for all – a possibility for everybody to set up SPAS events. SPAS is an analysis tool for sprint orienteering analysis which gives in-depth analysis from sprint orienteering – more than I’ve seen possible with any other tool. For now only I can set up a SPAS analysis personally, but I’ve been considering taking it another step and making it possible for everybody to set up a SPAS analysis from races and training. Maybe SPAS for all could be a good birthday present for World of O?
  • Personalization of 2DRerun and omaps.worldofo.com. There are lots of interesting maps coming into omaps.worldofo.com and 2DRerun every day, but it is difficult to detect the ones you are really interested in. I’ve made a proof-of-concept log-in based solution for omaps.worldofo.com where you can tag certain areas and users/map archives which you “follow”, and thus get targeted information each time you visit the site. Maybe Personalization of 2DRerun and omaps.worldofo.com could be a good birthday present for World of O?
  • Strava-integration in 2DRerun – (semi)automatic upload from Strava. Many orienteers use Strava to upload their routes from trainings and events (or Garmin Connect/Polar Flow – but there is an automatic upload functionality from Garmin Connect and Polar Flow to Strava).  I have made proof-of-concept “upload of  GPS-routes from Strava to 2DRerun” where you connect your Strava account with 2DRerun, and where you could either automatically upload all routes with orienteering in their title/description or upload with one click when logged into 2DRerun. Fast, easy, convenient. Maybe Strava-integration in 2DRerun could be a good birthday present for World of O?
  • Events.worldofo.com/Leaderboards setup for control-less races using Garmin (Connect IQ). As I’ve said before, I think a certain percentage of (smaller) competitions in the future (3 years? 5 year? 10 year?) will be run without controls in the forest.  Now Garmin’s GPS-watches (from Forerunner 920 XT and onwards) have a programming language (Connect IQ) built-in which makes it relatively easy to make a watch app which can be used for this purpose (I’ve done early testing). E.g. press the lap button when you think you are at the control. If you are too far away, you must wait 30 seconds until you are allowed to try next time. A watch app combined with an improved version of Leaderboards could be a first real step on the way to control-less races. Maybe a setup for control-less races using Garmin (Connect IQ) could be a good birthday present for World of O?

From my point of view any of these features would be a nice birthday present for World of O. There is however not time to give full focus to all of them – but with your help to choose, I’d like to give World of O one of these – focusing all of my WorldofO development-time on this feature until it is ready for prime time.

Which should I choose? Please add a comment below, below this message at WoO’s Facebook page, or send a message!

About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

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  1. For me, when looking at all of the options, WoOsplits is my wish! But all of them looks really nice, thanks for all the time you put on this Jan!

    • Thanks a lot for your comment, DR! WoOSplits is also one of the features I’ve put most time into the last year, I think. But just to get it onto the level where I can use it – not for the general user :)

  2. Dear Jan!

    I started orienteering only 4 years ago and World Of O helped me a lot to learn about this complex sport. World Of O helped me to understand how the big races have been won and which factors are involved in order to be fast in the different disciplines and terrains. With these insights my motivation and fascination for orienteering grew and grew. As beginner the design and the complexity of WoO was too much for me and I ignored its presence for quite some time, but now I’m addicted ;-)

    For me, the most interesting birthday present would be WoOSplits with added SPAS features for sprint events. Wouldn’t it be the perfect analysis tool?

    Jan, I would like to thank you for all the work you put into this project!


    • Thanks, Axel! Although you’d like me to focus on WoOSplits, it sounds a bit like a better front page would maybe be better to attract the less experienced orienteers?

      • If the less experienced are in your target group, I think this would be a nice update. This should then include some kind of guide to the ‘World of O Universe’. I noticed that most orienteers here in Austria have no idea of how to set up a 2DRerun, have never heard about the course planning module or the analysis logs, which are all great tools.

  3. A lot of nice options there. My vote goes to an open version of SPAS analysis. I know plenty of people that would find it very useful!
    Thanks for all the hard work!

    • Thanks, Dave! SPAS is a nice & enjoyable tool to use. Will take quite some work to get it up to a level where it is easy to use, but it is possible. I’ll consider it against the other wishes here. Looks like WoOsplits is favoured by many.

  4. Happy Birthday!!! I’d vote for a full, responsive frontpage, but any of the presents would be great :)

    Thanks for the great work you’re doing for orienteering!

    • Thanks, Anna. The responsive frontpage is what would be the best option for new orienteers, I guess. I have to prioritize it some time, but looks like it just takes another step back into the queue based on the feedback here :/

  5. Your work for improving this great website has already been fantastic and all the analysis, comments, graphs, … you didi were very interesting.
    As runner I find the WoOsplits toll or the SPAS for all, very great tools to improve our analyisis. But I think you work so well, that each one could give an improvement to the orienteering world.

    • Thanks, Tobia! SPAS & WoOsplits is favoured by many. And the analysis tools is also what I think is most fun working with:)

  6. I’d love to see the WoOSplits tool.
    Thanks for all your great work, Jan! I’m still missing the “donate” button on the WoO homepage…

    • Thanks, Wilfried. Looks like you might get what you want based on a lot of the feedback here. Still not 100% decided, though.

  7. Alexandra coelho

    Happy Birthday, thanks a lot for the great work you’ve done along the years.

    Regardless the choice of the majority I suggest an upgrade of profile pictures of the athletes. If you want to, I volunteer to help choosing a photo based on pictures taken by the world of O.

    I whish you lots of success for next 21 years :)

    • Thanks, Alexandra. Thanks a lot for volunteering to help with the photos! I’ll send you an e-mail and follow that one up, would actually be great!

  8. What a great achievement – happy birthday WoO & thank you for all your work over the years Jan!
    I would love to see SPAS available for all. I think there are so many potential benefits to the orienteering community to enhance training sessions and learning from sprint racing.

    • Thanks Alice! Looks like SPAS and WoOSplits are the winners here – I’m probably going with WoOSplits based on most positive feedback in that regard.

  9. Happy Birthday. Turning into the H21 Elite class…

    My personal preference goes to anyone of the analysis tool. Given the lack of GPS data in Belgium, my preference goes to 2Drerun although SPAS would be fun also. I am using the courseplanning in 2drerun quite extensively during different events in Belgium and I like it a lot.

    And yes, Strava competitions would be fun too…

    Jan, you should put out too much bright ideas to choose from. Perhaps the best present would be just another Jan. Big thanks for all the magnificent work.

  10. Happy Birthday, Jan! Keep up the good work!
    I would prefer the Garmin Connect IQ thing, because I own a Forerunner 920xt :-)
    But any analysis tool or responsive improvement would be great as well.

    • Thanks Noah. I see that Eva below also is interested in this. I’ll definitely do some more development work on it later on, but I guess it will have to wait a bit further back in the queue for a while:)

  11. Hi, thanks a lot for great work! I think it would be good to have an open version of SPAS analysis, maybe it would help beginners to choose better route choices?

  12. Thanks so much for your hard work. Love the site. Strava would be my choice.

  13. Hej Jan,

    The orienteering community is lucky to have such a smart and driven person investing so much time into its development. Even if I like and use your analysis tools a lot I am most curious about the control-less races. It could be more fun for participants and it could also make an interesting TV-concept. And perhaps also attract new people to orienteering. Thanks for all the work you do for us!

    • Thanks, Eva – you definitely do your part as well! I’ll do some more development work on the control-less races it later on, but I guess it will have to wait a bit further back in the queue for a while:)

  14. Happy Birthday,
    normally I would vote for WoOSplits.

    But from another side of view, what is better for orienteering. I vote for responsive front page for mobiles and tablets. It’s future, more and more people are using mobile devices most of the time.

    For orienteering it’s good enough if you have personal tool for analysis and you can make those exciting articles :)

    Control-less races is exciting concept. But I’m not sure if it’s not to early for it.


  15. I vote for: A new front page which is responsive and works on mobile and tablets.

    Because most/many people will feel this improvement, while other improvement projects are more niche projects that will impact smaller percentage of users. Mobile friendly interface is a must these days.

  16. Ciao Jan!
    I vote for having something to manage control-less competitions using Garmin.
    That would be absolutely futuristic and a great push for orienteering developement!

    Thanks for the passion you had so far, see you.

  17. Hi Jan, and thanks for the huge work.
    My preference goes to SPAS!

  18. Happy birthday World of O, and thanks Jan for all the incredible work you’ve put in over the years!

    I am salivating reading about all the features you are proposing. WoO splits and an improved event.worldofo.com would be my top choices, but every single one of these improvements sounds great!
    Thanks again for everything you do for our international sport.

    – Boris

  19. Thanks for all your amazing tools, Jan. My vote would go to SPAS.

    But even more than SPAS, I would like an alternative key for adding and removing controls in 2DRerun. The ctrl key is mapped to right click on all macs, and there doesn’t seem to be any method for emulating a ctrl + left click.

    • Thanks, Ståle! About the alternative key: Any direct suggestion about how to do it? Are there any keys that work on a Mac along with the mouse, or how do you usually do stuff in applications on a Mac?

      • Macs have have 4 (or 5) modifier keys:

        – Escape
        – Option (is used much in the same way as Alt on windows keyboards and kan also emulate Meta-key in terminals)
        – Command (the most frequently used modifier key, acts much in the same way as ctrl in Windows)
        – Shift (same as Windows)
        – Ctrl (ctrl + click always result in a right-click. This is intended as earlier mac mice only had one button. The ctrl key can still be used in combination with other keys for keyboard shortcuts)

        I would guess it would be best to give the command key the same functionality as the control key has in windows since this would be the expected behavior for most mac users. Alternatively the option key should be used.

        • I did some changes – please try now. Can’t guarantee when I can’t test on a Mac though :/