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Encyclopedia WinterCampica - Computerized Cartography: AWOL

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Encyclopedia WinterCampica - Computerized Cartography: AWOL

At Winter Camp II, the 12 participants joined in a compass course measured in tads, the functional unit of distance in Winter Camps system of universal measurement, which is based on the classical physical properties of the electron. (1 tad is approximately 9.5 feet, or approximately e meters.) Jeff Rand and Doug Wilson laid out three courses that traced their paths throughout nearly every square tad of D-A as they traced 22,400-tad lengths around camp.

38 years later, Alan Wilson followed in the family tradition by building four black boxes that captured GPS signals to assist Winter Camp's orienteers in finding their way to their goal. Since navigation in two dimensions can be done using two distances (rectangular Cartesian coordinates), one distance and one angle (polar coordinates), or two angles (biangular coordinates), it is perhaps puzzling that orienteering has for years restricted itself to polar navigation. Alans innovation was a reverse geocaching device dubbed the " Alan Wilson Obscure Locator", or AWOL. It allows Winter Campers to find their way to their targets using only distances, provided by a mysterious black box. These devices sent participants hunting for pre-determined locations by showing only the distance between the user and the sought-after destination. Credits could be used to get GPS readings, which then sent the intrepid orienteers off at a run to see if the distance to their target was increasing or decreasing in that direction.

After a number of false starts navigating through the woods of Beaver Creek, the Moronie family went old-school, developing the snow compass as a tool to process multiple box readings, and made their way directly to within 10 tads of their goal, at which place the box unlocked and revealed its multiple treasures.
Entry Created: 2020   Last Update: 01/13/2020

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