Quick Start

To use TerraTouching, you need a Waypoint managing Software such as Garmin's Mapsource or Basecamp. The Scoring is done with the TerraTouching software which you can get from our download section.

The Playing Field

Step 1: Design the Playing Field

A Terra Touching playing field consists of multiple stations. Define a station by defining waypoints with coordinates with a proximity circle. Here we use Garmin's Basecamp to create the Playing field. Select meaningful names and symbols for the waypoints, preferably all waypoints use the same prefix (first letters) so that when sorted alphabetically in a device's waypoint list, they all show up next to each other.

When setting the proximity circles (the value specified defines the radius), please keep in mind that Outdoor-GPS devices may have inaccuracies. We recommend to use values of 20 Meters or Yards or larger resulting in Stations with a circular shape and a diameter of at least 40 Meters or Yards. We recommend using larger circles/stations for rest or parking areas so that players do not 'accidently' leave the station.

When defining the circles/stations you must make sure, that these do not overlap or lie within each other. Each circle must stand alone, not touch or be within others.

To keep the game interesting for players, the majority of stations should be of interest to the players. Pick only publicly accesible points, preferably sight-seeing spots, monuments or other points of interest.

Playfield Design with Garmin's BaseCamp

Step 2: Setting Attributes

The comment field is used to define TerraTouching attributes for each station. The syntax to use in the comment field is:

{"attrib1":"value1","attrib2":"value2", ... ,"attribN":"valueN"}

The minimum number of attributes to use are: type, view and description.

Set "type" to either "Station" or "RestArea". Stations are scored, rest areas are not. The total time spent in stations and rest areas can be calculated by the scoring script.

Set "view" to either "Public" or "Hidden". Public stations will be visible to the players. Hidden stations will not be published and the players have to find them by solving puzzles that the designer of the playing field provides.

The "description" is text that will be made availabe to the players. These may contain information about what is located at the station or questions that are part of the puzzle to find the hidden station(s).

Example: {"type":"RestArea","view":"Public","description":"Have a break of up to 30 min"}

Step 3: Set Scores

For each station the attributes "difficulty" and "terrain" may be set to a value. Per default these are both set to 1. These values can be used by the scoring script to calculate a score for players reaching this station.

Example: {"type":"Station","view":"Hidden","difficulty":2.5,"terrain":2,"description":"reached when solving puzzle X"}

Step 4: Save Playing Field

When done, save the playing field as a Garmin MapSource gdb file, this format is supported by multiple waypoint management software packages. If your software does not support this format, try using GPSBabel to convert it.

The Default Scoring Scripts

The default scoring scripts provided score tours as follows:

The scoring scripts are written in Phython and are provided as source code. Playfield designers with programming skills are free to generate their own scoring methods.

Using the TerraTouching Software

Setting up TerraTouching

Start the TerraTouching software and start a new Event (File/New Event). Click on Event Settings. Load the playing field you created by clicking on the Load New Playing Field Button. Verify that the number of points matches with the number of stations you created. This includes the hidden stations.

Next, select a scoring script to use. The four default scoring scripts provided all calculate the same score, they just vary in the text messages created for the log (number of messages, language).

You can generate a player waypoint file, which cleans up the station information from the playing field. Hidden stations are removed and the TerraTouching specific comments are replaced with the description attribute.

Event Settings of TerraTouching

Scoring a Tour

Players must record a GPS-track when "playing the field". When completed, their track recording is submitted to the TerraTouching scoring engine calculating the track's score.

First step is to retrieve the tracks from the GPS units of all players and save them in a local directory. A various number of file formats is supported.

To score a tour, click on the "Add Tour" icon. Enter the Name of the player or team and optionally a contact information such as phone number or EMail, or in a Team the name of the contact person for that team.

Next select the tour log file with the GPS track. Some device produce multiple files and split the track, TerraTouching supports loading up to three files. Note that these must all represent one track, do not load tracks from multiple devices.

Then select the log file format of the track log.

Last step is to press the "Add and Score Tour" button.

Repeat these steps for all players / teams.

Adding a tour

The Results

Click on the Results icon to see the table with the results.

You can sort the table by column, just click on the desired column title to sort by the values in that column. This way it can easily be determeined which players have reached the

The information displayed in the custom column depends on the scoring script selected. The default value here is the "Run Time", so the total tour time without time spent in the rest areas.

The Results

Scoring Log Details

The scoring scripts create a log file of all events (entering or leaving statins) and how many points were assigned due to this event. The view tour log button on the reults page (tool button left to print button) displays this log. The standard scoring script reports only minimal information, the detailed scoring logs show more information about individual points assigned to the score.

Scoring Tour Log Example