Introducing WOC2025 Map Maker – Timo Joensuu

Who are you?

Timo Joensuu. I live in Jyväskylä, the father of a family of two children.

When did you start orienteering?

I started orienteering at the age of 9 in Nivala. My friend asked me to join the Oravapolku orienteering school and “it crashed” right away. Little by little, our whole skiing family started orienteering.

Your best memory of orienteering?

There are many of these. The best thing I remember was my first regional championship when I was 10 years old, when I won the race while running in sneakers. Great memories are also the years with Pohjantähti orienteering club, when unforgettable trips were made, e.g. with sport legends Timo Karppinen and Keijo Parkkinen. However, the rebirth of Vaajakosken Terä around our student commune (Pasi Ikonen, Jonne Lakanen and myself) is perhaps the best memory. It was followed by many unforgettable years together with the brothers.

The most special event in your mapping or orienteering career?

From my mapping career, I remember the mapping trip to southern Italy, where Markku Joensuu and I had practically no base material for making a map. Fortunately, we had the first GPS recorders with us on the trip, which allowed us to map the body on the beach dune terrain. At the same time, while running, I put GPS tracks every 100 meters on the forest lines and paths, hanging toilet paper on the trees, which were then mirrored with directions and distance from the edge of the forest. It turned out to be a good map in the end, taking into account the starting points 🙂

One of the best events of my orienteering career was the month-long European bus tour organized by Jukka Kokkoniemi in 2003. Finally, we went to watch the World Championships in Switzerland and ran public races. It was about 40 degrees in Switzerland at the time, and living in tents and competing in the heat was an activity similar to sauna. Really an unforgettable trip.

The best map in Finland?

This is a tough question, as Finland has on average good maps internationally. Maybe the enormous size sprint map of Helsinki, which Antti Vainio made without counting working hours. An incredible map, knowing how much time is spent on map-making.

Your role in the WOC2025 Kuopio mapping project?

To produce the best possible map for the WOC competitions.

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