Friday, February 04, 2011

Auto Mapping!

I love technology.

I've been exploring the different features and available apps for my smart phone and came across an app called My Tracks. This application basically lets you 'record' any route that you travel with your phone, weather it be by bike, car, train, or even walking. It's quite simple really, as it just takes a snap shot of your GPS position at given intervals, plotting the locations on Google maps. When you're all said and done, it creates a map, or 'track' of the route you took which you can upload directly into your My Maps on your Google account. Unfortunately the direct upload didn't work, probably because the Maps Data API was depreciated as of the 31st (2 days ago) in lieu of the newer APIv3 using Fusion Tables. But I was able to export the information and manually import it into a map.

So here's my bike route home.

I traveled north to go home. It took me less than 15 min to travel the 2.5 miles home, so not bad (I guess?). Google maps directions seems to suggest it would take 11 min by car, so apparently traveling by bike isn't a bad idea. I especially love that the GPS readings were accurate enough that you can see exactly where I crossed the street. It did stray a bit at times (no I didn't bike through the elementary school grounds), but at one point it has me cleanly following the sidewalk. I'll have to play with the settings to see if I can get it a bit more accurate.

And for those who want a peak under the hood, here's all the data points it grabbed from my 13 min trip home. In fact, it uses all those data points, which track not only my position, but also my altitude and bearing, to put together plenty of statistics, like these:

Total Distance 2.36 mi    Max Speed 14.99 mi/hr
Total Time 13:19    Average Speed 10.64 mi/hr
Moving Time 12:10    Average Moving Speed 11.65 mi/hr
Elevation --    Elevation Gain 54 ft
Min Elevation 177 ft    Max Elevation 200 ft
Min Grade -1.7%    Max Grade 2.3%

The application also makes a graph of your elevation and speed over distance or time, but I wasn't quite able to export that from my phone. So I just made a table with that handy excel data myself. :D

You can see the dips in speed where I stopped at a traffic light. Cool stuff.

Now, I bet I can make this run in 10 if I tried...


Blogger Brian said...

Super cool. I like the speed plot. This reminds me - before we got an apartment, we stayed in a hotel near hon-atsugi station. On the weekend we took a walk to Ebina (about as far as your bike ride) for something to do, and to explore. Everyone at work thought we were crazy.

2/04/2011 4:50 AM  

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