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Etikett: Mapping

Android runner app: iMapMyRun

I was prompted on Twitter to test out the Android mobile app ”iMapMyRun” and so I did today. My first impression was that the software is not there yet, it has not reached a mature enough state to seriously compete with BuddyRunner or Endomondo or CardioTrainer or to be used even for beginners.

When registering I got buttons to select imperial/european units but none of the buttons seemed to work when I pressed them and in the end I had to chose to move on. When I did so I could not find another way to go back and change the settings, nor could I update my personal data such as weight and so on.

Today I took it for a test run and I used other tracking software at the same time. After about 2/3 of the way the iMapMyRun software stopped recording it seems and instead it just plotted the last position when I turned it off at my finish. Therefore it just went in a straight line for the last 1/3 of the run. Definitely something fishy was going on there. Neither did it record the GPS elevation data for some reason, the accompanying web site says ”There was an error retrieving the elevation”, I have no idea why. Of my 5 km run this app recorded only 3.

Both other recording apps (Google Tracks and Endomondo) worked fine through all this. On top of all that it feels unintuitive and quirky and a little backwards but that may be just me expecting things from being used to the other apps in this field.

When the workout finished I got a ridiculous question about peanyut butter, an ad that felt intrusive and out of place. Peanut butter is hardly the stuff for athletes so it felt rather misplaced. The whole app and the accompanying web site is riddled with ads. If you are viewing your runs, you have to upgrade to the payed version or wait 15 seconds before you can see your run. Again it is not on the level with the competing softwares in this respect.

My recommendation is to wait and see if this app matures. In the mean time check out BuddyRunner or Endomondo, both very mature and well working GPS tracking apps for runners.

It gets one running shoe out of five for now.

Geotag your photographs

This is going to be a rather lengthy post again but bear with me. It will also be a bit technical so I will have to explain some of the basic technical points before we start on the really nifty things here. But in the end you will learn how to use your GPS receiver to track your movments when shooting outdoor, you will learn how to download this information and use it to geocode your pictures so that when they are uploaded on sites such as Flickr your photographs will automatically appear on the map in the correct location.

The resons for geotagging

It is a way of organising your photographs that is pretty new actually. Never before has it been so easy to know where a certain photograph was taken and it is a great way of finding other people’s photographs from a certain location.

Hacking in the tent

My good friend Torbjörn hacking in the tent

It also means that if you use your GPSr when you are on holiday you know exactly on which spot you were when you took that picture and it is a great way of sharing information about good photographic spots, not to mention that it sort of becomes a photographic diary, tracking your movements around with your camera and GPSr.

There many be also personal reasons for geotagging, for me it started because I am a map freak. I love maps in all sorts of ways and I spend half a fortune on them. These days I mostly use electronic maps because they are more versatile but when I go hiking I always have a paper map as a backup – you never know when electronic will fail you.

There are two kinds of photographers, those who has experienced equipment failure and those who will.

This is very true.
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