Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Turn your Android phone into a sports logger

A few years ago, dedicated hand-held GPS devices like the Garmin Foretrex, ForeRunner, Edge were used in tracking your outdoor sports activity. These devices use proprietary PC software to enable you to view and upload your tracks to your computer. With the advent of smartphones, one can utilize the embedded GPS features of the device and turn it to your personal sports tracker very similar to Garmin devices.
I will limit my discussion to smartphones running on the Android operating system.
For the outdoor sportsperson, lugging a Garmin GPS, a cell phone, camera, and an MP3/FM radio is inconvenient. The Android phone packs all of these devices into one small package. Just make sure you buy a waterproof/sweatproof sleeve whenever you use your phone outdoors.

An important use of the tracker is its ability to record your distance traveled, elevation, direction and speed in real time. To be able to use your Android as a sports tracker, download and install the MyTracks App from the android market in your smartphone.

Use My Tracks while you run, bike, hike, or do anything else outdoors, and it will use the GPS sensor in your phone to record the path you took. It will also gather useful statistics such as time, speed, distance, and elevation. You can review all of this data live, or you can save it for use later. While you're out, you can mark relevant waypoints, and can ask to hear automatic voice announcements about your progress.
Here are examples of the tracks I recorded using MyTracks and upload to the site MapMyTracks

The phone used in this case is a Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 running on Android 2.1 operating system.

MyTracks is a very useful application that can record important data which can be saved in various formats such as GPX, KML. CSV etc.

And the best of all, MyTracks is FREE!

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