Friday, December 19, 2008

The Best Distance Mapping Tool On The Web

Gmaps Pedometer
Okay, there is a lot of junk out there on the web. Especially when it comes to walking, running, biking, etc. But I have actually found something good. It is called Gmaps Pedometer. What makes it great? First it uses google maps. Second it is simple to use! I mean simple! If you want to know how far you walk, run or bike, use this tool.

How It Works
When you first go to the site, you type in the address of the starting point. where it says "jump to:". you will notice a "Zoom 12" next to it. change it to 17 by pressing the drop down button and selecting "Zoom:17". In my opinion it gives you the best view. Next, hit the "Start Recording" button. Now simply click on points along your route. It will show you mile marks, and calculate how far you would actually go. It is great and fairly accurate.

Points of Confusion
It took me awhile to figure out how to do it, and I don't see any help menu. You must double click to record a point. There are tow options in the center left. One Says "turn off mile marker" and the other says "Turn off calorie counter." If the line says Turn it "off" then it is on. If you click the link, it turns it off and changes to "Turn on mile marker" or "Turn on Calorie Counter". I think it is backwards, but it might make sense to everyone else. Also, where is says "Draw Map" I selected the "automatically (for cyclists)" and would do so even if I were going to walk or run the course. If you don't, you have to add more point or it will having running through houses. If you do use it, it takes fewer point and automatically follows the road. Use manual if you are going off road.

Things I Don't Like - Elevation Feature
If you select "small" or "large" elevation, the map becomes shorter and a graph appears. Unless I were serious about elevation It doesn't add much. If you want this feature, I would plot the map first and print it, then look at the elevation and print it second.

Things I Don't Like - Calorie Counter
When you turn on the calorie counter it will ask you your weight and then calories burned is calculated and appears bellow that. I have no idea where they get that number from or how the number is calculated. Especially since age, sex, and what exercise your doing, and how long it takes you, changes the amount of calories burned. In my case, I mapped out a course of 1.07 miles and the Gmap Pedometer calculated 170 calories burned. I looked up some formulas, and calculated the calories for running the distance in 15 minutes (what I am actually doing it in right now), and it came out with 147 calories. I also calculated the calories for walking and it came out with 123 calories. So It shoots a little high on the calorie burn, but it looks like a pretty good guide.

Over All
this is a really good walking, running, biking map distance calculate. Simply plot your points and print your map. Google Maps is used by the USA Track and Field to assist officials in measuring road races so I am confident in the distance.

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