Saturday, June 9, 2012

“My Tracks” A Useful SmartPhone App for ElderHikers

Health has restricted me to quarters for the past few weeks. Nothing serious, as it turns out. So, more travel coming soon! Hopefully.

In the meantime, those of you who carry smartphones, be they Androids, iPhones, or whatever, might have a look at “My Tracks.” Click here for more detailed information.

It’s free to download and, best of all, simple to use. When you begin a hike or walk, just remember to open the app on your WhatEver phone, select “Record Track” and you’re on your way. When you arrive at your destination, open the app again and select “Stop Record.”


That’s it. Your route will be outlined on whatever map you use on your phone with A and B flags marking the beginning and end. You can zoom in for a close-up of each section of the route, or zoom out to place your route in a larger context. You also can view your route against a satellite or a Google Earth background.

I used My Tracks for a while before realizing it also provides detailed statistics. Distance, speed (average overall; average moving) and even changes in elevation. I’m sure there are other features. But I have yet to read the manual.

Oh, another useful feature is the ability to export each “track,” and to send others a link to the map and statistics. Great for bragging about long, speedy walks over hill and dale. Your “braggee” doesn’t need the My Tracks app to see your accomplishment either. It comes up in their regular web browser.

Click here for an example of an exported “track.”

I’ve downloaded dozens of apps since getting my Droid X smartphone a while back. Most have been free. Some cost a few dollars. Yet I use regularly only a dozen or so. “My Tracks” is one app I use daily. It’s a winner. Price is right too. Give it a try, and let me know about your experience.

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