How far do you really walk?
August 8, 2005 1:04 PM   Subscribe

The GMap Pedometer is the coolest Google maps application I've seen. I found my 3-mile round trip daily commute is really only 2.5 miles, damnit.
posted by MrMoonPie (83 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
That is amazingly cool. Turns out I've been consistently underestimating the length of my various running routes. Once again, Google proves me to be awesomer than I ever would have imagined.
posted by saladin at 1:19 PM on August 8, 2005


wow frikkin sweet man.
posted by Edible Energy at 1:20 PM on August 8, 2005


I was just fiddling with my officemate's pedometer, wondering whether I should give it a go tonight during my regular run. But now I don't have to. Because Google kicks so much ass. So much.
posted by billysumday at 1:21 PM on August 8, 2005


This is superb.
posted by nyterrant at 1:27 PM on August 8, 2005


Very darn cool. Insanely useful. I just found out that that a walk around the lake near my house is just as far as a walk downtown. Really nice.
posted by teece at 1:32 PM on August 8, 2005


I've been using this for a little while and never thought to post it. It really is wonderfully useful. Google should incorporate waypoints into their own program.
posted by painquale at 1:34 PM on August 8, 2005


I've been hoping for this! And with a calorie counter, too. Damn I love them GoogleMaps! (and thanx mrmoonpie!)
posted by maryh at 1:37 PM on August 8, 2005


I wish Google would incorporate this natively. Then maybe it could follow roads like the driving directions do -- rather than how on the pedometer you have to follow the curves manually by placing multiple points.
posted by smackfu at 1:37 PM on August 8, 2005


I'm looking forward to testing this out against my new GPS unit. I already found out my motorcycle's speedo is off by about 8 mph at an indicated 90 mph (it's low!).

Neat, neat, neat. Is there anything Google can't do? Or just stuff that Google won't do?
posted by fenriq at 1:38 PM on August 8, 2005


Very nice...finally, proof that my bike commute is 8.26 miles each way (very close to my estimate). The only problem being...I've been not doing it recently since my wife doesn't like that I don't have a helmet and I can't find a helmet that doesn't look like a dorky UFO landed on my head.
posted by Kickstart70 at 1:39 PM on August 8, 2005


Great post. I especially like how it adds in the round mile points. I found I had overestimated one of my exercise routes (all I had was my cars odometer on a nearby parallel road) by a few tenths of a mile, and I wondered how much further I'd have to go. When I put in the next point, which was a bit over, there was the mile marker too. Good stuff, thanks!
posted by soyjoy at 1:40 PM on August 8, 2005


Imagine how fun it will be to use this to hash!
Very cool!
posted by threadbare at 1:42 PM on August 8, 2005


"Click here if you don't live in Hoboken"? What?
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on August 8, 2005


Are you all on PCs or is there something I am not understanding, because I'm not sure what to do here.
posted by maggiemaggie at 1:51 PM on August 8, 2005


"Click here if you don't live in Hoboken"? What?

The default map shows Hoboken. If you don't live in Hoboken, click to show a map of the USA.
posted by Corky at 1:53 PM on August 8, 2005


Justinian: This started as a very, very local thing for the folks that whipped it up. When they first started, the only way you could land on the thing was to be somewhere in Hoboken, where they live, presumably their personal favorite starting point. The "Click here" is from when they were like that; all it does is zoom the map out to U.S. level.
posted by dragstroke at 1:55 PM on August 8, 2005


Never mind. Someday I'll learn to be concise.
posted by dragstroke at 1:56 PM on August 8, 2005


maggiemaggie: it doesn't work in Safari...
posted by littleme at 2:00 PM on August 8, 2005


ha ha. I live in Hoboken so I thought someohow if identified my IP or something.
posted by remlapm at 2:01 PM on August 8, 2005


it doesn't work in Safari...

It works for me using Safari 2.0 (412.2), are you sure you're double-clicking to set each waypoint?
posted by odinsdream at 2:07 PM on August 8, 2005


Grrr, this would be really useful if it was available for the UK as well. I've been wanting to know how long my jogging route is for ages.
posted by TheDonF at 2:15 PM on August 8, 2005


It is available for the UK. Just zoom out a bit farther from the US map to get the world, and zoom back in on the UK.
posted by hades at 2:22 PM on August 8, 2005


It is working for the UK - I just checked my walk to work in Cambridge UK. Just zoom out and scroll across the pond...
posted by YAMWAK at 2:27 PM on August 8, 2005


Ack - too slow...
Apologies
posted by YAMWAK at 2:28 PM on August 8, 2005


Best of the web, indeed.

No, really. This is great.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 2:29 PM on August 8, 2005


33 miles to work, sheesh. I could burn 5300 calories if I walked that.

Before moving: .9 miles and 142 calories.
posted by fizz-ed at 2:36 PM on August 8, 2005


I just mapped my (biking) roundtrip to volleyball, to the bar afterward and home: 16 miles. Awesome.
posted by me3dia at 2:41 PM on August 8, 2005


I went to the local track and verified that it is, in fact, a quarter of a mile. Good to know.
posted by danb at 2:49 PM on August 8, 2005


Thanks. I downloaded Firefox and the site works. I'm never using safari again
posted by maggiemaggie at 2:50 PM on August 8, 2005


I just discovered this last week and was thinking of posting it but chickened out!
posted by youarejustalittleant at 2:51 PM on August 8, 2005


This is easy, quick and very cool. I just rough calculated my lunch route to just under 4 miles and that included some extra fancy, cycling over water parts.

Now to work out my longer days.

Really, really cool stuff.
posted by fenriq at 2:51 PM on August 8, 2005


Then maybe it could follow roads like the driving directions do -- rather than how on the pedometer you have to follow the curves manually by placing multiple points.
posted by smackfu at 1:37 PM PST on August 8


I disagree. I prefer the flexability to plot your own corse. In my jogging path, there are several times when I go "off-road" and cut between two streets or through a park. If this was limited to only being on streets, then I couldn't get my path correct.
posted by dios at 2:56 PM on August 8, 2005


I've been using this for a few weeks now to track my running progress. I started out at 1.8 miles and now I'm at 2.6! Thanks, Google Maps!
posted by Happydaz at 2:56 PM on August 8, 2005


Oh yeah, this is cooler than... other cool stuff that is cool.
posted by dios at 2:58 PM on August 8, 2005


I second that: this DOES work in Safari. Same version as above 2.0 (412.2).
posted by teece at 2:59 PM on August 8, 2005


smackfu and dios, maybe they could make it an option to plot the course for you or plot your own. That way the shortcuts could still be used and, if the route is all on main roads, then it would be way faster to plot the route.
posted by fenriq at 3:00 PM on August 8, 2005


This is good...
posted by fixedgear at 3:01 PM on August 8, 2005


1.8 miles? Wha...?! At least it's a lovely walk.
posted by moonbird at 3:08 PM on August 8, 2005


Works fine in Safari. Even in Canada.

Very neat. My twice daily dogwalk is 4 miles. Wow!
posted by dobbs at 3:11 PM on August 8, 2005


I've always wondered why google maps doesn't have something like this built in. It would be nice to be able to set your own route w/o having to know the exact address.
posted by tomplus2 at 3:21 PM on August 8, 2005


Sweet. I can't believe my normal running route is almost exactly 5k. Time to start running it faster.
posted by sciurus at 3:23 PM on August 8, 2005


Darn it. If I cycle to work, it's apparently 14.2 miles. I thought it was 16. Fucking cool, though.
posted by salmacis at 3:24 PM on August 8, 2005


Awesome!
posted by Rothko at 3:33 PM on August 8, 2005


It doesn't take into account elevation changes, does it?


. \ a
__ b

Where a is longer than b - does this hack only count b?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:34 PM on August 8, 2005


'...\ a
___. b

... that is
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:35 PM on August 8, 2005


damn
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:35 PM on August 8, 2005


That's a really good point, PurplePorpoise.

I imagine in most cities this is a small but non-zero factor. In San Francisco it probably makes this tool useless. (well, not useless, but less accurate).
posted by teece at 3:38 PM on August 8, 2005


thanks. this is too good for words. I've looked for something exactly like this a few times. I'm recovering from a torn calf/LCL so the timing couldn't be worse. Safari 1.3, no problems here...
posted by lazymonster at 3:53 PM on August 8, 2005


In San Francisco it probably makes this tool useless. (well, not useless, but less accurate).

Not if you're walking from the Mission to downtown ... Regardless of elevation (which I'm sure it ignores), it's still fricking sweet.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:00 PM on August 8, 2005


In San Francisco it probably makes this tool useless. (well, not useless, but less accurate).

According to zpub, the steepest street in San Francisco is Filbert Street, between Hyde and Leavenworth, which has a 31.5% grade. If my math is right, that means that the actual walking distance of that block is about 4.8% longer than the block as measured by the GMap Pedometer. So, worst case, it's under-reporting by less than 5%. That's not so bad, really. Better than most car odomters.
posted by hades at 4:07 PM on August 8, 2005


So, I only walk three miles a day. That's a bit dissapointing.
posted by seanyboy at 4:16 PM on August 8, 2005


This is really cool, but all you guys discussing this in terms of your commute or morning jogs are making me upset. My first thought was "oh, cool. I can see clearly which pizza place is nearer now."
posted by herting at 4:22 PM on August 8, 2005


Don't feel bad, my morning commute is about 10' ;)
posted by arete at 4:27 PM on August 8, 2005


I was being mostly tongue in cheek, mrgrimm. But your math seems right to me.
posted by teece at 4:29 PM on August 8, 2005


Damn. My walk to work and back is only .6 miles. I told my cardiologist it was at least a mile. Oh well, I resumed driving, "just for the warm summer days." BTW, there are sites that sell these same available satellite images for $$.
posted by longsleeves at 4:35 PM on August 8, 2005


a roundtrip walk to work and back is 2.27 miles. I thought it was less--it's not far at all. Is this really accurate? (it's only 6 blocks up and 7 avenues over)
posted by amberglow at 4:50 PM on August 8, 2005


My city doesn't have high resolution imagery yet, so I can't even look at my house, let alone work out how far I walk my dog. I really really really want to do both these things.
posted by The Monkey at 4:56 PM on August 8, 2005


You can't use the street map?
posted by smackfu at 5:05 PM on August 8, 2005


a roundtrip walk to work and back is 2.27 miles. I thought it was less--it's not far at all. Is this really accurate? (it's only 6 blocks up and 7 avenues over)

13 blocks (I'm guessing Manhattan by the use of "avenues") = 1.135 miles each way? That sounds OK to me, though slightly less than I might have expected.

I wish that they could account for curvy roads, however, except of multiple waypoints.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:25 PM on August 8, 2005


well, 20 blocks is a mile, or so everyone says, and a regular avenue is 2 blocks wide, altho some are shorter.
posted by amberglow at 5:47 PM on August 8, 2005


Okay, so I now know how far I walk to and from work each day. I've also been measuring my morning swims in Walden Pond, but I have no idea how many more calories I burn swimming 1.2 miles than I do walking that same distance to Davis Square...
posted by kahboom at 5:50 PM on August 8, 2005


Very fun and functional. Thanks!
posted by snsranch at 5:57 PM on August 8, 2005


That sounds right, amberglow: a north-south block is 1/20 of a mile, and an east-west block is approx. 1/5 mile.
posted by Vidiot at 6:57 PM on August 8, 2005


You can't use the street map?

Nope, another thing Google doesn't have for my city, and I expect the high resolution imagery will come long before they add street maps.

I just use Wises instead, but they don't have many of the cool toys Google Maps do. And certainly nothing fun like clicking the path you walk your dog / to work / to the pizza parlour and getting a nice total.
posted by The Monkey at 7:37 PM on August 8, 2005


Oh, New Zealand, that would make it difficult.
posted by smackfu at 8:03 PM on August 8, 2005


The awesomeness shines off us like a blinding light!
posted by The Monkey at 8:27 PM on August 8, 2005


Wait. The lines are straight. Is it taking into account curves in roads? Maybe this is not that important for running, but for longer distances, say for a bike......?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:31 PM on August 8, 2005


awesome awesome awesome
and very cool too
posted by mikeweeney at 8:51 PM on August 8, 2005


Ok, I decided to test over small distances. I used McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, CA, since the baseball diamond was clearly visible.

I put in a path walking the bases in honor of home town home runs. It gave me a total distance of 357.5 feet. Only 2.5 feet off from the actual distance of 360 feet. And most of that error is probably attributable to my slight misplacement (by a pixel or two) of the bases.

Here's the route
posted by obfusciatrist at 9:12 PM on August 8, 2005


I can't find a helmet that doesn't look like a dorky UFO landed on my head.

Try a BMX helmet or a multi-sport helmet by Pro-Tec. Though the BMX helmets are a little smaller.

I found out my bike commute is 3 miles shorter than driving by car. Confirmed by my cycling computer. This is great for running too.
posted by drezdn at 10:08 PM on August 8, 2005


It is available for the UK. Just zoom out a bit farther from the US map to get the world, and zoom back in on the UK.

Oh yeah, cool. 7.55 miles running twice a week. Not bad, although I thought it was about 9. Dang.
posted by TheDonF at 10:38 PM on August 8, 2005


I'm surprised that anyone runs (or cycles) a distance without already knowing its length.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:54 PM on August 8, 2005


I'd guessed at my normal lunch ride and was actually just about spot on. Almost exactly four miles round trip but it doesn't take into account how much slalom riding I do. Not bad for a single speed cruiser.
posted by fenriq at 11:07 PM on August 8, 2005


ParisParamus: I'm surprised that anyone runs (or cycles) a distance without already knowing its length.

???

Say I have to go to the supermarket... I need to know I can make it, I might need to know how long it will take me, maybe even how much load I can carry back. These things are only loosely correlated with the measured distance.

Say I am going for some exercise... Hmm, I want to go for a while, the lake is nice, oh ya that big hill coming out of Riverdale Park is a killer! Okay, sounds good to me. Again, the measured distance has very little to do with anything.

It sure is cool to know though!
posted by Chuckles at 11:41 PM on August 8, 2005


no more working out run distances with a map and a piece of string!
posted by pots at 12:11 AM on August 9, 2005


Wow, cool. I just found out that my bike ride up to Shezi Island and back to Xindian was 40 miles. Now I know what I can do comfortably in the time I have to bicycle.
posted by Poagao at 1:05 AM on August 9, 2005


This is great, but has been available on Map 24 for ages...
posted by brettski at 1:56 AM on August 9, 2005


Chuckles: I don't run, but I would think that if your "routine" is on a road, you'd distance it with a car. And if you do cycling, I just imagined you would have a cycle computer. And if you run off-road, I'd imagine someone would have measured the distance, and made it public.

As for cycling, this is fantastic for planning a new trip. I did a semi-hell ride from Brooklyn to Manhasset this past weekend. The distance checks out pretty well: about 21 miles.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:43 AM on August 9, 2005


I have to admit, I do have a trip computer now... :) They are getting pretty inexpensive. It sucks though - the wheel censor is wireless and it often picks up stray signals and reads 99.9km/h.

The GM pedometer does seem like a good tool for trip planning, although I really want elevation data. It is impossible to get any idea of how hilly your trip was, for example. My knee jerk judgement is that it looks pretty flat, but then it is never as flat as you want it to be.

In general, I just don't think the details are that important... Like I said, it is cool to know, but the trip is definitely more important than the data!
posted by Chuckles at 7:57 AM on August 9, 2005


Then maybe it could follow roads like the driving directions do

I disagree. I prefer the flexability to plot your own corse.

Both work pretty well. I was using this for a while to describe motorcycle routes to other riders, but it doesn't scale beyond about a 25-30 km ride through twisties. If it's all straight roads in a city, you're all set, but this route took a good half-hour to put in, and it's just over 20 km. The next day I wanted to show someone a 150km route on roads like these, and it's simply not practical. Of course since motorcyclists tend to take back roads rather than major highways, you can't just use driving directions to get a route map.
posted by mendel at 8:33 AM on August 9, 2005


The first thought I had when I used gmaps, was "what, no measuring tool?" I use GIS all the time, which has this feature so I was spoiled by it. Anyway, this is a sweet device for my runner friends and me to measure the routes. Thanks.
Phil
posted by philmas at 10:38 AM on August 9, 2005


'Round the bases at Camden Yards. Go O's
posted by grateful at 11:59 AM on August 9, 2005


Wow...
posted by Grangousier at 12:32 PM on August 9, 2005


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