The end of My Tracks


The end of My Tracks….in April 2016.

I have always been a skeptic of updates, so before updating My Tracks with the January 21 release, I scrolled over to the comments.  Comments are always useful,  they often save you from moving to the point of no return on an app.  So I started reading these comments and people had very colourful comments like Derek Cho saying “Please don’t kill My Tracks!”  So the curious me obviously Googled and I found Heena’s blog expressing the sad news.

So, as much as I would like to generate more vids on My Tracks, its a dead end (totally sucks,My Tracks and I were going to jog in the spring when igloo living subsided to bring warm weather….because you know Canada weather — there’s a half joke there…sorry).

So before this app goes extinct,I would recommend giving it a try…just like how you gave Neopets, a vitual pet a try. 😉  In the mean time, I’ll post my one and only other video on My Tracks soon enough,  while I poke through the *kmz output.

It’s not all sad, don’t forget, you can use other apps to do the same functionality.   Read my post describing this, Click Here.  Yohann posts on his blog (I’ve taken the liberty to paraphrase en anglais, Click here for his full post en francais):

Google has also proposed a list of other applications (including compatible third-party applications) that you can try, such as Google Fit, Strava, Endomondo, Map My Run, Map My Hike, GPS Logger for Android, GPX Viewer.

Going back to the topic on Comments, I’d like to thank all YouTube viewers for your brave comments and questions on my video…its scary to ask for help, but your comments also help other Viewers who embark on similar challenges.   As always, we try to attend to your Comments as humanly as we can and we try to give meaningful advice with what information you do share.   Feel free to share your My Tracks experiences with video or screenshots,  we’d love to hear your experiences.

Click Here for a link to our My Tracks Tutorial

We’ll catch you in the next video!


Capturing Your Tracks on Android

Learn how to #Capture Your #Tracks, using #MyTracks and #GoogleEarth.  To start the new year, we are playing with some freely available apps and making our own data.  As an extra bonus, you don’t need to be in front of a computer, since this is a tutorial using your Device and an App that you need to pre-load.  My Android-based tutorial does not require internet or data.

If you find my tutorials useful, Thumbs Up my video.  It’s always nice know someone found the video useful and it helps other users decide if the video is any good.


Live read of my average speed and elevation while capturing data.


Elevation and Speed read out

Today, I’m sharing you my fun adventures in demonstrating how to record your location using your own device.  My tutorial was Tracked right in Verner, which is Northern Ontario.  You know, where all the people live in Igloos most of the year (joking….seriously I’m joking…but it gets really cold there).  To do this tutorial, you need:

  1. GPS enabled device (tablet, cell phone)- note Data is not a requirement
  2. A mode of transportation (foot, bike (hopefully in tandem), vehicle).
  3. And pre-installed application.

So there are three ways you can do this Capture of your tracks.  One way is to use a GPS unit like a Garmin, where you can export you data.  Please review the instruction manual for you device.

The second way is to use an Apple iPhone, and a trusted software you can use is MotionX-GPS.  This is a software I found trusted for iPhone.

The third way, and the way I will be demonstrating is using My Tracks on Android Samsung Tab 4 (Tablet).  Just a disclaimer, I chose to use My Tracks because its a Google software.  To some extent, I have trust in a Google software.  There are many others, just use with caution.  Considering the amount of data being collected, you want to be careful.  Especially downloading an application to your phone or tablet, a device you may use for personal photos, emails, phone calls…you want to make sure you aren’t opening yourself to cyber attacks or something.  So here is Part 1 of my Tutorial:

Once downloaded, I needed to enable “Location” or the GPS capabilities on my android device.  What’s cool is that you get GPS communication without subscription and no Data required, its really cool!  Now on cell phone, it may be different, your GPS may be also influenced by cell towers, where you location is constantly triangulated between cell towers for accuracy.  Fun fact, Samsung Tab has GLONASS capabilities, but that feature ain’t supported in USA and Canada…hehe.  Here’s a link to the specs if you’re curious.

Once its set to go, you can press Record, that will be located on the left side of the application, its a big Red Button.

While you’re recording, I thought it was cool how you can record even markers by manual entry or photographs.  For example you can take a photo at the start, middle or end.  What’s nice is that it pulls your full featured camera (not the very basic camera on your screen before you unlock your device).  This is great, because if you’re driving, you may want to change it to action mode since you driving (otherwise you get a complete blurrrrr-not cool).

I do have a Disclaimer for any users using this while driving, make sure you aren’t operating a vehicle.  I was very fortunate, I had someone driving the vehicle while I was capturing.  You should never be operating a vehicle while playing with a device, devices can be a distraction.  More so, depending where you are, fines can very from place to place.  In Canada we have some hefty fines.

Once you do a good length and you are happy with what you recorded, you can stop the recording and you can export it to your Google Drive.  Now, if you want to view in Google Earth, Google Earth really likes using Google Drive, so you may need to use Data or access Internet.  The beauty of My Tracks is that you can capture without Data and upload later.  Plus, if you want to view on Google Earth, you’re going to need Internet… As a warning, if you are uploading to Google Drive, double check your security sections just to be safe.

Now, when I had access to Internet, that’s when I started viewing my data.  Here is Part 2 of my tutorial:

So I uploaded to Google Drive and launched Google Earth right on my Android device.

So you can adjust settings on the accuracy in your device, and thinking about it, this is how we get that lovely elevation read out and play-by-play statistics.  But when I opened it in Google Earth, I was disappointed, the default export appeared to only show the start and end of my data collection, not the interval collections in between.  So a bit disappointed.  What I might do is export the kml (or kmz) and see how the data looks like some time.

As a special treat, I had a kml of my own Novatel GPS unit that runs at 20hz frequency, just so you can see how high resolution data looks like.  That’s the type of output I was hoping for, so I’ll have to make some time and poke through my data and see what is happening with My Tracks.

So if you found this tutorial, install an App, Track your travel and share with your friend.  I challenge you to snap shot a nice scenic route for a jog with your favourite stopping points (just make sure you only share with trusted friends…).

All-in-all, I hope you found this tutorial fun.  I’m looking forward on building on this captured data for another tutorial, so stay tuned and happy GIS-ing!

#2015 #GIS #Nerd #Wishlist

If you’re pondering what to get a #GIS #nerd for #Christmas, hopefully this might give you some ideas.

I was pondering this morning on some great Christmas gift, given that it’s Christmas Eve.  Though if you’re planning to get it under the Christmas Tree, it might be tough, unless you’re in North America where there are actually some premium services that almost guarantee it’ll be on time for Christmas Day.  At the bottom of this post, I have one FREE gift suggestion (I promise is GIS-related).

For the friend that constantly ask GIS questions, help them turn into an expert.

  1. GIS For Dummies (also check on the internet there may be a free excerpt floating around)
  2. Getting to Know ArcGIS
  3. GIS Tutorial 1: Basic Workbook
  4. GIS Tutorial 2: Spatial Analysis Workbook
  5. GIS Tutorial 3: Advanced Workbook

All of the books I’ve personally read, and the tutorial is great.  The books also come with a trial version of the software (if I recall correctly) so you can follow along (don’t quote me on this…..).

For the GIS expert, looking to learn programming, there are a number of free tutorials you can access on YouTube (as you can see we supply GIS themed tutorials on YouTube for free). So I would reckon their next step is programming.  The following book is something I was recommended to try (though, I haven’t had the time to read it).  It was recommended just because it didn’t cost like $100, its like less than $20.  So affordable.

Learning Geospatial Analysis with Python

Lastly, if you’re like me and you like the cheap & FREE gifts, link them to a good YouTube find or the TeachuGIS Channel.  Using the built in Search Function, you can search for any video that we have uploaded.  Just a tip, if there is something we can make a video on, post it in Discussion (often folks post it in the Comments of Video, but, its really hard to follow because we get SO MANY COMMENTS!).  Since we have started the YouTube Channel, we have received close to 500 comments (and I would say a majority has been answered by our Team).

Let your friend know this is one channel that definitely interacts with viewers.  And if you Subscribe, you get the latest notification on new video tutorials!  Also, don’t forget to Thumbs Up a video if you found it useful, it helps other YouTuber gauge what they might be watching.


Starting 2016, we are working to expand our videos on Google Maps.  To cater to the growing tablet, device and phone users, we are releasing a set of videos that you might find #fun and #free to do on your device!  As always, we enjoy sharing tutorial videos using #opensource #freely available data so you can download the data and follow along.  We are making an effort to use free software so you can follow along and try it yourself!

As always, Happy GIS-ing and we’ll catch you in the next video!  Cheers! Widgets

How to determine the #GIS #raster #resolution and #calculate #area

Here is a video on how to determine the raster resolution and calculate area. This video was made in response to Youtube +cojut who posed an interesting comment that you cannot use “calculate geometry” in raster, as one would in polygons. That is a true statement, in fact, to do so can be done by deriving the raster cell resolution and counting the number of “data”-containing cells. Enjoy.

Happy GIS-ing