Cycling

“Can anyone recommend good GPS tracking software?”

I put the question above on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum (nope, me neither if you are asking the obvious question!). I quote myself;

I’m planning to cycle from the UK to Italy this summer along the route of the Eurovelo 5. However, the route is very aspirational and is not yet mapped. After having completed my journey, I’d like to see where I have been, perhaps even link my “track” to my blog / website while I’m actually travelling. Can anyone recommenced good tracking software that works with a compatible GPS device? Ideally something that I can switch on when I leave the UK and forget about until I reach Brindisi….

This is a subject I have mentioned on here before and various systems, software, websites have been suggested but they all seem to rely on a mobile phone. However, I have received a couple of interesting posts in response to the question on the Thorn Tree. First up is “Stromaroma”. His / her first line is straight from a Carry On film;

I got a Spot Messenger for my upcoming kayak trip up the Inside Passage. I got it mostly for search and rescue if I get into trouble, I just press a button and they come get me. It also has an OK feature where you press a different button and it puts your location on a google map for anyone to see. I plan to do this every night. There is also a “track” feature which will plot your position every 10 minutes for 24 hours. They seem good, although their website is a little hard to follow and seems kind of commercialized, when all you want is to just get the information you need rather than being given a constant sales pitch. You buy the GPS unit where you live, then sign on for a service plan. The price seems reasonable for what you are getting.

Secondly there is a response from the modestly named “Aphroditeabbie” (who lists one of her interests as “having fun”; no wonder her family wanted to keep a track on her)

I have just got back from a gap year trip and I carried a GPS tracker so my family could watch my travel at home on a mapping site. But mainly because it had an SOS alert button in case I got lost or into trouble. A member of my family got it for me from gapyeartrackers.com . It recorded my journey.

I’ll investigate both and report back. I could always get an ASBO, be tagged and break the curfew on the 18th July; the probation service might not bother to follow me….

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Categories: Cycling

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4 replies »

  1. I know you are looking outside Mobile GPS tracking but…..

    I remember coming finding this website when planning LEJOG last year. He was mid journey and was tracking his ride via a free add on to his phone. I remember following it a few times and it seemed very accurate. Not sure what one it was and can’t see from a brief look at the site what it was as he has removed the details but have a look at the link and contact him if you are interested.

    http://www.followsimon.com/route.htm
    simon@ridgekot.co.uk

    • Thanks for this Allan. It does, as you mention, work via a mobile phone. I tried a couple of pieces of software – Sanoodi and MapMy Ride – that work via a mobile phone. I didn’t find them that reliable and they didn’t really enable a continuous track to be given. I’ve looked into the two devices mentioned by Iain in the first comment and they look more promising as they avoid using a phone. The first one – the Spot Tracker – looks particularly promising….

What do you think?