Endomondo : App Week
First, I have to admit, I'm not much of a mobile app user -- so this app was recommended by a friend. But I'm glad I tried it because it is right up my alley. Called Endomondo (Endo, short for Endorphins; and Mondo, meaning enormous or huge) it allows you to easily track your route-based sports activities such as walking, running, biking, hiking, kayaking, etc. Great to work off those website launch celebration donuts!
To use it, you simply launch the app, choose your type of activity, and hit start -- then start moving. The app will record the duration and track your location by GPS until you click stop. Based on your speed, duration, and activity type, it can then estimate your calories/energy used.
I'm sure there are a handful of apps for both Android and iPhone that do exactly these things, but I doubt they are as fully featured on the web side of things. To take full advantage of the app, you log in to www.endomondo.com where you can view satellite maps of your routes as well as statistics on each session. You can also see all your friends' activities and statistics.
I did a quick test with a brisk walk around the RustyBrick campus and here are the results:
I didn't actually start in that empty field -- It took a few seconds to get a reading on where I was but after that it was pretty accurate to within a few feet.
If you're feeling competitive you can try the challenge mode. For example, you can create a challenge for "First to reach X miles", set 30 miles, set an end date, and include some friends who want to participate. The first person to rack up 30 miles of running would be made the winner and proceed to receive a free lunch/beer/iPod from the other participants. To make sure they didn't cheat simply check their routes and statistics on the website.
This would work great for a gym, office, or club who want to enhance health -- they could have a monthly prize for most miles run, most calories burned, and so on.
For bragging rights or to share your favorite scenic route, post a workout to your Facebook and/or Twitter account to make it publicly viewable.
Figure 3: Facebook post (map thumb is messed up but the link works)
Endomondo is available for most mobile devices that have GPS (Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, Palm, and more). http://www.endomondo.com