Monday, 8 June 2009

Explore, Collect, Run - with Open Street Map


Trailrunner is managing software for exercising. It supports a broad variety of exercising forms, ranging from manual records, pulse meters, shoe pods to GPS trackers. The software has been around for a few years and has evolved quite a bit. Especially now with the new 2.0 release that is available now as a beta release. The new feature that caught the attention is the integration of Open Street Map.
With Trailrunner you would always get a base map. Even in the early days you could choose from different free mapping services. For a free online available software this was something special. Although the maps and aerials have been crude and often in a low resolution it was something that differed Trailrunner from others.
Things have changed dramatically across the internet regarding free mapping services and very detailed and accurate information is available in different forms. Trailrunner managed to develop in sync with this and when you look at the product now, the map integration is probably still the best feature. With the integration of Open Street Map (OSM) the software allows access to the open source platform and ensures a certain independency from Google or Microsoft Virtual Earth. Both other services are available too, but to give the user the choice between the completely different projects is a big plus. Out there in the mapping community is a great divide, or better a number of divisions. Some swear on Google maps, other only use Microsoft and a third group would only go for open source projects such as OSM. Integrating all of them is a clever move and pleases a wider user group. It is even possible to manually ad your own maps.
But apart form this Trailrunner knows to please with a series of other features too. From the range of supported gadget, to the range of file formats and the detail of visualization and settings, all the way to the customization there is something for everyone.
The software supports directly the import from iPhone/iPod, the Nike Pod, LoadMyTracks, SonicLink and a variety of Garmin formats and software including the Ant Stick. Manually files can be imported from a GPX, TCX, HRM or KML file format.
The visualizations are on the map or as diagrams and include a nice playback feature. The tracks can be manipulated right in the software by splitting or merging and new tracks can be added also by drawing them directly on the map. For exporting there are options to choose from such as, GPX, TCX, KML, PDF or text available. There are lots to the Trailrunner and elements like dairy and exercise plan I haven’t discussed here. Compared to other similar services such as the online service Garmin Connect or Nokia’s Sports Tracker it demonstrates how much fun managing your exercises can be. For up to date news visit the Trailrunner blog. The latest software version of Trailrunner can be downloaded here.

PastedGraphic7.nzJSIoG6T98c.jpg

No comments: