MyTracks: For Runners, Hikers, Bikers and More!


mytracksAny one familiar with the web development world probably knows the name Matt Cutts. He is a Google employee and “the guy” when it comes to talking SEO or Anti-Web-Spam for the world’s biggest search engine and makers of our beloved Android. A few days ago I was reading his blog and delighted by the “slice of life” review he gave in regards to an Android Application he enjoyed – MyTracks.

His post was titled “30 Day Reports” and Matt made it his goal to do 1 new thing each month for the entire month. In May he didn’t watch TV. In June he took evening walks. August’s goal is to read 30 books (Okay, Doogie!). What about July? He biked to work every single day and his favorite companion was an Android application called MyTracks!

Directly from his blog post:

For the month of July, I biked into work. I learned:
– I don’t much like to bike to work. Part of it is probably that I have pretty old/crappy bike that doesn’t change gears quite right. The fastest path to work is on car-dense road, which also isn’t much fun.
– For the iPhone, I found a program for $3 called MotionX-GPS that does a very solid job of recording times and GPS tracks.
– But the best program I found was for Android. It’s called My Tracks and it’s free. It’s better than MotionX-GPS for a couple reasons. First, in addition to “total time,” the My Tracks application also tracks “moving time.” In other words, if you’re stuck at a traffic light, your “total time” keeps counting but your “moving time” doesn’t. Second, the My Tracks application can easily upload your GPS track to a Google Map.
– I can tell a notable improvement in my fitness level. It’s deeply satisfying to shave a few seconds off my biking time every day.
– The easiest way to improve your speed is to ensure that your bike tires are fully inflated.
– I get hungrier when I bike to work. I can also eat more without gaining much weight.
– Google has a program that lets bike-to-workers earn donations for their favorite charity.

Perhaps you could care less, but I found this little look into how an Android Application improved someone else’s life very interesting/entertaining. And what’s more, the MyTracks application looks awesome and I bet there are a ton of people out there who would use this everyday if they knew it existed.

Check out the following video which explains the app in depth:

Here is the “official” description of the app:

My Tracks is an application for your AndroidTM phone that enables you to record GPS tracks and view live statistics – such as time, speed, distance, and elevation – while hiking, biking, running or participating in other outdoor activities. Once recorded, you can share your tracks, upload them to Google Spreadsheets and visualize them on Google My Maps.

So there you have it… MyTracks  -an awesome Android application for excercisers also enjoyed by Matt Cutts!

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. You know, i wish i had an android, JUST for this. I Love the idea.

    I thank you google for amazing apps.

  2. This app isn’t new, it has been around for months now. I have used it mountain biking for approximately 5 months now.

  3. I use this all the time for my recreational road biking… its a *great* app. I love being able to see the elevation map of the hills I’ve just biked over :)

  4. I love My Tracks. It’s great to see just how long that lunch hour walk actually is…

  5. Sounds like a great app. Do you know if there’s any way to compute how many calories you’ve burned (estimated)? That would be a killer feature!

  6. I use this for recording my motorcycle rides :)

    Great app.

  7. My favourite app, and i only use it when walking the dog – must be great for runners/cyclists etc.

  8. Yes, it’s an awesome app. Been using it for a while now. Especially the feature to upload it automatically to My Maps is pretty sweet.
    The only thing I need now is for Google to send the new My Map automatically to my website so I can show it to my family and friends. I’m familiar with the embed option, but this is done manually. I need to do it automatically, through rss perhaps.

    Anyone any experience with this?

  9. I know this app isn’t new… but again, the “slice of life” seeing how Matt Cutts uses/used it I thought was interesting. And for those that don’t know it existed its a nice refresher.

  10. I’ve been using BuddyRunner to track my runs, it works pretty well and is also free, it syncs with web site and can publish to Facebook and other social networks.

    I’ll try out MyTracks next time, but curious if anyone has tried both and can comment on what they liked or disliked about each.

  11. I use this wonderful piece of software to track my fly with paraglider when I forgot at home my GPS, and it solve the rule perfectly… The only problem is that the track isn’t signed so I cannot use it for compete in the xcontest (, but for the function of fly diary it’s enough.
    By the way, I’m waiting for a software like AFTrack: or Smartcom GPS:

    Thank you Google!

  12. I used My Tracks for a while and was really happy with it… however I now use CardioTrainer which is similar but includes voice updates to let you know pace/distance. I have also purchased the add on module which lets you compete against your previous times and the tells you how far ahead/behind you are. Very clever!

  13. This is why I been lurking here since forever… after I get my Rogers Unlocked Magic, this may be one of the first apps I download!

    VERY nice!!! Thanks for taking the time to post about this very eco/health conscious app… cheers, guys!

  14. Used My Tracks earlier this year while skiing – Really useful for distance and speed – although not sure how well it coped with my short turns.
    When I got home I overlaid where I skied onto google earth in 3D, which was well cool in a pointlessly geeky sort of way.

  15. @S ditto. I have used both mytracks and buddyrunner and buddy runner is far superior imo, but I suggest people try both and see what fits.

  16. Now Matt just needs to ditch his iPhone.

    He carries both the G1 & iPhone but rarely uses the G1 since the Google paid T-Mobile service ran out.

    Also since he is a Google employee he did NOT get the Ion Android phone at Google IO which I thought was odd.

    I speak at many of the same Internet Marketing conferences as him so I constantly pressure him to ditch the iPhone and stick with Android ;)

    ,Michael Martin

  17. Does mytracks work when you don’t have data service. Whenever I go hiking in the mountains I loose google maps with my GPS

  18. @Kirk, Yep – mytracks will record the track data locally without needing data. It’ll also run in the background while you’re doing other stuff such as taking a phone call. Does eat the battery though, so take a spare on a long hike.

  19. i have used this app since its inception. i log all my backpacking and hiking excursions… love it!

  20. I’m using TripComputer. It is true android off-road navigator with compass, and saves a lot of my battery.

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