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1

May

2010

Map My Run

By ActionGeek. Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

I tend to use the same three or four loops for my regular runs, I just plug my ipod in and go without having to think about the route.  But now that I’ll be ramping up my weekly distances I need to work out some new routes and I was thinking about this while running yesterday when I came up with a great idea – why not create a Google Maps mashup where a user could plot their waypoints and create a local running route which would work out their distance for them!

Well I thought this was a great idea and got quite excited, and by the time I got home I was thinking about how to go about developing the site, how to drive traffic, and how best to monetize it since it would certainly be a huge success!  So once I got home I sat down at my desk and Googled “run distance google maps” just to check there was nothing similar already, and lo and behold someone already had the idea and created a very decent implementation of it!

www.mapmyrun.com is far more than just a route plotter though, there is an iPhone app, public run searchable database, and a bunch of calculators and other tools.  The map tool itself is easy to use, allowing you to set start, waypoint, and end markers and calculating your distance in real time.  It will even plot the elevation for you, allowing you to easily plan flat or hilly routes.  Here’s a screenshot of the little 3.5 mile route I did yesterday, which took about 30 seconds to plot:

I found the site really easy to use, and I expect I’ll be using it a lot over the coming months for working out regular training routes for both running and cycling, and also for planning individual longer bike trips.

I already plotted several permutations of the above route, so I now know exactly what route I need to take if I want a 3, 3.5, 4, or 5 mile run.  Also, that triangle to the top right is 1.4 miles, so I can easily increase the distance in 1.4 mile increments without having to find a new route, and as you can see from the elevation plot that part of the route is fairly flat.

I’ll be checking out the other tools, especially the training goals and plans section and I’ll write another post once I’ve tested them out, but certainly for any runners or cyclists I would definitely recommend the site even if you only use it for plotting your routes!