Widgets, Gadgets, Toys, Design and Technology by Adam Bidwell...

TrailMaker GPS Logger

In a previous article, I'd posted details of a web application to keep track of training rides, called TrainingTracker. This works, by recording your GPS co-ordinates while you are out training, then uploading them on your return. The tool can then analyse the GPS data to show you things like route, distance travelled, time taken and so on. As a companion to this analysis, I needed an application that would actually capture the GPS data. I have an Android phone with a built in GPS receiver, and I have also been meaning to learn more about writing tools for it, so this seemed like a good opportunity to combine the two.

Android GPS Data Logger

There are already applications on the Android market that achieve this task in part, but they also seem to do much more. I really didn't need all the extra functionality, plus the extra features were causing the applications to be less reliable (there's not a lot worse than getting back from a four hour bike ride to discover that the data logger has locked up in your pocket after the first five minutes). So, the main design thread was that this had to adhere to the KISS principle.

The application that I have built then, performs simple tasks. Start/stop recording, and exporting data. When you start recording the GPS data is stored on the phones internal memory until you press stop. Once you are finished, you can then hit the export button and the data is transferred to a GPX file in the folder /trailmaker on your phones SD card. The GPX files can then be uploaded to trainingtracker or any other GPX compatible analysis tool.

The application is provided here for you to try, although as this is not coming to your phone via the Android Marketplace you will have to fiddle with some of your phone settings to make the download work. If you don't know which settings they are, it is probably not best you wait until I have got this onto the Marketplace.