Hot topic of the week: GMaps Pedometer

Thursday, May 21, 2009 | 1:53 PM

The hot topic of the week in the help forum has been, without a doubt, the GMaps Pedometer. While we help developers build great web apps by improving our products, it's their creativity and skill that has written amazing applications for niche audiences. GMaps Pedometer, created by a marathon runner with top-notch programming skills, is a great example. This cool application allows you to draw jogging/running/hiking/biking routes, record distances traveled and calories burned during workouts, even taking into account elevation changes, all using Google Maps.

For example, this is the bike route that one of my colleagues planned for his Bike to Work Day commute from the Los Gatos shuttle stop to Google:

Creating your own route is quite straightforward. Click the Recording button on the left panel, and then double click on the map the place you wish to start. Double-click another point to draw a path between the two. Keep clicking points along your route, and GMaps Pedometer connects the dots.

You can get more from your route by calculating the calories. Simply 'Turn on calorie counter' in the left panel and type in your weight, and GMaps Pedometer automatically approximates how many calories you'll burn on your planned route. A 'there-and-back' course can be measured as well -- just click the 'Complete there and back route' link once you reach the midpoint.

Want to save or share the map with your fiends or running buddies? It's super easy! Click Save Route to get the URL for the route. It would look like this: . TinyURL will make it even shorter.

And it's always OK to mix things up whenever the route becomes boring and routine. Just click the Clear points and start over option and start trying something new. For complete information about how to use GMaps Pedometer, check out the Usage Instructions.

Even though I'm just a casual hiker, I can't wait to try it out for my favorite trail this coming long weekend.

Happy Mapping!

Maps Guide Jade