What, No Google Maps?: A “My Tracks” Android Review

In the news iOS is getting a bad rap for its drop of Google maps. They have their reasons for it I’m sure. I’m still enjoying my accurate turn-by-turn navigation with my Android device. It never ceases to amaze me the progress of Google maps with its integration into Google earth. My favorite and most useful app today, My Tracks, has been a companion of mine for years and has recently had an upgrade which merges its content onto Google earth. Just the other day I was tracking one of my mountain bike rides, and at the end I saw there was a play button. It switched to the Google Earth app and played the track I just did. That was a very exciting discovery.

I enjoy mapping trails that I ride to help me find the best loops. More often than not, I struggle to find maps online that include the carefully crafted biking trails of the local biking groups and bike shops. If I do find them, they do not include information about which loops are ideal and in which direction. So personalizing my maps as I discover them is most adventurous.  I still benefit from exploring new trails and marking up my own set of maps at the same time.

My Tracks can be shared in an instant on Google Maps right after hammering through the trails. Waypoints can be added with ease and the data, which includes speed, distance, max speed, time, average speed  (overall and moving), elevation and grade, are all easily exported to Google Docs and Google Fusion Tables, too. Those maps are then shared with a simple link that any platform can handle. Well, almost any.

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