Automated Running Logs using Google Maps

Building on my original post where I used the Google Maps API to create a course map for a trail race I put on every year, I’ve created an automated running log using my GPS running watch.

You can view the automated running log here:

I wrote some Perl code to periodically check to see if I’ve cradled the watch in the charger. If it is detected, the most recent runs are exported using GPSBabel from the watch and converted to the Garmin logbook format and the Keyhole Markup Language (KML) for viewing in Google Earth. It then uploads the files to the appropriate directory on the web server. This allows me to simply insert the watch into the charger and simply go about my business. No buttons to push or programs to bring up. The next time the script runs I know the data from the watch will be processed.

On the web server, a process runs daily to produce the HTML file with my latest runs from the watch. It also creates an RSS feed of the most recent runs.

Am I arrogant enough to think that people will subscribe to an RSS feed of my daily runs? Nah. That is just a convenient format for displaying on the sidebar of my WordPress blog.

Special thanks to the authors of Mapping Hacks by O’Reilly for producing a great book to learn about mapping and GPS devices.

2 thoughts on “Automated Running Logs using Google Maps

  1. Jan Pieters

    Hi looks very nice. Are you willing to shae the Perl code? i am new to Google Earth, but how do I get a track displayedlike you do? Do i need something special to do at the server?



  2. Jeremiah Sahlberg

    If you are using a ForeRunner (201 or 301) or a Timex device, you should check out the guys over at I keep track of my runs over there and it does something similar.

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