Record the distance covered with the Android app “My Tracks”. Useful for track-based geotagging. The free GPS program can do even more.
On the way to track-based geotagging, the first thing you need is a record of the distance covered during the photo tour. So why not record this route with your constant companion, an Android smartphone? With the Google-developed “My Tracks” or “My Tracks” beginners quickly come to the first recorded route. Advanced users will find in the extensive settings and transfer options to other Google services always new uses.
[Update] My tracks have been discontinued
Info about the end of My Tracks
Unfortunately, Google has decided to set the Android app “MyTracks” or as it was called in the German Store: “My Tracks”. Since the last update welcomes this info page.
The GPS logger will be discontinued on April 30, 2016. Until 5 April, the tracks can still be exported to an external storage or Google Drive. Then only external memory.
Too bad that Google is going that way. Does anyone want to push Google Fit?
My Tracks – App Datasheet
- Tested app version: 2.0
- Price: free
- Test device: Samsung Galaxy S2
- Android Version: 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- Root: Not necessary
Start recording as soon as the GPS signal is good enough
The app is available for free in the Google Play Store. After starting, simply tap the circle with the red dot and start recording as soon as the GPS position is accurate enough. Once triggered, the recording continues in the background. You can use other applications, even other GPS applications, such as navigation, or turn off the power-saving screen. Even in the list of previous records can be browsed during the recording.
In the status line, the program icon signals the current recording. When the photo tour ends, stop the tracking over the red square. Enter another name and save.
Save photo locations of special interest on the way in addition as a waypoint with name and description.
Of course, the quality of the recording depends crucially on the hardware used.
Export as a GPX file
Save track to SD card
Now bring the track as a GPX file on the computer and start the track-based geotagging there. Select the track in the list of recordings. With the menu button “In the ext. Memory “and save as GPX. The file is now in the folder / mnt / sdcard / MyTracks / gpx on the memory card.
For a single track, sharing a track file makes sense. So simply send the GPX file as an e-mail attachment to your own computer.
Personally, I prefer to automatically sync the track folder with my Dropbox . This is Dropsync Pro (-> App Presentation ) used. So the GPX tracks land directly in the correct directory on my PC and are ready for geotagging with GeoSetter or Lightroom.
Incidentally, Lightroom in version 4.1 accepts the generated GPX files in the card module. That is not self-evident. With some GPX files, which GeoSetter reads easily, I already had problems in Lightroom. Everything fits with my tracks.
Other features, settings and user interface
Flight along the track with Google Earth
For those who want to record more than just tracks for geotagging, “My Tracks” still has a lot of networking features. Recorded tracks can be viewed on the phone in the Google Earth app in an impressive overflight. Redirects to Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables, or Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) make it easier to publish on the Internet. Once uploaded to Google Maps, sharing via Google+, Facebook or Twitter is easy.
If you want to monitor and record your workout in a professional way with a heart rate monitor, you can pair Bluetooth sensors from Polar or Zephyr.
Nice setting option is the color representation of the track on the map. Depending on the speed, the color of the line changes. In the section “Recording” you can set the distances between individual track points, depending on time or distance. Important for interruptions in GPS reception, such as in buildings, is the time, how long a recorded track is continued. After the set time a new track is created. I prefer the setting “Always” to save each photo tour in a single GPX file.
For trips to remote areas or abroad, another note: No mobile signal is required for the recording. Without a data connection, only a previously downloaded map or a gray area behind the track will be displayed.
As Google’s own development, of course, it fully complies with the current Android design guidelines and is easy to use.
The entire application can also be operated in landscape format.
Picture gallery My Tracks
Conclusion My Tracks – Android App
The program runs fast and absolutely reliable. I had no crashes. MyTracks (or “My Tracks” in Germany) is more than just a record tool for covered tracks with good GPX export. Google shows how many of their own services can be perfectly linked.
In the GPS recording tools on Android smartphones, “My Tracks” is at the forefront. There is my app recommendation for the GPS recording for track-based geotagging!