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Last weekend a few of us went mountain biking in Summit County, Colorado. Luckily, we had a couple of experienced riders with us to show us some good trails. One such rider was former Summit resident Bill Frielingsdorf. (Thanks Bill!)




This post isn't so much about the great trails Bill showed us over the weekend, rather it is about data collection. For those of you that haven’t played with a GPS device, such as the Garmin 705, I’ll show you a few cool things you can do with a data file.


You don’t need to download anything to see the basic file link here. At this link you will find moving time of 3:36, elapsed time of 4:53, distance of 28.33, elevation gain of 4,109 as well as a course profile, speeds and heart rate data. The display map shows you the course on a basic flat map.The only thing you’ll need to download (and it’s free) to see some of the features is Google Earth.


Below the map (not above) you’ll notice a tab titled “Google Earth” – click on that selection. (Remember, you must have already installed “Google Earth” from the download above.) A box will come up asking you if you want to open the activity with Google Earth (which is typically the default selection) and select “OK”.


That should bring up a satellite view of earth, the route traced on the map and public photos of the area that other people have posted.  Of course you can select any of the photos to see pictures of that area. There is a vertical bar on the right side of the map (move your cursor over there) that allows you to zoom in and zoom out on the map. I suggest you have the map fill most of your screen.


Once you’ve got the map where you want it, notice there is a player feature at the top left corner (move your cursor over there) of the map. If you select the second tab from the left, the player shows you a fast motion view of the ride. You can see points where we stopped, the point where I went backwards to check on a possible mechanical problem, and the entire thing is time-stamped. Selecting the tool on the right side of the player bar allows you to select the speed of the animation (slower, faster).


If you want to see the map in 3-D, notice the circle that has an “N” on it. If you click on the arrow just below the “N”, it tips the map toward the north. You can move away from the tipping tool and use the “hand” to resituate the map. To do this just move your curser to the middle of the map, left click the mouse and drag the map to see what you want to see.


You can further play with the tipping and zooming features just to experiment.



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