Regular users of Map My Tracks may have noticed some odd things going on over the past few days. We thought an explanation was in order.
First things first, we’re sorry for the glitches that presented themselves this week. We know that a lot of people rely on Map My Tracks and depend on it running smoothly. We can’t apologise enough for the hassle that is caused when things don’t work as expected.
So what happened?
We have some ambitious plans for Map My Tracks and to deliver these we have needed to upgrade the underlying infrastructure that Map My Tracks is built on. This has meant that a complete set of server upgrades has been completed this week. They’re bigger, faster and better!
We have spent the past few months planning this change and, we thought, we had everything covered for when the migration took place. That said, some unexpected side-effects presented themselves once the new system was under a full load of regular users.
We’ve been working through these issues over the past few days and I’m pleased to say that the apps and website are now back to normal with the added benefit of being on new infrastructure.
Not so long ago the web was buzzing with privacy scandals from Facebook and the changes brought about by the GDPR. Now, it seems like the dust has settled and, in this quieter time, we wanted to review some of the recent changes we have made and to highlight the principles behind what we do here at Map My Tracks.
Let’s get some context
At Map My Tracks we have a global community of people that love getting outdoors for fitness or just for fun. Behind the scenes at Map My Tracks HQ we are a small team of three people who are passionate about making sure our community of users trusts us with their data and love using our service.
We take this responsibility very seriously and work as hard as we can to make sure that Map My Tracks is the product, not our users. It’s true that a lot of the service is free to use which suggests that user data is what we want to sell to advertisers, but this cannot be further from the truth. To that end, we recently removed all third-party adverts from the site and also removed third-party tracking code from services that don’t need to know what you do on Map My Tracks.
Why the change?
The tipping point for us was when it became clear that some third-party services might not be handling data harvested from our users in their best interest. Gone are the adverts that track you around the web and give advertisers more insight into your web usage. Gone are tracking pixels from other services that they use to build a picture of user behaviour. Gone are erroneous cookies from third-party services that really don’t need to know what you do on Map My Tracks.
You are not the product
Map My Tracks was launched way back in 2007. Back then, the iPhone had just been launched and the notion of tracking, and sharing, your outdoor activities was a distant dream. Roll forward eleven years and in that time Map My Tracks has grown, and evolved, into the global service it is today. During that time, we introduced premium features under a PLUS subscription for users and event organisers. This represents the product, and our revenue stream, and provides us with resources to continue growing the service. No user data is sold to third-parties. It’s your data, not ours, so why would we sell it?
Given the nature of the service, we understand that not everyone wants to have their current location broadcast all over the web. Since its inception, the Map My Tracks app has always had the default tracking state as offline. Unlike most other sports tracking apps, we don’t force users to share their activities or upload them online. These are options that each user can choose to use when they wish but the default is private.
It’s important that when users do choose to make their activities public that we handle their data carefully. Privacy zones can be set around areas that users wish to mask from the public. Homes, workplaces or frequently visited locations are typical places to set up zones around. We recently upgraded how privacy zones work in response to some research into their set up. If you haven’t set them up yet, you can do so here.
Map My Tracks also stops search engine robots from indexing your activity pages so that it is intentionally difficult for search engines to build a profile of your data on Map My Tracks. This means that Map My Tracks pages don’t regularly appear in search engine results, but we think that the trade-off is worth it to provide a safe service for people to use.
If you are a member of Canterbury Bicycle Club then you are in luck. As part of Map My Tracks' sponsorship of the club we are pleased to announce that all members can now benefit from a free app upgrade to PLUS.
This means that all Canterbury Bicycle Club member are entitled to use the app’s PLUS features which include live tracking, options to connect with external sensors and a detailed breakdown of any activity data.
One of the main PLUS benefits is access to track live during club rides or events. When you opt to tracking live, your progress will appear on the app’s Activity Map for others to follow. It’s a great way to see where other club members are when out on a ride.
If you are Canterbury Bicycle Club member then here’s how you take advantage of the offer.
Step 1.Login to Map My Tracks. Need an account? Then create a free one first.
If you need any help getting started with live tracking then give Nick a tap on the shoulder at the next club ride and he will be able get you started.
Other ways to use Map My Tracks
If you ride with a Garmin device then you can set up an automatic sync between Garmin Connect and Map My Tracks. Once that is set up each ride you upload to Garmin Connect will be synced to Map My Tracks.
This update, now available to download from the App Store, includes a new breakdown that shows off your distance covered, calories burned and goals over each day, week, month and year.
Version 3 of the Step Counter also includes some new characters to choose from. Along with the original family of characters there is now a ghost and robot to help count your steps.
The Map My Tracks step Counter & Calorie Tracker, by Map My Tracks, is a pedometer and calorie tracker that automatically tracks your everyday steps, distance covered and calories burned.
Just carry your phone in your pocket or bag and it will count how many steps you have covered, how far you have walked, and the calories you have burned. It’s always on, with no battery loss, counting how many steps you cover each day.
This update can be downloaded from the App Store now.
If you're heading off to Revolve24 this weekend then your friends and family can follow your progress live during the event with Map My Tracks. Here's how.
Live GPS tracking is available to use at Revolve24 when you upgrade to Map My Tracks PLUS.
Use the Revolve24 discount code this month to receive 20% off a Map My Tracks PLUS subscription. You’ll receive the 20% discount, which normally costs $3/month or $29/year*, for as long as you are a subscriber. You can subscribe for as little as one month if that’s all you need. Once upgraded to PLUS, live tracking is available to use within any Map My Tracks app at any time.
Getting set up to track live is easy
1. Login to your Map My Tracks account
2. Upgrade to PLUS
3. Download the Map My Tracks app (iOS/Android)
4. When on the circuit start an ‘Online public’ activity from within the Map My Tracks app
For friends, family and spectators
Download the official event app to follow the progress of anyone opting to track live. The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.