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Map My Tracks blog

Unexpected system outage on Christmas day

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Over the Christmas period, Map My Tracks suffered an unfortunate, and embarrassing, bug that rendered the system unable to record telemetry from live or synced tracks. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused and, (to help anyone else who may find themselves in the same position), explain what happened.

“ERROR 1062: Duplicate entry ‘2147483647’ for key 1”

At 6am on Christmas Day 2011, we recorded our 2 billion, 147 million 483 thousand 647th data item. A second later, the 2,147,483,648th data item was received, and the database table charged with storing it was unable to do so. This was because the datatype of the table’s primary key was unable to represent numbers bigger than 2,147,483,647. It was a seemingly minor oversight, made over a year ago, but was to have major ramifications.

A victim of our own success

We strive to offer the best sports tracking service in the marketplace, no matter if it’s lunchtime on a normal business day, or the early hours of Christmas morning. We believe that in order to offer the best tracking service, activities should be recorded as accurately and as granularly as possible. To that end, an activity recorded with Map My Tracks has a granularity of up to 2 seconds and can consist 8 separate metrics. All this data, from our hundreds of thousands of users, adds up to billions of records.

Are my activities lost?

During this outage any activity uploaded to Map My Tracks will not have been stored correctly. If you have tracked using OutFront, then your activity data has been stored locally on your iPhone. You can sync your activities from your phone to the website again to view them online. To do this, navigate to the Activities->History section and tap the (…) button immediately below the activity you want to sync. You will then see an option to “Sync with website”.

If you have uploaded from a Garmin device or GPX file then we recommend that you upload the activity again and delete the old one.

Once again, we are very sorry for any inconvenience caused. Having made the changes to get the system back online we can confirm that it’s now good for another 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 data items…