GPSLog Labs Blog

GPSLog Labs Blog

New features and tips for using

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Updates for August 25th

Yet another long gap between posts, but there have been lots of updates to GPSLog Labs in the interim. Here's a brief summary:

  • Keyboard shortcuts

    • f View fullscreen maps/graphs
    • q Open quickfind
    • escape Close full screen map/graphs and quickfind popup

    The keyboard shortcuts make all these features much more useful as they're only a keypress away.

    A neat feature is if there is more than one possible graph/map to view in fullscreen, an overlay is added and you can press a number to select the one you're after.

  • Tag, place and route lifetimes

    A new visualisation attempts to indicate which tags, places and routes are still in use and those that are "retired".

    This information is also used to hide suggestions for tags and places you are probably no longer using and gray out the retired tags from the add tag popup and quick find popup.

  • Distance and speed vs heading graphs

    These graphs have been made prettier and easier to read with the graph now rendered as a circle with ticks for the compass points.

  • I've added axis labels to all the graphs, which will make all the grade 6 maths teachers out there happy, as well as making the graphs much easier to understand.

  • The goal, route and split detail trend graphs tabs have speed and heart rate histograms on them too now, which helps spot the trends better at a glance.

  • The embedded graphs you can share on your own sites now support speed and heart rate zones backgrounds as options, and also let you specify the text for the axis labels.

  • Laps graph

    There's a new Laps tab on route split detail page that compares performance across sessions on activities with multiple laps, e.g. hill intervals or laps around an oval.

Filed under  //  changelog   tags   keyboard   graphs   sharing   embedding   routes   checkpoints  

Updates for September 26th

It's been a long time since I've updated the blog, but that doesn't mean nothing has been going on. Here are a few recent updates to GPSLog Labs:

  • Colour scheme update — hopefully this one is pretty obvious. Let me know if you find any remnants of the old colours or aspects of the new scheme that aren't working.

  • Tag crossfilter tab — This one is pretty neat. It uses the crossfilter library to provide an interactive exploration of the activity for a tag.

    You can click or drag a range of values on any of the charts and it will drill down and update all of the other charts and histograms immediately based on the new selection.

    Filters are available for many parameters, such as the date and time of the activity, the places and routes involved.

    This is a great way to answer a bunch of questions about your activity, such as:

    • when was the last time I ran route X faster than 5:00 min/km?
    • how many times have I run more than 30km?
    • what routes do I ride on weekends?

    The table at the bottom of the page shows the details of the selected activity and you can click through from there to the activity detail pages.

    The columns can be switched on and off too, which is handy if you've filtered in such a way that the places or routes are not interesting and just wasting space.

    There are still a few rough edges, so expect some improvements to this page as time goes on and it will be available in other areas of the site soon too.

  • Place altitude profile tab — a semi-useful visualiation of the altitude profiles of routes to/from each place.

    The place is at the 0km point, incoming routes are to the left, outgoing to the right.

  • Added grid divisions to box whisker plots to help judge scale (15 sec increments for pace, 2.5 km/mile per hour for speed, 5 bpm for heart rate).

  • Changed goal tasks iCal file to output all day events. This is a bit less convenient in the calendar, but it avoids timezone problems.

  • The "At place" flag on a segment can be overridden if necessary. Click on the "At Place (x)" and click "Override and treat as a commute".

  • Fixed auto-detect timezone button and a bunch of other little bugs.

Filed under  //  changelog   crossfilter   graphs   places  

Updates for September 7th

Some recent updates to GPSLog Labs:

  • New Alternative Routes page.

    This page lets you easily see all logs between two places, you can access it by clicking the "Alternative routes" menu option on one of the routes between the places you're interested in.

    It provides a summary of all routes between the two places:

    And most usefully, it lets you see all activity in a comparison table or on a map, filtering to just one tag if you like:

  • The Share Activity page was getting a bit long, so I've split it into tabs:

  • The session detail page has been updated with a better tag dialog and a layout that provides clearer indication of the activity that makes up the commute to and from the place and any activity at the place.

  • The Select tags dialog layout has been updated to show the list of tags in columns and selected tags are highlighted better now too, making it easier to use.

  • I've changed the altitude profile graphs (and thumbnails) so they no longer "zoom to fit". An example is the easiest way to show what I mean, this is what the altitude profile used to look like:

    Looks pretty steep and hilly, but the hills are only 50m high! The new graphs now limit the stretching so the profile is a bit more representative:

    The maximum exaggeration is limited to about 75 times, which seemed to offer a reasonable compromise that still shows the hills in some detail without ending up totally flat when the distances is very large.

  • Fixed a bug so tasks added to duration-based goals are correctly displayed in hours.

  • Fixed a bug so that activity details are displayed correctly if all points were removed by a filter.

Filed under  //  changelog   sharing   routes   sessions   tags   graphs  

Updates for August 25th

Some recent (and some not so recent) updates to GPSLog Labs:

  • New clock, altitude profile and map thumbnails.

    The thumbnail images have a new updated look that is smoother and more detailed. They are also rendered in the browser, rather than being downloaded, which speeds up the display of the pages.

    The clocks now "zoom in" when indicating short durations to make the most of the available space and show the duration in hours and minutes too. A duration of greater than 12 hours is indicated by shading the full circle.

    An arrow indicates whether the time is a.m. or p.m. (the arrow points from the start or end time to noon).

    Times for "junk" activity are shown in a small and simplified thumbnail.

    Altitude thumbnails simply show the profile, with distance grid lines every 10km and altitude grid lines every 100m.

    Map thumbnails have a 1km grid to indicate scale, and show the start location as a green dot and the end location as a red dot.

  • You can now generate a Google "static map image url" for an activity via the Activity detail "Share Log" page. I.e. a simple image file that can be downloaded or added to a page and it doesn't require any scripting to make it work.

    This feature is only available for shared activity, but once the url has been generated or the image downloaded, the activity can be made private again.

  • The thumbnail for activity you share to your Facebook timeline is now a small "terrain" map. This looks nicer and has more detail than the old icon.

  • Activity tags are now sorted by overall frequency, not just alphabetically. This makes the titles of pages (particularly shared activity and posts to Facebook etc.) more sensible as the primary activity tag is likely to be first (e.g. "Bike" or "Run") followed by any minor tags (e.g. shoe type or bike being used).

  • I've added shading on activity heart rate graphs to indicate hear rate zones:

    An earlier post has details on setting up heart rate zones for your tags.

  • Likewise, there is also shading on activity speed graphs to indicate speed zones if you have them configured.

    There are links under these graphs to take you to the zone configuration if you haven't yet set up speed zones (or heart rate zones).

  • A bug that meant times weren't working properly for non-English dates on the manually create segments page has been fixed. Note, this page still won't work properly for very long files/segments. It's probably best that those are edited using gpsbabel before uploading to GPSLog Labs.

    This page has also been updated with the new layout.

Filed under  //  changelog   graphs   maps   filters   editing   facebook   sharing   thumbnails   time filter   tags   heartrate  

Heart rate graphs

The heart rate analysis features of GPSLog Labs have had some big updates:

Firstly, you can now set up heart rate training zones for each tag.

Each zone can have a name and an upper heart rate, to assist configuring the zones, you can set your resting and maximum heart rates and the percentage of your heart rate reserve (maximum - rest) for each zone is displayed.

Once these are set up, you can see breakdowns of the time in each zone on the activity detail heart rate tab:


And best of all, on the activity tables for a log or route, the proportions of time in each heart rate zone are shown as colours in the background of the table cell:


To assist in calculating your heart rate zones, I've also created a maximum heart rate calculator page. This page is accessible without a GPSLog Labs account and might help you wade through the mass of different formulas for calculating a maximum heart rate that are out there (or at least the ones on the Wikipedia page.)

It's been possible for a while now to upload additional heart rate data for an activity. This allows you to use a stand-alone heart rate logger (such as a Polar HRM) if your GPS logger doesn't record heart rate directly.

The upload process has been made more flexible, it now imports data from more formats (such as GPX and Garmin Training Centre TCX) and will automatically detect the format.

The uploaded heart rate files are now stored together with the log files and will be automatically reapplied after processing or editing filters.

There's a new tab on the uploaded log file page where the heart rate data can be previewed and downloaded or removed too if necessary.

Heart rate data can also be uploaded for manual entries, for example for data logged on a treadmill or wind-trainer.

Filed under  //  changelog   graphs   heartrate   tags  

Updates for December 29th

A few little enhancements to GPSLog Labs that have been made lately:

  • Many graphs now have a "View full-screen" link like the maps. This will let you really zoom into the details!
  • A few pages on the site now take advantage of wider screens if you have one.
  • Standard splits displayed on the log detail Comparisons tab now show extrapolated times if they're a little short (within 10% of the split distance). This is handy if you've got a route that's pretty close to a standard distance and you'd like to see how it compares to other routes.
    The rank of the activity is displayed in the comparison table too, and the standard split times are now also displayed on the distance finish time predictions graph.
  • Uploaded log files can now be deleted in bulk from the device log files page. This is handy if you're logging via an iPhone app and extra files are included in the zip files you email.
  • The trend graphs (for Tags, Goals, Routes) have a line of best fit added, as well as displaying the overall average.
  • The Distance vs Time graphs on the Tag and Goal detail pages have a new Group by tags option in addition to the group by route and age options.
  • The map showing all GPSLog Labs users' places now clusters icons together and shows how many places have been added in each region.
  • The remaining battery life for your device warning on the home page now gives a range in it's estimation of how much time is left.
Filed under  //  changelog   graphs  

Updates for February 21st

I've just added a really useful feature to GPSLog Labs: The "Comparisons" tab for an activity page now actually shows some useful comparisons in a "dashboard" format.

For each of the "standard split" distances (5 km, 5 miles, 10 km, etc.) the speed/pace and time for this log are displayed and compared to that for the other activity on the same route and/or sharing the same tags using a box plot.

The above screenshot shows the speeds for that particular run using solid dots on the box plot, and indicates it was the fastest for that route when stops are removed, but that there was a long stop somewhere between the 8 and 10 km splits that made it the slowest over those distances (the smallest value is on the left of the graphs, so rightmost is best for speed and leftmost is best for pace.)

Comparing it to all the activity tagged with Run, not just along that particular route shows it was in the top 25% (after taking out the stop):

The route comparison shows two extra splits that are not available when comparing to the tag, the total distance (10.6 km in this case) and the half-way point (5.3 km). These assume that all activity on the route is about the same length, so aren't meaningful for a tag and may also not be very useful if you have a route which varies a lot in length.

Some other recent updates to the site:

  • Pages with many tabs will have some of the tabs hidden to save space. Click the "more >>" button to show the rest.
  • The unknown routes page now lets you filter by tag.
  • When setting up a task for a goal, you can now filter the possible routes by place. This means that you can quickly find a route of the desired distance to complete the task and aren't overwhelmed by routes from places you don't need.
  • There are a couple of QR Codes on the site now to help get the urls into your mobile device. Scan the following QR code to go to the mobile version of GPSLog Labs, for example.
    There is also a QR code for the unique upload email address for your device on it's detail page.
  • When adding tasks from a training program to a goal, or creating a new goal from a training program, you can now see a preview graph of the tasks involved:
  • The tag detail page has a new Splits Graph tab that shows a graph of all the activity speeds/times at standard split distances, together with lines indicating the distribution (10th, 50th, 90th percentiles).
  • The standard split distances now extend from 50km to 300km (50mi to 200mi) to make them more useful to cyclists and longer distance activities.

As always, please send feedback and suggestions to feedback forum.

Filed under  //  changelog   comparisons   goals   graphs   qr codes   splits   tasks   training program  

Updates for December 1st

Recent changes in GPSLog Labs have focused on improving the log file editing process:

  • The Add a Place, Remove stops and Manually create segments commands on the Log File edit page have been changed from menu options to more prominent buttons:
  • Remove stops is a new command that allows you to quickly and easily remove unwanted stops from a Log File. Multiple stops can be removed in one step which is easier than removing each stop or cut in turn.
  • When specifying an unmatched place, previous activity is now used to provide a suggestion of likely places it could be from those in the neighbourhood of the start location:
  • The Reprocess confirmation page has also been redesigned and the page sequence after queuing a file for reprocessing has been improved.
  • The Speed/Pace vs Distance graphs on the activity detail page (Graphs vs Distance tab) now have a new "scaling" algorithm that isn't as extreme and should make pace graphs easier to read.
  • There's also a new link at the bottom of the route Altitude Profile tab to show all altitude profile thumbnails for all logs. This is useful for circuits so you can easily check they are all correctly marked as forward or reversed direction.
Filed under  //  changelog   editing   graphs   processing  

Updates for September 2nd

  • Support for the Nav N Go iGO 8 track format has been added. This looks like a pretty good app, but has a terrible name, not that I can talk...
  • Behind the scenes there's a new storage engine which will be able to handle a lot more growth in uploads. Let me know if you notice anything odd.
  • There's a new "smoother" design on the forms throughout the site:
  • The goal detail page now has a map tab.
  • The activity "Comparisons" tab has a new statistic: The split for the first and second halves of the activity. The theory is that if you've paced yourself properly and haven't slowed as you got tired this should be 0 or even negative.
  • The Distance vs Time graphs on the tag detail and goal detail pages now have options to show the logs group by route (the default, and previous behaviour) or by "age". This will let you see how your performance has changed over time:
  • And, finally, it's now possible to upload a heart rate data file from a separate heart rate logger and have it stored together with the appropriate activity.

    On the activity detail page, there's a little link in the right hand side panel to "Upload Heart rate data file":


    Clicking that will give you a form where you can upload one or more heart rate log files in either Polar HRM or CSV formats:

    The original files aren't stored on the GPSLog Labs server though, so if you reprocess the log file (add a place, merge segments etc.) then you'll have to re-upload them.

Note that if you have enabled editing of heart rates for a tag, then the "Upload heart rate data file" link will be found on the Heart Rate tab of the activity detail page.

Filed under  //  changelog   graphs   heartrate   igo8   stats   upload  

Distance Finish Time Predictions

I've just added an experimental feature to GPSLog Labs to provide estimates of the finish times for different distances based on the activity you've logged. For example, this can take your pace from a 10km run and tell you how long it would take to do a half marathon, or take a target pace for a long distance and tell you how fast you should be aiming to do shorter training runs.

This is based on formulas developed many years ago by Peter Riegel and Dave Cameron by fitting a curve to the world record times for various distances. How well these apply to non-elite athletes is something I'm curious about, but the theory is that if you put 100% into running 10km, you'll do it in a certain time. If you put 100% into running 5km, you'll be able to go a certain amount faster as you only have to last half as long and vice versa for 20km. The ratio of speeds at different distances should be roughly right even if you're not breaking world records.

There are two places where this now appears in GPSLog Labs, the first is on an activity detail page's Comparisons tab and it extrapolates the pace (with and without stop time taken into account) to other distances:

The estimates using the two formulas are quite close until you get to very large distances, but you will hopefully be able to judge which is more appropriate for your activity.

The second version is found on the Distance vs Time Graph tabs of the Tag detail and Goal detail pages. Move the mouse to set the speed to be extrapolated and the prediction curves will be overlayed on your actual recorded activity to see how they compare. The thin gray line is a linear prediction assuming your speed/pace won't vary as the distance increases or decreases. The red line uses Peter Riegel's model and the green line uses Dave Cameron's model. These estimates are often very similar and overlap simply appearing gray.

As far as I know, these formulas were developed for running, but the curves may be useful for other activity as well.

I'm very interested in knowing how this works for people, there are many other sites on the internet that will perform the same extrapolations if you manually key in your distance and time, so it's not just me interested in playing with this stuff!

Filed under  //  goals   graphs   predictions   stats   tags  
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