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 October 25th

Some recent updates to GPSLog Labs:

  • Speed zones can be displayed on maps.

    The "Enhance!" button on the maps has been converted into a dropdown menu, the old behaviour is now available from the "Unfiltered" option.

    The map on the activity detail page has a new option "Speed zones" which will colour the track on the map according to the speed zone.

    To enable this option, you'll need to configure speed zones for one or more of your tags.

  • Tag hierarchy visualisation.

    This new tab on the Tags page will automatically determine the major tags you use (Ride, Run, ...) and minor tags within those (e.g. type of shoes, bike used, type of activity.)

    You can drag the tags around the graph to get a nice layout and double-click a tag to only include activity with that tag.

  • The place network visualisation now has options to sort the places according to time of first or last visit, as well as by name and count of visits.

  • You can once again edit activity notes directly from the log file activity editing page, rather than having to do it from the activity detail page.
Filed under  //  changelog   maps   tags   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 22nd

  • The "This week's activity" table on the home page of GPSLog Labs now allows you to scroll back and forward through your uploaded activity using "« Previous|This week|Next »" links. The old "Earlier activity" link has been removed as it's no longer needed.
  • The Trends report has been optimized and now runs much faster.
  • When editing an automatically created place, a list of suggested "Nearby places" is displayed to make it easier to correct logs where your logger didn't lock on at a place:
  • When editing an unmatched place, nearby places are now shown as markers on the map too. Clicking them will select the place from the drop-down list.
  • The activity detail page heading has been reformatted to make it easier to read:
  • The libraries of icons you can select from for your tags and places have been expanded and refined. They should be better looking and more useful now. Edit your tags or places to change them to one of the new icons:

    Tag icons:


    Place icons:


    You can still upload your own icons if you want to, for best results they should be 16x16 pixels, in GIF or PNG format with transparent backgrounds.

  • You can now add goals based on the built in training programs. Click the Add Goal from Training Program link on the Goals page, select the program, put in your goal finish date (race/event day), select the tag you'll use to track your training logs and you're ready to go.
  • Two new training programs have been added too:
  • Adding tasks to goals has been made faster and easier too, and a bug was fixed that was preventing adding fractions of kilometers as the target distances (i.e. you could only enter whole numbers, not 6.5km for example.)

As always, feedback and suggestions are welcome and I hope everyone has a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

Filed under  //  changelog   goals   icons   places   programs   suggested places   tags   tasks  

Updates for November 19th

Updates on the updates to GPSLog Labs are lagging a bit, but here's some of what's been happening lately:

  • The log file chopping logic has been tweaked a little to hopefully avoid creating as many unwanted "unnamed places":
    - Auto created places must now be further away from known places before they'll be created.
    - Auto created places won't be used to chop logs between known places. If you do want the auto created place, after you name it, if you reprocess the log then it will be cut properly.
    - There were also a few bug fixes that should make detection of places more accurate.
  • There's better support for editing and filtering of large log files.
  • The little milestone markers now have a small arrow attached to indicate the approximate direction of travel at that point:
  • There's now a filter on the logs tab for a place that lets you narrow down the activity by tag:
  • The log file editing page has been tweaked to make finding some of the commands easier, the menu now includes the "Add a Place" and "Manually create segments" commands that were previously a little hard for some users to find:

    It's now possible to change the Route or Tags directly from the edit page for an activity after they have been set:

  • The "Select tags" popup now allows quick selection of sets of tags from those used previously on other activity on the same route:
  • Speed vs time graphs when you're editing and filtering log files now have a "scale" selection, that will allow you to see detail in log files which was previously hidden by large speed spikes caused by GPS errors: In this example, the actual activity is completely obscured by the 5,000 km/h errors... Selecting a maximum of 50 km/h on the scale means you can see the activity properly and edit it as required:
  • There's a new "Inverse position filter" available, that is the opposite of the Position filter. i.e. it will discard points outside the given circle.
Filed under  //  changelog   filters   processing   tags  

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  

Uploading by email

You can upload logs directly to GPSLog Labs from your iPhone or similar mobile device using your unique email upload address.

Click on your device icon on the home page to find your device's unique address. It will look something like

Simply send the log file or files as attachments (zipped if you like, it'll be faster that way) and then you will receive an email containing links to the activity in GPSLog Labs once it is processed.

You can add tags to your activity by entering them in the subject line like: ((tags: Bike)) The tags will be matched as smartly as possible, you only need to put enough of the tag in to make it unambiguously match one of your existing tags and the text case doesn't matter.

The rest of your email title will be added as a note on the activity.

Filed under  //  email   iphone   mobile   tags   tips   uploading  

Less tabs is more

GPSLog Labs has a new "Organize" tab, this is a page that will show your most important and relevant tags, places, routes and selections for quick and easy access.

You can get to all of the information that was on the old Tags, Places, Routes and Selections tabs from the new tab so they've been removed.

The "importance" algorithm tries to weigh up the number of times the item has been used, the total distance and how recent the last activity was. This won't work perfectly, so you can choose to "pin" your favourite items to the top of the list for quick access.

Filed under  //  changelog   organize   places   routes   selections   tags  
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