On Monday I went to Marl Bed Flats in an effort to score some last minute birds for my June Challenge. A friend of mine had seen a Bobolink there, so I wanted to find that, but I also was hoping a couple new shorebirds might have flown into the area. My favorite photo from this last ditch effort is the one above, a pretty, young Tricolored Heron out at the shore of Lake Jesup.
But I also wanted to try an app from Google called My Tracks. It’s a simple GPS tracking software. You press “Record” at the beginning of your trip and “Stop” at the end. Then it gives you a map of where you went and some some nice stats about your journey. On this particular trip I walked 2.69 miles over 2 hours and 25 minutes and burned 485 calories.
While you’re walking you can put down markers for things that interest you, like a Boboloink or Tricolored Heron (though I didn’t notice this feature until today). After you’re done, you can sync your tracks to Google Drive (to view on Google Earth) or to Google Maps Engine.
In Google Maps Engine you can add markers with photos and edit the look of the path you walked, etc.
Once you get the map the way you like it, you can copy code to embed it to your blog (or wherever else you want to show it (unfortunately, the map doesn’t show up if you paste it into your eBird checklist).
It’s a much faster process than what I tried earlier at the Lower Wekiva River Preserve. So it’s something I may do more often.
In short, I really like this app. I have to be careful that my phone is charged when begin a hike, since GPS can really drain your battery, but other than that, I can’t think of any good criticisms yet for this app, especially since it’s free.