I've always seen the benefits of XML but I never got really really excited by it because it's always been 'just' a data format (with good sides and bad sides). Until today:-)
Here's why. Last week I bought a Garmin Edge 305, GPS device to put on my bike. I don't think this device is the ultimate device to help you find your way while riding - although you can create routes through track points - but it is a brilliant device to track your rides and your performance.
The Garmin device comes with a desktop application called the Garmin Training Center.
I like the app. It's simple to use and has snappy performance. One thing I'm missing though, is the ability to take this data online, to my own website. Fortunately, it's easy to export your history data. You can just expert your history to a .hst file.
This is where I want to thank the developers at Garmin, you can just rename the hst file to .xml and you got all the data you need to feed your site. Here's a sample:
- date and time, duration, distance, maxspeed, calories, average and max heartrate and cadance (if you have the sensor installed)
- Every 2-4 seconds you get
- longitude and latitude - altitude - distance - heartrate
- longitude and latitude
That should be plenty to build a nice web app (sure someone has already done it) with:
- ride showing on virtual earth map
- graphs with distance, time, speed, heartrate, cadence
- graphs with distance, altitude, heartrate....
This really get's me excited - for the first time about XML. I see fun evenings ahead. I see Ajax, Windows Live services, Silverlight video... I see a lack of time because I will want to ride and program at the same time!
My Dad uses his Garmin all the time for his bike rides. He swears by it.
He has a cycling blog at http://frank.kinlan.co.uk/ where I belive he talks about his GPS and cycling and plots his routes via Google Maps.
He loves getting feedback, so would like to hear what you think.
Check out http://www.motionbased.com for example of web based app using Garmin data.
Also during the Amgen Tour of California, CSC sponsored a web app to track riders real time against Google Earth using portable GSP tracking devices.
I have a hobby - cycling - and a Garmin Edge 305 . I frequently post screencaptures from the Garmin Training