Attention all runners, cyclists, rollerbladers, walkers or anyone who routinely likes to take jaunts around the park or neighborhood and would like to get a little geeky about it. By geeky, I mean streamline your excursions and suck all the data you can from the experience. “That’s the way I roll” and with this week’s download, you can too!

This program, called Gpedometer, was written by a runner who wanted to get a better idea of the distance his various routes were, without lugging around a GPS or a pedometer. He did this by writing a route planner for the incredible Google Maps that allowed him to utilize its capabilities with a mix of other services, providing him with an incredibly useful application. Since Google Maps allows you to zoom in to roof level of almost any region (within the U.S.), you can easily pinpoint where your trek will take you, whether you’re going two miles or 20 miles. Once you have the route laid out (which is easy to do with the recording feature that Gpedometer has), you can then calculate the distance you’ve gone and even estimate how many calories you burned on the trip.

Gpedometer’s Features:

Saving Routes – If you want to save your map, click the Save route link and all current route information, including the location, distances and elevations. The other settings will then be saved in the database. When the route has been saved, a URL will appear below the link. This is the URL to use when accessing the route later and it can be placed in a bookmark or an e-mail. (In Internet Explorer only, you will also be presented with a link that will allow you to automatically add this URL as a bookmark).

Units – Use the English/metric radio button beneath the distance boxes to choose your units.

Elevation – If you want to view a graph showing the elevation of each point plotted against distance, click the small or large link next to the Elevation heading. (Note that this will only work for U.S. maps. Sorry about that!) Update: Actually, some users report that this works in Canada and the UK as well!

Mile Markers – By default, markers will be placed at the end of each mile or kilometer and at the beginning or end of your course. Use the Turn off markers and Turn on markers links to toggle whether links are shown or not.

There and Back Routes – If your course is a “there and back” type thing, click the Complete there and back route link once you reach the midpoint.

Calorie Counter – If you wish to calculate how many calories you’ve burned in the course of your run, click the Turn on calorie counter link and enter your weight in the Weight box.

Printing – Click the Print map link to temporarily reformat the screen to make it more suitable for printing.

You can also find resources at the site that will help you with every aspect of the service. These resources include a message board, FAQs, an instruction manual, among other things that should have you plotting courses like Magellan.

So, as I always say, if this is something that you are interested in, please give it a try. This is a wonderful little program that I’m sure a lot of you will find great use for!

You can find Gpedometer at

~ Chad Stelnicki