Yesterday a race director asked that a course be measured for a race this weekend (5-days away). Since I am on crutches following knee surgery (kneesles) and certification on such short notice isn't fair to the measurer or certifier, I recommended a Google Earth measurement for this year's race. The race director agreed.
Using Google Earth to measure a course accurately takes patience and care. Using high magnification, I made 2 measurements that were within a couple feet of each other and made no SCPF correction. The course is in Hartford, CT where there are no trees to cover the view of the edge of the road. Does anyone have an idea how close to a bike measurement the Google Earth measurement can be?
I also tried MapMyRun and found it very user unfriendly. Additionally it doesn't give results in feet. Google Earth seems far easier.
I used Google Earth to approximate the start/finish and the split points before measuring a couple of fairly flat 5 km courses last month. Google Earth was right on the money - off by just a few meters.
The accuracy of Google Earth is pretty good, but it will vary depending on who is doing the mousing and how much care is taken.
I've always done a preliminary look at maps before taking on a measuring job, to avoid unpleasant surprises. It's a lot easier to rough out the course on a map than by doing a lot of extra bike riding.
Google Earth has made the preliminary stuff a lot easier than my former method of working with paper USGS maps and walking dividers along the route.
People who want me to measure are also using it, and as a result most of the courses don't require a lot of back-and-forth between me and the RD concerning what to do when the course doesn't come out right.
Pete, wasn't Dave Reik or someone else available?
Hope you're on the mend soon.
I find MapMyRun to be very easy to use, but I have been using it almost from the start. They use the same imagery as Google Earth, so measurements should be nearly the same.
I have found that many courses are very close, but some have been off by about 100 yards. This seems to happen when the course crosses images that have been stitched together. You sometimes have to look very closely at the photos to see the seam, but since they have to stretch them to get them to fit, that alters the measurement a little.
In my experience, I always let people know that their measurement could be off up to about 100 yards, and not to be surprised when a bicycle measurement comes up differently than the mapping software.
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