Using Google Pedometer To Calibrate Your Pedometer
A pedometer is a device that shows the total distance covered during a running, jogging, or walking routine.
Pedometers achieve this function by counting the number of pre-programmed steps during the exercise.
It is very important when setting up your pedometer for the first time that the average stride length is as accurate as possible since this reading will be used to calculate all future distance readings.
Even with the more expensive pedometers it is very difficult to setup the device accurately but by using an accurate known distance, the pedometer can be setup so that much more accurate readings are possible and that is where Google Pedometer comes in.
We first need to access the Gmaps pedometer site at http://www.gmap-pedometer.com in order to obtain our accurate distance for a given route which we can then use to calibrate our pedometer.
When the application screen opens enter your address in the "Jump to" box that is located at the top of the map and click the "Go" button. From there use the zoom controls on the right hand side of the map to zoom into your route starting position.
You now need to plan a suitable walking route in the area around your starting point. Try to plan a route that stays on level ground, has few bends or curves, and has roads or streets that are as straight as possible; doing this will produce more accurate results from the Gmaps Pedometer application. Click on the "Start Recording" button and double click on your start/home location to begin plotting your route.
A red marker point will be displayed on the screen when you double click on your home/start location point. You should then continue along the planned route using your mouse to double click at every turning point. After each turning point a red marker will be laid and will be joined to the previous marker, this will continue until you reach the end of the route. At that point make a note of the reading that has been calculated by the Gmaps Pedometer application. It is recommended that you try to use as few markers as possible for better accuracy.
For optimum accuracy, it is better if the route that you map out is greater than a mile, the longer the route, the more steps that you will have to complete it and thus the closer your average stride length will be to a real average.
You now need to input your average stride length into the pedometer (check the instruction manual supplied with your device if you are not sure how to do this). You will then have an approximate distance reading that can be compared against the exact benchmark reading obtained from the Gmaps Pedometer application and you are now ready to calibrate your device.
At the end of your planned route, read the distance displayed on the pedometer and compare it with that taken from the Google Pedometer application. The chances are that there will be a difference between the 2 readings and you will therefore have to reprogram the pedometer with a longer or shorter average stride length value depending upon the comparison results.
You will probably have to cover the planned route several times and adjust the pedometer average stride length until both values match exactly.
When the readings from your pedometer and the Google Pedometer application match, the pedometer is calibrated and can be used for any route that you choose to take, and where you can expect the pedometer distance reading to be as accurate as possible.
You may want to check the calibration of your pedometer occasionally and you can simply do this by using the initial route that you first setup with the Google Pedometer application.
The Gmaps Pedometer utility has been seen to be a really useful application for anyone wanting accurate distance readings from their pedometer. Once the device has been calibrated, it is simple enough to check it's accuracy by following the original mapped route.
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