About Walking

Picturing One Year on Foot

It starts with Moves, a smartphone app that tracks my every movement, second-by-second, day-by-day. How far I have walked. Where I have run or biked. My destinations and how many times I have visited them. My life in motion, quantified.

Frankly, I rarely open the Moves app. It just runs in the background, non-stop, collecting data and automatically sending it to the cloud. More on that later.

My focus is on Move-O-Scope, a ‘connected app’ that uses the data collected by Moves to create a visual representation of my journeys. In other words, a map with tracks. As of November 24, 2016, I have accumulated 52 weeks of data. The Move-O-Scope screenshots, below, show what that year of walking looks like. Remarkable!  (more…)

An Easter Monday Ramble

Nothing special. Just a walk to have breakfast with friends and deliver my income tax material to my accountant at their North Main Street office.

Yes, it’s tax time. But today is also Easter Monday, a day of rebirth and a pseudo holiday where private enterprise chugs on and public employees enjoy a day off.

A quiet day for a long walk, I decide. (more…)

Apps To Get Lost With: Trace

Trace is the third in a trio of walking apps that I’m putting to the test. And, yes, it involves a dog.

Compared to Drift or Likeways, Trace calls for a high degree of user interaction with the app and, optionally, collaboration with others using the app.

Developed at the Tactile and Tactical Design Lab (TAT Lab) at the University of Washington., the app was designed to explore the role of GIS (geographic information systems) technology in shifting our walking habits away from efficiency and towards communication and reflection.

It all starts with a sketch drawn on the screen of a smartphone, a simple line drawing that the app then transfers to a mapped route for the walker to follow.

Here’s how it works. (more…)