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Old 12-29-2009, 01:58 PM  
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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My virtual run across America, and a business idea.

So I'm getting over my little knee problem and have started running again, and I thought it'd be cool to plot my progress on a map of the U.S., running across the country. I've always thought it would be cool to walk across the U.S., but I can't figure out how to get my work done in that scenario, so this is my fallback.

And then I thought, "Hmm, this is a pretty good idea for a website. If I started a website, could I get enough people to sell some advertising and stuff and maybe make some money?"

So I went out looking to see if it's already out there. The concept isn't overly innovative, so I see a fair amount of sites out there that talk about it, but they all seem to be pretty lame. Here's a map, print it, color in your progress with a crayon kind of stuff.

What I'd like is a web site where you plot your progress and then see a google maps street view of your location, and then a virtual tour of towns that you walk through, and an atlas so you can pick your route as you go, and an interactive map so you can plot your route. That doesn't exist.

Is there money in this? What's the revenue model? Any web designers out there who would want to collaborate on this?

In my 15 minutes of looking, I found one web site that's actually kind of close, though it's still basic. http://exercise.lbl.gov/index.html is a federal government site, and they do the street view pictures, which is pretty cool, and the online log. However, they only give you one route, an inexplicable Yorktown, Virginia, to Florence, Oregon, route, and you can't vary from that. Also, you don't get local information along your route as far as I can tell.

I signed up for it, though, since it's the best option out there, and am now 11 miles into my journey. I've left Yorktown and am now on this nice road about 2 miles from Williamsburg. Anyone else want to wander along?

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Old 12-29-2009, 02:11 PM   #2
Dave Lane Dave Lane is offline
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I think that idea would rock. I think you could make more than you make now if it were done right. I'm not sure Google earth street view has country roads but if it did it would be cool as hell.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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So you need a treadmill with a monitor that shows google earth street view and handlebars to steer.
I bet there are software geeks out there that could make that happen.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:18 PM   #4
ziggysocki ziggysocki is offline
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:23 PM   #6
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I've seen stuff like this, and I've wondered if Google is working on a feature of Maps that will let you see a route in Street View in a "drive the route" sort of way, with only a couple of clicks.

I created a Google Map a couple of weeks ago that outlined a trip to Rome, and even though you can click on certain spots in Street View, it would be cool to virtually take the same tour.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:24 PM   #7
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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Originally Posted by ziggysocki View Post
Im in... signing up now.

I don't know how the team/partner stuff works, but if you want to try it I'm #59102. Otherwise, I'm fine to just track progress separately.

I'm doing both running and walking, and counting only my "avoidable" walking, which is pretty much just my walks to and from work.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JohninGpt View Post
So you need a treadmill with a monitor that shows google earth street view and handlebars to steer.
I bet there are software geeks out there that could make that happen.
I'm thinking simpler, so more people could do it. Just put in your mileage each time and it'll plot where you're at and what you're near.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bearcat View Post
I've seen stuff like this, and I've wondered if Google is working on a feature of Maps that will let you see a route in Street View in a "drive the route" sort of way, with only a couple of clicks.

I created a Google Map a couple of weeks ago that outlined a trip to Rome, and even though you can click on certain spots in Street View, it would be cool to virtually take the same tour.
I don't get it. It looked like it was just a video. Am I missing something?
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:29 PM   #10
ziggysocki ziggysocki is offline
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
I don't know how the team/partner stuff works, but if you want to try it I'm #59102. Otherwise, I'm fine to just track progress separately.

I'm doing both running and walking, and counting only my "avoidable" walking, which is pretty much just my walks to and from work.
Sounds good. I am trying to partner up now, that site is kinda slow I am 59131.

What day did your 11 miles start? Not to be competitive, but I don't wanna give you a head start.

Last edited by ziggysocki; 12-29-2009 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ziggysocki View Post
Sounds good. I am trying to partner up now, that site is kinda slow I am 59131.

What day did your 11 miles start? Not to be to competitive, but I don't wanna give you a head start.

I started on the 27th. They give you the option to select running partners, but then say something like "Mileage will be reset so you're in the same position." That can't be right, because it was giving me the option to pick anybody in the country and I think it would annoy some random stranger with 2,000 miles if I reset them. So I was kind of befuddled about that. I have no idea what will happen.

I have a feeling you'll pass me pretty quick, though, which again makes me wonder what the partner function is useful for. Probably worth experimenting with at this young stage, though.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
I don't get it. It looked like it was just a video. Am I missing something?
It's a stream of pictures from Google Maps Street View. Someone took each picture of the path and put them all together to make it look like someone was taking a video.

Here's another one...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU8h7...eature=related
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:55 PM   #13
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Seems cool... I'll go sign up. I've begun Spring Marathon training, so I should be able to make pretty decent progress.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:56 PM   #14
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I've gotta take a dump on my run. Any churches or hospitals in the area? gotta know fast!
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:06 PM   #15
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OK all signed up. 59136. I added you both. Hopefully I didn't eff up your mileage, Rain Man.

Man I really hope it doesn't take as long to log runs as it does to add partners. I'll spend more time logging than running.
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