My Tracks

My Tracks overview

Record your runs, bike rides, or any other activity and view your live data with My Tracks.
My Tracks lets you:

  • Record your path, speed, distance, and elevation.
  • View live data while you do an outdoor activity.
  • Annotate your path with text and photos while you record.
  • Hear voice announcements about your progress.
  • Share your tracks with friends and family through Google Drive.
  • Export your tracks to Google Drive, Google Maps Engine, Google Sheets, or external storage.
  • Connect third-party biometric sensors, like a heart rate monitor, to My Tracks for more data.

Download My Tracks

My Tracks is available on Android mobile phones with GPS capabilities, and Google Play services. To install My Tracks:

  1. Download My Tracks for Android from Google Play.
    • On your computer:
      • Click Install.
      • Choose the device where you want to install the app.
      • Click Install to finish.
    • On your mobile device:
      • Touch Install.
      • Touch Accept & download.
  2. When the installation is complete, you will find the "My Tracks" icon on the Home or All Apps screen. Touch the icon to open the app.

Add My Tracks to your home screen

To get to My Tracks faster, add a widget to your home screen.

  1. Touch the All Apps icon at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Touch Widgets.
  3. Touch and hold the My Tracks widget.
  4. Drag the widget to an available spot and release.

Use My Tracks without a signal or data connection

If you don't have a cell signal or data connection, you can still record a track. But you won't see a full map. Instead, you'll see simple lines on a gray screen or partial map.

Supported sensors

My Tracks can track how your heart rate changes as you progress on your track. The following sensors are supported:

  • Zephyr HxM Bluetooth heart rate monitor
  • Polar WearLink Bluetooth heart rate monitor
  • ANT+ heart rate and speed distance monitors (when used with an ANT+ compatible phone)
Use My Tracks

Track your adventure

Step 1: Start tracking

  1. Touch the red record button in the bottom left. If you receive an alert stating “Waiting for GPS signal,” it’s best to wait.
  2. (Optional) Before touching the red record button, you can touch the GPS button to start GPS and wait until GPS is ready in the system notification bar.

Step 2: Add markers for interesting places

  • Add a marker
    • Touch the  marker to add a marker where you are.
    • Name the marker in the “Name” field.
    • Add the marker type and a description to help you remember for later.
    • When complete, touch Add.
  • Add a photo marker
    • Touch the  camera icon.
    • Take a picture.
    • Touch the check mark.

Step 3: Save your adventure

  • To stop tracking, touch the gray stop button in the bottom right.
  • My Tracks will automatically take you to a screen where you can save your track and add information.
    • Select the “Name” line to rename your track.
    • Select “Activity type” and either enter an activity type or click on the activity icon to pick one.
    • Touch “Description” to add extra information about the track.
  • When you’re done, touch Save.

View your tracks and markers

At any time, you can toggle between Map view, Chart view, and Stats view. Simply touch one of the options at the top. Your track will continue recording regardless of what view you’re in.

View your markers at any time by selecting the  menu in the top right. From here you can see a list of the markers you’ve added for your track.

Once you’ve completed your track, touch the play button to watch the track in Google Earth.
You can also view all stats for all of your tracks:

  1. Navigate to the main menu list.
  2. Touch  menu and select Aggregated stats.
Learn more about how you can customize the frequency and accuracy of your track recording.
My Tracks views

You can change how your adventure, or track, appears while you’re recording it or after selecting a saved track.

View different types of maps

Your track automatically appears in Map view. Here are the types of maps you can view:

  • Map: Show street information, landmarks, businesses, and types of terrain.
  • Satellite: View the world using photographs taken from space.
  • Satellite with streets: Show street information on top of satellite imagery.
  • Terrain: See changes in elevation, street information, and types of terrain.

To view a different type of map, change your map layer:

  1. Open the  My Tracks app on your Android device.
  2. Touch a saved track. Or to start recording a new track, press  record.
  3. Touch the  menu > Map layer.
  4. Select a layer, like Terrain.

Once you've selected a layer, you can move, rotate, zoom, and tilt the map.

View changes in elevation or speed

To see changes in your elevation or speed, switch to Chart view.

  1. Open the  My Tracks app on your Android device.
  2. Touch a saved track. Or to start recording a new track, press the  record button.
  3. Touch the Chart tab.

To see your elevation or speed over a shorter or longer distance, press - or +.

View distance, speed, time, and calories

To see details like distance and speed, switch to Stats view.

  1. Open the  My Tracks app on your Android device.
  2. Touch a saved track. Or to start recording a new track, press the  record button.
  3. Touch the Stats tab.

To estimate calories burned, touch Calories, then select an activity.

Change how your views appear

Here are some ways you can change how your views appear:

  • Map: Change track color based on stats like top speed.
  • Chart: Switch to show time or distance on the chart. Show or hide things like elevation, speed, and heart rate.
  • Stats: Change the units of measurement. Show or hide grade/elevation or latitude/longitude.

To change how a view appears, change the view's settings:

  • Open the  My Tracks app on your Android device.
  • Touch  menu > Settings.
  • Select the view you want to change: Map, Chart, or Stats.
  • Change the view settings.
Manage your tracks

Edit your tracks for accuracy

Export tracks to Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables, or external storage. Then, you can move, delete or insert individual track points in the exported tracks.

Delete tracks from your phone

To delete your tracks:

  1. Select the track you wish to delete from the main menu list.
  2. Touch  menu and select Delete.
  3. Select OK.

Note: Deleting a track will also delete the markers associated with the track.

You can also delete your track from your phone by long pressing on the track and clicking the button.

To delete your tracks from external storage, use the File Manager (available from the Play Store) or connect your phone to your computer to access the external storage. To delete tracks on Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables, or Google Spreadsheets, use those services.
Sync, backup, export, and import My Tracks

Sync

You can sync My Tracks to Google Drive, so that every change you make in the app is visible in Google Drive and vice versa. 

  1. Open My Tracks.
  2. Touch  menu and then Settings.
  3. Select Sync with Google Drive.

My Tracks will automatically create a folder in Google Drive named “My Tracks” where you can see your tracks. If someone has shared tracks with you, these can be seen under the “Shared with me” folder.

Backup

After syncing your tracks to Google Drive, you can backup your content by making a copy in Google Drive.

  1. Open drive.google.com.
  2. Open your “My Tracks” folder and select all of the tracks you wish to back up.
  3. Click More then Make a copy.

Export

You can export your tracks to Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables, Google Spreadsheets, or external storage.

  1. Select a specific track.
  2. Touch Menu  and select Export.
  3. Select a destination.
  4. Touch Export to export your track. If prompted for permission, select Allow access.

When exporting to external storage, you can pick one of the following format:

  • KML - contains locations, markers, photos, and sensor data
  • GPX - contains locations and markers, but no sensor data (heart rate, cadence for biking, cadence for running, and power)
  • CSV - contains locations, markers, and sensor data
  • TCX - contains locations, no markers, and some sensor data

You can also all of your tracks to external storage at once:

  1. Go to the main menu list.
  2. Touch Menu  and select Export all.
  3. Choose the file format you'd like to export as (KML, GPX, CSV, or TCX)
  4. Touch OK.

Import

To import tracks into My Tracks, they must be first stored in the external storage. For KML files, place them in the /MyTracks/kml folder and for GPX files, place them in the /MyTracks/gpx folder.

Once you’ve added your Track to external storage:

  1. Open My Tracks.
  2. Press Menu and select Import all.
  3. Select either KML or GPX.
  4. Tap the OK button.
A variety of file manager apps are available on the Play Store to help organize your external storage.
Share your tracks

You can share your tracks with friends, exercise partners, and anyone else through Google Drive or other types of storage.

Share through Google Drive

  1. Open the  My Tracks app on your Android device.
  2. Select the track you want to share.
  3. Touch the  Share button, then choose how you want to share:
    • Publicly: share the track's URL via Bluetooth, Facebook, Google+, etc.
    • Only with invited users.
  4. Follow the prompts on your device.

Share through other types of storage

  1. Select the track you want to share.
  2. Touch  menu and select Export.
  3. Select External storage.
  4. Select the file format you want.
  5. Touch Share track file and choose the app you want to share with:
    • Dropbox
    • Google Mail
    • Mail

To view your track files, you'll need a file manager app. If you don't have one, you can download one from the Google Play store.

Once tracks are exported to external storage, they can be accessed by any apps that have access to external storage.

Sharing settings

Some apps might want to access My Tracks data. Follow these steps to grant them access: 

  1. Touch the Menu button  and select More
  2. Select Settings and then touch Advanced
  3. Check the “Allow access” checkbox to allow other apps to read, write, start/stop recording My Tracks data. 

Note: Tracks saved to external storage can be viewed by any app. 

 
Photo Markers

Take photos during an adventure and pin them to your track using photo markers.

Add a photo marker

  1. Open the  My Tracks app on your Android device.
  2. Touch the  record button to record a new track.
  3. Touch the  camera.
  4. Take a picture.
  5. Touch the check mark. Find photos from markers.

Photos taken from My Tracks are stored in the /MyTracks/pictures folder.

Find photos from markers

Photos from markers are saved in external storage at /MyTracks/pictures. To find your photos, you'll need a file manager app. If you don't have one, you can download one from the Google Play store.

  1. Open your file manager app.
  2. Tap the MyTracks folder, and then pictures.

Delete a photo marker

  1. Open My Tracks, and select a track.
  2. Touch the  menu, and then Markers.
  3. Touch the marker you want to delete.
  4. Touch the  Trash icon, and touch Yes.

Export photos

You can export your photos to Google Drive so you can easily share with friends. Or, if you want to save space on Google Drive, you can export the files to another type of storage.

Photos are scaled down to 1 megabyte in size when exported. To change the size, touch  menu > Settings > Advanced > Photo size.

Export to Google Drive

Photos and track data are stored inside a KMZ file when exported to Google Drive. To export to Google Drive:

  1. Open the  My Tracks app, and select a track.
  2. Touch  menu, and then Export.
  3. Select Google Drive.
  4. Touch Export.

Export to external storage:

Photos are stored inside a KMZ file when exported to external storage. To export to external storage:

  1. Open the  My Tracks app, and select a track.
  2. Touch  menu, and then Export.
  3. Select External Storage.
  4. Select a file type.
  5. Touch Export.
Precision and frequency of your track

Voice frequency

To get information as you progress on your track, you can turn on voice announcements for hands-free usage. You can also adjust the frequency in which you receive these messages:

  1. Press Menu  and select Settings.
  2. Touch Recording.
  3. Touch Voice frequency and select the desired setting.

Split frequency

By default, markers are not automatically added to your track. You can have them added automatically along the way (to compare progress on portion of a track) either by time or distance:

  1. Press Menu  and select Settings.
  2. Touch Recording.
  3. Touch Split frequency and select the desired accuracy setting.

Location precision

My Tracks uses the Fused location provider in Google Play services to obtain your location from various sensors on your device like GPS, wifi, etc. See https://developer.android.com/google/play-services/location.html

Track precision

Under optimal conditions, the location error can be +/- 32 feet (10 meters). However, precision depends on the quality of the GPS signal. The blue circle around the blue dot indicates estimated precision. You can change the GPS precision manually:

  1. Press Menu and select Settings.
  2. Touch Recording.
  3. Touch GPS accuracy and select the desired accuracy setting.
The GPS accuracy default is 164 feet (50 meters). A larger GPS accuracy value (meaning large error) can cause your recorded distance to be larger than it should. A smaller GPS accuracy value (meaning only accepting GPS with small error) can cause many locations not to be recorded.

Under the “Recording” menu, you can also manually change other precision measurements to improve either battery life, precision, or storage:

  • Recording time interval - determines time between two GPS locations
  • Recording distance interval - establishes the minimum distance between recorded locations

The Recording distance interval default is 32 feet (10 meters). A large value will lose accuracy . A small value will treat GPS drift when you are stationary as movements.

Elevation precision

GPS receivers measure elevations much less precisely than latitude and longitude. Elevations can sometimes be off by a few hundred feet, though relative changes are tracked more precisely. To get a good elevation measurement, make sure that you have a strong GPS signal and wait a few minutes for the elevation to settle to a stable value. GPS is stable if the GPS icon on the notification bar is a full circle.

Permissions

You can view a full list of permission requirements by visiting the My Tracks app page within the Play Store and clicking the Permissions tab. 

Why does My Tracks require permission to read phone status and identity? 

My Tracks has a feature to periodically announce your track's statistics. To prevent the application from making announcements while you’re on a phone call, My Tracks needs permission to see this information. Note that reading phone state and identify is neither stored nor sent anywhere by the app.

Why does My Tracks require permission for activity recognition?

My Tracks uses activity recognition to detect whether you are walking, biking, or driving during a recording and set the default activity type accordingly.

Why does My Tracks require permission to read your contacts?

When sharing a track with friends, My Tracks read the contacts to provide auto-complete feature when entering email addresses.

Troubleshooting

I'm getting the message "Waiting for GPS signal."

For My Tracks to work, your phone needs to be in line-of-sight contact with the GPS satellites. If the line-of-sight is obstructed by trees, buildings, or canyon walls, you may not get an accurate fix. If you see this message, wait a minute or two. Check the system GPS icon in the notification bar to see if GPS is connecting. If your device does not achieve a fix, move to an area clear of obstructions and try again. Finally, you can try changing the GPS accuracy under the Settings menu.

Why do very long tracks split into multiple segments upon sending them to Google My Maps and Google Fusion Tables?

Tracks on Google My Maps and Google Fusion Tables are limited to certain sizes, and therefore need to divide long tracks into multiple segments.

Battery usage

The GPS receiver draws a relatively high amount of power, so a fully charged battery typically survives less than 5 hours. Battery life depends on many factors, including signal strength, battery freshness, and tasks running in parallel.

Here are some recommendations on how to conserve battery life:

  • Put the phone into airplane mode.
  • Turn off the phone's various wireless connections, such as WiFi or Bluetooth.
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