The “visualize your GPS track using Google Earth” field is becoming more crowded, but competition usually leads to better results, and Breadcrumbs seems to be a good example of that.
We’ve discussed a variety of similar sites in the past, such as @trip and Wikiloc, and Breadcrumbs is quite similar on the surface. However, their interface is top-notch, and they do some neat things with your data.
Here is a video that shows what it can do:
Here’s what they have to say about it:
Breadcrumbs is a cutting edge GPS track management application that allows users to visualize (in 3D), organize, edit and share their GPS data and associated photos/videos. Breadcrumbs takes your average desktop GPS management application to the web.
Our users can log their ski trip, hiking trip or sightseeing trip, upload it to Breadcrumbs with their photos and videos, and send it to all their friends, who can relive the adventure in 3D. And this is only the start, as we plan to provide our users with a platform to not only edit and maintain tracks, but also to find new places to explore and interact within a social network.
Why did we start Breadcrumbs?
When I first bought my Garmin Etrex and started tracking our snowboarding runs I was really disappointed with the software Garmin delivered. I ended up using Google Earth to visualize our tracks due to its realistic representations. I then wondered how to attach my photos and videos (I had a helmet camera)? The only solutions available were long-winded and technical. Another problem that I encountered was that there was no easy way to share my adventures with friends and family.
I partnered with my friend Christoph and we decided to take the problems into our own hands, and Breadcrumbs was born.
Who are we?
Christoph and I are two outdoor fanatics that moved from the UK and Austria, respectively, to Vancouver, where we met. As mentioned we devised Breadcrumbs after one of our many snowboarding trips. Using my consultancy experience in GIS and spatial development, and Christoph’s social web application background we started to work on Breadcrumbs in our free time, and that brought us to where we are today.
Breadcrumbs is the first web application of its kind, where users can manage GPS tracks, photos and videos in one place – it can be thought of as ‘Flickr for GPS tracks’.
The key features of Breadcrumbs include:
Relive your adventure: Breadcrumbs brings together photos, videos and GPS tracks in one quick and easy process and our 3D playback function brings the track alive.
Edit and manage: Breadcrumbs comes with a suite of tools which let users edit and manage their GPS tracks, photos and videos. These include:
- Automated geotagging of photos.
- Track editing tool to correct GPS points.
- Add information to your adventure to help tell the story, such as show where you ate your lunch or spotted some wildlife.
- Organize: Breadcrumbs offers a rich set of tools to help users to manage adventures.
- Share: Breadcrumbs makes it easy to share adventures, with options including a public page for each track and direct integration with Facebook.
Finally we want to emphasize that we want to be an open platform and want to reach out to developers to integrate with Breadcrumbs through our API. We are already integrated with one smartphone application allowing the user to push their tracks directly to Breadcrumbs from their phone.
With all of the choices out there, you’ve got a lot to choose from. I typically use Garmin Connect, simply because data from my GPS watch (for running) is automatically uploaded there. However, I’ll be pushing some of the data over to Breadcrumbs now to see how well it works.
I asked the Breadcrumbs folks specifically about how their product compares to Garmin Connect, and here’s what they had to say:
Our main focus is allowing the user to relive their adventure not just through the GPS track as Garmin does, but also by combining photos and videos with the GPS track. We think there is a huge amount of value in placing those photos and videos on the map and Breadcrumbs’ automated geotagging process makes it easy for the user.
Our utilization and heavy integration with the Google Earth plugin is also a big bonus for the user. Garmin allows you to look at your data in Google Maps and indeed Google Earth. However, Breadcrumbs builds on this as we have built a track playback feature on top of the plugin which allows you to hit play and replay your trip step by step. It’s like watching a movie of your day out! This really does bring the users’ GPS data to life especially when sharing with friends and family.
We are an open platform. We have created an API so anyone can plug into Breadcrumbs and start pushing data to our application. We already have one smartphone developer on board, all he did was add a ‘Go Breadcrumbs’ button to his tracking application and using our API pushes the data to the users’ Breadcrumbs account. Garmin Connect is a closed platform, only providing smarthphone support through GPX.
To show you a bit more about how it works, they’ve created a tour to guide you through the software, which is a great way to get started with it.
With all of that being said, what GPS track software do you prefer?