Garmin Buys MotionBased

Garmin, the largest maker of GPS systems, has announced it has acquired MotionBased Technologies, a popular developer of software and web based applications for GPS devices. This was a significant move for Garmin, because their application MapSource mostly provides the most basic functionality for manipulating your GPS device tracks, routes and maps.
In fact, I’m surprised I had not discovered MotionBased myself. According to their blog in the 15 months since they released their first beta, they grew to over 11,000 customers and 150,000 activities (by this I assume they mean GPS tracks). They emphasize fitness applications like mountain biking, running, and hiking. But, it can also be used for any other activitiy where you might carry a GPS. Their applications basically make it easy to upload your GPS tracks and be able to visualize the tracks against maps; analyze and chart your elevation changes, speed, and duration; and many other tools for analyzing your trip/run/bike/etc.

MotionBased added the ability to output your track first to Keyhole and was one of the first applications to support Google Earth. So far they just upload the tracks into GE (the picture here shows the same track as the one above in GE). At least that’s all I’ve seen so far. I’m hoping they take greater advantage of GE features such as network links, placemarks, inputting charts and data as well.
MotionBased provides both free and subscription based services. The free service basically is limited in features and scale, and any serious user would want to upgrade. Currently it costs either $12 a month or $8 a month if you commit to a year. I’ve used a variety of public domain resources to accomplish some of the capabilities MotionBased provides (see my story here). But, MotionBased makes it much easier and has more features already. I think Garmin has made a very smart move. And the guys at MotionBased are probably walking on clouds. I hope Garmin treats them well.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Thank you for the great plug Frank. We are beta testing our Network Link and it is available in our wiki ( Download the Network Link KML and you can fly anywhere in Google Earth, choose refresh and the MB activities from that area show up.
    And yes we are walking on clouds…should be a fun ride.

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