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Jog mapping – the productive way of working out

Posted: May 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , 9 Comments »

Perhaps inspired by french barefoot jogger and entrepreneur Loic Le Meur, and the fact that during six weeks of travelling I only got to work out twice (and swimming in the shallow pools of The Flamingo doesn’t work that well), I started jogging every day last week.

My somewhat untraditional (or rather traditional?) running shoes

My somewhat untraditional (or rather traditional?) leather running shoes

Having to attend my two last lectures of STS in Trondheim, I was stranded in the remote town of Klæbu. With six days of reading inbetween lectures, there was plenty of time for jogging. Thus, to not feel too alone I brought my newly acquired Holux m-241 GPS logger with me for my jogging trips.

The utilitarian that I am, my biggest problem with working out has always been that it’s not immediately productive. You only produce muscles and good health, and seemingly for no tangible purpose (I know there are many, the reason why I work out anyway). There are many ways to solve this problem. You can work out by chopping wood, carry things, cycle to work, etc. In Klæbu I found another way: Jog to make maps!

This is jog mapping (or map jogging): While working out is your primary goal, your secondary goal is to improve Openstreetmap. To do this you have to jog where Openstreetmap has poor coverage or needs improving, and you need to bring a GPS logging device. Now your jogging will have a real useful, tangible  purpose, as it will help Openstreetmap improve!

At the same time you’ll really get to explore the area, and as you map it you’ll get familiar with all the paths and possible routes for your jogging. If you’re especially couragious and go jogging into peoples yards and gardens, you might also make som friends (and enemies). When you start running around houses and parking lots to log their location, you’ll eventually end up in the local newspaper too.

Luckily Openstreetmap wasn’t very well covered in Klæbu, so the Tuesday I arrived, the map looked something like this:

OpenStreetMap before jog mapping in Klæbu.

OpenStreetMap before jog mapping in Klæbu. (This screenshot has a different style than the following because it has been grabbed from Cloudmade.

And now, it looks like this:

OpenStreetMap after jog mapping for six days.

OpenStreetMap after jog mapping for six days.

Oh, combining mapping with your daily life and social activities isn’t anything new, there’s always a mapping party!