Location broadcasting beta

london map

I’m lucky that many of my friends and family want to come and cheer me on, but how can I make life easier for them by letting them know where I am and when I’m due at their vantage point?

Given the wealth of running apps that log your location, it seems bizarre that these don’t easily broadcast location when required. As well as helping supporters track progress on race day, this kind of functionality could be really useful for those days where a long slow run turns out to be even longer and slower than anticipated, leaving a worried partner at home wondering if you’ve collapsed.

I’ve been pondering this one for a while, and came up with a few options:

  • Google: Latitude has been retired, but this feature has been wrapped into Google+, allowing real-time location sharing, with different granularity by sharing. However, the location is only available to those viewing via the Google+ app.
  • Runkeeper: This has long been by running app of choice, and its Elite (paid-for) layer enables Runkeeper Live, which broadcasts location and allows sharing via web, Twitter and Facebook
  • Glympse: This is an app which allows the user to broadcast location for a specific period of time, choosing to share with individuals, groups, or via social.

I’ve decided to road-test Glympse when I do the Reading Half this weekend, as this allows me to embed my live location map on my site.

My live location beta is here.

I’m looking for one or more people to beta test this for me on Sunday (2 March). I’ll be broadcasting my location between 10.30 and 12.30. If you’re awake at this time, I’d be grateful if you’d take a note of where I am at a specific point in time (or take a screengrab), which I can compare after the event.

Please share your beta test maps or notes in the comments below. If you’ve got any ideas for how I can make this work as well as possible, let me know.


  • Always worth checking reported data wth reality, of course, but I wouldn’t worry too much. I haven’t used glympse in quite a while (mostly because I don’t have anything terribly useful to use it for), but my experience was that with the two basic requirements of a GPS lock and a mobile connection in place, it was very close to real time and as accurate as the GPS data allowed.

  • Hi Sharon – You could try the Find Friends iPhone app which allows invited people to track where you are at any time. Good luck!


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