The other day my buddy Chris and I went to his apartment to use his mini gym but it was full. We didn’t want to waste the day, so we decided to run laps in the field near his place.

thanks to Kris/Athena for the idea of google maps.

I really enjoyed running outdoors, but I wanted to know how fast and how far I was going. (gotta win the AFO sprinters challenge after all) It occurred to me that this picture was to scale so if I brought it into photoshop a few things could be done.

first, I replicated the key on the bottom so I could see how big the field really was

then I went down the road to the UCF campus and pulled a same-scale image of their track and superimposed it on my field.

here’s the close enough loop of their track.

and here’s what I’ve been doing.

according to wikianswers a college track is 440 yards in length, it would take 4 trips around that oval to equal one mile.

so I’ve been going a little longer then a college regulation track.

This is a really long away around telling you I’ve found a new place to run, and I now know how many laps I need need to make for each mile.

The reason I’m being so picture heavy about it is that I really enjoyed the almost sci-fi way I went around gathering this information, so I thought I would share it with you guys.

I used satellite imagery to accurately calculate real world topography for FREE, isn’t the Internet cool?

I’m now able to find out how fast I can complete a mile off the treadmill, so stay tuned for those stats the next time I go. I plan to go there every other day, right after our weight training. I’m not sure how doing both trainings back to back will effect me, but it works out the best time-wise so I’m going to give it a try.

I originally posted this over at the 300dc boards, and Kris responded back with a cool link for calculating distance and calories burned for you.

I don’t feel foolish for the work I did though. It didn’t take long, and I wanted to know how the field matched up to a college track in a more literal since, so I would have done it even with this tool.

It’s really cool what you can do with google maps, I’ve never really played with it before, so I’m impressed with how useful it is.