Tag Archives: iPad

Bushwalking Fitness | Am I getting fitter?

How can you tell if you are getting fitter? Do you need to buy a heart monitor? Can your smartphone tell you? Can body composition weighing scales help?

My last three posts (see below) discussed how to plan a “get fit for bushwalking” program, how to make sure that each session is effective and that you are not doing more damage than good…….. but is it working?

If you are not technology-minded, then it’s easy; simply check your watch to see if you are getting any faster on a fixed route. If you enjoy using technology, then it can be a great motivator to watch the improvement, but take great care, as a single score, without supporting data, is often unreliable.

Some signs that you are getting fitter include:

    1. Heart Recovery Rate increases
    2. Resting Heart Rate decreases
    3. Time to complete a fixed route decreases
    4. Average Heart Rate for the route decreases
    5. V02max increases
    6. Metabolic Age (yrs) decreases

    The absolute value of these readings will most likely depend on your age, gender, your level of general fitness prior to starting, your health and individual characteristics, which are often inherited.  In addition, there is often wide variation from day-to-day and controversies about the formulae used to calculate your score and its relevance to you. The message is……. Don’t rely on one measurement to predict your fitness.

    There are many different formulae to calculate your maximal heart rate, so if you find the popular (220 – age) doesn’t work for you, then try one of the others, which are likely to be more reliable, as they are based on research, unlike the “old standard”. As an example of the difficulty of interpreting individual scores, there is a general observation that fit people have a lower resting heart rate (less than 60, and even as low as 28 bpm), but there is an enormous variation between elite athletes, even in the same sport, and a very low heart rate can indicate that your heart is malfunctioning. Resting heart rates decreases with age too, at about 0.5 bpm/year.

    Despite the problems with individual measurements, trends in body measurements are usually very reliable, especially if the measurement is done at the same time of the day and in the same situation each time eg on first rising  or after climbing the same hill.

    If you use a heart rate monitor, trends are often plotted as graphs or can be uploaded to an associated website and viewed. Smart phone and tablet apps can record and graph your results. ( see next post).

    The first three tests of your fitness (1,2,3) are easy to perform, require little equipment  and yet are very reliable indicators of fitness level. Average heart rate and VO2max (4, 5) require a heart rate monitor (HRM), while metabolic age (6) requires body composition scales. When the trend you are observing is backed up by another fitness measurement, you can be confident that the trend is real.

    Additional records that many people keep, which give indirect measures of fitness trends, are:

    • Body fat % (calipers: skilled, scales: easy)
    • Waist measurement( tape measure) better than BMI
    • Body weight (scales)
    • Body Mass Index (BMI): not reliable

    My next post will look at the technology needed to make these measurements; smartphone apps, heart rate monitors and body composition scales.

    Related posts

    Bushwalking Fitness | Stretches for bushwalkers
    Bushwalking Fitness | Is stretching a waste of time?
    Bushwalking Fitness | Planning a training session
    Bushwalking Fitness: all posts (9)

    Bushwalking Navigation | How to make a customised, calibrated map from an .ecw map file.

    Do you have a Mac computer? Want to know how to use a ecw map file to produce a customised, calibrated, topographic map? Don’t know which software to use? Don’t want to use a Windows emulator? Not sure which map datum to use?

    UPDATE (Tuesday 3 July): advice on calibrating TOPOMaps version 2 ecw files  modified

    The following discussion relates exclusively to two highly regarded Mac applications that I, and millions of other Mac users, have been using for what seems like a lifetime. Both are fully supported with user forums, have a prompt response to enquiries, are low cost for what you are getting, and are actively being updated by developers who have a love for Macs. These applications are

    It is of course possible to use OziExplorer on a Windows computer or emulate a Windows machine on your Mac, but these are a poor substitute for powerful, user friendly software, running natively on a Mac.

    I assume that you are using the latest version of Graphic Converter (GC) (there is a trial period so you can fully test it before purchasing) and have it running in 32 bit mode. You can do this by control clicking on the GC file icon, selecting the Get Info box and then checking the  “Open in 32 bit mode” check box if this choice is available [ see diagram] NB  ecw files won’t open in 64 bit mode and you will get an error message if you try to do so.

    MacGPS Pro doesn’t have a demo version, but it does have a 30 day money-back guarantee.

    iOS Applications

    MacGPS Pro also has an iPhone/iPad/iTouch version iHikeGPS which is  suitable for New Zealanders and North Americans, due to the availability of free maps. Australians miss out as our maps have to be purchased.

    Bit Map (Australian design) allows uploading and viewing of custom maps made using the technique outlined below, using an iPad or iPhone, which is something that few other apps can do. While its plotting features are not as complete as MacGPS Pro, it does allow the plotting of waypoints and routes,  or uploading from an OS X mapping application such as MacGPS Pro via iTunes. Like MacGPS Pro it allows live viewing of your current position using the built in GPS.

    Disclaimer: I have no relationship with the  developers of the software discussed above.

    For my review of Bit Map click this link.

    Steps

    IMPORTANT: If you have a small (a few map tiles only) .ecw file and the accompanying .map geo-referencing file is in the same  folder, then MacGPS Pro will open and calibrate the ecw file, as soon as your drop it on the MacGPS icon, without any further action on your part. If you don’t have the corresponding .map file then you will need to calibrate the newly imported ecw file as in Step 7.

        1.    Drag  the  ecw file from your CD to the GC icon, and dialogue box below will pop up. Select a slightly bigger area than you want by dragging the square corners of the large box [see diagram below] and then position the box by dragging from the middle of the box. Select Downsample.”None”, then click OK. HINT: It doesn’t need to be accurate at this stage. Just make sure the area of interest is inside the selected area.

      2.    Select the part of the image you want by using the selection tool (the dashed square, second line on the right) [see diagram] from the toolbox (bring to forefront by clicking command-K)  and save as (file/save as) a pict file, which is the native MacGPS Pro format. Make sure you have checked the radio button Save Selection Only.[see diagram below]  [Steps: name file, select file format ie PICT, check save selection only]

     3.    Open Mac GPS Pro, set the units (file/unit choices) to the appropriate datum,
    which should correspond to the map datum of the paper maps you have or will be purchasing.

    If you intend printing labelled maps directly from MacGPSPro as pdfs, then I would suggest you set to GDA94, as this is most likely to be compatible with the maps of others in your group.

     eg GDA94, UTM, kilometres, metres magnetic, click OK. [see diagram below]

        4.    Drag the cropped pict  file from your Finder onto the MacGPS Pro icon.
        5.    A dialogue box will open and ask you to “Set the map’s Datum  and Projection type”  [see diagram below] Select GDA94 for most discs recent mapping discs and Transverse Mercator. Click OK

        6.    It will then pop up a “Standard Coordinates for the Map” dialogue box. Enter the grid zone (see image)

    and check the ‘Store calibration in PICT file” box, then OK [see diagram below]

        7.    You will then have a “Click known Points to Calibrate Map ” dialogue box pop up. Check the map datum is set to the same as your hard copy maps before proceeding. [see diagram below]

    Complete this for any four easily recognized features (eg trig point, windmill)  located near the four corners of the map, using a hard copy of the map to provide the 7 digit eastings [eg 0262600] and northings [eg 6553800]. Click DONE.

    HINT: Make sure you have zoomed in as far as you can, without the map becoming too pixelated, using the zoom icon top right, to increase your accuracy.
     
    VERY IMPORTANT: If you are using an ecw file from a TOPOMaps version 2 disc (South Australian), then be aware that the grid lines on the ecw file are those of the AGD84 datum, as the file has been scanned from pre-94 maps. If however, you open these maps in OziExplorer you will find that the associated .map file (found on the disc) has calibrated the maps as GDA94 hence the disc markings.

    The Instructions file on the disc ( who reads the instructions?!) say

    The map image displayed (in OziExplorer) has been recalibrated to the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94). The Easting and Northing readouts for any point at the cursor position will in GDA (94) coordinates.

    Please Note:
    The map images were scanned from AMG 84 based maps. Therefore, if the cursor is placed at the intersection of two grid lines, the coordinate readout will not correspond to the values of those grid lines. Future map editions will display a grid pattern based on the GDA94 datum and therefore the readout will then correspond to the grid values. See also p25

    The warning above is very important, if you normally use grid line intersections as your calibration points, as this will result in inaccurate calibration, with the whole map displaced 100-200m. If you use recognized topographic features this problem doesn’t exist.

    HINT: To speed up the process in case you need to start over again, keep a record by printing a copy of the map and annotating it with the four corner grid references which you previously entered. If MacGPS Pro won’t let you click the DONE button it is probably because you made a mistake entering the GR and will need to start again, or perhaps you have failed to select a point on the map, to register the grid reference.

    The Ultimate Goal

    Remember that the goal of calibrating a map, plotting waypoints and joining them to form a route using MacGPS Pro is so that you can transfer them to your GPS and use your GPS to find your location relative to these waypoints, on either a purchased map or one printed using the software. For this reason, the map datum set in your GPS MUST match the paper map you are carrying.

    My next few posts will explain how to export your data from MacGPS Pro to your GPS, overlay the calibrated map you have produced on Google Earth to help you visualize the terrain and get the UTM coordinates from Google Earth by overlaying with UTM grid.

    Visit some of my other related navigation posts

      Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

    Bushwalking Photography Workflow Pt 2 | Using iPhoto to Select, Rank and Sort

    Ever come back from a bushwalk with a huge number of photos to select, rank, sort and show? The traditional way is to set up a series of folders to which you then drag those you like, to produce a slideshow. Not any more…….there are much more efficient workflows and great software such as iPhoto to help.

    The first task with any collection of digital photos is to delete those that are out-of-focus, taken by error or poorly centered on the subject. Next you will want to select the best of the multiple shots you have taken of each scene and decide which you are going to incorporate into your slideshow. You will probably want to remove any movies you have made as they can make the production of the slideshow more difficult. Finally you will want to crop some and perhaps change contrast, exposure, sharpness.

    Traditionally this has been done by deleting unusable photos and then dragging the images you want to keep into folders. There are more efficient workflows today that use readily available photo software to allow easier sorting and ranking and which make any changes instantly reversible. The key to an efficient workflow is to assign “keywords” to groups of photos and then rank each using a “star” system or some equivalent. The final step is to establish “smart” albums, which automatically group your selections by searching according to set criteria, rather than requiring that you drag and drop photos, which can easily lead to errors.

    The workflow that follows applies to iPhoto, which is available at low cost for iPhone, iPad and Apple computers but there are many alternatives both for Apple computers and those running Windows. The workflow is easily adaptable to any software, including online storage.

    WORKFLOW

    STEP 1 IMPORT

    Import your photos from your camera card into a single album which you have named by location, and date. The fastest way is to use a card reader connected or inserted into you computer.

    STEP 2 INITIAL RANKING

    Add rankings

    Give each photo a single star (*) ranking by selecting all, and then pressing cmd-1  [Photo on left]. Your software may require a different key action.

    STEP 3 ASSIGN KEYWORDS

    Select groups of photos and assign keywords according to topic or location. iPhoto allows you to manage your keywords so the a single key press will allocate a keyword(s) to the photo or group you have selected.

    Suitable keywords might be the location, birds, flowers, people, photographer, camera, date, person’s name etc.

    You can assign keywords to indicate the type of editing that needs to be done eg crop, enhance, sharpen.  I crop all my photos to the 16:9 format for showing on a HD digital TV, but you can save some effort  and card space by doing this automatically in advance using your camera settings.

    Once you have assigned keywords you can then create a smart album to dynamically group all photos with a particular keyword.

    STEP 4 ESTABLISH SMART ALBUMS

    Set up “smart albums” which will automatically group your photos according to multiple keyword(s) and  star ranking.

    STEP 4 DELETE UNWANTED FROM ALBUM

    Remove photos and movies from the smart albums by removing the single star ranking (cmd-0) but they will still remain in your original album even when they have no star. (See above diagram)

    STEP 5 SELECT SLIDESHOW PHOTOS

    Go back to your first album and assign ** to each of the photos you wish to include in your slideshow. Set up a “Best of…” album which includes all your two star or higher photos.

    Set up smart album

    The advantage of smart albums is that they are dynamic with a simple change to a keyword or rating automatically and instantly reflected in the smart album.

    NB I have chosen iPhoto as my software of preference; not too expensive, not too complex and usable cross platform (iOS 5, OS X) with both Apple computers, iPhones and iPads.

    See also:

    Bushwalking Photography Workflow Pt 1| Share the Best of a Group’s Photos Using iPhoto

      Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.