Thursday, September 08, 2011

Comparing Android Distance Measuring Accuracy

The other day, Shira I were out for a walk. We realized that our Android phones were disagreeing about the distance we were covering. Both of us had kicked off MyTracks at the same time. To add to the mix, Shira also had her pedometer on her, so we could compare that too.

After covering 1.5 miles, as marked by official looking signage on the Martha Custis Trail, here's where each of our devices stood:

Device Displayed Distance % Off
Ben's G2: 2.01 Miles 34%
Shira's MyTouch 4G: 3.18 Miles 89%
Shira's Omron Go Smart Tri-Axis Pedometer: 1.6 Miles 6%

The results here really surprised me. First, it never occurred to me that either GPS based device would be so far off, and that Shira's MyTouch would exhibit any different behavior than mine. Oh, it's probably worth mentioning that we've seen these odd results before, though never measured them. And there wasn't any tree cover or anything else blocking clean satellite reception.

Also, I'm quite impressed with Shira's pedometer. It's hard to believe that a compact, $30 device, would so smoke two Android phones. For many outdoor applications, the Omron appears to be a most excellent choice. Add a map and compass, and you'd really be in good shape.

I may try to troubleshoot this more. There must be an app out there that tells me how accurate the GPS thinks it is. Perhaps something is off?

1 comment:

  1. jerseygirl7711:44 PM

    Try the free MapMyRun app. I have found it to be reasonably accurate, and it calculates speed and pace as well.