Tracking Tour de France

The world’s premier cycling race, the Tour de France, got under way July 3rd for the 97th time.

Running from Saturday July 3rd to Sunday July 25th 2010, the 97th Tour de France will be made up of 1 prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,642 kilometres.

Cycling fans have plenty of options for following the race, reports the WSJ:

  • Versus the official broadcaster of the event, is showing live video on the Web, with a service that costs $29.99.
  • The iPhone Tour de France app lets users watch video of the event live from the official Versus channel, which is showing the Tour in the U.S. At $14.99, the program is pricy. Highlights, weather and detailed tracking also are available.
  • Google’s tracking site enabled by HTC’s team which makes several Android phones, uses a special version of an app called My Tracks to get real-time data on each member’s speed, power and heart rate, in addition to their location and elevation.
  • Lance Armstrong announced his retirement (again) via Twitter in June, and his account is updated regularly from the race. Many Tour de France riders have taken to the service to connect with fans. Andy Schleck of Luxembourg tweeted a photo of his brother, Frank, in a sling, after Frank crashed and was taken to a hospital.
  • Radio Shack has iPhone and iPad apps for fans who want to follow its team, which includes Lance Armstrong of the U.S. Those have photos, articles and video highlights with a behind-the-scenes view of the team.

This year’s race marks the first time that fans can follow a riders’s progress online with near real-time tracking updates and animated replay videos, says Telematics Magazine.

EMS Global Tracking partnered with Participant Sports to offer the service. Their SAT-202 terminals allows fans to follow the race using real-time map rendering, which graphically depicts the course and tracks the riders’ movements on it.

Participant Sports has an official Tour de France iPhone app to complement their web service.

The Osprey Personal Tracker communicates up to 450 pre-defined messages, has multiple geofencing options, dedicated alert buttons, and the ability to locate and communicate with the next nearest Osprey unit. It’s supported by ViewPoint, a web-based tracking application.

Sports Media’s ISO Track can track objects in real-time from any moving or fixed television camera. It is used to cover IndyCar races and enables the graphics application to integrate real-time statistics and telemetry information.

Inmarsat’s IsatM2M, a two-way burst messaging service, is used to upload the data. Four IsatM2M devices will be placed on race organizer’s vehicles and will follow the both the leading cyclists and the break-away groups as they separate from the main pack, which typically splits the field into separate racing groups.

The 2010 Tour de France in Google Earth has several great sources of KML files and associated content.

Cyclocomputers can display the current speed, average speed, maximum speed, trip distance, trip time, total distance traveled, altitude, incline, heart rate, power output, temperature, pedaling cadence and GPS position.

VeloComputer, for Android phones, incorporates Wheel and Pedal sensors for $199. It accurately measures distance, cadence, spot speed and acceleration within 1 second and can map to Google Earth.

DIRECTV dropped Comcast’s Versus sports channel a couple of years ago after saying it was unable to strike a new carriage deal.

After removing Versus from its lineup, DIRECTV told its viewers that “Comcast, which owns Versus, has forced us to take down the channel because we will not submit to their unfair and outrageous demands.”

Next year Google TV may bring viewer interaction home. Google has strong assets, including its Android operating system for mobile phones, their app store, and a powerful advertising system.

Dailywireless has more on In-Motion Satellite Connectivity, MobileTV Cup, Google Mobile Bike Maps, Tour de France 2009, Tracking Tour de California, Bike Sharing Gets an App , FaceTime Works, Flickr Bike, Geocoding Content & Telemetry, Marathon Woman, World Cup 2006.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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