We’ve been meaning to get a blog going for a while now. We plan to share a mixture of stories from different events and expeditions, informative blogs on things such as different technologies used in the endurance world and general updates from our team at MAProgress.
Lots of exciting things have been happening at MAProgess lately. We’ve spent the last 3.5 years refining our tracking software on smaller events, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. New Zealand and Australia have been a great testing ground as we have continued to develop new features and get our tracking system to a point where it can be used by the world’s largest endurance sports events.
Earlier this year we received over 60,000 views on a tracking page before an event even started. The Indian Pacific Wheel race went on to become one of the most watched cycling races in history. Dot-watchers from around the world were hooked. Tragedy unfolded as one of the top riders, Mike Hall, passed away in an accident merely 200km from the finish line and the event was then cancelled. Before the event was cancelled our live tracking map exceeded 1.3 million views, making it the most viewed event of its type in history. It was exciting to see our software working well alongside a slick social media plan throughout the event. It gave us a glimpse into the future, where events have well integrated technology and marketing plans to maximise exposure for sponsors, share with a larger audience and have extra tools to utilise from a risk management perspective. Earlier this year we upgraded our server which has given us the ability to withstand millions of viewers from around the world. This puts us in a great position as one of the world’s top live GPS tracking providers.
Recently we reached a point where we needed to expand the team at MAProgress in order to grow as a business. We have two new faces on the team. Dulkara Martig (from New Zealand) and Megan Finnessy (from Colorado, USA). Having other people on our team helps make the operation more sustainable and means we can continually refine our software so we can stay in the lead.
Learn more about each member of the MAProgress team here. We’ll share some more in-depth profiles on the MAProgress team in the coming months. We all live wholeheartedly within the sport and outdoor world. In just over 24 hours Dulkara is heading off on a two week packrafting expedition in the Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska. Shane is going to be riding in a mountain bike brevet in New Zealand. And Megan is working on final preparations for an event she organises, the Silverton Double Dirty 30, a trail running event in the San Juan mountains in Colorado.
New features we’ve developed
We’re constantly improving our service, refining things and adding new features. Many of our upgrades happen as a direct result of suggestions from our customers, whether from race directors or individuals who are watching their loved ones in different events. If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. Recent updates and additions to our tracking software include:
- Predictive mode, using algorithms to predict current locations of athletes. Based on how fast they’ve been travelling over x distance. This is awesome for live viewing.
- New cleaner look in desktop view
- We’ve added an elevation profile so you can better understand athletes’ positions in the race based on the gradient.
- We have upgraded to Google Premium which allows us to have millions of views (most other sites crash at 100,000 views per day). We’ve also added another server to ensure efficient processing of messages so they can be displayed in real-time.
- Viewers can switch between names and numbers on markers. Useful for race staff in larger events.
- Distance markers show up along the route.
Looking ahead: the next 6 months
For the next few months we’ll be focusing on developing better resources and support for our customers, in the form of tutorials and making our interfaces more user-friendly. We’ll continue to track a number of events in Australia and New Zealand during the Southern Hemisphere summer. For example, in early 2018 we’ll be tracking around 600 riders in Tour Aotearoa, a cycle brevet in New Zealand.
We plan on adding a new monthly/annual subscription model to make it easier for more frequent users of the system. We’re integrating other non-satellite based trackers for more cost-effective tracking in certain areas. Our rental fleet is expanding, we will have nearly 1,000 satellite trackers available for hire for 2018.
We’ll be working with new clients on many different endurance sports events in North America from April 2018 onwards.