Iron Butt Rally 2007 Satellite Tracking Movies
The 2007 Iron Butt Rally
ran for 11 days starting Monday, August 20, 2007.
Some riders were carrying satellite-based tracking systems from
Star-Traxx and there was a page where you could see
their last-reported locations. I created a few time-lapse movies from snapshots
of those pages.
The rally started Monday morning, August 20. The first film starts
Wednesday afternoon, when most riders were just past their turnaround
points (mostly from Perce Rock) and were heading back to St. Louis. (It took me
that long to have the idea and get the automated screen shot system set up.)
That first movie ends Friday evening, an hour before the checkpoint closed. (The
markers that aren't in St. Louis are either database glitches or DNFs: people
who Did Not Finish.)
The next movie covers part of Leg Two (from St. Louis west), and then there's
a long third movie consisting of the bulk of Leg Two. There is a fourth movie
which is a closeup of the return to the rally headquarters Thursday and Friday.
Second half of Leg 1. (6MB)
First day of Leg 2 (Saturday). (5MB)
Monday morning to the finish on Friday: leg 2 (9MB)
See everybody converge
on Mount Hamilton in the SF Bay Area, then start spreading out again
and return to St. Louis.
Thursday dawn to the finish on Friday. (3.5MB)
This is a close-up of the
riders heading for the barn starting after they got east of Utah and Arizona.
You can also right-click (or option-click) the links above to save the movies
for offline viewing.
These are "animated GIF" files. Drag them into your browser for offline
viewing. On Windows you can also use the excellent
image viewing program IrfanView.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the
"webmaster" link on the left. You can see the rest of my web site by
starting at the top level, www.bestbits.org.
Gory details: this is a combined manual/automated process. I created
a keyboard-and-mouse macro using AutoHotKey that refreshes the
satellite tracking map page in a browser, takes a screen shot of that
window, pastes the image into IrfanView, then saves the image with
a file name based on the time of day. To make the GIF and Flash movies I
use the program Easy GIF Animator
The reason the movie doesn't start until Wednesday is that it took me
that long to have the idea and set up the automation. Most of the images
were taken at 20-minute intervals, but there are gaps when the macro
failed or for other reasons. I wish I could keep the map centered on the
same spot every time, and I also wish I could clear out the "stuck"
riders in Maine and Philly, but I'm at the mercy of the way the
Star-Traxx server constructs the Google Map. For Leg 2 the rider in
Maine is anchoring the map and causing the default zoom level to include
the whole country.
If I were better at this or cared more deeply about creating high-quality
movies (instead of having a day job), I could scrape the Star-Traxx web pages
to draw Google Maps to my specifications. But that's more than I chose to do
under the circumstances.