I posted my running update for Juneathon day 22 earlier today, and one of the things I have been doing is adding a short note about something that happened on this day in history – today in 1990 Checkpoint Charlie was dismantled in Berlin…
The <strong>Berlin Wall</strong> was a barrier that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent massive emigration and defection.
Many companies are closely guarding the run tracking data you submit / upload because they want to lock you in to their platform (often while they look for a way to monetise their applications). Yes they generally do provide the ability to export your tracked activity to GPX or CSV format, but only on an activity by activity basis – unrealistic when you have hundreds of activities logged (for example I have 400+ in Runkeeper at the moment).
Of course this ‘vendor lock-in’ strategy happens everywhere – your espresso machine uses only that vendors ‘pods’, your mobile/cell phone used to utilise it’s own vendors chargers only (thankfully we seem to be standardizing on microUSB now that the market has matured).
We, the users, and the vendors of these applications need to standardize on a common format and allow bulk import and export of that data – maybe it’s a bigger scope than just exercise / runs, maybe it’s personal ‘health’ (non medical) data, maybe it includes equipment tracking – running shoes, bikes etc. – who knows, but we need a standard.