Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Happy Birthday to The Shard @shardview ‏

DC Editor Adam writes…


Tomorrow sees the 5th anniversary of The Shard's official opening. Happy Birthday!

Doing a little digging in the archive I came across these shots taken by LW's David Tucker at a special preview event back in January 2013…













A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Part 7: Counting Steps For #Fitness – Map My Walk App #Fitness #GetOutside

DC Editor Adam writes…



Welcome to Part Seven of my Step Counter Road-Testing series.

Today I'm sharing my experience with Map My Walk…



Back to Basics

This one was recommended to me by London Walker Rebecca P from Perth WA - we met on my Village In Piccadilly tour just after New Year.




Map My Walk



As discussed earlier in this series, what I need from a step counter is something that can be switched on AND off

I want to measure the individual routes of my London Walks – I'm curious about the health benefits for starters. But I'm sometimes asked at the start of my tours, "How far will we be walking?" I just think that being able to reply, "1.37 miles/2.2 Kilometers," is a better answer than "Oh, not very far."

Besides, it's handy info for a London tour guide to have at his fingertips – time and distance stats.




Map My Walk is as fancy or as simple as you want it to be


It has GPS mapping facilities and a setting to play your favourite music while walking. There are a number of features that can be "unlocked" by paying for the premium app - such as weather conditions – but the app works perfectly well on the basic, free download.


Each individual walk - or workout as its termed in the app – can be recorded, stored and shared to social media if you so choose. The stats are presented really clearly.


The only thing preventing me from ditching my current app of choice, iSteps, is familiarity. My current app works well and is easy to use. But if the developers of iSteps were ever to abandon the app again - as they did for a period last year, rendering it useless with the new OS – then this would be my first stop for a substitute.





Versatility is the Key

Reasons for adopting this one as your first step counter? In a word, versatility. The basic features are great and there's the option to get your tech geek on with the Premium features should you so choose.


Thanks for the recommendation Rebecca!

Map My Walk gets ★★★★ from me. A GREAT step counter.




You can catch up with my Step Counter Road tests so far here…




Stepz
 - ★★★★ 

StepRecorder – ★★

Steps – ★★★★

iSteps – ★★★★★

Human ★★★★


Are you using a fitness tracker of step counter? Get in touch with your recommendations by dropping me a line at the usual address or leaving a comment below.  



Coming up in this series… the final two road tests for FitBitWalkmeter.







A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



Monday, 29 January 2018

Big Brother Is Walking You? The Pitfalls of #StepCounter Apps Part 2 #Fitness #Walking

DC Editor Adam writes…




Hate to say told-ya-so, but you've really got to take care with that data, guys.

As regular Daily Constitutionalists and London Walkers will know, I've been road-testing step counters and fitness trackers this January. I was interested to see this story in The Guardian



"Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company.

The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others.

The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns."



Catch up with my post on the downside of Fitness Apps here…

What was it about the Human app that made me sit up and question the whole business? The answer is that its great strengths were its own undoing.


The Human app started to make me feel a little uneasy because it mapped – in a beautifully well-designed and accessible way – all my movements. It then stored and presented those movements - again, in a beautifully well-designed and accessible way. Anyone stealing or hacking your device has a literal map to your door PLUS a timetable of the hours when you are most commonly away from home

Read the full post here: londonwalkblog.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/walkingapps


Tomorrow I'll post my review of the Map My Walk app.


Read my reviews so far of all the step count apps I've road-tested so far in 2018…


Stepz
 - ★★★★ 

StepRecorder – ★★

Steps – ★★★★

iSteps – ★★★★★

Human ★★★★






A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



In & Around #London… A Sunny Winter Day on the Regent's Canal @CanalRiverTrust

The Monday Photoblog!

DC Editor Adam writes…


Monday is mute on The Daily Constitutional (well, almost mute) – because Monday is the day when we post five images captured in and around London by London Walks Guides and London Walkers.

Collated on a theme or an area, if you've got some great shots of our capital and want to join in send your pictures to the usual address.



It was a glorious day to be out-and-about in London on Friday - sunshine and blue skies for the last weekend in January. 

It was the perfect day for one of my big rambles (it will be the subject of a Big Walk Wednesday post very soon) and part of my day was spent on the Regent's Canal…




Word On the Water, the floating bookshop near King's Cross


Sunshine on the water - blue skies in January




Good advice






It was great to bump into the fundraising team from Canal & River Trust along the way. They were handing out these dinky maps to canal users…







… and raising awareness for their drive to sing-up new Friends of the Canal & River Trust.


Find out all about becoming a friend here…





You can sign up to become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust here: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/donate/become-a-friend



Any suggestions for the Monday In & Around slot? Do you have five London pictures you'd like to share? Drop me a line at the usual address.












I mentioned Big Walk Wednesday at the top of this post.  
Here are few previous Big Walk Wednesday posts for you to enjoy…







A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.