Tracking My Daily Travels

Written by Ned Barrett on September 13th 2016.

For about ten days this month, I used my GPS app to record all my travel by whatever mode, including running which isn’t really travel. I tried to keep track of all my trips, and to separate tracks into modes. When I drove somewhere, for example, I stopped it in the parking lot and started it again to walk into the store or wherever.  The return drive was separate.

I learned a few lessons from the exercise.

  1. It was hard to remember to turn on my GPS every time I traveled. So I missed a few trips, making the data a little unreliable.
  2. No matter my choice of travel, I don’t go far. Except for a few trips to Croft State Park to go running, I stayed within a 2 mile radius of home. I did have a work trip to Anderson, but that’s unusual.
  3. Because I ride to work, bike trips were the most frequent. Car trips were next, followed by walking and running. Not unpredictably, car trips made up the most mileage, followed by running, then biking and walking.
  4. Not only do I not travel far, I travel the same routes habitually. I suspect most of us do.
  5. I use my car to drive “far,” or sometimes when there are two or more of us traveling, or when I go to the grocery store. I could probably live without a car except for my trail running habit.
  6. There is definitely room for me to replace driving trips with walking or biking trips. Laziness, convenience and habit all play a part in my choices.

I don’t think I learned anything earth-shattering, and I could likely have guessed what my map would look like. But the exercise made me think about how I was traveling, and the visual representation shows what a home-body I am.

If anyone else out there wants to join the exercise, let us know. We’d love to hear about other results.

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