Path Tagger Explained

Four weeks ago I posted that I was starting on a new project called Path Tagger.

Here’s the idea:

GPS data loggers are small devices that collect your latitude and longitude every few seconds throughout the day. Most of the modern dashboard Garmin devices do this automatically. You can also purchase small ones that you can carry in your pocket. An iPhone app would have obviously been ideal, but currently battery power and accuracy are big problems, not to mention that you can’t run apps in the background which would be essential for an app like this.

When you’re ready to look at the data, you can upload it onto your computer and see where you’ve been using a program like Google Earth.

Path Tagger was going to be a web app that analyzed the GPS data and determined exactly where all your time went.

Think of it as a RescueTime for your life.

For example, you would be able to tag sections of the map based on location and/or time. You could create a border around your gym and specify that if you are in that area any time between 11am and 2pm, Path Tagger should categorize it as “Gym”. You could do this for anything, assuming the GPS device was accurate enough: Work, Home, Grocery Store, Sleep, etc.

Routes between these areas would be automatically classified as “Commute” or “Drive to Work” or “Drive from Work” based on your speed and settings.

Using the GPS data and the user-defined tags, Path Tagger would also show you on a calendar what your schedule looks like. Imagine in the screen shot below that the blocks are labeled “Home”, “Gym”, etc.

Path Tagger would have also shown you a detailed breakdown of your life:

Gym – 4 hours/week

Commute – 6 hours/week

Sleep (assuming it was accurate enough) – 50 hours/week

And so on.

There are a lot of directions Path Tagger could have gone in to make money. Imagine something along the lines of: “You pass a Starbucks 10 minutes are you head to work every morning — here’s a $2 off coupon”.

I think Path Tagger is an interesting idea but its one I’m not passionate about so I’ve decided not to pursue it.

If anyone wants to give it a go please feel free —


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