Iron Butt Rally 2007 Satellite Tracking Movies
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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 apratt@bestbits.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 4.

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 for the motorcycle icon locations and feed them into my own JavaScript to draw Google Maps to my specifications. But that's more than I chose to do under the circumstances.