VeloViewer WorldTour Package – Latest Features

19th March 2020

A few more changes to the Live app:

  1. View the shared locations of other Live app users on you team.
  2. Elevation info added into the lists.
  3. Distance remaining scale added.
  4. Emoticons and special characters now supported.
  5. Rework of offline storage of app.

1. View shared locations

Important: This requires your teams’ users to be using unique Strava logins.  Only a single location is stored and shared for each Strava account.  If you have users that currently share a login then they will need to be set up in your team’s user admin with their own Strava accounts.

Also, your location is only shared when you have the Live app running. Once you turn your phone/tablet off or swap to a different app, it will stop sending your location until you load it back up. 

You will now see the names of the other users on your team that are using the Live app on the map at their last shared location.  You can see the two users “Simon” and “Ben” shown on the map above.

Tapping on one of the names displays a list of all of the users that have shared their location in the last 12 hours (users that haven’t shared their location more recently will be hidden).  The name of the user, the age of their location along with the distance along the current course is shown (note that if the user is off of the course, the distance shown will be the closest point along the course to their location).

If you have two races going on simultaneously you will currently see all of the users sharing their location for both races in this list.  If this is really annoying then please let me know and I can look into hiding users that are over a certain distance away from the course.

The settings for the location sharing are found at the top of the Live app’s settings page:

  • Share Location check box: Determines whether your location is shared with the rest of the team.  You can have this turned off but still view other people’s positions.
  • Shared Location name text box: This is the text that appears to other users on their maps. Make sure it is not the same as someone else’s!
  • Location frequency: Pick how often you download the location of your team’s shared locations.  If you have the “Share location” check box checked then your location will also be shared each time the locations are fetched.

My recommendation would be to have the frequency set to 5 seconds so the team helpers have a clear view of the approaching team cars and riders.

Track by user

This is a great option if you aren’t in a team car behind the race.  If you tap on user’s location to get the popup list (shown above), check the “Track by user” option and pick one of the team cars.  The Live app will now display all of the information from the perspective of the location of that car.  If you are at the roadside further up and have added a waymarker for your position then you’ll get a distance count down to your location.

Remember that for races that support live rider tracking, you can also click on the rider list on the left of the Live app to see a similar popup and choose to “Track by rider”.

2. Elevation info added into the lists

Both the Main Menu and the Route List have been altered to include the elevation total for each race/stage. The layout has been changed slightly to make the stage list items taller to make them easier to hit, especially if you are using a phone.

3. Distance remaining scale added

As you can see in the images above of the Live App map, beneath the elevation profile at the bottom of the map, the remaining distance is now shown as an x-axis.

4. Emoticons and special characters now supported

Previously I had made sure that you could use special characters like accents àêß etc. but other special characters would not work.  I’ve extended the code to handle all special characters including emoticons 🤓   The main reason for this is to allow the use of arrows in the descriptions: ←↑→↓    Note that Wahoo and Garmin devices will show these simple arrows in the waymarker descriptions but will not display more complex emoticons.

5. Rework of offline storage of app

This is a big one (for me) but hopefully you won’t notice any difference.  Browsers were set to stop supporting the way I stored the code of the Live app to allow it to work offline so I’ve migrated it over to the replacement method.  The only change you’ll see is that after I apply new updates in the future you’ll be shown a message asking you press a button to reload the app.

18th February 2020

A number of changes in the Live app for you. A fairly small one providing a new option for the map’s direction, a number of modifications to the speed/time-cut popup and the one lots of you have been waiting for… live weather!  As with all things VeloViewer, hopefully it is all really intuitive and just works as you’d expect but if you’d like to know all the details, please read on…

New Map Direction

I’ve added a new direction option for the map in the Live app which hopefully will be more like a traditional SatNav: “Direction up”.  These are the three options you now have available:

  1. North up – always have north pointing up.
  2. Direction up – (the new one) works out the direction of the next 50m of route ahead of you and rotates the map to point that upwards, positioning the map so your location is always in the centre and down a bit to hopefully give you the best view of the upcoming route.
  3. Best fit – as in earlier versions, this option displays the full zoomed distance rotated to have your current position at the bottom and the route filling the map.

Weather in the Live App

This has been on the to-do list since day one but it required lots of things to be in place before I could add it in. It is also a lot more complicated to implement than you might think!

Of course in order to get weather information your tablet must have internet access during the race.  Every 15 minutes it’ll check for any updates to the forecast.  I use DarkSky for the weather info which is the same source as the weather info you see in the Race Hub.  It is also the weather source for the excellent EpicRideWeather app which also links directly to your Race Hub to give you great, full stage/race weather overviews.

Note: Weather in the Live app is only designed for use on the day of the race. If you are doing a recon of a route then it’ll show the predicted weather for the race day a long as it is within the next 7 days.

Wind waymarkers

If you’ve added wind waymarkers to your route then the normal wind icon will be replaced in the list with a wind direction arrow (wind direction is relative to riders’ direction of travel at that location) and the wind speed.  If you have added custom text to the waymarker then the windspeed is still shown above the text (e.g. the first of the two in the image above).

The colour of the arrow is the same as that used in the Race Hub.  Orange means cross-head-wind. Red means cross to cross-tail-wind.  Clear for block head or tail-wind.

Waymarker popup

If you click on any waymarker (not just wind) it’ll show the expected weather at the waymarker’s location at the estimated time of arrival (please see “Recon mode vs normal mode” below for more details on this time estimation).  Remember that the temperature shown is the “Feels like” temperature which takes into account windspeed and humidity.

Weather for any point along the route

Tap anywhere along the route and the popup now has a new, 3rd line showing the weather info for that location at the expected time of arrival.

Current wind direction/strength

A new addition to the speed/elevation/VAM bar in the top left of the screen is the current wind direction and speed for your current location along the route.  The direction arrow is shown relative to the current map rotation, it is not relative to the direction of travel of you or your riders.  e.g if your map is North Up and the wind direction is from the West then the arrow in this section will stay pointing from left to right no matter your direction of travel.  It is always shown in black.

Recon mode vs normal mode

The weather forecasts are given for the estimated time of arrival at each location.  This estimate is based on the start time and an estimated speed.  This works a bit differently depending on if you are in Recon mode or not.

Recon mode: Most users in this mode will not be following the riders along the course so the km zero time set in the Race Hub (which can be overridden in the speed popup described below) is used and the time along the route is estimated from that point onwards.

Non-recon (i.e. normal) mode: If you are in this mode then you are probably following the race in the car.  The estimated time for each weather forecast is based on the current time and your current location along the course rather than the km zero time. This should provide more accurate estimated times when showing forecasts for points further along the course.

Speed/Time-cut Popup Changes

Tapping on the speed/elevation/VAM/wind section at the top left of the Live app opens the speed/time-cut popup:

The Time-cut section has been split off into its own tab and works as it did before.

You will now find the following new fields (note that changes made to any of these values are not shared with other Live app users but just stored within your Live app):

  • 0km location – this lets you override the length of the neutral set in the Race Hub.  Pressing the “Here!” button sets km zero to your current location so have this popup open as you approach km zero. The location can’t be set to a point before the mapped route starts. Note I’ve purposely offset this button to make it less likely that you will press the wrong button by accident.
  • 0km time – this lets you override the 0km time set in the Race Hub. This time is then used for working out the weather forecasts for points along the course and is also used to work out the elapsed time and average speed.  Pressing the “Now!” button sets the 0km time to the current time so press that when you hear the race get underway on race radio.
  • Average speed – The first value is the average speed for the whole race based on the 0km time, the current time and your current location along the route.  The second value is the average speed for the last hour (or less if you haven’t yet been going for an hour).
  • Elapsed time – This is the time since 0km time.  Pressing the “Set winner’s time” button will populate the winner’s time field in the time-cut calculator with the current elapsed time.

7th February 2020

Race Hub user administration added. One or more users of your Race Hub can be set up as administrators to allow them to add, edit and remove users’ access for your team:

This new section is only visible to users that have this new permission.
Press the “Add user” button and then enter the Strava number for the user you want to add. This number is in the URL of the user’s Strava profile page but it is probably easier to get them to visit https://veloviewer.com/check as once they have connected their Strava account to VeloViewer, this page will display their Strava number. They can then email that number back to you and you can add them in.

If the user has an alias instead of their real name in Strava then you can optionally add their real name so you can remember who the account belongs to.

You can also set the “Restricted” access option for each user for users (typically only the performance staff would have full access which allows them to add waymarkers for the whole team to see as well as setting up training camps).

6th December 2019

New weather features in the Race Hub (I’m currently working on integrating similar weather features into the Live app).

  • Top right grey box – shows the weather forecast for the cursor location on the top elevation profile.  Move you mouse along the elevation profile to see the expected weather at that location:
    • Rough date/time for that location on the race.
    • Icon showing weather e.g. partly cloudy, rain etc.
    • Temperature – this is the “apparent”/”feels like” temperature which takes into account humidity and wind strength.
    • Wind speed – general wind speed rather than speed of gusts.
    • Wind direction – blowing in direction of arrow where North is up. In the example above the wind is blowing from West to East.
  • Two horizontal lines above the elevation profile:
    • Grey/blue line – shows cloud cover and rain intensity. If you see no grey/blue line then it should be sunny!
    • Orange/red/white line – shows the wind in terms of risk of echelons.  White is a headwind or tailwind, orange is a cross headwind and red is a cross to cross tailwind.  If the wind drops below 15 km/h then the red/orange begins to fade and disappears once below 10 km/h. I will probably alter the range to also take into account temperature, air pressure & humidity as well as speed to better reflect the “punch” of the wind.
  • Arrow above the two lines shows you the wind direction as it hits the riders at that location. Coloured in the same way as the red/orange line.  In the above example the arrow above the elevation profile is pointing from the bottom right meaning the wind is a cross-tail wind from the right at that location. Note that the riders are heading towards the South East at that point on the course as you can see on the map with the wind coming from the West.
  • Arrow next to the current location on the map – coloured the same as the arrow above the lines but showing the wind direction compared to the orientation of the map.
  • Two new fields at the top of the Waymarkers list:
    • “0km time” – the time at which the race is expected to cross km zero.  This is stored only once and used across all the teams (in the same way as the km zero location). For TT’s you can change this time to each rider to see the expected weather for their start time but just don’t save it.
    • “Speed” – I work out a rough time for all the points along the route based on the start time and a scale of speed-to-gradient taken from previous race recordings.  Use this slider to see what differences that might be if the race is slower or faster.  Note that the speed slider value isn’t stored.
  • Below the two fields in the Waymarker list is some summary info:
    • Average speed (based on the speed slider).
    • Min – Max temperature along the route.
    • Percentage chance of rain.

The weather forecasts are updated every hour and will show for up to 7 days in advance of the race day.

The cross-wind warnings don’t take into account the topography, trees, built up areas or anything else that might mean the wind isn’t an issue.  So use the orange/red areas as a guide to help you look for the most likely areas that will be affected by the wind and then use StreetView to check if it is exposed or not.

9th October 2019

Added in a Velon logo next to the race name in the Race Hub when the race has live Velon rider tracking. For these races you will be able to see the position of your riders, time gaps between them, live power and heart rate (if set up). You will need a Velon username and password available from Mark Coyle which you enter in your Live app settings in order to see this data.

22nd August 2019

Recon Mode for users with restricted access.

Previously, in order to add waymarkers in the Live app you had to be a user with full permissions (i.e. not a rider or helper) as we don’t want people accidentally undoing all of your hard work of adding waymarkers before the race.  The Recon Mode was designed to allow someone in an avant course vehicle on the day of the race (or someone driving the course further ahead of the race) to easily add in waymarkers as they go.

The obvious next step was to allow the staff helpers to add waymarkers showing their own location but without giving them the ability to alter any of the existing waymarkers.  This is now available.

For users who have restricted access, they will now see the “Recon Mode” option in their Live app’s settings along with a text box which lets them set the default text to use as the description for a new waymarker.  Most likely they would add in their name:

These users will then see the “Add Waymarker” button at the top of the waymarker list which lets them add a waymarker at their current location.  Or they can tap the map and use the “+” button shown at the top for that position.

I’ve limited the types of waymarker available to just “Bidon” and “Feed”. Let me know if you think they should have more options.  Perhaps we need a specific “Spare wheels” type as well?

When they add a waymarker, the description text will default to the value set in the Settings (if set) but they can still edit it as required.

These users are able to move, edit or delete their own waymarkers but not those created by anyone else.

Please get in touch if you want to give more users access to the Race Hub and Live app to use this new feature or if you want to change anyone’s permissions.

11th July 2019

StreetView snapping:

There are two ways to get the StreetView man to a position along the course:

  1. Hold the Control key down on your keyboard while you move the mouse over the top elevation profile.  If you stop moving the mouse over whilst over the elevation profile (while still holding the control key) then StreetView will be opened and the man will jump to that position along the course… as long as StreetView imagery is available for that location.
  2. Manually dragging the StreetView man to the desired location.

Previously, this second option would just open the StreetView at the location the man was dropped but that often missed the course.  Now, when you drop the StreetView man, it will automatically jump to the nearest location along the course itself which should make your life a bit easier.

You can turn off this StreetView snapping in the map settings (the button with the cog to near the top-right of the map).

29th June 2019

The new “Recon mode” is now available in the Live app which allows users to add, edit and delete waymarkers directly in the Live app. This is only available to users who have the permissions to add team-wide waymarkers in the Race Hub.

Turn on Recon mode in the Live app’s settings to see the buttons to add new waymarkers and the additional options to edit, move and delete existing waymarkers.

Please watch this video for a run through of how it works:

10th May 2019

Live app changes.  In the route info popup (shown when you tap the current speed/elevation/VAM box in the top left corner) I have added:

  • Climbing remaining: Shows the total number of metres climbing left on the stage/race from your current position
  • Time cut calculator

Time cut Calculator

When you enter the winning time and the percentage value, the time cut will be calculated and shown as shown in the image above.

If you don’t hear the winning time over the race radio then I would recommend going to ProCyclingStats.com where you will see the day’s race results on their homepage. Alternatively the usual sources on Twitter (e.g. Inrng) post the results as soon as they are shown on TV as well.

The distance field will populate with the length of the stage (as shown on VeloViewer) and the average speed will be calculated once the winning time is entered.  Please note that the distance can be a bit different to that used by the organiser due to different methods of calculating distances so you can override that value if necessary.

Once you know the average speed then you will need to consult the race’s road book in order to work out the percentage being used for that stage.

8th May 2019

Live app changes:

  • Tapping on a waymarker on the map now opens the waymarker popup info.
  • Waymarker popup info now also shows the distance from your current position.
  • Waymarker list auto scrolling is now disabled if you have the “lock on position” button (bottom right corner) unchecked. When unchecked this button also lets you scroll the map without it snapping back to your current location.  If the “lock on position” button is selected then, as well as the map snapping back to your location, the waymarker list will also auto-scroll to the current position after 10 seconds.
  • Waymarkers are now auto-scrolled off the top of the list when you have gone beyond 500m past the waymarkers location. This lets you see the waymarker information for a little longer.  Note that you can always scroll the list down with your finger to see waymarkers that you have already past.

29th April 2019

Ordering of races by “last added/updated” date

Hopefully you will have noticed that beneath each race I show a date when I received the files for the race along with a description as to the source of the files.  I also add text to show when I have received updated files with changes to the course sometimes with links to images of the change in the route if it is significant/important.  I’ve now added two ordering options, either by the race start date or by the date the routes were added/last updated:

Note that the earlier I get the files for a race, the more likely that they’ll be subject to change.

ASO/Vuelta files

One of the teams has been good enough to set me up on their ASO portal account so now I can download the KMZ files myself for all of the men’s and women’s ASO races which I’ll do once a week and make any required updates.  ASO also add the main waymarkers (KOM/Sprint/Feed and KM zero location) into their KMZ files so I automatically add these to the routes as well once they are available.

I’ve also got access to Kiko’s Vuelta routes so I will do a similar check/update for those as well.

25th April 2019

Three updates when viewing routes from the Race Hub:

  • A new “You only” option is provided alongside the “Live” (show in Live app) and “TCX” (include in the TCX file export) checkboxes for each waymarker/POI that your user has created.  If selected then only your user will be ale to see that waymarker/POI in the Race Hub and in the Live app.  So if you have multiple DS’s/coaches working on a race and one wants additional waymarkers/POIs that the others don’t need then these can now be added in.
  • New “Save all” button added to the popup when editing waymarkers/POIs which saves all changes to waymarkers/POIs and the km zero location in one go.
  • The left/right arrow buttons that can be used to move the start and end points of the current selection (shown in the image below) can now be used to jump the start/end points of the selection by 250m or 500m in a single click.  Just hold the alt key down when clicking to jump by 250m or the shift key to jump by 500m.

17th April 2019

The GPX/KML/TCX export button has been updated to no longer simplify the number of data-points.  This was done previously to keep the file-size smaller to avoid limitations of the browsers for these dynamic file downloads.  I’ve found a slightly different way to do it that seems to avoid this limitation.

A couple of things to note:

  • iOS browsers seem to work slightly differently but I’ve coded it up to handle those.
  • iOS Safari doesn’t support the filenames on the file downloads (it saves the file as “unknown” and without a file extension so it won’t let you open it directly in another app (e.g. Wahoo Elemnt app).  If you use iOS Chrome instead then it’ll download with the correct filename and let you open directly in another app.

25th March 2019

  • Date and source of race information added below each race in the Race Hub.  Race organisers will often make changes to the routes on the run up to the race so if the date shown for the latest information used is more than a few weeks old then it would be worth checking with the race organiser to see if there have been any changes and send me the latest GPX/KML/KMZ files.

23rd March 2019

  • Live app bug fix – when tracking by a Velon live tracking rider the view would flick between your own position and the riders position. This is now fixed.

7th March 2019

  • New waymarker types in Race Hub and Live app:
    •  Railway crossing.
    •  Straight ahead.
  • Average gradient now shown alongside the distance when tapping two points along the route:
Tap on two points along the course (red dots will be shown on the map showing the location of the taps) and this popup will be displayed showing the distance between those two points (following the course) and the average gradient. Links to Google StreetView for each point are also provided (open in Google Maps app if installed)

1st February 2019

  • Gradient averages in upcoming profile.  The size of the sections being averaged varies depending on the distance you have chosen in the bottom right of the page:

  • Current speed, elevation and VAM (rate of vertical ascent in metres per hour) shown in top left corner.  Tapping on this area will open a popup showing the average speed for the last hour:

 

New additions prior to 2019 have not been itemised, sorry!