News & Updates

XMAP Tracker used to follow Teenage Cancer Trust charity cyclists

This July, 88 people got together to cycle from London to Paris with one aim, raise as much money for charity as possible.

The cycle was part of Teenage Cancer Trust's series of fundraising events that see people take on epic challenges to help raise funds for providing expert treatment and support for 13-24 year olds with cancer.

 

Why a Tracker App?

When friends and family sponsor people to take on a challenge they do so selflessly as they know they are supporting a worthy cause. However, they usually have the opportunity to go and see the fundraiser complete the event. At the London Marathon you see the streets lined with supporters cheering on the runners, and at a sponsored skydive they get to see them fall from the sky! But a long-distance cycle is a bit different as it's not practical to have an entire fan-base follow an entire trip. So Teenage Cancer Trust came up with the idea of tracking the team on a map. This could be shared among supporters and followers to see how far the team had got.

 

Why were GeoXphere asked to build it?

Well, our very own Chris Mewse was actually signed up to do the challenge with his wife Vicki who works at Teenage Cancer Trust. On one training ride out in Hampshire they discussed the idea and thought it would be a good idea. It was then pitched to the XMAP team, lead by Tom, who offered to build the app.

 

The Technology

We decided to build this app on our new beta XMAP platform. We created a basic map interface using configurable map window components in XMAP, set a light base map and added a coloured KML of the route. We then set an Android app to ping our XMAP server every 60 seconds with a GPS position. An XMAP listener would then take that GPS and place an icon on the map. Nice and simple but very effective. For this cycling challenge we set it to track just one participant (Chris) and it was his extra challenge to pace himself as the average across the group! This didn't always happen as he was stone-cold last for most of one morning!

 

The Cycle

The cycling challenge started in Crystal Palace in South London and ended at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a total of 300 miles over 4 days with a cumulative climb of 14,027ft. The 88 strong Teenage Cancer Trust team battled steep hills, punctures, heavy rain, headwinds and scorching sunshine. All managed to complete the trip with only minor scrapes and bruises (although one participant did dislocate his shoulder on the first day!).

 

Engagement

The tracker app went some way to increase awareness of the challenge and the charity itself as people shared the tracker link through social media. All useful stuff for a charity doing such important work. The app received 3,700 hits over the 4 days and over 110,000 map refreshes. It received over 660 unique visitors, much more than was anticipated.

 

What was it all about?

The fundraising effort saw the team raise over £176,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. This all goes to help the charity give expert treatment and support 13 and 24 year olds with cancer. With 7 young people in this age band being diagnosed with cancer every day, every pound that is raised counts. Chris' fundraising page is here if you'd like to donate.

 

We are extremely proud to have been involved in this important fundraising event and were glad that our contribution made a difference. We see a lot of potential for the app being used in future events to support these inspirational people doing amazing things for charity.

You can find out more about Teenage Cancer Trust here and even sign up to one of their fundraising events for next year. They have cycle challenges from London to Paris or Amsterdam.


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