The GPS Blog

GPS Track Display and Analysis

For several years now we've been loading GPS tracks of our sailing, canoeing, cycling and dog walking activities into a custom developed application for displaying and analysing GPS tracks.

The Google Map images of recent uploaded GPS tracks link through to the full details and analysis displayed on (with marine charts displayed for on water activities).

The GPS Blog Pictures

Photos from The GPS Blog

Here are some randomly chosen photos from activities on

You can select which type of activity to see photos from and "reload" to see more photos. Hover/click/tap to see larger versions of the photos, more details on where/when they were taken and links through to the activity on The GPS Blog.

On a device with a large screen and like the photos? Better viewed at a larger gallery.

Yearly Cycling Statistics

Liz and Aidan's Cycling Stats for 2020

To try and encourage ourselves to get out on our bikes more often, we've been setting targets for how many miles to try and ride each year. The details for 2020 are shown below (hover over / tap the red "miles cycled" line for progress at any date).

Details for past years and statistics for other activities at

The Cloudy Book Club

Books recently reviewed on the Cloudy Book Club

So I thought I ought to get some hands on development and deployment experience with microservices and "cloud" platforms. To that end, I needed to develop a small, stateless microservice that I could use to test deploy to various cloud platforms. I just needed an idea for what to develop. Liz pointed out that I'm forever giving Waterstones and Amazon money for books I've already read so why didn't I build a microservice to record what books I've read recently.

Hence the Cloudy Book Club was born.

Recent books reviewed on the Cloudy Book Club are shown below. Scroll through by clicking on a book cover. Clicking / tapping on the active book will take you through to the actual review on the Cloudy Book Club. You can choose to filter by my rating of a book (but you'll have to go to the Cloudy Book Club to see the worst rated books).

Recently played music

What's been on the music player recently

For a while now the various music players I use (PowerAmp, Spotify etc) have been configured to send data about what I've been playing to LastFM - so called "scrobbles". LastFM then provide statistics and suggestions about your listening.

They also provide an API and that's being used to provide the information displayed below. Hover over / tap the album covers to see just how much I like Nick Drake. Click on the "burger menu" icon on the left hand side for more options. Also available at

Old music

Some very old music

A long, long time ago I used to play a lot of guitar very badly. Here's a few old recordings.

The first song from way back with Rose singing and the guitar tuned to DADGAD. I'm still quietly pleased with the "middle eight" bit on the guitar (1:30 onwards). I think this was recorded on a ghetto blaster.

The second song is also with Rose singing although we did sometimes use to play this one with Critical Error so putting it next to a Critical Error gig poster isn't completely out of order.

The third track is a live Critical Error recording where we tried to sound just a little like Hawkwind but with two acoustic guitars and a bass!

Software design and development

Software development

Although I like to think of myself as a software developer, if I'm honest, for a decade or more what I've really done most of the time is design software for other people to build.

However, in much the same why I'd want an architect designing me a house made of bricks to have some idea about how bricks are layed, I think software designers (please let's not call them "architects") should have some idea about how to develop the software they design! To that end, I've tended to write "side projects" in any of the technologies I'm thinking of using in the software systems I design.

The table below details just a few of those side projects - most of which are providing the existing data APIs being re-used by this website.

Website Tech details Source code Fun facts
  • Java/Spring Boot and MongoDB on the server side
  • AngularJS on the front end
  • Lots of other goodies - see the GitHub README
If you have Docker installed and have cloned the server side repo, type
docker-compose pull
edit the .env file appropriately and then
docker-compose up --scale api-tier-java=2
to get the nodes shown in this diagram up and running on your system.
  • Scala and MySQL on the server side
  • With just a little Java/SpringBoot and MongoDB
  • and a whole host of JS frameworks
  • Umpteen other frameworks and technologies as detailed at TheGpsBlog FAQ
The source code for is not open source.
The only Scala code I have openly available is example solutions to the exercises in Cay Hortsman's Scala For the Impatient. Available at
Scala was fun to learn because of its fusion of functional programming idioms with more traditional OO. However, with every release since JDK8, Java has "adopted" more and more functional aspects from Scala meaning that I use Scala less and less.
  • React Javascript
  • AngularJS Javascript
This was one of the first applications I developed using AngularJS (having moved on from JQuery, Backbone and umpteen others - the lifetime of the average JS framework library is less than that of the average mayfly).
The current version uses React - a framework that I am very much still learning how to use.
(this website)
  • HTML/CSS/JQuery
  • React Javascript
  • Inovatik made available the free template upon which this site's look and feel is based - thank you Inovatik!
  • The other source code isn't currently open source / available
Almost all of this site re-uses data APIs already available from my existing applications / websites. Development for this website just consisted of writing some new React based components to "consume" those APIs within (resizable) iframes.

Get In Touch

Got a suggestion for where to paddle, like the photos, criticise the music I've been listening to, got better books for me to read, whatever... or just say "hello" if you feel like it.

Or follow on social media

... but we very rarely post on social media sites so there's not really much point