ArcGIS Earth

How to Use ArcGIS Earth to Help Plan a Marathon

I like running and already have done six full marathons in recent years.

As a marathon runner, I always care about the starting line, the finish line, and the details of the 42.195 km racecourse.

This time, I would like to have a role change. If I was a marathon organizer, how should I get started and what should I pay attention to?

First, I need to get maps. Next, I will sketch and mark the racecourse. After that, I can make a plan based on the course and marks on the map.

Let’s have a look at how to plan a marathon with ArcGIS Earth.

Draw the Marathon Course

Using last year’s course, mark the starting line, the finish line, and some other key points in the scene, using the geosearch capability of ArcGIS Earth. Then sketch the racecourse with the Draw tool.

Refer to changes made since last year, and with the help of different basemaps, modify the course line to make it the final racecourse of this year.

With the Measure tool, place a distance marker at each kilometer.

Draw the racecourse in ArcGIS Earth
Draw the racecourse in ArcGIS Earth

Now all the preparation work is done. The next thing to do is to analyze this data interactively.

Analyze the Race Data Interactively

For runners, seeing the course on the map is helpful, but it’s not enough. With ArcGIS Earth, an elevation profile can be generated with the course line.

An elevation profile allows interactive use with the map. Users can point to the elevation profile and see the course’s elevation and slope on the map. This is very helpful to participants and it lets me make a better plan.

The Elevation Profile generated in ArcGIS Earth
The Elevation Profile generated in ArcGIS Earth

ArcGIS Earth also provides the Viewshed and Line of Sight tools, which can help me do a visibility analysis if I have 3D layers of the area. This could help me a lot to make a security plan along with establishing the course and at the start/finish line.

Perform viewshed analysis in ArcGIS Earth
Perform viewshed analysis in ArcGIS Earth

Plan the Marathon

With the basic data and analysis results, I can make the whole plan and all the detailed arrangements:

Display the plan of marathon with ArcGIS Earth
Display the plan of marathon with ArcGIS Earth

Finally, all my work can be saved as a KMZ file, which can be shared via ArcGIS Earth Mobile to take to the field for course setup and marking.

Share the KMZ file with ArcGIS Earth Mobile
Share the KMZ file with ArcGIS Earth Mobile

I hope ArcGIS Earth provides your marathon the best of success and gives every participant a day to remember.

Download ArcGIS Earth for free and get started now.

Update: ArcGIS Earth Mobile is now available in Google Play and the App Store.

About the author

Xuewen Zhang

Xuewen Zhang is the product engineer for ArcGIS Earth, based in Beijing R&D Center.

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