SPOT data analysis, and the effects of feeds

JenAJenA Charter Member
edited August 2014 in General Discussion
I'm learning to program in R, and was instantly draw to the idea of automatically downloading the SPOT off the website, overcoming that blasted and illogical 50-point restriction, and generating super-cool KML files that can be uploaded into Google Earth. The points are labelled with distance to finish, swimmer speeds over the last 10/60 minutes, etc. I've even got automatic ETA calculations predicting the finish. :-)

If you want to see an example from yesterday, you can download this KML here, snapshot'd just before Colleen Shields became the oldest woman (62y 325d) to cross Lake Ontario along the traditional route: Lake Ontario.kml?dl=1

Once I got the data into R, I could start to do *really* cool things with it, like plot her speed as a bar chart, making the width of the bars equal to the number of seconds between SPOT data points. :) What's really neat about this is that you can pretty much discern when she was feeding. (The y-axis is km/hr.)


I couldn't quite figure out how to plot the time of day when the scale is in seconds, so you'll just have to picture that information for youself, knowing her total swim time was 21h33.49. :-)

It looks like she lost about 1km/hr during the 10 minutes that she fed, which works out to about 167 meters each time she feeds.

I find this fascinating.

There are three speed spikes. The first spike is where Colleen hit just over 7 km/hr at the onset of her swim. She was getting a giant push from the Niagara River - it *is* where the Niagara Falls drain, after all. :) The second two spikes seem to be the boats repositioning, or perhaps ferrying something off the main boat.

Let this be a lesson to us all -- your speed can drop below 1km/hr for an hour, and you can *still* finish a 50.5km swim, even if you're nearly 63. :-) Daylight and pacers change everything!
Sign In or Register to comment.