Discover what's behind KANARA Sport's new algorithm: GPS Water Track

KANARA Sport is always thinking about the needs of sailors & water sports athletes, which is why we developed the GPS Water Track algorithm. We want to create the best platform for water sports enthusiasts, so we must listen to their needs and study the feedback they give us.

Since the beginning, users have asked us to improve our system to better track their water-based activities. This is why we have created our new GPS Water Track algorithm. Keep reading to learn about how KANARA Sport helps nautical & water sports athletes to get the most accurate & relevant data for all their activities.

Why we developed the GPS Water Track algorithm

To error is to be human. Sometimes we forget to turn off the lights at home or we end up checking a thousand times if we have unplugged an electrical appliance.

Similarly, after a long day in the water and having logged one or more sessions, one may forget to end the tracking of the activity session. This creates some problems: the watch or the phone you use continues to record, and in turn continues to analyze the different metrics such as speed, distance or time duration of your session. However, by time you notice, you are usually no longer in the water and all that information is no longer relevant, because you are either in the car or walking.

This means that the data that will be obtained is not reliable. You can no longer rely on this data to properly measure your athletic performance and it isn’t fair to other athletes in the community with whom you share the data. This is because the recorded session data such as speed, distance or duration (as well as competitive rankings) will be distorted by the unfilter terrestrial activities such as driving a car.

This is a common issue in many apps used for tracking water sports activities. In KANARA Sport, these sessions would be discarded because they failed to pass our filters or users would be forced to ask us to please delete the session manually. Thankfully, with the new GPS Water Track algorithm, this is no longer the case.

Now you can rely on the KANARA Sport app for truly reliable clean logging of session data & be assured of fairer competitive analysis when comparing logged activities with other athletes!

Let’s Get Technical: Exploring the Rationale for the GPS Water Track algorithm In Depth

When the technical team investigated the problem of accurately filtering land & water activites synced to the KANARA Sport from users’ Garmin or Suunto smartwatch or smartphone activity trackers, they discovered that:

  • 70% of the sessions that were synced to the app had at least one coordinate point out of water
  • 20% of the sessions had at least 10% of points out of the water
  • 5% of the sessions had more than 50% of their points out of the water.

For example, the following figure shows how one KANARA user did not end his session and the smartwatch continued to record the geopositioning of the athlete. In the analysis of movement patterns, the points formed by the coordinates recorded by the smartwatch or smartphone are known as lags. In this session, a total of 47% of the lags are out of the water so the user would lose all his data and statistics.

This image was obtained from the overlay of the session coordinate points and a Google Maps satellite image

In order to find a solution to these types of problems, the KANARA technical team developed a first algorithm which was called "GPS Water Track_v1" that randomly sampled the route taken by the athlete on water, selecting 20 equispaced session lags.

Subsequently, this algorithm was connected to the API of an external provider that responded whether or not these sampled coordinates corresponded to points on the water. If more than 20% of these lags were on dry land, the athlete's session was automatically deleted. Although at first, the GPS Water Track_v1 algorithm seemed to solve some user problems, it was not totally accurate and completely erased the session since it was not known exactly where and for how long the athlete had been out of the water.

That is why we developed a second algorithm: "GPS Water Track_v2" which, lag by lag, detects whether the file coordinates are above water or not. All those lags that are on dry land are eliminated by the app, so that the user who has been forgotten to close his session on the smartwatch, does not lose the whole session.

With the updated GPS Water Track algorithm, we are able to detect lag by lag whether a point is in the water or not and automatically delete activity points that are recorded out of the water. In this way KANARA will analyze your sessions, taking into account only the activity realised on water. Now your personal statistics, your friend & the community rankings will no longer be affected.

If that sounds a bit technical and complicated, you can think of the algorithm as an eraser- deleting any data that is irrelevant to your actual nautical and water sports activity. Now if you forget to turn off your activity tracker, any activity recorded on land will automatically be deleted so that you can preserve your logged water sports activities and get the most accurate data to measure your performance.

The effectiveness of our new GPS Water Track algorithm is such that in 50% of the sessions analyzed, GPS Water Track detected those lags on the water with an accuracy of 3.7 meters. Even better, in 95% of these sessions, the accuracy was a maximum of 15 meters. In other words, in the vast majority of the sessions KANARA is able to identify all those lags in the water with a near 100% reliability, when the athlete is more than 15 meters away from the beach.

How You Benefit from the New GPS Water Track Algorithm

We are pleased to share this new feature with the nautical & water sports athlete community. You and all other users in the KANARA Sport will benefit in from the implementation of the new algorithm by:

  • Getting more accurate activity data from your Garmin and Suunto
  • Properly separate and log your water & terrestrial sport activities
  • Preserve your nautical & water sports session data
  • No more worries about forgetting to stop your activity recording
  • Sharing & comparing your athletic stats with other athletes
  • Ensuring private & public rankings are reliable and fair

We are excited to share a number of other new & improved featured and functions to help you get more out of your on water activities. If you have any questions about our application, do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Don’t forget that your feedback matters to us. Share it with us today (give us your feedback in English or Spanish). Help us help you and grow together as a community.

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