Have you checked out Google Earth yet? I had heard much about it, but since it was not available for Linux until just a couple of weeks ago, I had not downloaded it. I installed it 2 days after it came out. I played with it. Was impressed. But saw very little use for it other than the novelty of it. Admittedly, it is cool to fly through the Grand Canyon and see the mountains on either side of you as you skim across the Colorado River. But, beyond that (and being able to see the swimming pool in my back yard), I could not see much use.
Until a couple of days ago. I had been frustrated by all these people in running forums talk about using Google Maps (or similar) to route out runs, or see how far they had run. That is great if you live in the US, and I would guess some other places. But it does not work here in Mérida because there is no map data for Mérida in Google Maps. But…since Google Earth is satellite data that is tied to known coordinates, assuming the photos are stitched in right, you can get very accurate distances using the Ruler | Path tool.
For my run this morning, I mapped out 5Km and where each 1Km split would be. That allowed me to do something I have only done one time before–run with known mile/kilometer markers. I could “see” where each kilometer started and ended. That made the 5K go so much faster. Plus I am excited in that for the first time in about 6 weeks I have been able to see what my actual minutes per mile time is. I ran about 1.5 minutes faster per mile than I normally do.