The Evolution of TracAce

14th July 2021

TracAce software has come a long way in the past 4 years…

Part 1: The Sailing Southwest Days

The company started out life as Sailing Southwest Ltd in 2017.  The company was formed to set up sailing races around the region to help people access the sport during the torrid winter months, when sailing is not possible at many clubs.  This saw the creation of the SSW Winter Series; 10 feature pursuit races hosted at different clubs around the SW UK each winter.

Mixed class pursuit racing neatly lends itself to GPS tracking.  This is a timed race, with faster boats attempting to chase down the slower ones before the time runs out.  At the finish the boats are ranked by their position on the water.  We found that GPS tracking made life so much easier for both sailors and race organisers!

We created TracAce Race to solve this problem.  The software tracked the location of each competitor in real time which could be viewed, paused and replayed.  TracAce Race meant organisers could keep a better eye on the competitors, verify finish positions and review any post race protests.  The software was an immediate success, and was hired for National and World Championships as well as local racing.

Part 2: The TracAce Era

In the autumn of 2019, the National Trust came calling.  Staff at Killerton House and Gardens were interested in finding out more about their visitors’ experiences at Killerton, and specifically where people were going during their visit.  We were able to provide an innovative solution using our TracAce software and GPS trackers.

We conducted the Killerton Trials in October 2019, collecting over 300 tracks from Killerton visitors and providing an in-depth data analysis for our client.  We found patterns in the times and durations of visits to different areas of the park, identified where visitors got lost or turned around, picked out areas regularly missed out or ignored and we found strong trends amongst all these factors for different types of visitor.

This successful project gave us the impetus to take the development of our new software, TracAce Explorer to a new level during lockdown.  We received funding and support from organisations such as Business West, the Impact Lab (made up of the Met Office and University of Exeter) and Sussex Innovation to develop TracAce Explorer into a multi-faceted tool that employs smart phone apps, machine learning and online data storage and processing systems to generate rich and reliable reports for our clients.

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