Red Bull X-Alps

Millions of people used the the Red Bull X-Alps website to follow the world’s toughest adventure race via foot and paraglider across the Alps.

4.2M
sessions of the website during the race phase in 2017, an increase of 55 percent over 2015
8-min, 43-sec
average session time in 2017 was an increase of 109 percent over 2015
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“With Google Maps, we built an immersive website including live race statistics, real-time location tracking, and video from paragliders, leading to big increases in site traffic compared to previous years.”

{[ctrl.removeAuthorCompany("Ulrich Grill, CEO")]}, Digital Zooom, organizer of the Red Bull X-Alps race

Challenge

The Red Bull X-Alps adventure race from Salzburg, Austria, to Monaco, France, is among the world’s most challenging endurance tests. Thirty-two athletes race across the Alps by foot and paraglider, traveling more than 1,000 kilometers. Some participants hike more than 100 kilometers in a single day and gain thousands of meters in altitude. Race organizers needed a mapping solution to build a website that would let millions of people around the world track the race’s progress.

Solution

Red Bull X-Alps chose Google Maps to build the website, and Google Cloud Platform to do the analytics to calculate race statistics. The Google Maps JavaScript API displayed the real-time locations of racers on a map and overlaid information from other sources, including video from cameras they carried and race statistics from Google Cloud Platform. To ensure their locations were displayed accurately, the site collected up to three GPS data points per second from each athlete, for a total of one million per athlete during the course of the race. The maps also used the Google Maps Elevation API to display the elevation of the participants. Google Cloud Premier Partner Wabion helped with both the Google Maps and Google Cloud Platform deployments. With Google Maps, the site scaled smoothly to handle any amount of traffic. This was vital because the site was visited 4.2 million times -- an increase of 55 percent compared to 2015. Each session lasted 8 minutes, 43 seconds, an increase of 109 percent from 2015. The site worked equally well on mobile devices, desktops and laptops.

Benefits

  • The site scaled smoothly to handle traffic spikes during peak race times.
  • Compared to 2015, the site saw a 129 percent increase in smartphones use, 25 percent increase in desktop/laptop use and 22 percent increase in tablet use.
  • The site worked equally well on mobile devices, desktops and laptops, vital because 60 percent of visitors used mobile devices.
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APIs used

Millions of apps and sites use Google Maps APIs to benefit from a powerful mapping platform. Discover which set of APIs Red Bull X-Alps used to create their site:

 

Google Maps Javascript API

Used to build the Red Bull X-Alps website and display athletes’ locations

 

Google Maps Elevation API

Accurately displayed the elevation of athletes during the race

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