Strava Global Heatmap: the ‘ultimate map of athlete playgrounds’
Strava, the social network for athletes, has unveiled its Global Heatmap, an interactive data visualization featuring more than 1 billion activities from Strava athletes across the globe. The map boasts six times more data than the original version in 2015, and incorporates a wide variety of year-round land and water activities.
Created in conjunction with Strava Metro, Strava’s heatmap is a data tool that provides a broad look at activities, popular routes and sport destinations around the world.
Strava adds that its community has generated more than two-hundred thousand years’ worth of activity that cover nearly 17 billion miles.
“A global community can seem very abstract until you see its activities visually represented in your immediate location and across the world,” said Strava CEO James Quarles. “It’s not just runners and cyclists, either – skiers, hikers, kiteboarders and even mountaineers on Everest are all counted in the more than 1 billion uploads of the Strava community.”
The heatmap features data from 31 different activity types, spanning everything from kayaking to backcountry skiing. Strava Premium athletes can also access personal heatmaps, which are positioned as a unique way to visualize their activities over time.
Strava notes that the heatmap feature ‘shows everything from swims across the English Channel to hikes on iconic trails in Patagonia to snowboarding in Japan. It’s also a tool athletes explore to find new places to play.’
This window into the world of sport is taken a step further with Strava Metro, a tool that aims to make riding, running and walking in cities better. Strava Metro anonymizes and aggregates data from the millions of activities shared on Strava each week. Then, partners from departments of transportation and city planning groups use the data to improve infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians.
A full set of Metro data enables deep analysis of activities such as popular or avoided routes, peak commute times, intersection wait times, and origin/destination zones.
“The Strava Heatmap is enlightening because it lets us connect the bike riders we spot on the streets with a broader perspective of our territory, over space and time,” said Jorge Coelho, Mobility Project Manager, AMAL, Portugal. “Strava Metro then gives us the possibility to dive much deeper, breaking down data minute-by-minute and segment-by-segment for the entire road network. It’s a bit like our Pasteis de Belém: they’re good to smell, but you have to really sink your teeth into them to fully take advantage.”