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Fitness tracker becomes city planning tool

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Strava Global Heat Map.

Three years ago Strava, a popular fitness-tracking app and social network for athletes, embarked on a journey to change commuting by bike and foot. With over five million rides and runs uploaded each week, the GPS cycling and running app collects trillions of data points that show how people actually move through cities. In 2013, Departments of Transportation (DOT) approached Strava about that data and in 2014, Strava Metro was launched. 

Inspired by Strava’s heatmaps, the DOT contacts, who are Strava athletes, saw opportunity to use that data collected to improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. The heatmaps anonymously visualize the GPS points of every ride or run recorded on Strava and can be viewed on Strava Labs.

The heatmaps give real information on how people were getting from point A to point B and these Strava athletes realized that data could be very useful for city planning. 

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