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A Richmond Heat Map: appreciate it but beware of its use!

02/02/2018 6:30 AM by

Love a cool visual showing the fitness patterns of your fellow neighbors? Then check out the Global Heatmap by Strava Labs. This data visualization heat map shows all the activity tracked by users of its app. People record their exercise and share it with others. Sound familiar? According to The Guardian, since November 2017, there have been over 3 trillion individual GPS data points.

Want to find out what routes your fellow runners love? This app allows you to geek out with other fitness enthusiasts. Runners sem to prefer the Canal St. and Chimborazo Park areas. while bikers  seem to prefer Dock St. and Main St. What do you think? Where do you like to run or bike? One day maybe it’ll be 29th St. or Jefferson Avenue!

A word of caution as there’s been some controversy over the app’s privacy settings. If you want use it for yourself then it’s important that you pay attention to where this information is going and how it can be broadcast to the world. Recently it was reported that military personnel on active service, humanitarian workers and others living abroad shared their locations in low density areas and inadvertently increased awareness of sensitive locations. If you don’t feel comfortable oversharing, then just appreciate the data already shared.

If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, click the link to download the app. Just remember to review the privacy options and if you’re already using it, update your privacy settings!


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