Strava Heatmap, with a close-up on Stittsville

MAPS: What Strava’s fitness data can tell us about our neighbourhood

Thanks to Ken Edwards for sharing this link from Strava, the finess tracking app. The company has released a heatmap based on data they’ve collected from people who bike and run and otherwise “recreate” all over the world.

“Over a billion other Strava activities were used to create the new Heatmap. It includes over 27 billion kilometers of data, overlapping to show the most frequented spots for sport on the globe. This incredible visualization was created with 200 thousand years of movement including thousands of marathons and countless coffee rides,” says the company.

Strava doesn’t reveal how many different people or trips are represented in this visualization, but it’s still an interesting look at how we move around.

The bright yellow lines on each map represented the highest usage, and purple is the lowest.  In the map below, The Trans Canada Trail next to Abbott Street stands out as the brightest route, running diagonally from lower left to upper right.

Here's a zoomed-out view of Stittsville. The Trans Canada Trail next to Abbott Street is the brightest line, running diagonally from bottom left to top right.
Here’s a zoomed-out view of Stittsville. The Trans Canada Trail next to Abbott Street is the brightest line, running diagonally from bottom left to top right.

You can use the maps to find some “off the beaten track” trails to explore.  A couple examples…

The map shows the route of popular dog walking trails in Shea Woods.
The map shows the route of popular dog walking trails in Shea Woods.
Here are some un-marked trails on private property north of Jackson Trails. They're popular for dog walkers.
Here are some un-marked trails on private property north of Jackson Trails. They’re popular for dog walkers.

Looking for other fitness enthusiasts?  Look for landmarks on the map like the track behind Sacred Heart / GRC.

Here's the intersection of Abbott and Shea Road. The running track behind Sacred Heart / Goulbourn Rec Centre stands out as a popular spot for runners.
Here’s the intersection of Abbott and Shea Road. The running track behind Sacred Heart / Goulbourn Rec Centre stands out as a popular spot for runners.

Strava also shares a more detailed dataset with municipalities, including the City of Ottawa, so that they can use the information to make better planning and transportation decisions.  For example, the data could be used to identify a need for better sidewalks or cycling infrastructure.

The arrow below points to a section of pathway that links Victor Street to Amberwood. Popular trails like this one could be candidates for upgrades in the future.

The arrow points to a section of pathway that links Victor Street to Amberwood. Popular trails like this one could be candidates for upgrades in the future.
The arrow points to a section of pathway that links Victor Street to Amberwood.

The arrow below points to a section of pathway at Bandmaster Park in Fairwinds. For a few years now I’ve been asking the city to plow this route during the winter, since it’s a useful (and apparantly popular!) north-south connector in our neighbourhood.

The arrow points to a pathway near the splash pad at Bandmaster Park. For a few years now I've been asking the city to plow this route during the winter, since it's a useful north-south connector in our neighbourhood.
The arrow points to a pathway near the splash pad at Bandmaster Park.

The map can also reveal some revealing info. This cycling heatmap shows several visits to Lois & Frima’s on Stittsville Main.

This close-up of the cycling heat map shows that a lot of riders make a stop at Lois & Frima's on their ride.
This close-up of the cycling heat map shows that a lot of riders make a stop at Lois & Frima’s on their ride.

Check out the map for yourself here: https://labs.strava.com/heatmap/ … and email us if you find anything interesting worthy of further exploration.


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