Urban Velo

Strava-Sourced Data

stravaAnd you thought Strava was just arrogant bragging rights for those too scared to enter a real race. According to this article published on The Telegraph, Strava is now selling huge chunks of it’s route data to companies looking to make cycling safer. The data will likely be used to implement bicycle amenities along heavily trafficked routes. I remember attending planning meetings in early 2000 where large maps were tacked to the wall and cyclists were given highlighters to mark routes they rode and where they thought bicycle lanes were needed. This is the same concept, but much more extensive and infinitely more reality-based.

I’ll admit, I’ve been a defiant mocker of Strava, for no good reason except to rile up my friends, but I can fully get behind this. It should be noted that Strava plans to sell chunks of data that have been completely stripped of their personal information, in hopes to alleviate privacy concerns.

“Millions of GPS-tracked activities are uploaded to Strava every week from around the globe. In denser metro areas, nearly one-half of these are commutes. These activities create billions of data points that, when aggregated, enable deep analysis and understanding of real-world cycling and pedestrian route preferences,” claims the Strava website.

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

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2 Comments

  1. Mike JMay 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    The assumption is that Strava routes are representative of the routes taken by all bicycle users. Is this true? How would you know?

  2. FlatbadgerMay 19, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I recently saw a Strava map of my own area, published on a local cycling advocacy group website. As well as showing the most heavily used routes, which is good for lobbying for better infrastructure, it also inadvertenty showed where cyclists had used routes illegally, such as rights of way designated in the UK as footpaths, which are not open to cyclists. Whoops!

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