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Fitness app map shows where Atlanta sweats


The GPS fitness app Strava is causing some heartburn with its global heat map of user data because it outlines U.S. military bases in Afghanistan and other global hot spots.

Strava put together the heat map using running and cycling data gathered from personal devices, including Fitbits and mobile phones, that use the app's route-building software. The Washington Post reported Monday that the U.S. -led coalition in Syria is revising its policies on the use of wireless devices as a result.

Less seriously, the heat map shows where runners and cyclers in Atlanta do their best work. The map of the metro area looks like a reverse traffic map. The interstates are cool spots, while parks and secondary roads glow like hot coals.

The first takeaway is that the Atlanta map snakes in all directions north if I-20 but is relatively quiet in the south metro area where large parks and pedestrian friendly areas are in shorter supply.

Here's a look a some of the hottest parts of Atlanta's heat map:

The intersection of Peachtree and 10th streets at Piedmont Park is on fire. The hottest part of the city.

Here's Stone Mountain as outlined by its loyal runners and bicyclists. (Note the glowing walking trail to the summit.)

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is another hot spot.

A bright spot in the south metro is Peachtree City, with its network paved golf cart paths.

Throughout the metro area, high school tracks show up as hot spots, like this track at Campbell High School in Smyrna.

The map doesn't use live data. Instead this is information the company gathered from 2015-2017. Users can opt out of having their data collected. There's more information on that here and here.

Find popular routes in your neighborhood. Here's a link to the Strava map.


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Joyner’s column, AJC Watchdog, investigates topics in your community and Georgia.