STRAVA Personal Heat MAPs


I like the occasional heatmap.

Sometimes they are very pretty, like the one below from Suunto’s MOVESCOUNT in 2016 and could almost be a work of art for your pain cave’s wall.

Suunto Movescount 2016 along with the Suunto Spartan Ultra
oooooh pretty!

Sometimes you might be ‘somewhere new’ with little idea of where to cycle, swim or run. Sure you have a satnav but is the suggested route from A to B going to be the prettiest or safest? Perhaps you can use Garmin’s popularity routing if you have a Garmin but, if not, a heat map can be a good indication that the most popular routes are the best routes for some reason or other.

The following image and link were from STRAVA in late 2017 when they first introduced their ‘global’ heat maps, meaning where we all go en-masse. Have a play with it directly on STRAVA if you like (link to where you can zoom in to the sport and area of interest to you.

STRAVA Heatmap – *PROPER* HEATMAP #awesome

If you have the paid-for SAFETY PACK of SUMMIT features on your STRAVA account then you can produce your own personal heatmap, like this:


There is, however, a free alternative that also has a few more options with this clever plugin from Jonathan O’Keefe called the “Strava Multiple Ride Mapper”. It shows you just how adventurous, or not, you have been for any given sport over any time period. You can cover several years of data but then it takes a while to display all the routes. The colours and sizes of the lines on the routes can be adjusted by the plugin to produce something that is probably a little prettier than I managed here from some of my recent rides. Link:

Here’s an image from different HEATMAP software but still working on your STRAVA data (see comments further below). It should be an animated image of some of my local routes ! I’m not entirely sure what it shows other than SPEED and FREQUENCY but, hey, it looks cool. Create your own on

This is from the same source software but looking at me from a more zoomed out level.

Heatmaps in the news

Heatmaps have, sort of, been in the news a few times over the last few years. There was a recent news story made from military personel who were also STRAVA users and who gave away some of their regular training routes when on base by making their profiles public (which STRAVA then aggregated into a heatmap). Probably that’s not an issue domestically but when on duty in the Middle East it could have been more of a problem.

At the time of that stoy I had a look at what the Russians did but was a little disappointed to find very little as this rather dull-looking heatmap showed.

STRAVA – Media Idiocy around Heatmap

There was a also a story that I glanced though in recent weeks but the source escapes me right now. (I’ll add it in). It pointed to university research that used STRAVA heatmap as one of their inputs  in a study….it was interesting at the time !

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22 thoughts on “STRAVA Personal Heat MAPs

  1. Hi 5krunner! If you like activity heatmaps, you might like my app Heatflask ( which introduces a new kind of aggregate visualization for movement data. I don’t really have a name for it yet; perhaps “frequency map”, or “semi-static heatmap”.

    Suppose you animate an activity not just by one entity traversing the recorded track, but several moving in parallel, separated by a time constant T. Then what you see is a periodic system with period T. If T is very low then what you get is something that looks like O’Keef’s Multiple Ride Mapper. Increase T and the dot spacing becomes more sparse. This frequency-map is a novel idea as far as I know. It’s fun to look at and can be informative. Check it out!

      1. Thanks! The dots move in proportion to the recorded pace/speed. You will see that they speed up and slow down, and for a given activity they are farther apart where you went faster and bunched together where you slowed down. The “playback” speed and period T (sparsity constant) are adjustable.

        The code is open-source by the way, and the app is free for now, until I can come up with a decent monetization strategy. I welcome any donations or contributions of code.

      2. yeah, it seems to do as you say. i’ve been staring at it for the last 30 minutes!!

        nobody will pay you much thru PATREON or similar…i cite my blog as an example of how to get traffic rather than cash 😉
        advertising would the best way but i’m not so sure that your site would get as much repeat traffic as, say, a STRAVA analysis package…although you would still get many tens of thousands of hits i would have thought. (that equates to TENS of dollars…not hundreds 🙁 )
        i mentioned to some other STRAVA plugin developers that some of you should team together to produce alternative SUMMIT packs, perhaps which shadow STRAVA’s in some way but which provide similar functionality but in more novel ways. put the advertising on the alternative summit pack home page as well as in the free parts of your apps.

      3. Yeah I’m thinking a very minimally priced subscription model. Free use for displaying 10 or fewer activities, or $3 / year for unlimited. I need to research how to make this fair internationally. I have users all over the world and $3 for people in the U..S. might not be reasonable to people in Brazil for example. A large chunk if my users are in Japan for some reason. I also want to have text translations for different languages, most notably Japanese, German, French, and Spanish.

        It costs me about $20 / month for hosting on Heroku with Redis and Atlas MongoDB storage.

        As of now I have about 20000 registered users. Probably over 100000 people have looked at it but not registered. Most people use the app once or twice but I have a few regulars.

    1. Does the Elevate plugin let me create heatmaps? I don’t see where it does but I’d appreciate that functionality…

      …especially since this article appears to have created a surge of traffic to and used up all his limited API calls for the day. 😉

      1. Enough of a surge that I was unable to build my healmap yesterday evening, the first time I’ve seen him use all his free API calls in a long time.


    1. I had a friend who bid a tile-based community concept to Google. Whoever ever claimed the tile made that area belong to that community. A more refined community-based view than ip codes/postal codes. i owuld have thought marketeers would have loved that maybe he didn’t pitch too well.

      ill leave veloviewer for now. it’s kinda a heat map..but not really. plus, as you say, i’d probably get addicted to taking over the world tile-by-tile.

  2. Hi 5krunner,. Another service for visualizing heatmap data over Strava activities is It also allows you to browse your activities and see your connected friends heatmaps, can give some really cool maps!

    Give it a try!

    1. i’ll have a look.

      That site seems to offer the most promise out of all of the heatmap offerings linked to strava…after all STRAVA is about SOCIAL so surely it is best to have club- or friend-based heatmaps? Note: it looks like your friends have to join this site as well for you to see your combined heatmaps

      At least we all managed to crash at least one of these sites..sometimes the developers have to pay for the calls to the map providers if they breach a certain limit.

      InternalOAuthError: failed to fetch user profile
      at /srv/mapsfitness/node_modules/passport-strava-oauth2/lib/passport-strava/strategy.js:74:28
      at passBackControl (/srv/mapsfitness/node_modules/oauth/lib/oauth2.js:132:9)
      at IncomingMessage. (/srv/mapsfitness/node_modules/oauth/lib/oauth2.js:157:7)

      1. I had Heatflask maps available for group activities with multiple users until Strava changed the API; I think for privacy reasons, there is no longer an option to fetch the IDs of activities “related” to a given activity as you would see in a Strava Flyby viz.

        Actually it didn’t occur to me that it might be cool to *manually* select tracks from different users and overlay them on the same map. Still the app would need permission from each involved user in order to fetch activity tracks on their behalf, so it only would work with users registered with the app. That would be a nice incentive to get more people signed up though.

      2. Sorry, I’m the developer of and I guess I missed that bug -let me take a look!

        Thanks for checking it out!

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