Gotta get that segment! Strava, cycling and data // Information Systems

#cserTask5 Option 2

Strava: Data for Athletes

I’m a cyclist, and a weekend warrior when it comes to two-wheeled, self-powered, carbon-fibred, lycra-clad pursuits.  And I compete in the regular “Commuter Cup” – an informal race to catch the person in front of you on your daily ride into work.  What has transformed by hobby and casual interest into something I am very competitive about is data.  And Strava is an app that helps me and countless others like me, make sense of all that data.

Using an app on my phone I can record GPS location, I can connect to various sensors on my bike for power, pedal strokes and speed, as well as a heart rate monitor to record how I went travelling to the local coffee shop or further afield.  It presents all that data in graphs which i can compare to one another.

I can also track other people’s performance over the same stretch of road. And compare it to my own.  There is a lot this data can tell you to help improve your cycling, running, swimming.

The GPS data is publicly shared (if you choose it to be) and has been used by urban planners to understand traffic flow by creating heatmaps, which has inadvertently revealed the location of secret army installations, as soldiers were tracking their daily runs around the base.

The visualisation of data – my own and others – is remarkable.

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