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Strava introduces new features for heatmaps

Check out the latest updates to Strava's popular heatmaps section

Photo by: strava

Strava subscribers will be familiar with the app’s heatmaps feature, which shows how popular certain areas are for training. There are both global and personal heatmaps available to Strava users. The global option is great to see popular running routes if you’re in a new place (or even to discover new routes where you live), and personal heatmaps are a cool way to see just how much area you have covered all around the world. On Wednesday, Strava is completing an app-wide update (which has been rolling out all week) that has some new features on heatmaps. Here are some new things subscribers can expect to see. 

Strava Heat Map
Photo: Strava.

New activities 

Before the latest update, heatmaps could only be created for runs and bike rides. Now, however, Strava is adding winter and water sports to the heatmap lineup, meaning runners trying out other sports for cross training can see any popular routes nearby.

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With the app’s new timing feature, Strava users can choose between an all-time viewing on heatmaps or a specific year. Other than simply being able to see how your route selection has evolved from year to year, this could also help you rediscover old routes. When looking at your all-time heatmap, you might miss some routes that are less “hot” (the more popular an area, the brighter it shines). By selecting a specific year, you could see past favourites that you haven’t run in a while. 

An American ultrarunner named Jen Golbeck ran every street in the Florida Keys in 2020, which would make for a very complete heatmap. Photo: Twitter/jenrunswithdogs

Activity clusters

In earlier versions of the app, users would see the map with the varying degrees of heat spread across it. Now, users can turn on “activity clusters,” which show you dots over each region, giving you the chance to take a quick scan of how active you are everywhere. But don’t worry — if you prefer the standard heat setting, you can forget the numbers display and stick with that. 

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Map styles and colours

While heatmaps used to stick to a black map with heat ranging from yellow to red, users can now change to winter or satellite maps. There will also be the option to change the colour of the heatmap, and users can choose between orange, red, blue, blue-red, purple and grey. 

If you’re a Strava subscriber and your heatmaps haven’t updated yet, check back later, as the Strava team has said everyone should have these new features by the end of the day on Wednesday.

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