Map: See the most popular routes for runners in NYC
This cool data-visualization project plots the most common running paths in the city; use it to find nice scenery or to avoid the crowds on your next jog
Fri Feb 7 2014
Photograph: Jena Cumbo
A neat data project reveals which running routes are most popular in New York; not only did it result in a beautiful map (scroll down to see it), but it's a handy tool if you're seeking inspiration for your next jog…or, if you prefer to run in solitude, to help you avoid the masses. The project, originally posted on Flowing Data, was created using public info from RunKeeper, an app that tracks athletes' routes, rates and distances. The findings were then plotted on a map of NYC, as well as a bunch of other cities across the world.
The results are pretty cool to look at, but it's important to note a few biases. Since the map includes data from major running events like the NYC Marathon, odd places like Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge look way more trafficked than they really are; the results are skewed because of that one day a year when half a million people follow a prescribed route. Also, the map only plots runners using RunKeeper, so it's not comprehensive. Shortfalls aside, it's fascinating to see a visualization of how runners navigate the city. Their movements are far from random.
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