#Strava Heat Map Reveals Bicycle Incursions into #Wilderness

Blog Post created by TWSAdmin on Jan 30, 2018

Strava has been in the news a lot the last couple of days about the revelation that many sensitive military bases are now able to be located and mapped based on the Strava Heat Map updated in November 2017 with over 1 billion activities.  It got me thinking that since Strava divides their mapping by activity type, why can't we look for bicycle incursions into Wilderness areas where mechanized vehicles are not allowed.  Using this ArcGIS Blog post about Adding tile layers to your web map I was able to add the Strava Heat Map to ArcGIS Online as the running and the bicycling heat map separately.  I've put together a mapping application here that demonstrates the use of ArcGIS Online.  Just by eyeballing a number of areas where there are high concentrations of Strava bike routes adjacent to Wilderness Areas I was able to identify numerous incursions into Wilderness.

Indian Peaks Wilderness in ColoradoIndian Peaks Wilderness in Colorado

Joshua Tree Wilderness

 Joshua Tree Wilderness in CaliforniaMaroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado

White Cloud WildernessAlso, I've found situations where mountain biking was previously allowed and since has become Wilderness, for example, the White Cloud Wilderness Area in Idaho which was designated in 2015.  This represents either tracks before designation or illegal use of the trails after the designation.  


These types of revelations from crowdsourced apps are not the first and I'm sure we will continue to see more in the future.