Strava's global heatmap highlights locations of sensitive military bases through personnel's activities

Interactive map by Strava shows where people are using Fitbit and other devices

Interactive map by Strava shows where people are using Fitbit and other devices

The fitness app does not exclusively allow people to find sensitive USA information.

Using data from fitness trackers such as the Fitbit, Strava's map shows millions of users' runs, walks, and bike trips from 2015 to September of 2017 - and in some countries, the activities of military and aid personnel are seen in stark contrast, as their outposts shine brightly among the comparative darkness of their surroundings. Public data can come in handy most of the time.

The company said the map shows over one billion uploaded activities from users between 2009 and November 2017.

Australian student Nathan Ruser. pointed out via Twitter the heat map easily identifies and maps USA military bases, including remote areas of operation.

Both the US military and Strava say they are addressing the problem. According to Strava, private details haven't been included in the map - indicating that the company has even more data that could be used by terrorists if it fell into the wrong hands. However, some areas are unknown locations, which probably mean that they are secret outposts where American soldiers and other military personnel operate.

Breaking down the data, they went on to say Strava's map consisted of "1 billion activities, 3 trillion latitude/longitude points, 13 trillion pixels rasterized, 10 terabytes of raw input data, a total distance of 27 billion km (17 billion miles), a total recorded activity duration of 200 thousand years [and] 5% of all land on Earth covered by tiles". "We are committed to helping people better understand our settings to give them control over what they share".

In response to the security breach row, Strava has told users they can upgrade their privacy settings to avoid sharing data about their location.

The map doesn't include live data.

Posting an image of a route to and from a base, Ruser noted: "This particular track looks like it logs a regular jogging route".

And while the locations of some of these bases are well known in war zones such as Syria and Iraq, many are also unknown.

Twitter users have identified locations including a suspected Central Intelligence Agency base in Somalia, a Patriot missile defense system site in Yemen and U.S. special operations locations include a suspected Central Intelligence Agency base in Somalia, a Patriot missile defense system site in Yemen and USA special operations bases in the Sahel region of Africa. "Recent data releases emphasize the need for situational awareness when members of the military share personal information", said Pentagon spokeswoman Harris.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Air Force Colonel John Thomas said the United States is now analysing the threats posed by publication of the map.

" The San Francisco-based company said the information was made public by users".

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