Sunday, February 4, 2018

Recommended: "What does Strava data tell us about North Korea?"


Over at the North Korea Tech blog, they've got a very interesting post up, looking at pockets of fitness tracker data in North Korea from Strava's worldwide heatmap.

Strava heatmap fitness data, North & South Korea. Image: Strava, via NK Tech

🔗 NK Tech | What does Strava data tell us about North Korea?

I never would've thought about looking there, but they did, and found some interesting results. It's amazing the kind of unofficial insights you can get from a place just by looking at something as simple as fitness tracker data. They highlight some obvious foreigner wearers around the one hotel you're allowed to stay in, and the course of the Pyeongyang marathon, but also some other interesting outliers.

Hey, maps, screenshots, and (North) Korea. No wonder this post was right up my alley.

In fact I took at look at this Strava heatmap a few years back to point out the interesting result of using an older basemap with current heatmap data for a neat look at the Incheon Airport island's filling-in (back before it was a single piece of land).

🔗 10원 Tips: Heatmap contrasts old/new Incheon geography

See also this look how this kind of tracker data can reveal secrets about not just them but us too:

🔗  Fitness Devices Cause Concern of Revealing Secret US Military Bases – ROK Drop

Anyway, North Korea Tech is a fascinating blog, and if you're not following, you really should. Great to see them back online unblocked in South Korea. Protip: I was reading their posts anyway via RSS.

By the way, check out those cruises around Dokdo on the heatmap.

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