New study demonstrates the most popular run routes in world’s major cities

Ever been out for a run and thought that it seems busier than usual? Everyone has their own favourite routes, especially in cities, where getting to experience wider open spaces or even just some greenery or water!

Some fantastic new images from the folks over at Flowing Data have compiled data from RunKeeper users to plot the most popular routes for a range of cities – and the results make for interesting viewing.

Starting with our home town, we can see that the favourite routes around London all focus on the river Thames. There is a major surge of activity around the Embankment and Westminster areas as runner look to take in the sights and the river all at once. Elsewhere, the city’s major parks are also popular, with Hyde Park, Regents’ Park and St. James’ Park all featuring highly. The huge surge of activity around the centre of the city is due to the popularity of lunchtime runs, as time-poor employees look to get some exercise into their lunch breaks.

New York is next, with the seafront areas around Manhattan proving very popular with runners. Central Park is unsurprisingly popular as well, with many runners continuing up towards Harlem and the Bronx. Southwards of the city, Brooklyn Heights and Sunset Park prove major attractions as runners flock to the Hudson River’s edge.

Now for Paris, which sees a very even spread throughout the city. Runners here apparently like to take a major loop to the Bois de Boulogne in the West and the Bois des Vincennes in the East.

Lastly, Sydney – where the runners tend not to stray outside the city, but instead look towards the seafront to make up their routes.

The maps were built by Dr. Nathan Yau. “There are many exercise apps that allow you to keep track of your running, riding, and other activities,” he said.

Yau decided that the information was too personal, and wanted to join the individual tracks together.

‘If there’s one quick (and expected) takeaway, it’s that people like to run by the water and in parks, probably to get away from cars and the scenery.

‘In the smaller inland cities, there seem to be a few high-traffic roads with less running elsewhere.’

Flowing Data has a wide range of other cities, mainly in the US but also in Europe – check it out!

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