losangelesnewstoday.com June 20, 2018

Fitness tracker Strava lights up military base

30 January 2018, 12:59 | Dawn Berry

The Pentagon shows very little activity Image Strava

The Pentagon shows very little activity    
   Image Strava

A secretive special air service base has been inadvertently revealed by a fitness app that has created a heatmap of running routes around the country.

The interactive Global Heat Map, published by Strava last November, highlights the fitness activities of its 27 million global users, including mobile app users and people with fitness devices.

Scott Lafoy, an open-source imagery analyst, told CNN it's too early to truly assess how useful the data is.

Every year the app's creators produce a Global Positioning System heatmap of the "athlete playgrounds" around the world, in order to help users visualise the vast amounts of data they are collecting about their daily run, swim or cycle.

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

Ruser is a founder member of Institute for United Conflict Analysts and he said on Twitter, "Strava released their global heatmap".

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The Post added that other journalists on Twitter were also weighing in on what they identified to be USA military bases.

Militaries across the world are being forced to look into their security policies after the Strava app accidentally gave away the locations of secret bases and supply routes. "It excludes activities that have been marked as private and user-defined privacy zones", it said. Unlike many online publications, we don't have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic. This update saw the scale of the map increase to 1bn activities with 3bn latitude and longitude points and 10 terabytes of raw input data, among other things. But experts and keen observers have recently realized its potential to reveal location patterns of security forces working out at military bases in remote locations. You can use it as a tool for deciding where to go on your next jog or cycling adventure by zooming into a particular location. While the location of this missile base was already fairly public, there are potentially secret military bases around Taiwan, and around the world, that risk being unveiled by Strava.

A spokesman for U.S. Central Command said Sunday that the U.S. military is looking into the implications of the map, according to the Post.

"This is literally what 10,000 innocent individual screw-ups look like", he said. This includes sensitive USA military locations, such as those in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

The heatmap also appears to highlight RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands and a base used by French soliders in Niger.

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