This past Spring, I started using a smartphone app that uses GPS to track physical activity called Strava. I began using Strava because I, in a very stereotypical new to Denver move, bought a bike. As a new cycler I wanted a tool to help me track my distance, the routes I am taking, and a resource that shares the popular routes other bikers were using around the metro area.
Fast forward to 9 months from that purchase and I have thoroughly enjoyed using Strava for tracking both my bike rides and jogging routes. The GPS technology is very accurate and records distance, elevation, and elapsed time all from my phone. It even keeps track of all the times I have ever put in on a route. Allowing me to track personal records down to the tenth of a mile on various segments along my favorite trails.
Recently, I received a Strava newsletter that informed me if I signed in to the desktop website I could export and download my activity as GPS data in several different file formats. As an employee for a mapping software company, my curiosity was peaked and I instantly logged into see if I could export to a supported file format in Surfer. Fantastic news, Strava includes options to export any activity as a GPX file which can be imported into Surfer as a base map. Even better, the polylines stored in the GPX files have associated XYZ data in longitude, latitude and elevation in feet!
With this discovery the wheels starting turning and I started experimenting in Surfer. Eventually, I came up with 3 maps that showcase the jogging and biking routes I enjoyed the most this summer.