Data Visualization Shows Boston’s Most Popular Running Routes

The Runkeeper project shows where people love to run.

Creatures of habit that we are, most of us have a favorite running route that we turn to time and time again. A data visualization made by fitness tracking app Runkeeper highlights some of those (very) well-worn paths.

Chris Drouin, Runkeeper’s data analyst, set out to illustrate what 24 hours of running in Boston looks like, showing where people are pounding pavement at every hour of the day. The visualization condenses thousands of runs into one time lapse, drawing on data gathered from Runkeeper employees throughout the company’s eight-year history.

Predictably, the city is a ghost town before 5 a.m. (Except for you, lonely wee hours runners. Who are you crazy people? Are you being safe?) Between 5:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., it looks like an anthill. There’s a steady flow for the rest of the day, with another spike lasting from post-work hours until roughly 8 p.m.

Unsurprisingly, the Charles River loop, the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, Castle Island, and pretty much all of Downtown Boston are heavily traveled. You can see the full map here:

Drouin wrote in a Medium post that he’d like to complete a similar project using data from all Runkeeper users, as long as he can find a way to properly navigate privacy concerns. Until then, his run-crazy coworkers give us a pretty good idea of the most popular running routes in Boston.