This Is SO Cool: Map Shows the Most-Used Running Spots in Philly

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Photograph by Jeff Fusco

No, it’s not remotely surprising, but it’s still super cool to see. According to a pretty new map, which aggregated running-route data collected by the app RunKeeper, the Ben Franklin Parkway, Art Museum, Schuylkill River Trail and Broad Street (hello, Broad Street Run) are the most-run (runned?) running spots in Philly.

Data geek Nathan Yau mapped the results for Philly and a number of other U.S. cities over on his website FlowingData. It’s pretty simple to understand: The darker and bolder the line, the more people use the route. In addition to the spots mentioned above, a lot of people seem to like running up East Passyunk Avenue to Fifth Street, and over the Ben Franklin Bridge. The Delaware Riverfront is also popular, of course, as is cutting across the city on Spring Garden. It also appears that people like doing laps around Rittenhouse Square.

What we’re most baffled about, though, are the weird diagonals in Southwest Philly, which … don’t really seem to exist, according to Google Maps. Maybe there are a lot of rooftop-leaping parkour enthusiasts going to town over there that I don’t know about. (Seriously, anyone have any guesses? I’m stumped.)


At any rate, Yau says his goal in mapping popular running routes was that it might be "useful to the data collectors to plan future workouts or even city planners who make sure citizens have proper bike lanes and running paths." Can I get an amen?

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  • Carl

    The weird diagonals are from folks who lost their gps signal for a while and then when it picks it up it connects to the point it dropped off with a straight line.

    • Emily Leaman

      THANK YOU!! I was wondering!

    • Chris

      Which also turns the map into data about the parts of the city with poor gps signals. :)

  • NE

    Hmmm, I always thought that Philadelphia included more than just Center City and South Philly.