When Fitness Tracking Reveal Bases

The other day I stumbled up on a thread in my Twitter feed, where people have located army bases based on fitness tracking heat maps released by Strava. Here’s an example of what the data looks like: Drone base in Djibouti

Drone base in Djibouti

Soldiers running around the perimeter or just a simple patrol?

Nice drones!

While the base apparently isn’t secret or unknown, it’s still quite a bit problematic when such data is leaked to everyone and who knows if you can find secret bases if you search long enough!

On the other hand, the data is pretty neat and made me randomly browse some places on Earth and incidentally realize again how big Earth really is!

Is this a base in the middle of Antarctica? Anyone know something about this?

Update: Turns out this is part of the Union Glacier Camp. While Google maps doesn’t show anything (except maybe this satellite image), on Open Street Map you can actually see the name and there seems to even be an airport. Thanks to Tank for providing the hint!

Or then there are other pictures that look quite amazing  with the coloring and the random traffic on shore.

Out of interest I took a look at North Korea and to my surprise they actually have some tracking data from there too. My guess would be that this data is from tourists visiting North Korea, especially since most traffic is around the big stadiums which I’ve read is where visitors are often given a show. I was also surprised to see that Google maps knew quite a few places in North Korea and even some train stations are marked. At the same time you’ll also find concentration camps marked, which is very sad that this is still a thing.

But then while randomly browsing through North Korea, I suddenly stumbled up on a message in the middle of some sort of beach or just a land patch near some water.

Obviously I don’t speak or read Korean, so I didn’t know what it meant, but it got me very curious. I took the image to Twitter and Reddit, within minutes I got a response back from someone and then over the night two more similar translations came in.

Dedicate your heart to the motherland Korea.

Where dedicate can apparently also be translated as offer up/sacrifice. 😞

Crazy discoveries!

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