Strava is possibly revealing the locations of secret military bases in Afrika

In an effort to make their activity data more publicly available, Strava has updated their global activity map with data from the activities of people who are users of the "social network for athletes." However, in the process of updating the Strava Labs Global Heatmap with more data, the company could possibly be revealing the location of secret military bases.

The Strava Labs Global Heatmap is now reported to have more than 13 trillion GPS (location) points, but as visually appealing as the data visualization is, it reveals some secret military bases in Afrika and around the world.

This is possibly likely because USA military personnel, who happen to be athletes and active, wear health and activity monitoring devices such as those made by Fitbit and are linked to Strava's platform. Thus, because they opted-in to data collection by the "social network for athletes", their activities are mapped on a now publicly available map, albeit anonymously.

Looking the Strava Labs Global Heatmap one can see that in Afrika, South Africa has undoubtedly the highest number of Strava users. More interesting, however, are the white dots one can spot on the map in the middle of nowhere in some parts of Afrika.

One such example is a white dot surrounded by darkness in the country of Niger.

Strava Labs Global Heatmap Arlit Agadez Niger
Zooming in on Arlit and Agadez in Niger on Strava Labs Global Heatmap.

Upon zooming in further, it turns out that the small white dot is located close to Arlit and Agadez in Niger. A closer look reveals what is possibly a military base of sorts given the history and what happened before in Arlit and Agadez in Niger. The activity heatmap visualized by Strava seems to be likely a route that personnel use for jogs, walks or cycling given its shape.

Arlit Agadez Strava Labs Global Heatmap Niger
Isolated activity heat map somewhere close to Arlit and Agadez in Niger.

Niger's Arlit and Agadez are known for their surrounding uranium mines as well as Islamist militant attacks and kidnappings. In two of the well-publicized attacks, extremists attacked the uranium mine owned by French company Areva, while in another attack a Niger military base was attacked by Islamist militants with several people being declared dead afterward.

However, since 2017, on the outskirts Arlit and Agadez, the US Army has been working under heavy protection and secrecy to allegedly turn a remote area on the outskirts of Arlit into a US military drone base.

Whether the activity in the Strava Labs Global Heatmap is from personnel working on developing the drone military base or not can't be confirmed at the time of publishing. Although it is publicly known that the US military is building a drone military base in the area, it is unlikely they would want detailed satellite imagery of the specific location where the base will be to be publicly known.

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