Public Profile, but Private Life Map

I’m close to 100% for my hometown and would love to make my profile public so other runners in my area can know who they are competing against… but I don’t want my Lifemap to be viewed by others for privacy reasons. I have two ideas:

Option 1: Allow for your name and street count to show up to other members without them having access to your Lifemap. Basically, they can see you in the standings, but nothing else. The flaw with this idea is that there’s a difference between running every street and just hitting the nodes. If someone is beating me and they only have the nodes, but not all the cross-streets, I consider that cheating. Hiding their Lifemap would remove a user’s ability to know for sure if the person they’re competing against is actually running every street or not.

Option 2: A setting which makes your Lifemap “public” but instead of a thousand lines pointing to your home street, all your runs gets averaged into one line of the same thickness as any other. This reduces the “heatmap” showing the streets around your home more prominently, and should balance out the beginning and ends of the runs starting at the front of your house.

The reason I bring this up is that it’s incredibly obvious where I live when I look at my own Lifemap. I can also see 2 of my old addresses without really trying just based on the GPS data. I thought I might be being a little paranoid, so I went into the Lifemap of another runner, but within seconds noticed where their thickest line was, and then where the GPS went from the street to their front door. That’s enough to keep my personal settings on private for the time being…

…but I also want the clout of being in 1st place for my town!

Yes, my map is pretty revealing, but I don’t mind, in Sweden anyone can lookup my address in official records, it’s public information😁
Different in other countries I guess

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Im all for seeing real names on leaderboards.


First of all - welcome to the Forum! Great to have you sharing ideas and thoughts here.
Sharing my perspective on the options as you listed them.

Option 1
The ol’ “node vs street” debate… it’s an oft-recurring subject here, and if interested, you can see what others have discussed about it in just a few sample threads:

Node-hunting isn’t the only factor; people can mark streets complete manually, edit .gpx files, change bike rides to run/walk… there are many ways someone could achieve completion that you may consider ‘cheating’. I think in general one has to accept that people use the site as they see fit, and it’s not policed.

Option 2
The idea of averaging lines or snapping to roads has been discussed here:

It seems like there’s strong aversion from making single lines the default option, however you’re proposing a setting toggle where you could do that. My (uninformed) guess is that would be programmatically and computationally expensive to do.

In terms of privacy concerns, there may be more optionality than you currently know. Check out these posts to learn more:

Additionally, while manual, you can always delete specific runs, or edit routes in other programs before loading them. I acknowledge that’s a heavy lift, but you could address all your concerns this way.

My two cents is this seems like a lot of development work for a relatively fringe case. I don’t mind the existing options; if you want to share you can, if you don’t want that’s fine too.

I’m ambivalent-to-supportive of the idea of a user being able to display their name without displaying their lifemap. While it doesn’t scratch the itch for others users to see their ‘competition’, it does personalize it a bit with a name & a picture.

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Thanks Dave, I did see most of those topics you linked here before posting, especially the streets vs. nodes debate. I side strongly on the “complete each street, not each node” side because that’s the entire point of CityStrides as I see it. Or at least, that’s what drew me to this site to begin with. But you’re correct, at the end of the day, this whole idea is mostly based on the honor system. And, ultimately, the only person you’re really competing against is yourself because you’re the one dictating your own rules and goals.

Understandably, by hiding the LifeMap but keeping the profile information open you wouldn’t know if the user was actually hitting all the streets or only the nodes… but that’s also true as things stand right now. The private profile ahead of me might be only hitting nodes, which makes the point moot.

In response to Hanes, while I agree someone could just as easily type in my name and hometown on Google and probably find my physical house location (plus, I’m sure, a ton of other information I’d rather they not have), there’s something especially creepy about also seeing where I run most frequently in map form. Like I said, I was able to find another user’s home address within seconds of clicking their LifeMap and felt icky the entire time doing so. I wouldn’t want someone to be able to click on my wife’s LifeMap and figure out her usual routes and where she lives. For her, a website like CityStrides (and even Strava) is sometimes an unnecessary risk.