Imagine that you’re training for the San Francisco Marathon. You’d like to prepare for the distinctive pattern of hills on the course:
Now if you live in San Francisco, you could just run along the actual race course. But what if you don’t live near San Francisco? Wouldn’t it be cool if a service could suggest a running course near you that was similar to San Francisco’s marathon? That way, you might live somewhere like Portland or San Diego, but you could still prepare for the hills that you’d face in the real race.
This could be a fun/tricky problem. You could start by just dumbly comparing elevations to see how similar two runs are. A site like Strava already has GPS traces from runners, so they could compute similarity between runs. Within a selected radius, Strava could say which runs were most similar to (say) sections of the Boston Marathon.
Elevation similarity might be the easiest way to start, but Strava has other measures like “Suffer Score” that it could use instead. I’d be curious to know what running route in the Bay Area of California is most similar to the Boston Marathon, for example.