Help Improve Strava's Maps

How does Strava use OSM?

Strava utilizes OpenStreetMap, an open-source project that distributes geographical data for the entire world, alongside our own heat/popularity and other unique data, to create both the visual experience for maps as well as to help inform routing decisions. For more on this, see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Strava. It costs nothing to contribute to OSM, which means that you can help contribute to better geo data on Strava, and make for a more informed, safer, and delightful routing experience for your fellow athletes!

How do I make an edit?

  1. If you do not already have one, create a free account at OpenStreetMap.
  2. Browse to the area you want to (and are authorized to) edit by using either the search bar or panning the map
    1. For example, here is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco:
      image3.png
  3. Hit the Edit button in the top left (the iD editor is the simplest and can be done directly in your browser)
  4. You will now see a view of clickable features. The OSM features that are most important to Strava are called “ways”, which can be thought of as stretches of road or trail that we can make routes with. These are what you’ll want to edit!
  5. Select the way you want to edit, and you will see a number of editable properties:
    image1.png
  6. Preview, and then save your changes.
    image5.png

Specific Editable Properties

There are a number of relevant properties of these ways that you can now edit. Some of the common ones include:

How quickly will I see my changes reflected in Strava?

We strive to bring in new updates from OSM in a timely manner while still ensuring fairness, correctness, and completeness of data. Generally, you should be able to see your changes reflected within a month.

We work with a company called Mapbox to provide most of the actual maps that athletes see, including those that are used to draw and display Routes. You can read more about what goes into those maps here. Like Strava, Mapbox uses OSM, though the rate of ingestion of new changes in OSM does not always line up between the two. This means that what you may see on the maps (from Mapbox) may be slightly different than what actually gets drawn when you attempt to make a Route inside Strava, especially for very recent OSM changes.

OSM relies on many contributors, not just yours. In addition, OSM and Mapbox are just some of the data sources that Strava integrates. As a result, changes you make may not be reflected exactly the way you may expect them on Strava. For example, if you mark a road as closed to bicycle traffic, that road may still be included in suggested cycling routes if other data sources indicate that the road is open to bicycles.

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