Option to undo Elevation Correction and revert to Barometric Altimeter

I'd like to be able to reverse the elevation calculation.  I was curious if my barometer was shorting me on my Garmin 500, so I had Strava recalculate my elevation.  It ended up being about 100 feet shorter in elevation, so I wanted to go back to using my barometer.

Currently the only way to do this is submit a ticket and have a customer service rep do this.  This erases the ride name, resets the bike chosen, erases all Kudo's and comments.  Kind of a hassle too.



  • My 2 cents:  I think the smart people at Strava need to come up with a better algorithm for elevation correction.  I have two devices I experiment with (Android cell phone, and a Garmin 510).  In some areas where I ride (very populated San Diego, by the way), my non-barometric elevation data is a joke.  Sometimes it's exaggerated by a factor of 3!  One ride in particular I have scientifically determined (analyzing from many sources) to be 1500' of climbing in a new development surrounded by steep hills.  My Garmin 510 tells me it's 600', which is not correct.  My Android phone tells me it's 3000' feet, which is also far from correct.  The truth lies between these two vastly different numbers.  For some strange reason the corrected elevation profile looks like the world's scariest roller coaster when the roads are actually pretty flat and smooth.  They certainly don't go up/down 50 feet every 300 feet, like the profile suggests.  Please improve your algorithm to make this more accurate!  And don't get me started on the elevation data going over bridges!  Going back to the Garmin 510 (which has a barometric altimeter), not sure why it is so inaccurate (on the low side) in this one particular neighborhood.  I recently purchased it specifically for its advertised GPS accuracy and altimeter.  Please, please, please improve your elevation algorithm!!!  I know it's mathematically possible.  Maybe one suggestion is to give the user the ability to adjust some parameters before the elevation correction to smooth out the jaggedness of the elevation correction (perhaps distance between recalculated track points, or specifying a maximum slope).  Thanks!

  • Strava needs a better elevation dataset.

    Individual GPS elevation measurements are notoriously inaccurate, but Strava has access to something far better than individual measurements - a statistically significant dataset,of GPS elevation measurements.

    Especially for well-travelled roads, we have thousands and thousands of elevation measurements for every latitude:longitude position. They will almost certainly form a normal distribution.... with, I suspect, quite a tight standard deviation. Somewhere in the middle of that bell curve is the correct elevation for that point. And it certainly won't jump up and down by tens of metres in every kilometre.

    Better statisticians than me can figure out clever ways to correct the dataset for the inaccuracies in lat:long measurements. And just for good measure, let's throw a whole bunch of barometric altimeter data into the calculation.

    We've all see the Strava heatmaps of lat:long positions. No GPS trace is dead accurate, and there are a few recorded points that are somewhere off the side of the road. But we know that somewhere in the middle of the "hot" path is the point where people are riding. With a few thousand traces, I'd put my money on Strava heatmaps of popular routes giving a better indication of the true road alignment than any surveyed map, simply through weight of numbers.

    Using the GPS elevation data as I'm suggesting would give a similar heatmap in the vertical plane. Yes, it will be a broader path, because basic trigonometry dictates that triangulating an elevation off a few satellites is less accurate than triangulating lat:long position. But the same principle applies - we get a broad and blurred "hot" path of elevation from the thousands of GPS traces, and we can be confident that somewhere near the middle of that blur is the true elevation - correcting for the typical height above the road surface of a Garmin.

    Big data is very powerful. Strava has possibly the biggest dataset of on-road topography the world has ever seen. It's time to tap in to that power.

  • Maybe I am remembering things incorrectly, but I used to remember the "correct elevation" button working pretty well. It looks like it was based off topographic maps and provided nice smooth profiles. I think now they use some user provided dataset and its garbage. The plots all look like a seismograph and as a result, some areas are off by factors of 2 to 3 times. I don't know why they don't use topographical data which is accurate to the actual terrain. At the very least apply a smoothing algorithm to the elevation. No roads go up 45%, down 20%, up 18% down 32%, etc every 5 feet.

  • Please, you should try to fix this problem!! The Strava Elevation Correction is the worst thing on this GREAT and ADDICTED sport app I ever had. I did a ride which the elevation was  aproximately 2000m and after uploading the workout to Strava the elevation increased up to more than 3000m.  Yesterday my ride was 450m.., but after Strava recalculate it , it became 733m. I have a Suunto Ambit3 sport (without barometer) and I usually compare my elevation with other elevations from my friends (who whas barometric devices) and the elevetion is pretty the same till I put it in the Strava.

    It drives me crazy, please maket it optional or take it off at all till the elevation correction really works. 


  • After reading the thread I found a temporary solution for this for those who are not scared to edit GPX files manually. If you have a GPX file with a correct altitude data open it in your favourite text editor and change the creator data on the top for:

    creator="Garmin Edge 500"

    or if the file doesn't have it in its header add it manually after the <gpx tag.

    Then upload it to Strava and you have altitude data without correction.

    I use this trick for my Adroid GPX tracks with SRTM data applied later on PC on an app called Viking.

  • Hello,

    I can not find any valid solution for this issue : I am using a Garmin edge 500 and the time I realised Strava elevation correction was totally messy I was using it last year so I have now an historic of about 6 months of wrong elevation data which cause totally false comparison over the time and activities.

    It is not acceptable to have to delete and upload again around 100 activities... Whereas a simple "revert to original / barometric elevation data" button would do the trick !

    To my point of view this is the most missing feature of Strava for the moment and this will prevent me from becoming premium.

  • OK, Elle, simple question.  You say your own elev is based on OSM data.  Same as that used in other route programs like, viewranger, and the maps I and many others use in GPS and phones without barimetric altimeters.  So WHY is it just STRAVA elevation data that does not tally with any other OSM data?   In the UK this equates to losing about 20% of our altitude using your corrected data compared to OSM data which agrees with barimetric altimeter data everywhere except on STRAVA.   I'm not spending yet more money on a new GPS with barimetric altimeter to correct STRAVA incorrect OSM data, so please fix it or another recent recruit is outta here.   Thx.

  • I have the same problem. 

    My GPS device is an old, not barometric, Garmin Foretrex 201, and download the tracks by G7TOWIN software.

    Save tracks as GPX file then import into Strava... the elevation calculated by strava is really a joke.

    I tried to use the advice of "Greg M" to avoid the elevation correction.

    Ride elevation change from 1053m to 633m (more realistic).

    Please, do something!

  • Same problem. Delete and reupload doesn't work for me (Suunto Ambit2) - when I upload automatically from Movescount, the device is shown as the Ambit2, but after a manual upload, it just says "Mobile" and has corrected elevation again.

  • I have even moe bizarre situation. My friend and I, both garmin 510, do the same ride, and he routinely gets 100's of feet more of climbing (like 2100 vs 1700, that's like almost 25% more)

    any ideas? ride on garmin connect have the same (or very similar) elevations

    this is bizarre

  • That’s a good question Dickie, about it only being Strava. I have a Garmin 810 with barometric altimeter and every time I upload to Strava my elevation gets reduced by ~25% so you’ll gain nothing by getting a new device. Doesn’t give you much incentive to join one of the climbing challenges that keep cropping up when you know that quarter of your elevation will be removed.

  • When strava connect with Garmin connect , it doesn't recognize my device is Edge 1000 , and it correct my elevation data incorrectly !!

    I wish Strava leave the  "elevation correction"  option to user , not automatically choosing by device name.

  • Has Strava come up with a solution for this yet? Very frustrating!

  • Over a year and they still can't provide a way to revert back to the original elevation.  Elle shows us screen shots to know when it's been corrected.  That's not even the issue Elle!!!!  Does anyone at Strava even listen to the users.  I guess not because you still have those stupid annual trophies for all the losers.

  • This is dreadful, there is now sufficient feedback from users for this to be taken seriously. Reading the posting seems like we're just being fobbed off.

    There should be an option to reverse the corrections especially if the correction is erroneous.


  • Hi guys! Are you working on a "revert" solution for this issue? Thanks

  • A simple workaround to revert to original elevation is to delete and re-upload the file, as I mentioned in the first comment. 

  • Elle Anderson:  THIS IS NOT ANSWERED!

    Your "simple workaround" is NOT A SOLUTION!

    One often doesn't realize the elevation is inaccurate until much later when other folks have uploaded their rides.  At this point, there may be dozens of kudos and multiple comments about your ride.  If you do this "simple workaround" you erase all of those kudos (and more importantly, the comments!).  

    Please put some effort into this and provide us with a legitimate solution.

    Everyone can read where you said this back in February of 2014.  And I also said the same thing in February of 2014.  

    I haven't coded since college, but this really doesn't seem like a difficult task, and there is quite obviously a legitimate need for such an option.

  • Elle Anderson,

    I know there is a workaround because I'm following this thread and, of course, your coments. :) My question was about plans for even an elegant/simple solution for this issue. Maybe an on/off switch.

  • Elle, This issue was logged on Feb 10 2014. Many comments all saying same thing, yet to see any change! Not even a warning to users when using this feature of the no roll back and the impact of lost kudos and comments if using the work-around! Is this issue actually being looked at? regards Ned
  • To my understanding, the workaround is only useful if you recorded your file on a Garmin device - otherwise when it is deleted and re-uploaded, the elevation data will be automatically ignored by Strava and overwritten with rubbish from the database. In most parts of the world, this results in elevation figures that are usually inaccurate by about 160%. In short, if you don't have a Garmin, Strava is nearly useless. This has been raised on multiple Strava form threads but Strava 'have no plans' to address it.
  • Here is an example of how unreliable elevation data can be regardless of who is generating it:

    I created route on ridewithgps with 3228 ft of elevation gain.  I created the same route on Strava - 3338 ft.  Relatively close to ridewithgps. So far so good.

    I rode the route and my Garmin 1000 provided a barometrically calculated elevation gain of 1677 ft, which is clearly wrong (Garmin has its own issues with elevation gain - check their forums).

    After importing the ride I thought I would have Strava correct the elevation data resulting in an elevation gain of 4178 ft, which also feels wrong.  Why would Strava generate two significantly different elevation gain numbers for the same stretch of road, the only difference being that one was created as a "route" and the other was a "correction" of an imported ride?

  • Sorry folks, I know it's frustrating that there isn't a better solution for reverting back to barometric altimeter data. I'll do my best to push the request along. 

    In terms of the greater discussion on elevation accuracy on Strava - it's indeed a good one, but perhaps more relevant on a forum such as this:

  • Nothing new to add here except to vent similar frustration.  It is really poor to see that change so simple as "undo" can't be made in a timeline spanning years.  Strava should at least add some bold red text to the confirmation button saying that this operation can't be undone.  That should literally take one software engineer 2 minutes.  Ugh.

  • I just rode my target ride for the year. My Garmin 510 showed 4033m of climbing. I knew the official number was 4230m so went for the elevation correction ... So wish I hadn't, it now shows 5607m (!!!!!) with no way to undo (without losing kudos and comments)! This is ridiculous, especially as this problem has been known about for so long. As someone else mentioned, Strava must have a huge database of road and bike route elevation data collected across a wide range of devices. Average it across all users and I bet you'll have fantastically accurate elevation data - with the additional benefit that the most popular routes will be the most accurate.
  • Came here looking for an anwer after being frustrated at missing out on yet another climbing challenge...

    I found the following advice from Greg M to be most useful

    "After reading the thread I found a temporary solution for this for those who are not scared to edit GPX files manually. If you have a GPX file with a correct altitude data open it in your favourite text editor and change the creator data on the top for:

    creator="Garmin Edge 500"

    or if the file doesn't have it in its header add it manually after the <gpx tag.

    Then upload it to Strava and you have altitude data without correction.

    I use this trick for my Adroid GPX tracks with SRTM data applied later on PC on an app called Viking."

    I am also using Android GPX tracks (Orux Maps, using S4's baraometer and DEM)

    I have added an extra step to get the best height data I can. I run my GPX file through GPS Visualizer's Solution #1: DEM database. This produces a GPX that can have the header altered to read 

    creator="Garmin Edge 500"

    This gives me back the ~25% height that uploading standard GPX files to Strava takes away.

    Of course none of this would not be necessary if Strava used a decent DEM to add proper and reliable height data from the get go.

  • It's even worse for the edge 200 users, Strava's elevation corrections wipe on average 50% of my total elevation gain. When I ride with a friend who uses an edge 500 he will achieve 1200ft (400m) and I will achieve 600ft (200m) for the SAME ride It's ludicrous and makes attempting any climbing challenge impossible, For example, the current months climbing challenge is 11,000 metres, for me to achieve that goal I would have to in theory climb 18,000 metres thanks to Strava's 'corrections'
  • indeed, "A simple "revert to barometric altimeter data" option would work great", however since 18 months nothing has been done in that direction. I think the best would be simply to erase this non working eleveation correction

  • I, too, would like to see the option to revert back to barometric elevation without having to upload my ride again (and, hence, lose kudos/ comments etc.) I have just done a ride in Italy which gave me an elevation gain of 2,400ft which I reckoned was just about correct. I decided to click the elevation correction button to see what it would be corrected to. To my amazement I had now climbed 8.700ft!! Surely that can't be correct? I am no elite athlete! Why such a big difference between the barometric elevation and the corrected elevation. Which one is correct? If either... 

  • And the biggest problem is that even deleting and reuploading does not work at all. Strava still uses the corrected (big cough) elevation from before the delete.

    I tried to correct a small incorrect bump with the button and my activity jumped from 2800 height meters to more than 4400. Had no comments nor kudos, so deleted it and reuploaded multiple times even with .TCX and GPX'-files I downloaded from Endomondo. No matter what I do, still 4400m! And no way to correct it. Ever! Completely ludicrous.

    What a great 'solution' from Elle.

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