Support Barometric Altimeters from mobile devices

Please, can you add a "button"  that permit to enable/disable elevation correction?

I'm using a Samsung S4 device, with Barometric sensor, and the elevation captured during the ride is perfect (same as barometric Garmin), but when I upload the tracks in the siste, the elevation correction modify and increase elevation gain of 20/30%.

I hate your elevation correction!

Please let me the way to disable it.

thanks

Giorgio

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Comments

61 comments
  • Official comment

    This topic has come up in our Strava Labs space: http://labs.strava.com/elevation-mashup/#478914533

    We have no projects planned at this time, but we are definitely discussing future potential. Thanks for continuing to post your support and comments. 

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  • To be frank, Strava's handling of altitude is a pathetic joke.

    Let's recap: if your device has a barometric altimeter they prefer to throw it's data away than make use of it unless said device is manufactured by one of their special friends. This means one ends up with Strava's 'corrected' vertical gain, which is always at least 50% too high, despite Strava having ridiculous amounts of barometric altimeter data (yes, even if you only count their special friends) available to them.

    Completely pathetic.

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  • +1

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  • Garmin Oregon 450 with custom GPX file upload, same problem.

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  • +1

    I'm struggling to understand why Strava is resisting making this change, given the requests from many, many users over a considerable period of time.

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  • FWIW, I discovered the Ride With GPS app will record proper barometric altitude on phones (at least it says it will). I guess one could then sync this over to Strava?

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  • +1

    switching to the galaxy from iPhone to get Ant+, trying to consolidate devices. Would love to have the more accurate elevation the phone is perfectly capable of providing.

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  • In response to Tomáš... yes, it actually *is* that easy. A barometric altimeter will be much more accurate measuring *relative* elevation than whatever rubbish Strava is using right now, even with the known errors a weather front passing over can create (hardly ever happens).

    Athletes are mostly concerned with the elevation change, many are unconcerned with the actual absolute elevation.

    That aside, as I also said, Strava have a massive amount of data to work with. Data that they gained from their user base for free one might add! It is not hard to use statistical analysis to create very accurate elevation profiles of segments, yet they insist on using inaccurate data from other sources because... well... I don't know why, but the only reason I can think of is because they don't want to invest the effort.

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  • @Tomáš Janoušek The barometer is sufficient to determine climbing.  Absolutely correct altitude data is not important, climbing is a function of change in altitude, e.g going from sea level to 1000' is the same as going from 200' to 1200'.  

    BTW Strava accepts climbing data from the SRM PC8 and Pioneer Cycle Computer.

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  • Garmin Oregon 550t has altimeter just shows as GPX. It does have a creator attribute in the gpx element, so you should be know the device.

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  • This feature is badly needed. +1

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  • I want to reopen this topic, since smartwatches like mine with barometer are available too and to waste this info is very stupid, only reason I can find is that Strava don't want to make GPS manufacturers angry. By the way I use an EDGE 500 for cycling, but sometimes can happen I get out of battery during the ride because I forgot to charge the device and use phone or watch to record the activity. DTM is simply useless, since as the name suggest it refers to the terrain model, so the altitude in the specific point is equal to the estimated altitude of terrain in that point +- some approximation error.

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  • @Strava, can you please confirm that you don't want to use the barometric altimeters from mobiles which provide this feature, because you don't want to be seen as a competitor to the companies providing GPS devices (e.g. Garmin).

    Your "yes" answer would be clear, but understandable. At least it would be much better than no answer.

    Thanks.

     

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  • A simple put on / turn off button hould be great

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  • I have a Galaxy Nexus, and the altitude calculated by the barometer is very accurate, infinitely better than the Strava correction. This option is the fastest solution: Edit activity > enable/disable elevation correction. So we can compare

    Strava uses the heat map for the route correction. I think that the best solution is to include elevation data collected by devices with barometer in the heat map, and use it

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  • Hoping the new iPhone 6 will be able to use the barometric data. So tired of having 2-300 ft cut off my stats compared to friends who rode the same route with me.

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  • Great idea. It furthermore simplifies the merging of some Garmin recorded files and having the "true" elevation afterwards (rather than auto-corrected gpx).

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  • Sorry but barometric altitude isn't always true. Weather changes affects altitude very much (in a 2 or more hours ride) . So anyone who want to compare climbs has to refer to a standard like the DTM of the area (like the one Strava uses) or else the only device i read (don't own one) have both altitude methods (continuously compared ) is the new Suunto. This is the most accurate method but you cannot compare to anyone else.....  (Speaking as a surveyor engineer and not only a cyclist) 

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  • In general, you are right, of course. However, my personal experience is that values measured barometric are much closer to the "truth" than the automatically edit elevation data by strava based on gps recording. Especially in the mountains!

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  • In general, Manos M. is wrong.

    1. Strava doesn't need true altitude.  For a calculation of climbing only the change in altitude is needed, e.g. climb from 1000m to 2000m or from 1200m to 2200m the climb is the same = 1000m. I'll grant that sometimes the rider will get too much or too little credit over a long ride but the difference is nothing compared to the consistent error of DTM.

    2. Strava's DTM correction is terrible, every day inflating ascent on a ride by 30% or more.  I scraped data from Strava and made charts that show the overall advantage of a smartphone over a barometric corrected GPS.  But Strava doesn't seem to care.  I guess the business model is that there are many more smartphones than GPS's.

    The correction is such an advantage that some who want to win climbing contests will select "correct" for perfectly good (e.g.EDGE 800) GPS tracks.   The really astute will ride back and forth loops over areas where the DTM is wrong or out-dated by construction to boost their statistics by 100%. I asked Strava to disable correction or at least show that correction was selected (to shame the user).

     

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  • Agree with request 110%. Also please allow riders to snap their gps drift to the roads prior to final upload... In otherwords you should have an pre-upload check ride section allowing editing (i.e., strava SNAP tool).....  

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  • My previus comment was in general. As for Strava now, i don't know the model (the algorithm) strava uses and you are (all of you) right because Strava's altitudes are at least 30% increased.Now more specific barometric pressure changes not only with the altitude but also with the weather (in fact the weather is the one that changes with the altitude). In generaly speaking weather don't change during (lets say in 20 minutes) that is the time of about 400-500m climb so you will have more accurate results with barometric altitude (in elevation differences and not absolute true height) but for bigger durations weather changes is a variable in the equation that you can not predict . Now using DTM the results is more comparable to each other as long as your GPS signal is strong and stays in the road. But be carefull because we are talking for postproccesing DTM and not gps altitude values measured by bike device or phone. Again i will say that i don't know the method Strava is using for postproccesing. In conclusion i will say three things :

    a) For the most accurate meassurements only new Suunto is combining continuasly methods that you can trust. (Thats the truth and not a comercial)

    b) Don't compare altitudes with anyone else except yourself using always the same device and program. You will never find the same results.

    c) Finaly of course i agree "Strava to disable correction or at least show that correction is selected" and anyone decide what to do.

    Thanks for the time and sorry for my english.

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  • Not only for Android devices, now for iPhone 6, too.

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  • +1

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  • For every device which provides barometric data, Strava should disable elevation correction (as it is done for some Garmin devices).

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  • Dario Zürcher - "For every device which provides barometric data, Strava should disable elevation correction (as it is done for some Garmin devices)"   Strava automatically does elevation correction or enables correction via the Elevation (?) button. Elevation correction is never disabled.

    Manos M - "(Speaking as a surveyor engineer and not only a cyclist) "

    I'm sure you measure altitude with great precision.  Unfortunately the DTM's errors are orders of magnitude worse.  Add in the lateral error of GPS and the errors are compounded.  Then there's the problem of man-made changes to the terrain.  The DTM models the terrain so the DTM does not show bridges across canyons and rivers.  A cyclist can cross a 500' deep canyon and get credit (via correction) for a 500' climb.  DTM's can be out of date - I was looking at elevation profiles on a route and saw that all iPhone users climbed a 400' hill but none of the Garmin users did. Street view showed the road was flat. 

    About barometers - I have see the weather put a bias to altitude change.  So one ride can be a little high or low on ascent.  But over time the bias works both ways; you won't find someone's yearly stats boosted by 50% as you do with so-called correction.  You may not compare your stats to anyone else but some people do (http://app.strava.com/clubs/millionfoot) and I'm sure we'll see claims for a million meters in a year.  The question is - who hit the EASY button?  Strava is hiding the answer from the curious. 

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  • +1

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