Feedback for Strava's new maps (OpenStreetMap)

See About our Maps for more info.

Strava has recently switched to maps powered by OpenStreetMap, which we understand is a significant change.

Strava is actively working with Mapbox (the open source mapping platform that supplies us with OpenStreetMap) to make sure we offer the best mapping experience for our athletes.

Mapbox gives us the opportunity to create customized maps that fit aesthetically and functionally with Strava. With open source data, errors or missing map assets can be fixed quickly and efficiently, creating the most detailed and robust maps for cycling and running. We believe in the potential and power of maps by OSM and we're focused on giving the Strava community the best experience possible. 

Where did Street View go?

Mapbox does not provide Street View functionality at this time. We realize this functionality was valuable for some athletes; we'll do our best to re-incorporate it when possible.


August 14th, 2015:

We’re 100% committed to making Strava better for our athletes, and we hear you loud and clear regarding this switch from Google Maps to OSM. We didn’t anticipate how strongly some of our athletes would react to the change and apologize that it was a sudden disappointment to some of you. We could have done a better job explaining our reasoning and bracing you for the switch, handling the roll-out, taking more time to work with Mapbox, etc.

 

It may not seem like it now, but we believe deeply that changing to OSM is the best choice we can make for our athletes and our company. There is enormous potential and creative flexibility offered by the new maps and we ask that you stick with us and continue providing feedback as we bring that potential to fruition.

 

Your reports on the quality of the maps, such as missing map data and satellite image quality, can be addressed. We are working closely Mapbox, our OSM map provider, on both satellite imagery and road data and we’re invested in improving your experience. By providing specific examples of satellite and road data, we can act quickly to update the map data.

Improve_this_map.jpg

We've noted all your comments regarding street view, and understand how important it is to you. The top use for street view seems to center around segments, in viewing segment start and end coordinates as well as viewing the road surface and surroundings. Street view is still available when creating segments, and it may be possible to return street view to other areas of the segment experience. We will have more to share on this soon.

 

Our designers are compiling initial thoughts on how Strava can leverage certain styles, colors and shading to customize the map experience. We are already incorporating the existing feedback we’ve received here. Please continue to send us your feedback on how the look and feel of the maps can be improved.

- The Strava Team

 

August 21st, 2015:

When you visit a segment page, you can now click either endpoint of the segment to be brought to the street view for that location. Or, you can select one of the options from the map view menu (pictured below). 

This addition is not meant to fully resolve your concerns about the switch to Mapbox. We're doing the best we can to respond to your feedback quickly while still maintaining our commitment to elevate your map experience with Mapbox. It's going to take time and we ask that you stick with us, and we'll continue to take your feedback to heart and iterate whenever possible. 

Strava_Segment_River_Road_Fork_to_TT.jpg

 

September 2nd, 2015

We've just updated our maps to support four languages: English, French, German and Spanish. Now, if you're traveling or viewing the map in another country, you'll be able to see map labels and place names in your language. 

How it works: If you have Strava set to one of the above four languages, you will see map labels in that language. For any other language that is not supported at this time, you will see the default map which displays regional language. To change your language preferences, use the menu at the bottom of any Strava page.

This map update also refreshes imagery for the Satellite map in select areas. 

 

October 22nd, 2015

We're excited to announce updated maps in collaboration with Mapbox, featuring an intuitive display of map data and activity-specific styling. Designed especially with runners and cyclists in mind, we focused on a visual experience that would relay the map information we believe most helpful to our athletes: 

  • Offset road labels for better visibility along activities
  • Visually distinct running and cycling paths
  • Highlighted pedestrian areas, outdoor areas, and parks
  • Vivid terrain styling and high-contrast mountain areas
  • Lower map label density for urban areas
  • Major highways and high-traffic roads de-prioritized in grey
  • Added points of interest most relevant to activity on Strava
  • Contour lines and elevation labels on satellite view

This is the first of several map projects we are working on as part of our ongoing goal to make your mapping experience on Strava more accurate, informative and rich. 

 

Documentation

19

Comments

689 comments
  • @Thomas Joynt Excellent, balanced article on Cyclingtips that accurately reflects the concerns of the user base. Hadn't heard of Ride with GPS and tried it out yesterday. Pretty good! So that's one step away from Strava Premium ... 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I don't care what maps are used, so long as they work. There's a few of my mates whose rides I can't check out on the app as the maps are blank grids. One of them is Sydney, pop. 4 million. See a problem with that?
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • premium cancelled....

    whats the point of paying for something that doesnt work.?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @brendan sheems
    If you are gonna complain about the maps, at least complain about something that's actually bad. Like bad satellite coverage in some areas etc.

    I found the Ride from which you took the screenshot. On my Strava app in iOS it looks good (even if the app uses Apple maps and not Mapbox. BTW, is it possible to use Mapbox maps on iOS?). And on the website it's also good. Sydney seems to have good OSM-data. Look at my screenshot below, from iOS (left) and the Strava website (right).

    You are not the first example of this. I've seen several people here complain about horrible OSM maps, but when i look at these peoples last activities on Strava, I seem mostly good OSM maps, and in some cases the OSM maps are better and have more details than Google.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the maps provided by Mapbox is perfect. In many places the OSM-data could be a lot better, especially the satellite imagery from Mapbox. And while I haven't used Street View myself, I can understand that people miss this option.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Ola Endre R.

    Okay, let's start with not having Street view on any of the maps. 

    Join the Strava group:

    https://www.strava.com/clubs/BringBackGoogleMaps

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Just adding to this thread, no street view is totally lame, I used that tons to maps out and verify new routes I was going to ride were ok, and also to memorize critical turns/etc in the route.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I Still like to use Google Maps to check out the maps and creating a course, the new one is not useful

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • If its not broke don't fix it. Much poorer experience now

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Strava obviously did this to save money but it was a huge mistake.  I'm going to something else.  Bizarre that people are saying we should update OSM ourselves.  Really?  Also a "community" map is never going to have street view or Googles level of accuracy given the years they have put into this.  iIt's ridiculous.

    Canceling Premium as I am losing one of the features I was paying for.  One of the most important features.

    I think Strava underestimated the outrage this would cause not that they have ever been good about listing to their customers.

    I guess my new Garmin 520 won't be using any of its Strava functionality.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Many thanks to Steven G. for issuing a refund on my premium subscription..

    If and when Strava decide to address the issues, I might consider the premium option again..

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I would pay for Google Maps with Street view for making routes.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I've been a premium member for 3 years, but my premium membership has now lapsed.

    There is nothing I really need that premium offers me, data analysis and proper calculations of average speed and power I can get elsewhere.

    However I would gladly buy a premium membership again to support Strava if Google Maps and Streetview was made available again.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • - In my area, several roads and paths are missing from the map. (Yes, I know I can add them myself, but should I really need to do that when I am a premium member?). - Satellite imagery has useless resolution. If I can't zoom in, what's the use of satellite imagery????
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • For months now I get black screen with white "x" all over the screen when I try to view satellite view. as an off-road rider it is essential to have. This program used to work great.  What a waste.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • My first motivation beyond getting KOMs is to improve OSM data.

    And Strava helps OSM by allowing OSM mappers tracing path from global heatmap.

    I found wonderful MTB downhill sections in my area thanks to Strava and OSM. Google maps would never allow this (tried Google Map maker : my changeset is stuck in "pending approval" status since several weeks ; no feedback from Google).

    If Strava leaves OSM than I will leave Strava.

    What's the use for me to have another Google maps-based application ? Streetview does not show gnarky single trails like the one I am looking for.

     

    Then :

    a) having Google stuff requires money

    b) Premium members give money

    c) the ones who are missing Google stuff are also the ones who are Premium members (see numerous "I will stop my contract" threatening messages)

     

    a + b + c gives the following : Premium members get Google stuff, free members not.

    (the only question mark : how is it possible that Google maps maker contributors accept to work for Google for free ??)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • As an OSM contributor and MTB rider I really appreciate those new Mapbox maps.

    Now the loop is closed :

    - (1) I use OSM to plan my MTB rides (no streetview needed, and Google maps are useless)

    - I put my rides on Strava (and my friends too)

    - thoses rides are visible on global heatmap

    - global heatmap is used as a data source for OSM

    - new trails are added to OSM thanks to global heatmap

    - goto 1)

     

    Having streetview for Premium members only is a good option.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I've been a premium member for one year, but my premium membership has now lapsed.

    I would gladly buy a premium membership again to support Strava if Google Maps and Streetview was made available again.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Are you aware that people actually use Strava for mountainbike? And that a good, high resolution aeral image is necessary to create segments and analyze a ride? 

    I have been injured for five weeks and logged my first training since the injury yesterday. I will give you a week or two to upgrade to decent maps, after that I'm probably using some other training app/software.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • As a mountain biker and trail runner I love the move to OSM; the detail and accuracy of trails is far superior to Google's. I've spent a lot of time, both professionally and for my own interest, comparing trail map data for different map providers and nothing comes close to OSM. My only complaint is that the cartographic design choices make differentiation between trails and roads difficult to visualize. AllTrails does a good job in their cartographic design choices though they still have room for improvement.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Johnny Bigoud:

    Your Strava stats dude:

     

    ALL TIME:

    Distance 636.6 km  
    Rides 22  
    Biggest Ride 49.6 km  
    Biggest Climb 743 m  

    Should we really take your comments seriously? Or are you a Strava stooge?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Can you explain the meaning of "stooge" to a poor frenchy like me ?

     

    (please consider that if the meaning of "stooge" is negative then I will ignore your next messages :) )

    Have fun !

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Johnny Bigoud's experience echo mine exactly.  Using the heatmap plus my own rides I mapped the local mountain bike trails last fall which is now visible to all Strava users.  Do my stats make my opinion any more valid?

    There are a lot of OCD OSM mappers out there looking for new areas to map.  If the maps are lacking in any particular area it wouldn't take too much effort to find someone to update the maps for you.  Strava and Mapbox should look at working with the OSM community to highlight areas that need improving.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Johnny Bigoud and Dave M

    Here on Phuket I sometime use the detailed imagery from Google maps to find new routes by zooming in on previous rides because it is simply not possible during a ride to explore every single track you pass. So I check later into which general direction a certain track went off to. With OSM's extremely poor detail this is simply impossible.

    I just played around with OSM a little bit to try and recreate a route I did today but with the very grainy map/picture... of jungle, I found it to be impossible or maybe I'm doing something wrong?

    Also, I really miss the Instagram - Strava integration where before your picture would show on the Strava map's exact location. Now you need to 'finf a location' well when you're in the middle of the jungle there is no know location. Is this also an OSM issue?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • That's exactly what I said when we lost the Google maps experience. Ah, Phuket.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I agree that Google aerial imagery is really good.

    But don't be confused :

    - OSM is only a database, OSM is NOT an aerial imagery source !

    - Mapbox creates maps for Strava using OSM data and also provide aerial imagery with "in general" less resolution that Google does, but once more OSM has nothing to do with aerial imagery

     

    There are many other convenient ways to prepare or analyse tours, with the added capablilty to see SEVERAL GPS recordings at the same time.

    I use Basecamp (no aerial imagery but hundreds of tracks can be displayed simultaneously and strong database)

    and open source excellent (but a little bit more tricky) software : QMapShack ( https://bitbucket.org/maproom/qmapshack/wiki/Home ) :

    Online data via TMS or WMTS client:

    - BING and Google (and many others) aerial imagery, Google Maps, OSM maps, ...

    Offline data :

    - Digital Elevation Model data

    - Garmin vector maps

    - offline maps (JNX and VRT support)

    - dozens of GPX tracks

    - offline routing

    All of these layers simultaneously with adjustable transparency for each one, for Linux, Mac or Windows

    No website can propose such a level of functionnality.

     

    But I agree that this does not solve the first issue : Google functions are not available in Strava anymore and this a loss of functionnality

    (even that I am very happy with OSM maps as an OSM contributor and mountain biker / trail runner)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Well I'm not really sure how, now that OSM is only a database, this would change my opinion rather than strengthen it? Even though I can really see how OSM would be an addition to Strava it should be that 'an addition'. But taking away the Google maps option entirely is a decrease in functionality within the Strava environment itself. Nobody wants to have to go elsewhere (and master different apps) when everything was right there before.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Well Johnny, clearly you know your tech stuff and good for you ! 

    I like riding. What I want - along with many others here - is Google Earth type resolution and Streetview. And I don't want to mess around wasting time between portals - I want it at a one-stop-shop. Like Strava used to be [remember that?]

    So I've cancelled my Strava Premium and just signed up for a Ride with GPS premium account. It provides what I now need - not as good as Strava was, +more expensive, but much now better. I'll probably continue to use free Strava for the social interaction.

    Happy trails

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Without street view your unable to see where your segment starts / finishes.

    This is kinda the whole point of Strava

    Premium membership is worthless without street view, I'll not be purchasing Premium until street view comes back !!!  

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Worst upgrade ever. Please give us back Google Maps.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I'm not sure posting here is really going to make any difference. I don't think Strava management is listening or even cares at this point about their premium members that want Google Maps back. There hasn't been a meaningful update in over two months. I guess Strava is adopting the ignore-them-and-they'll-go-away strategy...
    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

New post