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

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Comments

680 comments
  • The new style is definitely better.

    Still, the lack of StreetView and the sometimes really crappy satellite quality can be pretty annoying...

  • Elle,

    I understand you are doing the best with the hand dealt to you. Unfortunately it doesn't address the basic problem as explained by many earlier.

    In the meantime, please don't be tempted to provide the contour satellite overlay for Route Builder or Segment Explore. The possibly unintended consequence of this 'enhancement' - in combination with inferior satellite data - has the effect of camouflaging any off road tracks. Tracks which are not on OSM, and due to the remote nature [ie not in the western world] unlikely to be updated in my lifetime.

    Good luck!

     

  • With new style mountain/hill slopes are much more visible and this is good.

    Peaks names are back, but I miss elevation  : for example : Mont-Blanc ( https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/281399025 ) (even if everybody knows that it is 4810 m high :)

    And nameless peaks do not appear at all (I added some of them myself to OSM, not as prestigious as Mont-Blanc but ...)

  • Elle,

    With regards to the OSM maps being updated, you're right in one respect; any changes made via the MapBox reporting link do get updated quite quickly and you can see them on most pages of Strava within a few days.

    The BIG EXCEPTION is in Route Builder. The OSM map in Route Builder is still months out of date (changes I got made in OSM back in August still don't appear here, but do appear in Activity pages etc.). This is particularly annoying when you're using the Google mapbase to plan a new route, because it still uses this out of  date OSM to plot your route, which means you end up with examples like the one attached below of the Western Link Road being in the wrong place, or you have to plot your route manually if you want an accurate distance.

     

  • The latest version of the maps look quite nice! However, "woods" still look to similar to regular urban areas. I would prefer is "woods" were closer to "forest" with just a lighter nuance. 

  • The sole issue I have with the new maps is the elevations in meters.  Please give us the option to choose units for contour lines.  Thanks in advance.

  • I'm in China.Why do I see that my strave render Gaode Map label in the lower right corner of map.I use iphone.

  • IMHO the color of ski pistes and routes is too similar to waterways with the current style:

    http://i.imgur.com/KW72kCa.png

     

  • The distance/ascent/degrees that you report for sectors do not match up - your degrees are steeper than the slope calculated from ascent and distance, for ascents steeper than about 2 degrees.  How is this?

  • It sure would be nice for those of us who have the rest of our Strava units set to "miles and pounds" to see the elevation contours on the maps in feet, instead of meters.

  • I agree with Steve Robinson about making more updates to the Route Builder.  I'm someone who fixes a lot of the announced bugs and it is annoying to fix bugs and see them reposted months later.  I'm sure it's annoying to the person who posted the bug, also.

  • Zooming in and everything blackenes, Still. Very annoying. Please switch back to GM, OSM currently useless.

  • Hi, I noticed that some of the hiking trails have disappeared. They used to appear and now they don't. This happened in the last few weeks. The more trails on the map, the better. Please try to include all trails, no matter how narrow and remote.

  • Hi, how come some trails are visible on the maps on the Strava website, but not visible on the maps visible on the iPhone? It would be great to be able to see all the trails on the iPhone maps too. Thanks

  • Douglas,

    You're welcome to report the issue via a support ticket so we can investigate directly. Not sure how trails are disappearing, but keep in mind that some maps on the iPhone are served by Apple maps, and the rest are served by Mapbox powered by OSM. 

    Regarding the topography in meters instead of feet: 

    We've discussed the request with Mapbox, and although it is not possible at this time to display topo lines in feet, it is on the project list to tackle in the future. Thanks for sharing that feedback. 

    Andreas,

    Good feedback about the color choice of rivers vs. ski trails. We will discuss this feedback! 

    Regarding updates to the Strava Route builder, we'll keep updating as frequently as possible so hopefully that helps.

    For all the other feedback I have not specifically acknowledged, thanks and we appreciate it! 

  • why are the newer map topo lines in meters when my profile is set for feet? how can i toggle to feet? this is a bug.

    i posted to tech support and all they did is refer me to this thread 20 days after i posted with a canned response.

  • This is great! OSM so much better for non-car activities. All the small trails and paths show up, no need to search for them on the satellite images and Streetview. I can add my own paths too.

  • "OSM so much better for non-car activities"

    Do you mean for non-road activities because OSM/Mapbox sucks compared to Google Maps for road riding.

  • Joel,  agreed, but OSM/Mapbox sucks off road as well!

    Just so disappointed with Strava's lack of engagement.

  • Hi James Stewart, can you show us an OSM example in comparison to a Google map to prove you point? I find OSM totally useless and I'm simply interested if it's perhaps the area that I happen to live in or if you are a Strava employee or OSM fanboy?

  • Just an example of a route, part off road and part rural road of one of my favorite local MTB rides. Notice that there is no road or track showing from Bang Wad Reservoir on OSM where there is one on Google. The OSM in any view is completely useless and inferior to Google's.

  • Here's Google & OSM side by side. This is the Bay Area where Google does pretty well on off-road trails as it should here since it is their back yard. They are missing trails in Eaton Park though they do have a trail in Heather Park to the north of this screenshot that is missing from the OSM data. I'll add those trails to OSM and post when it appears on Strava which in my experience will be in the next day or two. Notice also that the Strava rendition of the OSM maps differentiates between single track and wider track type trails which is useful assuming they are correctly coded in OSM which sometimes is hit and miss.

    The other screenshot is from the south side of Yosemite Valley. Google has the trails but they are crudely mapped. Just for kicks I overlaid the Strava heat map in the next screenshot to to prove how wrong Google's trail geometry is.

    Lastly, a screenshot for Allard of the Bang Wad Reservoir area. Google certainly shows a trail from the west of the reservoir going up the mountain whereas the one from OSM peters out. I overlaid the Strava bike heatmap but it doesn't show any traffic there. On the other hand both Google and OSM are missing the heavily biked loop at the south of this screenshot. I'm not local to the area so can't comment on what's right or wrong, only on what I see on the map.

    OSM isn't better off-road in all locations but I'm willing to bet that on the whole it is much better and there's no way to add trails to a Google map and get to see them any time soon.

  • Forgot to attach the comparison for Allard Voute. Here it is.

  • OSM's (Open Street Maps) coverage is very dependent on popularity of area with people that know about OSM.

    For my area (Maribor, sLOVEnia), I can doubtlessly say, that OSM based maps (including Strava's Mapbox maps) are WAY BETTER than Google's and in adition to that,
    I can (and I do) easily contribute to the maps and make them even better. Also Mapbox's satellite map is a bit better than Google's here.

    I am aware, though, that in some areas there is almost no OSM community and hence maps can be pretty basic there and also there is nothing really comparable to Street View without Google.
    In that regard I do understand that some feel very disappointed with the new maps and lack of Streetview :/
    So, although I myself prefere OSM maps over Google's, I do believe the right way from Strava would be to have BOTH available, even if as "premium only feature".

    But for the time, if You can use Chrome browser, there is easy solution to most of map-related problems discussed here: please try StraTistiX extension (my fork of Thomas Champagne's StravistiX)
    (get it here:    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/stratistix-with-arpee-sco/bilbbbdgdimchenccmooakpfomfajepd )

    With StraTistiX You have a lot more map styles avaiable - Mapbox's (not only 3 Strava styles, but a lot more, also Papics and custom), Google's (including StreetView), OSM's (Open Cycle Map, Hike Bike Map,...)

    In the attachment there is a comparison of Strava's and Mapbox's Satellite/Terrain/Standard and OSM's Open Cycle/Outdoors/HikeBike of my area, where you can clearly see how much more information you get from OSM based maps than from Google's

    Best Regards,
    Dejan from sLOVEnia

  • Sorry, in comparison I included Google's terrain twice, here is correct attachment, also with Google's standard map.

    Might I add, that all these screenshots were made directly from Strava (with StraTistiX)

  • Let's try and not make this into some kind of personal (fist) fight as I'm not a native English speaker and you'll always win when it comes to that. I'm not familiar with heat maps neither do I want to spend the time time exploring it but a quick look with something I'm familiar with or 'segment explorer' does show plenty of segments of the route as well as Strava riders having done the segments (and arguably many more, a growing group, non Strava users). Why heat maps doesn't show anything I don't know.

    As I've said in earlier posts too I think that OSM would be a nice addition to Strava but only as an addition. That OSM is perhaps better in the future after work has been done on it doesn't do anything for me for it being worse right now.

    The Bang Wad Reservoir picture you provided is taken too far West and actually misses the Bang Wad connection so doesn't mean anything to me. Also, I chose to use the Google Earth map, which I compared to all map views of OSM, not he standard map as in your picture?

    Anyway, everyone is entitled to their opinion. For us here and in the now Google maps is far better than OSM. We'll see what the future brings but can we please have at least the option for Google maps or OSM until things have improved.

  • Thanks Dejan for the StraTistiX link. Someone else might have mentioned it before but I'm only an occasional visitor to the blog. I've installed the extension and will give it a go, but it looks nice.

  • I second Allard's comment; let's not make this a peeing competition.

    OSM works better in some areas, and unsurprisingly perhaps, very well in Strava's back yard. Great for them!

    I personally find heatmaps useless for discovering new trails. Who wants to be a sheep and go-where-everyone-else-has-been? To that end, Google Earth and Streetview are the most useful tools. As well, if I wished to follow my ovine instincts and wanted to go to Yosemite [Alistair's example] I could easily see trails such as Pohono and Sentinel along with see the trailheads using those two tools.

    Thankfully those and more are available on Stravistix and RWGPS. That Strava hasn't bothered engaging with [what appears to be] the majority is the Big Issue.

     

     

  • @Allard Voute: thanks for the report, from Strava Heatmap I traced the segments you said OSM was missing (http://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/35073157#map=14/7.8783/98.3347&layers=N). If you have any feedback please use the "Improve this map" link to tell mapbox's guys or post here (I read the notifications of this topic as an OSM contributor :-) )

  • Hi Stefano,

    We often ride on people's private land (farms and rubber plantations) here and find 'new' not much traveled routes here quite easily through Google maps and by looking for segments that people have created in Strava. To be honest I have no interest in showing any of these tracks to the masses . Not because I don't want to share but simply because it will mean that many of the private land owners will fence of their land when too many people use their carefully maintained pathways and that will be the end of it. Sooner or later that will happen anyway as it is already happening on many of our routes here... but not until it happens.

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