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

689 comments
  • I've just cancelled my auto-renewal too. I'm so disappointed and insulted by Strava's handling of this issue. Sadly it seems that the only way to get Strava to listen is to vote with our feet (no pun intended). Elle, I really hope you guys reverse this decision as I'm a huge fan of Strava, but we don't deserve to be treated like this as Premium members so you don't deserve my money.

    It seems clear that there are fans of OSM so rather than switch back, I'd like to see both services (Google and OSM) offered so that users can choose. However I'd like to see the option to select the default per account, one sure fire way to annoy us is to force us to keep manually switching to Google every single time we log in...

    I really hope you guys are considering what to do as it now seems that the inevitable cancellation of Premium memberships is beginning to catch on. Please don't keep us in the dark much longer. It's a lot harder to win new customers than it is to retain your existing loyal base.

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  • 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.

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  • Bob,

    I probably have seen many of your requests.  One reason the routing in England is so bad is that many of the paths are coded as "bridleway" in the OSM data.  The Strava routing engine does not consider these to be routable by bikes, even though many/most are (and some have been hard coded as bike routable in the OSM database).  Unfortunately, I have not found an actual place to note bugs in the routing engine as opposed to the routing database (which is where you have been placing your bug requests).

    While I'm generally supportive of the switch to the switch to Mapbox data, I feel that Strava has bungled it in more than one way.  One of the great things about using OSM as a database is the ability to rapidly fix changes, but the routing table that Strava builds from the OSM data appears to be updated twice yearly.  They claim it is quarterly, which is bad enough, but in practice, I don't think it even gets updated that frequently.  Furthermore, systemic bugs in routing like not routing on bridleways, cannot be noted and seemed to be fixed on yearly basis.  This slow updating seems to obviate one of the main benefits of shifting to OSM data.

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  • Dudes come on!!! We really want street view!

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  • I've noticed 2 major issues with Open Street Maps:

    1. I've kept a log of the elevation predicted vs the elevation achieved on every ride I've done since I joined Strava. When using Google Maps, the eventual outcome averaged at ~72% of the elevation predicted. When using OSM, it's now averaging at ~61% of the elevation predicted. This is very frustrating when trying to create a ride with a minimum amount of elevation. At the moment I have to use a rough guestimation, and hope I hit the figure I want. Obviously this was an issue before, however having worsened by ~11% isn't great, I'd hope it'd get better instead.

    2. The feature to convert a ride to a route is still very much in an alpha stage. It creates a route longer than the route you've actually ridden, and not just a few feet / metres, it can add several miles. This is because the route created seems to consistently loop forward and back on itself for some unknown reason. This wasn't an issue before the switch, and in-fact seemed to work well with Google Maps. I guess finding the issue when working with OSM will take debugging in your website.

    Having done some development via Google Maps myself, and being aware of the rate limiting / costs, I can understand the switch to the free OSM, however at present it seems to be detrimental to the end user, and with the documented issues this will at-least be currently discouraging users from upgrading to a pro account, if not encouraging users to transfer to your competitors.

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  • Here's a hack to add a few additional OpenStreetMap renders (like OpenCycleMap) to Strava: https://github.com/liskin/strava-map-switcher/

    It's a chrome/firefox extension and can work as a bookmarklet, too (see fix.js header).

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  • Hi to the Strava team. I understand your choice of switching from Google Maps to OSM, it may not be for everyone, but maybe you could offer a way for the users (especially the premium users) to switch back to Google maps if they want.

    On the opposite side, please add a way in your phone apps to switch to OSM to be coherent.

    I'm mapping my area in OSM, adding tons of small roads, paths... but can't see them in the Android app because it still uses Google Maps (and Google is slooooowwwww to integrate the users modifications from Google mapmaker).

    Thanks in advance

    Olivier

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  • The lack of Country trails and displaying wrong road junctions on the apple map cause the strava app on IOS devices only practical when sticking paved road(Busy Urban Streets), but out in the country side its like a blank green screen with nothing on it....
    It was a great idea for you switching from google map to OSM on the web medium, but now its like doing half the job but never finish the rest...??

    Even if OSM in strava app means we need a premium account to access I believe many are more than happy to do so!!!

    More IMPORTANTLY!!! (Put the beacon aside) for those who are new to hiking or trail biking which relied on you app can easily got lost and was depending on your map and do not know other map services could render helpless in the wild so I really suggest two of the most important feature you can improve is the use of Openstreetmap and the possibility for users to preload the map in the app....

    An App suggestion for you to study further: GPS Hiker

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  • Scroll wheel not working in map

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  • I'm ok with OSM quality, but can we get back the option for full-screen maps? The old maps used to allow us to view the entire route on a full screen view. The small frame view does not give enough context.

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  • If there is a way to have the bike/multi purpose trails displayed at normal zoom level, that would be great. I live in Madison county Illinois that has a large network of trails created by Madison County transit (MCT). To actually see these trails, you have to know where they are and zoom in to the third zoom level for them to display. So basically, the most useful information is removed when you zoom out to a usable zoom setting. Google maps lets you select cycling mode which then highlights all of the bike trails.

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  • @Cosmo Catalano,

    I've been watching the Strava router since I started OSM editing (because the trails and paths close to our home were poorly mapped).  For many months the map updated with every edit, but the routing did not, and the routing began to bear less-and-less resemblance to the map, even for trails that had moved a bit rather than the new paths and connecting nodes. At some point I think Strava spotted this and it seems that the map is no longer updating either. The routing map and the visible map still do not match, but the match is not getting worse as OSM improves. This seems to be a sensible move as the mismatch between routing and the map is as frustrating as the trails not being there at all  for me, and for some it is probably more frustrating because they have no idea why they can't route along a path they can see on the map!

    It is almost 2 years since I started OSM mapping, so I am *really* hoping that the current pause is a temporary step while Strava build a routing base that matches an up-to-date OSM/Mapbox tileset...

    Fingers crossed!

     

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  • I submitted a support request and the response was that maps are updated quarterly now.

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  • Any news as to when the map is going to be updated? Strava routing has basically become irrelevant, especially for mountain bikers.

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  • Totally agree with the last comment. Use Strava routes is only useable on the road despite the map being totally void of detail. It’s basically the most basic level possible. Zoom out and you’ve lost all road detail. When mountain biking it’s a blank white screen with just the line. It’s hopeless and totally unusable. I have to use other apps eg ViewRanger to follow trails. They actually offer various maps to use when navigating. Far superior. Come on Strava catch up. Add the ability to use a proper map when using routing.

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  • The embarrassing part is that the data that composes the map is free from OSM—someone just has to generate a new set of tiles. There are probably some complications, the tiles are served from Mapbox, maybe they generate them too, each of those things probably make an update cost money. Plus maybe Strava has to process and incorporate some data on its end, IDK.

    Still, a more compelling update for old and new users alike than, say, posts.

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  • Strava gets its browser based maps from Mapbox. Mapbox used to update its maps from OSM every 24 hours - I know because that's how long I had to wait to see my OSM changes on the Strava maps. I loved it!

    About 2 years ago they stopped updating so fast because of map vandalism. To understand the implications, read this blog https://blog.openstreetmap.org/2018/08/30/osm-condemns-vandalism/. The problem for a large company is that when this happens it reflects on them; it doesn't matter that they are using someone else's map in the world of public opinion. As often happens, a few bad actors ruin things for the many.

    I remember talking to someone from Mapbox at their Locate conference in May 2018. They said they were going to put in a process to validate the changes. I don't know whether this has happened. 

    What I do see is that AllTrails, which also uses Mapbox maps, has a newer version of maps than Strava. I base this on an old OSM edit of mine showing up in AllTrails but not in Strava. What's interesting about AllTrails is that while it shows the new trail I added, they also show the old trail I deleted.

    Now at the start I said said this is for BROWSER based maps. On iOS they Strava uses Apple maps and Apple maps as far as trails are concerned are useless. I don't think some of the people commenting here realize there is a difference. 

    I sense that Strava has lost some of its early mojo. UI changes to the app the mean more clicks to do operations than before, more "stuff" added that clutters the screen. Seems to be a common problem with maturing companies.

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  • Coming up on the 3 year anniversary since Strava stopped updating their maps, that's some serious stagnation.  This week a got a survey request from Strava, I was hopeful I could provide some useful feedback there, but they were only interested in brand integration.

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  • MapBox is cool layer but it doesn't show many details (like standard OSM layout). I think choose what layout use is the best think.

    Don't forget that OSM give many other informations like quality of the path (usefull for MTB route) and many POI....

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  • I can appreciate what the move was made. But the lacking resolution and fuzziness, lack of Streetview, and lacking clarity of the maps when you zooming out, is really frustrating.

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  • Quite annoyed by the look, lack of terrain detail and missing functionality. Bring back Google maps until OSM is at the same level. 

    Oh, and please don't mess up the route builder. I read it uses OSM - is this why it always wants to route me where there are no roads? 

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  • Really disappointing to lose Streetview. It's a really good tool to help identify landmarks to judge efforts, work out where things are in relationship to others. I find it particularly important for checking out race courses. Feels like Strava has lost a huge part of its UX....

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  • I'll bet it's a cost saving exercise from Strava - they will spin it as an improvement and say:

    "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 it becomes available" 

    .... but we all know that will never happen.

     

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  • Apart from the Street View feature, I fully support the change to OSM in the long run. For cycling the usability of OSM is far better than Google maps.

    However Strava missed an opportunity of selling the change. What is in it for me? What features will be coming? For now I and many others only see this as a downgrade, e.g. for me the maps look horrible. 

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  • The main concern for me is lack of differentiation with the road types in the current Mapbox views on offer - Motorway, A Road, B Road, lane, track - they are all white. Please can we have some colour classification that covers the full range or roads and paths - a bit like you still have on the Google Maps based route planner - but you can do better than that by going into off road colours too. No Street view. Well that's a real shame and I struggle to see how you can, based on the current initial delivery of Mapbox functionality, claim that the new maps are better for your paying customers than the old. Ideal situation would be to have the promised improvements in maps you hint at what will be possible with Mapbox (a basic product roadmap would be nice for your customers to see what was coming) and to have Street view available too. I expect there will be a cost here for Starva of course licencing two map products - but then you currently are doing this even now - The key is to provide user choice and flexibility so that you can keep all your users happy.
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  • Why are you using the obsolete Mapbox Terrain style? Why not a modern style based on Mapbox Outdoors? The terrain data is much more detailed. https://www.mapbox.com/blog/mapbox-outdoors/

    Runkeeper uses a custom style based on Mapbox outdoors. http://b.tiles.mapbox.com/v3/runkeeper.dzp5vcxr/page.html

    Also, you might look into using Mapillary for street view functionality. They are still in the early stages and coverage is very lacking but it's a start. http://www.mapillary.com/

     

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  • The lack of Street View was so incredibly useful for finding segment start/ends, and the new maps don't even zoom in far enough where you could look for landmarks to access segment locations. Strava just got a little worse.

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  • Gesture based zooming doesn't seem to work on an iPad. -1
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  •   Strava, as a suggestion, since there are advantages/disadvantages between Google and OSM, why not offer users a choice? I'd suggest making that choice available to all users, but if that is untenable for your business model, why not offer map choice in the Premium category?  At present I don't have any great desire to upgrade to Premium, but I would do it in a heartbeat if that gave me back functional maps that did cool stuff like, you know, showing roads and stuff.    

    I second the earlier comment about not spinning this change as an upgrade/advantage.  You have created a great free platform, and of course you are welcome to do with it as you choose and  users can choose to stay or go accordingly.  I get the new(ish) Millennium online business thing, I totally do... but please don't revert to Old Business ways. Trying to spin this as an improvement is  like pissing on our legs and telling us it'll increase  wattage.  Nobody believes it and it just makes your business look bad...and makes a real mess of my shoes.

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