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
  • Have you changed map to Google maps? Earlier map was better for mountain bikeing because you saw trails. Now it´s impossible to create segments :'(

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  • Just to have a note here too, I have already sent a note to Mapbox more than 3 months ago about a problem with contour lines (elevation data) in Belgium and Germany, so it is not only limited to SF, but it is also not a problem everywhere... It is still not fixed. Here is what I have found:

    I have recently started using MapBox for a personal map design project, and I have noticed some inconsistencies in the v2 terrain data. There are regions where the major elevation contours match quite well between the Terrain v1 and v2 data as expected, but some regions (I have found large areas in Europe for example) show differences to up to 300 metres, with the v1 data being correct, and the v2 being too high. 
    Examples: https://www.mapbox.com/labs/terrain/#16/50.7719/3.8914 in Geraardsbergen (west of Brussels), the Oudeberg in the middle of the map should peak just above 100 m ASL, while in the new version it shows up above 230 metres. As a comparison, here is the topographic map of the same region with contours, also showing the real ~100 m altitude: http://www.ngi.be/topomapviewer/public?lang=nl&level=9&mapcenter=%7B%22x%22%3A616044%2C%22y%22%3A662479%7D&layers=%7B%22autoMap%22%3Atrue%2C%22baseMaps%22%3A%5B%5B%22cartoweb_topo%22%2C100%5D%5D%2C%22aerialMaps%22%3A%5B%5D%2C%22overlayMaps%22%3A%5B%5D%7D&
    Or, even larger difference on the triple border between Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany: https://www.mapbox.com/labs/terrain/#17/50.75389/6.01772 the bend of the Route des Trois Bornes in the centre of the screen should be at an elevation around 300 metres, while in v2 data it is at 580! That’s a huge 280 m difference! Again, as comparison here is a link to the topo map of the region: http://www.ngi.be/topomapviewer/public?lang=nl&level=9&mapcenter=%7B%22x%22%3A766297%2C%22y%22%3A661642%7D&layers=%7B%22autoMap%22%3Atrue%2C%22baseMaps%22%3A%5B%5B%22cartoweb_topo%22%2C100%5D%5D%2C%22aerialMaps%22%3A%5B%5D%2C%22overlayMaps%22%3A%5B%5D%7D&
    Trying to triangulate where the differences are larger or smaller, at the Southernmost border of Belgium, it is only 40 metres: https://www.mapbox.com/labs/terrain/#15/49.5173/5.4715 Going more west deeper into Germany it is still 280 metres: https://www.mapbox.com/labs/terrain/#15/50.9296/7.2026 but even further West around the center of Germany it is downt to 40 again: https://www.mapbox.com/labs/terrain/#14/51.5349/9.9504 So the large anomaly seems to be centred around the Western border of Germany with Belgium, with an extent of half a country in all directions.
    So yeah, this is not a small issue...
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  • I'll be cancelling my Premium membership when it comes up for renewal. The quality of the satellite imagery for the UK is appalling. It used to be fantastic.

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  • Thanks Péter - from what I have heard, it is not an easy fix, so I'm sure Mapbox is aware of the elevation data issues you've reported as well. Thanks for your patience. 

    Antti - nothing has changed in regard to segment creation, so if you are having trouble creating segments please reach out to us in a direct support request. 

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  • I see that the Compare tool has now been switched over to OSM. As such can you at least add the Google street view start/finish options like on a segment page?

    So just Create Segment left then...

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  • I've held off commenting for quite some time in the hopes that OSM would surpass the Google based features.  I'm a fan of the OSM ideal.  What I've come to realize is that hands down, Google does a much better job with map presentation and quality of data.  In fact, Google vs OSM will always be much better because they're investing billions of dollars in mapping, and are lightyears ahead.  Most of the press about the Strava change has focused on specific feature losses.  In my opinion, the real problem is the movement backwards along a usability & quality curve, and the resulting general "unpleasant" feeling this leaves in customers subconscious.  Bugs in new feature rollouts are almost expected, and don't [in my experience] leave users with anything more than a complaint.  Regressions in quality or features that folks rely on tend to leave lasting impressions and make folks second guess the relationship.  These types of regressions can turn fans into detractors quickly and easily (ref numerous examples in the comment stream).

    TL;DR:  This is my request to please abandon OSM and go back to Google.  Let some other company drive the OSM improvements.

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  • George G., Jan 2, 10:47 AM:

    Someone,STRAVA management/ shareholder?/owners needs to get a grip with this ongoing problem with the Open maps software they should have made sure that the Open map software was 100% operational before replacing Google maps,there are STILL various issues with the Open Maps platform which you will be more than aware of i'm sure, i havent read one positive post regarding Open maps telling me that there are a lot of unhappy STARVA users! Come on STRAVA wake up and smell the coffee listen to your paying customers Regard George Gillespie Premium member but not for much longer (Bring back Google Maps and do us all a favor)

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  • I agree with the previous commenters. Google Maps is a much better and more accurate product and I'd also like to see it return instead of Mapbox

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  • Any ideas on what will happen to the maps under the new Garmin ownership? Garmin use Here maps from German car companies, which are completely car centred, with none of the off road paths we need. In the UK we have to buy detailed maps of topology and paths. At least Here provide high quality sat images in the UK. I imagine they will also provide good streetview type images for car drivers too.
    It will be interesting to see if Garmin continue also to by services from Mapbox for non-road mapping.
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  • @James Stewart:

    On Garmin devices, at least those made for outdoor use or MTB, you don't need any of their maps. You just get the device and load free nice-looking maps from http://frikart.no/garmin/velgkart.html (covers all of Europe).

    If you want an MTB version there is at least coverage for Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Italy here: http://mtbmap.no/garmin (and you might ask them to put your country there as well; the script is easy to run). On that site there are also screenshots showing you how it looks on a typical device like Garmin Edge 800 or similar. The legend would be very similar to the one used at the mtbmap.no website: http://mtbmap.no/assets/legend_retina.png

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  • This OMB map platform sucks donkey taint. I have this feeling that it's not about giving the best "user platform for our athletes", but a monetary one. I will not be renewing my premium membership in a few weeks because the satellite photos and zoom capabilities are useless for me now. I had to study OMP and Google very hard to see where my short comings are on a particular segment I have been training on. Google was able to zoom in, with clarity, the section that I need to work on most.

    Maybe I need to try some new logging platforms to see if I can find what I'm looking for.

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  • "it's not about giving the best "user platform for our athletes", but a monetary one"

    @justin that's not just a feeling, but the reality, which has been discussed on here for months. Unfortunately it seems this battle was lost. Elle's strategy of ignore & distract worked long enough for people to forget how awesome it used to be. 

    IF you are tempted to renew your premium, I recommend choosing the monthly option (not annual) so you have the ability to vote with your wallet more often, because those seem to be the only votes that count. 

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  • Can't even use the maps to see where or if pavement turns to dirt like you can see when using Ride With GPS for FREE.

    Can't even get elevation and distance dynamically to get gradient of a climb unless this it's an almighty "segment". Ride With GPS lets you do this while mapping a ride for FREE.

    Annual goals in Strava requires "Premium" membership.

    Only reason i re-upped for Premium was to get 2 free months of Zwift -- will be canceling Premium once 2 month is up. 

    Used Strava app on android 1 and 1 time only after seeing Strava gave me a top speed of 151mph, Garmin Connect from same ride didn't make the same mistake and is FREE.

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  • I love the switch to Open Streetmap! I've got most of the local mountain bike and XC ski trails mapped in my area, which Google maps are sorely lacking. If I come across an error or missing track, it's as simple as uploading my GPS track and tracing it, and it appears within a few days on the Strava maps. My only complaint when I started using Strava was that all of the mountain bike trails were missing, but was pretty happy the day I noticed to switch to OSM, and all of our local trails suddenly appeared!

    To everyone complaining on here, learn how to use Open Street Map to make updates in your area if you have a problem! It's enjoyable to to see something you've added or changed appear on the map, plus your efforts are for a good and open-source cause that is available for free to everyone, not just giving a giant corporation your data for free for them to make money off of. I couldn't be happier with the switch, I just wish I could get the Android app to show the OSM maps instead of Google!

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  • Hi Grant,

    I'm not sure you understand a lot of the complaints here when you said:

    "To everyone complaining on here, learn how to use Open Street Map".

    For most of us it's not the move to the new mapping but the poor quality/resolution of the images that are the problem.

    I've gone from being able to zoom in to see where a trail starts and ends to having a black screen with crosses in it. It has become totally useless.

    Yes I understand OSM Yes I was already a member and trace/update/edit but it's got nothing to do with the loss of high quality images. Add to this the loss of Streetview and the changes for a lot of people are a game changer.

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  • @Grant, the biggest problem for me is totally incorrect contour labels, in some cases hundreds of meters higher than the real elevation. And there's no way to change that kind of widespread error in OSM. Its has to be done by their staff, or wherever they got the source data.

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  • @David. OSM is not be blamed for the incorrect displayed elevation data since the data inside OSM is correct. The error is with Mapbox, which is used by Strava to display the OSM data. And yes, Mapbox has been informed months ago, but still have not fixed it.

     

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  • @Pascal thanks, yes. so maybe we need to pressure Mapbox. For such serious error it really ought to be a high priority.

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  • I would like to see the contour lines disappear altogether.  The lines obscure the image details I want to see.  

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  • I can only assume that a new set of maps have been released recently the quality of which is absolutely dreadful for mapping routes around the North of England.  

    There are literally hundreds of places where you cannot create a route without resorting to manual mode.  I report them as I come across them but I'm beginning to wear out both my keyboard and my patience.  

    I am trying to arrange a charity ride in May and we've had to switch to Mapmyride to agree the route

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  • @Bob Everick - it's not just the North of England - it seems to be happening everywhere on the maps.

    I'm currently trying to draw a route along a straight road right now and whether I've got Use Popularity on or off, Strava refuses to route along this road and sends me on a two mile detour, some of which is actually cross-country! Even if you try to drag the route back to the road, it ignores you - just puts a new dot in the middle of the road, but the route remains the same as it was. It was working fine along the same road about a week ago.

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  • Street view was a huge downgrade. As are the quality of the ariel maps and mapping in general, and with the hundreds of incorrect place names that remain on Open STrret Map after being reported for several years - using English place names for Welsh places which do not have English place name.

     

    The main issue is route planning. The Sustrans mapping which is updated by themselves via google maps does not transfer too well here. Try plotting a route along route 4 from Bynea to the Wetlands near Llanelli and the bicycle path bridge across the dual carriageway does not map - this is one of many errors on route 4 alone, many other routes are also affected as Open Street Map is shoddilly maintained and not supported by hose dealing with the UK's cycling infrastructure. Here's what I'm talking about with regards to Bynea/Route 4 cycle path:

    http://screencast.com/t/3PotULsFIJAW

     

    Here's another example. Go to the point where Cwmbach Road in Fforestfach (not Fforest-Fach) in Swansea meets Station road. No plot from Station road to any point west towards Waunarlywdd and you'll get this:

    http://screencast.com/t/DHTSMXU6XsN

    A section of Cwmbach road which will not map. This occurs in dozens of places in Swansea whether a cycle path or heavily used B road.

     

    Checking Open Street Map there does not seem to be a problem per se with how the roads and junctions have been created, there are no obvious incorrect tags in play such as one way or no right turn etc... it looks fine, so it's either a major flaw in how Strava interacts with open Street Maps or Open Street Maps is as bad and as cheap as it appears. Strava is shooting itself in the foot. I now have to route place off site with another app which leaves me thinking why use two apps to do everything? Strava is outliving its usefulness.

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  • Kind of difficult to be excited about this, when I can’t create a route on a road that has been finished for at least a year. OpenStreetMap’s (Mapbox) data shows a section of this road as incomplete, thus I can’t create a route though there. So back to Google Maps I go to build the route… 32.742229, -97.364415

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  • Maps either low res and cloudy or black. Really great! And I pay for this??

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  • Satellite imagery in my area is dreadful. Unless this improves soon I'll be cancelling my Premium membership.

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  • Planning routes is incredibly frustrating using an inferior service. The content and labeling Google Maps provide is desired. I'll pay for my own Google Maps lookups; just give me the option to use it again and add the charges to my account.

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  • For the love of dog, please bring back a Google Maps option.  These maps are terrible.  Satellite image quality is bad in my area, the topo lines obstruct the view in said viewing mode, and labels are often wrong. 

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  • Please allow using OSM maps also with heatmaps. Today I missed one turn because Google had old name for the road. The road name and sign posts had been changed one and half year ago, OSM was up to date, but Google was still having old road name.

    P.S. It seems some people would like to have Google maps, but for me riding a bike on summer time and cross-country skiing on winter time, I really appreciate the current maps with ski tracks rendered so nicely.

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  • I understand that for some users MapBox works but for others who rarely go off road in our commute Google Maps is the best choice. Why limit us to just one map, why not provide both and have the user control which map they prefer to use?

    The lack of street view to me is a huge downgrade especially when I plan my routes on urban streets and not on mountains.

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  • Finding mtb-segments is almost impossible, since the map does not show forest roads, or other landmarks easy to use to identify segments without using gps. 

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