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
  • Will Stava be using all our perfectly good GPS data to actually improve OSM for us?

     

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  • I refined my previous example what would be nice as a combined road/terrain map in MapBox: https://api.mapbox.com/v4/papics.ca6cf1f9/page.html?access_token=pk.eyJ1IjoicGFwaWNzIiwiYSI6ImNmYWIxYWI5MDhiY2U2MWI0YjU3Y2RiZjcxYzYxYWE5In0.M_1aL6bF_fL_ZNvOONVKmQ#13/45.0749/6.0262 if the Strava team is interested in the style file for this, feel free to contact me.

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  • Reduced functionality for profits, not a great surprise.

    The users know (and Strava obviously knows) that Google is far superior to this OSM map rubbish in its offering, OSM will take years to get to the same level, but will not have the resources to deliver Streetview in the next 10 years.

    I love how they try to spin it that it is an advantage for the users, like we are all stupid.  I assume at some point, after the mass feedback, it will be a premium only feature to have google maps, at which point it might make me 'upgrade'

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  • Lack of Streetview is really a terrible regression.  The granularity/quality of the satellite maps is also a big step backwards.  Google Maps is clearly the leader in this field, and it's a real disappointment to see Strava move away from using it.

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  • Given the importance of Street View to how I use Strava this is a huge disappointment. To not even offer the ability to revert to Google Maps is a spectacularly poor decision.

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  • I'm also very disappointed to hear that OSM is replacing Google Maps, for various reasons:

    1.  The satellite imagery is definitely inferior.  In the areas where I ride, the data is old (by 2-3 years), there is significant cloud cover that reduces the usefulness and the data as you zoom in is not available.

    2.  The basic map data is also very old.  In the places I ride, there are some roads and paths that aren't on the maps, even though they have been in place for 2-3+ years.  There are even whole subdivisions that are not represented at all, and some that are only half-mapped, even though they have been in place for a few years.

    3.  The lack of StreetView to check on the quality of the road (particularly paved versus gravel) is a problem.  I can go to another site (Ride with GPS or Google Maps) to check this, but that's inconvenient.

    I appreciate that the appearance of the maps is something but to me, it's the accuracy and currency of the data that is far more important.

    I was actually very close to becoming a Premium member (really, I was!) but that's definitely not going to happen unless the maps get better.  [BTW, knowing that OSM was for non-Premium users and that Google Maps was for Premium users would have been enough of an incentive for me to become a Premium member.]

    Lastly, didn't Strava start to make this change a number of years ago and then backed off due to negative feedback from the user community?

    Thanks.

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  • The new OSM terrain maps for the areas I spend most of my time in are next to useless.  This is the only view that had any value to me here.  Now I may as well view the GPS tracks on a blank background for the lack of detail and elevation contours it provides. 

    I had moved to Strava from Garmin Connect.  They have made great improvements to track segments as Strava does, but still offer reliable high quality map choices.  Google, Bing and OSM maps are all supported.

    I am quite disappointed that Strava has made these changes for the worse and will likely be moving away from using it for this reason.

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  • @Tim M, if there just are a few roads I suggest you create an account on www.openstreetmap.org and add them. This sounds like a problem you can fix your self within minutes. OSM maps are as accurate as we make them.
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  • This is a bloody stupid move.

     

    Street View was crucial to the Route planning side of Strava. Why change this? Ridiculous and VERY disappointing move. Why leave Google Maps, surely that's the best package out there??

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  • I've just cancelled Premium. Presumably if enough people do this they will see sense and bring back sensible maps and I'll be back as a paying customer again.

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  • Premium cancelled. cyclinganalytics.com and ridewithgps.com deserve my money better. It's all about UX.

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  • @Mattias E. , ...,  I know that I can update the OS maps but that's only part of the problem.  I know that there is one whole subdivision missing and I know of several others that are incorrect or partially-missing and that's just in the small areas around my regular commute, that I checked quickly.  I'm assuming that there are many others that are farther afield that may or may not be wrong and I won't know about those until I get to them on a cycling trip someday.  And that doesn't cover the concerns regarding satellite data and StreetView.

    [BTW, I have also made many changes to Google Maps in my area to correct details there as well, so it's not that I'm unwilling to help with that sort of thing.  The difference is that the Google Map changes were not related to whole streets not being there - they were minor changes that only locals would be more likely to know.]

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  • @Phil Lutz yes, we are using Strava data to improve OSM. This is one example: http://labs.strava.com/slide/

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  • This whole thing feels like a big bait and switch to me.

    1. Achieve huge user base and market dominance by providing the best tools and user experience
    2. Replace best tools with cheaper tools, assuming that some people will grumble but ultimately stay

    The loss of Google maps bugs me.  But the whole concept bugs me more. 

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  • Premium cancelled.

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  • @Holger Hetzel & @Tracy Sess, we are already looking into better scroll functionality with maps. Thanks! 

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  • Didn't like the new maps without Street View!

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  • My strava use still Google Maps. Is it a bug then? :)

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  • "Unfortunately, Google maps will not be returning to Strava even as an "on/off" toggle. We're focusing on the road ahead and giving the Strava community the best experience we can with Open Street Maps. "

    ...same had happened with Maps in IOS, Rubitrack on OS X and now STRAVA. Why don't you just pay Google for their maps - as I pay for your service?

    The new Terrain View is horrible! Mountains are just blurred mud - you cannot see any contours.

     

     

     

     

     

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  • I don't like the new terrain view. It's just blurry mud - no details visible.

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  • dragging the map around feels a lot jankier because the route doesn't redraw for the newly revealed portions of the map until you let go of the mouse.

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  • The total lack of UX consideration is not what I'd expected of Strava. For the dozens of people commenting here, how many more are venting their frustration in silence? Looks like Strava lost its way - the beginning of the end of something awesome.
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  • Garmin Connect seems pretty nice and full featured now. And I use it even without a Garmin. Offers numerous mapping options too. Maybe that's the best alternative?
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  • I also understand Google Maps isn't free but I feel like if you have a premium service you can make the fee pay for that. Offer it as a premium feature.
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  • @Evan Stade - I'm looking into your report as we speak! Seems like something we can fix regarding the "click and drag" functionality with the map causing the route outline to disappear for newly revealed portions. 

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  • Also when dragging the map with a mouse, the "fling" motion is hard to trigger intentionally but often triggers unintentionally, sending you past the desired stop point. Flinging should probably just be disabled completely (at least for mouse; maybe it works better for touch).

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  • This is the part of the press release that really annoys me:

    "Unfortunately, Google maps will not be returning to Strava even as an "on/off" toggle."

    This just screams, "we're not interested in or going to listen to what our customers want." 

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  • "Unfortunately, Google maps will not be returning to Strava even as an "on/off" toggle. We're focusing on the road ahead and giving the Strava community the best experience we can with Open Street Maps." = we don't care about what our customers say.

    Sad to see that the passion is gone. :( 

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  • As off-road cyclist, I welcome the used openstreetmap, or, better, opencyclemap. The  problem is that the new map engine does not really add any info for off-road cyclists, and make life worse for road cyclist!!! all the off-road routes are marked in the same color, which makes it pretty much useless (footpaths and cyclepath are the same color...). Moreover, StravistiX doesnt work anymore and satellite images are low quality.... I welcome changes, but if they are well made and thought through!!! 

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