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
  • @Elle +1 for adding (at least) Mapbox's default "outdoors" style ASAP (no development time needed) as a quickfix;
    MB outdoors style is superb in comparison to current "standard map" which is pitiful (and that is praise)!

    I am just another premium user that can see great potential in step made, but very disappointed in the way Strava has made this step - You should've made a smoother transition from GM to MB - at least for some time both should be available and before final switchover, you should've had polished map styles. Now most of users see thes step as a very bad decision when in fact it can bring a lot of improvement...

    Dejan
    sLOVEnia

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  • God! What a bunch o whining babies, with the exception of a couple of guys here... Just cancel your subscription already and stop whining! I bet that 99% of you whining pricks here won't even cancel your subscription, just a whole lot of fluff.

    Yes, they switched to OSM, and google maps is not coming back... just move on and go ride a bike... Use Strava, or don't... what matters is that you are out riding...

    5 years ago all that matters is that you where out riding and having fun with your friends or even by yourself on a solo ride... No one needed Strava just a bike and helmet.

    What has changed? 

    Remember, Strava it's just a tool to track your rides, nothing more... 

    Get our and go have fun on your bike... That's what matters....

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  • These maps are terrible and big step backwards. I know have to use RIDE WITH GPS for my mapping/route planning. Most maps along coast lines or waterfront appear like swims because the mapping is inaccurate. It is absolutely important to have street view to ID quality of roads, gravel, bike lanes etc. etc.

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  • Presuming myself to be in the 'whining pricks' camp, as you so eloquently put it. Those of us aren't complaining about not enjoying riding our bikes, we're complaining about the functionality and user experience of a computer programme that many of us have paid for. And yes, I have cancelled my premium membership as a result - why pay for something when you now have to use another platform to get the same amount of functionality you did when you made the original purchase?

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  • I personally do need the street view but can still see it in the beta version of the route planner (please don't change this). The osm are incomplete here. Roads are missing and these mtn bike trails that people speak of are not present either. The global heat map has been my guide for off road activity. Anybody in Silicon Valley should have seen what happened to Apple when they left google maps and played accordingly. Since it seems that osm is here to stay, please fix some stuff. There are no elevations on the topo maps. I cannot look at maps with my iPad. The satellite imagery is so dated that my neighbor's 10 year old house is under construction in the imagery. Ultimately give people a choice, or else we will choose to send money to other services. My paid subscription ends in early sept. You guys have a month to get your act together.
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  • @ Dan K: Being abusive towards your fellow athletes doesn't help to move the debate on.  Grow up!

    @Mike Humphreys: +1 your comments

    For what it is worth and as stated in an earlier post I had already cancelled my premium membership.

    The total disregard by Strava for its customers is losing it friends and goodwill as evidenced by Ellie's latest post (August 3, 2015, 2.54 PM.

    @ Ellie Anderson: so lets be crystal clear as to what you are saying here... you introduced a new feature that you knew to have bugs and which didn't support the functionality that was originally intended .  Is this really what you are admitting to?

    This smacks of ineptitude at best or a flagrant disregard for your customers at worst!

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  • my main issue with this change is that I can no longer zoom in (the OSM satellite coverage is terrible) & switch to streetview to see where segments start/finish. And yes, I've cancelled my Premium membership in part due to this (and other areas where Strava no longer appears concerned about user experience).

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  • I am big fan of open source, but the new maps engine is just unacceptable and must be a pure economical decision to increase profitability. If you can’t afford google maps for regular/unpaid users, okay, we have seen that for other platforms that reached critical mass as well but why do you impose such burden to premium users?? This represents a major change in service and thus I would like to extraordinarily cancel my just renewed premium subscription, unfortunately on the annual plan, and receive refund. Pls get in touch. Thx

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  • Good for you Sr. you are in the 1% of the riders that actually did cancel their memeberships... I agree with you, yes one feature got removed and if that is a deal breaker for you, you should cancel your subscription. For me, to be completely honest, i didn't even knew that street view was possible and never used it in strava. 

    I was one of the few that actually asked for OSM on Strava so i'm actually pretty stoked with the new change.

    As i've mentioned before, i understand the frustration from users like you that enjoyed the feature, and agree it would be nice to have the option to switch between google and OSM, same way Garmin Connect does it, but according to Elle that's not happening. 

    Maybe Strava should reconsider this option, make it a premium service only, this way the paid users will pay for google maps, if you are a free user you only get OSM.

    The fact is, people don't like change, it's like when Apple changed the design of the IOS to the new look, there were complainers everywhere, but they all still use the iPhone and probably love it even more now... I bet they can't even remember how the old OS looked.

    I guess the same applies to this change. Its in it's early stages, people are still getting used to the idea. I know Strava will come with new features that will make the service even cooler... so give it some time, and get used to the new OSM, yes there is no street view, but i'm sure you will find a work around this issue.

    just annoying to open my emails at the end of the day and have 50 notifications of this thread and non of them is actually constructive...

     

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  • @Dan K. No this isn't just a UI change, this is a major functional change, the map is a HUGE part of the ride. and street view was a great feature. This isn't going to be some UI change that i'll forget about, BASIC FUNCTIONALITY HAS GONE and isn't coming back... 

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  • Ridewithgps.com still has streetview (and allows switching to osm/...). Seems a nice alternative.

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  • This is great to see! I've been an avid OpenStreetMap editor ever since Foursquare moved away from Google a few years ago.

     

    To the haters: This is about money! Google charges a small fortune to use its maps for sites with as many users as Strava. Also, Strava and other platforms may be looking to be more independent of Google.

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  • @Elliott Plack

    Didn't realize that being a paying customer is being a "hater". You are right though, it's probably about money but if Strava won't support the features I want as a paying customer, I guess dropping my subscription makes more sense.
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  • Count me in as another premium member who actually cancelled their premium subscription.  I've been a paying member since March 2011 and this was just the last straw that finally got me to click the button.

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  • @Dan K

    This is a forum thread for people (including paying customers, i.e. probably not you) to comment on the switch. Who are you to call paying customers whiny babies? Many of us are frustrated with how this has been handled and, if it is a money thing, why can't Strava offer Google as an option to paying customers, like other services do. As a developer I know that supporting two web APIs isn't that difficult. At this point in time OSM is barely usable compared to Google Maps. Strava should have run a beta test first to iron out the kinks and dial things in - similar to how the dashboard change was implemented years ago. But now many of us feel we're paying for the development of a subpar tool mainly for the benefit of users who aren't paying a dime. If I am supposed to just suck it up and have Google Maps open in another browser, I guess I could also just use GC for viewing my power data/profile and stop paying for Strava.
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  • @Joel, 'haters' was not the best word, but the internet people get upset about moving away from Google Maps every time. I am a premium member. I've heard Google Maps for Business API fees can be well above $100,000 a year for high traffic sites. With 1.2M active strava users, that could add up to a lot of money that Strava would be handing to a company with dubious terms of service regarding its map product. Strava can use the savings to improve OSM drastically, as Mapbox is already working on.

    Strava is smart to reduce its reliance on third party data providers (especially something as integral as maps), and this is a savvy business decision, in my opinion. For all the money it spends on Google Maps, Strava gets only what is effectively a basemap--something to look at. By switching to OSM, Strava can improve the map to rival that of Google Maps, something any investor would love to see. Strava already has a wealth data on where people like to exercise, something that is quite difficult to gather without a ton of users.

    I am sympathetic to the loss of features and functionality, but that will soon return as OSM continues to improve. You can use the route editor to report errors and let mappers fix them. For Streetview, I concede that there is not a great alternative. You can check out Mapillary, and perhaps Strava will add them in as well in the future.

    I encourage all users to stick with Strava through the transition. Their commitment towards contributing business data back to the community via OSM is an honorable one.

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  • I'm amazed at Strava's arrogance on this issue and regarded of what happens now the brand is damaged in my opinion. There have been very few comments supporting the change and even the most valid of those cannot excuse the arrogant way this change has been imposed with no warning or opportunity for feedback.
    While Strava may be the market leader now they should be working flat out to stay in that position by improving the user experience for loyal users not recklessly damaging it, at least not unless they want to become the next MySpace.








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  • @Elliott Plack,

    I won't pretend to know Strava's financial details, but if Google Maps for Work only costs them $100K / yr, they'd need around 1700 paying customers to cover that cost and, with 1.2 million users, I'd hope they'd have more than that!  Even if it costs Strava $1M / yr for Google Maps, they'd still only need just under 1.5% of their user base to pay the premium subscription to cover that cost.  A quick search turned up information stating that Strava has about 20% of its users paying for the service.  Even if they only have 10% of their customers subscribing, it should still provide enough money to cover all operating costs.
     
    I have a premium subscription because of the convenience of having everything I need in one place.  Now that I have to open Google Maps and take quite a few additional steps to access Street View, see segment start and end points, and plan routes, Strava is no longer as convenient as it once was.  Add all the other bugs, weak sort/search/filtering functionality for finding segments/athletes/activities, and I do start to question whether I really need to pay for Strava at all.  I can get more detailed power information from GC, so the only reason to keep paying for Strava might be for the new Live Segments feature.  I'm trying to remain positive but Strava is a very unresponsive and opaque company at times, so I'm not overly optimistic.
     
    So yes, OSM will be fine in the long, especially if I stop paying for Strava. :)

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  • Quick brief: Today we upgraded our maps to the latest version of Mapbox tiles for terrain and standard view. I've checked over a few examples of poor resolution terrain maps with some pixelation, and the upgraded maps are a big improvement. You'll also see some different colors and textures for the terrain view. 

    We are still planning an intensive design process with the Open Street Maps to customize the look and feel to something uniquely Strava. More updates to come later.

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  • I already pay for a premium "Google Earth" account for my tacx. There should be a way to link these to take advantage enhanced extras if there are costs associated.

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  • @joel as I've mentioned before I can understand your frustration, FYI I've been a paid member since 2012 and will continue to support strava since I was one of the few that asked for OSM,
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  • I was one of the people who griped about user interface inconsistencies (ie, fullscreen and street view was available when reviewing a ride, but not when viewing a route) with the old setup. Strava seemed to address those problems by eliminating street view completely. Oh, and fullscreen still isn't available for routes (unless you go into edit mode).

    Very disappointed. Unlikely to re-up my premium membership. Sorry.

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  • Elle, yesterday's update was a step on the road to recovery. Please keep the updates coming quickly.

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  • There are some real issues here about how Strava treats its customers.  If Community Support really cared about what people think then they would have already addressed the concerns already expressed within this forum.

    It strikes me that Strava is quick to publicise change when it suits them (Live Segments springs to mind, a change which I note is likely to only appeal to a subset of its customer base) however very slow when the change is potentially adverse or otherwise likely to be met with a mixed reaction.

    Perhaps Strava would like to explain why it rolled out a change when it was not ready to do so from either an engineering or a customer management perspective.  In particular:

    1. Why did it not consult with users as to what they want out of a user interface/user experience?
    2. Why did Strava not bother to communicate the change in advance?
    3. Why was a software development rolled out that Strava has already admitted contained a bug?
    4. Why was the change rolled out when it did not contain the functionality that Strava wanted?

    I suspect that we will not get answers to the above and if so, that would be symptomatic of the lack of concern that Strava has for how it is perceived.  I would however have expected Community Support to have been all over this like a rash when it became apparent that feelings were running high.  Sadly however that does not appear to be the case (a total of 7 posts to date).

    Strava please consider the following as a measure of how strongly people feel.  The break down of those who have contributed to this forum is as follows:

    • Supportive of the change: 6 (5.6%)
    • Ambivalent of the change: 21 (19.4%)
    • Dislike either the change or the manner in which the change was handled: 59 (54.6%)
    • Will cancel, have cancelled or likely to cancel Premium membership or otherwise considering leaving Strava completely: 22 (20.4%)
    • Total 108

    In other words 71% believe that the change for the worse (or at least badly handled)!

    Interestingly only off-roaders or mountain bikers are in the supportive camp are either with others who think that the change will provide a better user experience but that Strava badly handled the change.  It seems that you have managed to please one of your constituencies!

    You are rapidly eroding any goodwill that I had for your brand and as things stand, it would not take too much more before I also consider using other platforms that are better suited for my needs.

    Well done for a mess of your own creation.

     

     

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  • Looks like Péter I. Pápics pretty much nailed it with a solution to satisfy users of all types.  I'm a roadie and the loss of streetview is the biggest problem.  I like to see where segments end and begin.  Users make segments and everyone makes segments differently.  Some have logical start and end points while others have very strange start and end points.  Without streetview I'm in the dark.  Also, it adds to safety because I can see if a segment is dangerous or not.  Some segments are made with and endpoint after a stoplight or stop sign, meaning you would have to run a red light or stop sign to get a good time.  This is dangerous and I choose not to compete on those segments.  Without streetview I kind of have to guess where things begin and end.

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  • @Paul A. Thanks. For anyone who is interested, I uploaded my MapBox Project with the mentioned style to github, feel free to get it from there. You can use it with MapBox Studio.

    https://github.com/papics/Custom-MapBox-style-file-Strava-Veloviewer

    Would be nice if Strava gave us the option to use our custom MapBox styles... But hey, I guess I am asking something way too big...

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  • In the JOSM editor for OSM there is a way to configure the Mapbox satellite imagery to overzoom instead of disappearing which provides a better user experience.  I believe all I had to do was replace tms[19] with tms[17] in the imagery url.

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  • The loss of street view is a big disappointment. It was no doubt my favorite feature....Looking down at past rides in different states and looking at roads other have ridden in other countries as well. Also checking future routes for road quality and type of road and shoulder was very handy. I believe as some have said above, that google should still be an option for premium members. 

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  • Street View from the Strava page may be gone but street view still exists.  Street view in Strava was good for a quick look but I found using Google Earth was very useful.

    With Google Earth you get street view and 3D terrain.

    Do you want to see a Strava ride in Google Earth?  Download the track using the GPX button on the Strava map.  Then drop the file on the G.E. window.  You can see the track in the satellite view and in the street view.  When you load the track de-select the option "Adjust altitudes to ground level" and you will see the track mapped according to the altitude points in the file.  This works in 3D satellite view and in street view.  This provides a window (sic) into the quality of the GPS data.

    Google Earth with street view was key in producing 'How to Cheat Honestly" 

    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1G4oVsrmkbAGqcfWXtK3b8AwEjFEOXmo2VdMPf0umGlk/edit#slide=id.p

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  • For me, an all MTBikers in my area, OSM is a great improvement.

    Google maps showed almost no fire ways in my area (Israel) and zero single tracks.

    StreetView was never useful as it doesn't include anything off-road.

    Now we can also add newly-opened paths to OSM.

    I hope you'll get over the initial hick-ups and get roadies happy too!

    Guy

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