Option To Suggest New Titles For Segments

Currently, a segment can only be edited or deleted by its creator. I don't have a problem with that since the hide/unhide option for rides and the starred segment option for runs will naturally decide whether a segment will appear or not. However, I notice something very common on Strava: many segments are relevant but the title is crap.

I think lot of people don't really have skill to name segments and here are the common problem I see:

  • The name has spelling mistakes. Come on! This is the most outrageous problem of all. How can people be that lazy that they don't even bother to double check a name of a road or the spelling of a word...
  • The name is personal, therefore irrelevant for other people. How annoying it is to see segment names like "last sprint to beer" or "<name of the road> return" (the return obviously depends on where you come from!). These titles should be for private segments, not public one since it doesn't make any sense except for its creator and his friends...
  • The name isn't precised enough or could be enhanced.

For these reasons, you should have an option on a segment page to suggest a new title to its creator with a title and description field, using the same idea as activity flagging. Then, the creator has to validate it in order for the change to take effect. Another idea would be to use the community to vote for a new title. On a segment page, you could have a list of all suggested titles + the original one and let the Strava users thumb up for the one they prefer. Then, the title could be dynamically chosen according to the number of votes (but the creator still keeps the right of deletion).

The idea of suggesting changes is very similar to what you can do in Foursquare.

 

I also think that a guideline for naming segments could be created in the knowledge base to help people choosing a correct name. The advises could be for instances:

  • For countries where US English applies, always put capital letters on (almost) every words of the title. For other languages, respect the language convention for writing titles.
  • Try to avoid personal naming that makes no sense for other people.
  • Try avoiding words like "return", "one way", "back", etc. but use "Northbound", "Southbound", "Eastbound", "Westbound", "Clockwise", "Anticlockwise", etc. instead.
  • Try to stick to the reality of road, bridge, tunnel, overpass, underpass, trail, mountain, lake names.
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  • This is really great stuff Geoffrey! I hear you on this one, and often see strange segment names. We'll definitely consider a document to outline Segment naming guidelines - it can only help! 

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  • Documenting is not the answer, that's a soft control. People do not read documentation, and Strava has a policy to essentially not touch Segment details, no matter how inappropriate or inaccurate they are. We need a hard control. Geoffrey's hit the nail on the head: This needs to be a fundamental feature enhancement to Strava, and it's literally the single biggest frustration/talking point among other Cyclists/Stravaletes that I talk too.

    Additionally to that, you need to consider the same sort of voting system to actually DELETE segments. Take this activity for example: http://app.strava.com/activities/226557987 - This is a relatively new MTB trail, which is now full with completely irrelevant automatically generated segments created by other users. I've made some new relevant ones, but I'm powerless to suggest the automatically generated ones be removed.

    Data quality is everything. You're ruining the quality of my data.

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  • Hi Elle, Thank you to listening to Geoffrey feedback. I'm bored to see irrelevant segment names where i ride. I always need spend a lot of time to compare where a segment has been put and an official map before riding. It's annoying !!

    It is also impossible to identify who has created a segment, thus, it is impossible to communicate with the creator.

    We are obliged to create duplicates and makes a great visual confusion.

    So when will Strava do something for that please ? :)

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  • Something has to be done about segment names. Sometimes names are plain misleading. For example in my local area there is a segment called "40th street" which actually goes along 51st street.
    Also there are a few segments that mention Tolp pipeline trail in their names while they are on a different trail and the actual Tolt pipeline trail is several miles aways.

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  • James G, you hit the nail on the head! There are so many goofy segments showing up around the East Bay here in NorCal.  For example, users take a perfectly logical climb segment and carve into a dozen lame segments that make no sense at all. Or worse, they create multiple segments covering the same exact route. It makes it very hard to effectively use Segment Explorer and it diminishes the value of segments overall. It would be great to allow the community to vote on the segments.  If enough people give it a thumbs down, then the segment should be shifted to private. 

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  • It would be great it you could allow some sort of wikimedia/public-access-with-moderator approach to changing the name of an existing segment -- particularly for off-road segments on trails, the automatic naming system makes things confusing after a while. I've attached a screenshot of a set of segments around the White Mountains. Every other trail is simply default named "Appalachian Trail Climb" because that's the only named entity that your algorithm can find nearby. But each of those trails have a documented, official AMC name, and it would be so much more helpful if that name was attached to the segments. 

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  • In this vein, it would be really nice if there was a way to contact a segment creator to suggests edits. There are lots of segments out there with start and endpoints that don't really capture people's best efforts (like the endpoint is at or just beyond a road junction, and many people's times include lots of sitting around because their GPS didn't think they had *quite* finished the segment). Right now you can create a version of a segment that better measures people's efforts (one that, for example, starts just a bit in to a stretch of road or trail, and finishes a little short of a junction), but you end up with lots of duplicates (notice how many nearly duplicate segments are titled "[segment name] - ACCURATE")? In places (like Portland) where there are really well-used segments with hundreds or thousands of people on the leaderboard, there really should be some way of voting on the best version among choices to clean things up.

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  • I totally agree with Duncan Parks about having a method to contact the segment creator to edit the name or segment start and end points, or possibly to delete a duplicate or dangerous segment. I'm sure there will be a lot of segment creators that refuse to comply with reasonable requests and/or suggestions so maybe nominate a team of voting Strava ambassadors (possibly premium members with the highest miles in the region... I'm thinking you already have half of this functionality written for your heat maps) for each region) to settle segment disputes.

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  • For what its worth I totally agree with everything written in this string.  I love segments and find them very frustrating at the same time.  Poor names, less than accurate start and ends points, and small segments with no relevance to the larger audience within a obvious larger segment are all problems.  At a minimum, a way to reach out the segment creator to discuss would be nice.  But might just lead to bickering.  I'd like to think the overall cycling and Strava community is better than that, but... 

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  • Another feature to go with this would be to be able to add a description to a segment when it is created.  Sometimes, it is a bit difficult to know exactly where the segment starts and ends, or if you are running on the right or left side of the road, etc.

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  • I think there are a few separate but related issues: 1.) bad names and how to fix them, 2.) segment information, descriptions and being able to find/search for segments, 3.) segments that are marked as hazardous and then recreated by different users, and 4.) duplicate non-hazardous segments and how they should be managed.

    On the subject of naming conventions, segments can be personal or have a specific meaning to a regional club or group so I don't necessarily mind giving someone the ability to name it whatever they want. After I've ridden a segment multiple times I get to know what "xyz-random-segment-name" is and don't really think much of it. Where poor naming convention is a major problem is trying to find new segments using the segment search tools when someone hasn't used a descriptive name or makes a new segment that's almost identical except for the name. Why is it different, if at all?

    What might help would be if each segment had a "description" section that was searchable using the segment search tools and could contain information such as the actual road or trail names, visual indicators where it starts and ends, direction of travel, etc. Maybe for road segments Strava could automatically add or suggest a road/crossroad and direction (e.g. eastbound, westbound) in the description field when the segment is created. I'd additionally go a step further and add a "comments" section for each segment as a place for the community to add their own descriptions, recent road/trail reports, other commonly known names, etc. and also allow this to be searchable in the segment search tools.

    Education can only get you so far if there aren't set rules or guides and a way to enforce, but it looks like many bad segment names are just because the user didn't know what to name it. Perhaps during the creation process put a big "Naming Examples" button on the page that opens a pop-up window of common naming suggestions. When you click to submit/create the segment Strava could also run a spell check of the segment name against road names off the map and offer a "did you mean xyz-name..." suggestion before creating the segment.

    To go even further, the segment pages could be overhauled so that the owner or community could also upload photos (along with photo captions) directly to the web site that shows riding conditions, start and end points and so on. That would be better than trying to make a guestimate based off poor satellite imagery. The whole goal should be making it easy to find a segment and get a description of what it's like once you do find it. A poor name is only part of that.

     

    Duplicates. Every time these complaints are made a few suggestions seem to pop up. One is for Strava staff to moderate segments but I'm guessing there isn't enough manpower to manually review every new segment and determine what the user that created it was trying to do and if two segments are similar. And it still wouldn't make everyone happy.

    Another common suggestion is to appoint a community leader or ambassador to make decisions. What if I don't get along with that person and they delete or moderate a segment I think is reasonable? This option might make some people happy but their changes/deletions won't be a community-driven decision.

    I've been trying to think of ways that would be democratic, protect people's ability to make whatever segments they want yet weigh that against segment bloat and I don't think it should come down to the decision of Strava staff alone or an appointed group since there wouldn't be a fair way to decide who those moderator are.

    Instead, use a multi-pronged approach to reduce the number created in the first place and build community moderation tools that are unbiased and use an algorithm to decide on changes. Duplicate segments seem to fall into a few common categories why they were created. Sometimes due to a bad name, sometimes due to another rider thinking it was hazardous, and sometimes just different riders in a busy area wanting to start and stop at different points (and I hope the auto-creation segments have been finally turned off for good).

    For naming problems use suggestions outlined above. Offer a way to contact the segment creator/owner and suggest a change. Add options for the creator to add a description and for the community to comment on the segment and make that metadata searchable so it matters less what the actual name is. Then for hazardous segments and duplicates move the moderation into the hands of the community.

    When someone thinks a segment is hazardous it often comes down to an opinion and/or the rider's ability in the case of many mountain bike segments. For liability reasons if Strava offers the ability of users to flag a segment as hazardous and they are involved in the review process, what happens if they don't take action and someone does get hurt for whatever reason? It doesn't matter if there's a EULA (end-user license agreement), liability waiver form or whatever, people still sue and it could cost them money. I'm guessing that's why once a segment has been marked as hazardous it isn't undone.

    To get around this and reduce Strava's liability, leave current hazardous segments marked as such and continue to offer the option to opt back in to see those segment. Then moving forward, instead of letting users request Strava remove the segment (which is essentially what happens when you allow it to be flagged as hazardous) and drop the KOM/QOM achievements another user accomplished (which then often leads to the segment just being recreated anyways), automate the flagging system.

    If a user thinks the segment is dangerous for whatever reason there would be a similar process to what is currently available to "flag as hazardous". Instead of being immediately hidden or removed (which is what essentially happens if you submit it as hazardous to Strava staff), require the user mark a category and enter a description why they think it is hazardous. Then change the color of the segment and/or add a small "warning" icon next to the segment name.

    If the user clicks the warning icon or opens the segment page it would show a warning that another user marked the segment as potentially hazardous and list the flagging user's reasons. The page could then have an "agree" button that uses an algorithm to determine if it should be deleted. If a certain percentage of people agree based off segment attempts and/or total users that have been over the segment, lock it to private and make the creator/owner opt-in if they still want to use it.

    For example, if someone creates a new segment that only they have attempted and multiple other people flag and agree, it could be immediately forced to private and essentially deleted. If you have an older popular segment with say 1000 attempts by 100 different riders, let someone flag it so there is a warning icon and a warning message but don't let it affect the leaderboards and hide/remove the KOM/QOM achievements. If say ten or twenty percent of riders agree it is now hazardous and click the "agree" button lock and force it to private and make the creator opt-in to see the leaderboard. You could also bias the algorithm to take into consideration if the user agreeing with the flag has attempted it multiple times, how recent was their last attempt, etc. in order to take into better consideration possible recent changes to the road or trail.

     

    I'd also offer a similar flag with a "propose delete" option. Require a description why the user thinks it should be deleted and a way to link to the alternate, similar segment(s). It would put up a different notification icon next to the segment name. Other users could then click and read the description/reason, add comments in a comment section, then implement an "agree" button as well as a "disagree" button. Again based off percentage of the community votes a segment could be forced into being private and locked so the user couldn't make it public again.

    The difference is that if even one user marks a segment as hazardous it will always show the "potentially hazardous" icon and description of why, but if enough of the community doesn't click the "agree" button the leaderboard won't automatically be (essentially) deleted. With the "propose delete" flag option it will display a notification icon and "agree" or "disagree" button, but if enough of the community clicks disagree the flag goes away.

     

    I don't really see too many other ways to shift the liability to the user community and offering those options to flag segments would do one of a couple things to reduce creation and/or remove duplicates. If someone thinks something is hazardous it will always have a warning but a segment won't automatically disappear and cause someone to re-create it. Strava can add some information pages on riding risks and potential reasons for flags in additionn to their standard liability agreement (like what's currently used to opt back in to a hazardous flagged segment) and state that it's up to the individual user to assess risk and that risk may differ from user to user based on riding ability, changing environmental factors, etc.

    The option to propose deletion would then offer a way for the community to decide if duplicates should be deleted. If not enough members agree then the flag goes away and nothing happens. If there is a consensus let the KOM/QOM keep their achievement on their "KOMs/CRs" profile page but force the segment to private. The owner/creator could still use it for whatever reasons they want but it would otherwise be gone from the automatic segment matching and segment search tools.

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  • This is a really interesting discussion. Most of what is mentioned here could easily be solved by adding the functionalities of comments and photos on segments, just as for activities. then the author could add a description. And other people could Suggest name changes, point to duplicate segments, and give general feedback ("Great segment, sweet flowy downhill, but watch for the big tree 300m in") even add comments on current segment status ("Construction work after the crossing")

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  • Due to same segment names, Strava live segment feature on Garmin does not work properly. Garmin only takes one segment. In my area there is a segment name which is used 9 times in different locations. So, 8 of them cannot be seen on Garmin. Users should have the ability to suggest and fix segment names.
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  • I haven't read everything in here, would just like to point to a similar suggestion that suggests community editing. I'm not sure if that was suggested here (there is a particularly long post I haven't read completely but seems to be well thought out), but I just wanted to drop this in here. Community-Edited Segments

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  • How about allowing people who has attempted a certain segment many times (say 20?) to suggest new segment naming?

    then, the other riders who has attempted the same segment a few times (5?) can upvote the new naming.

    better yet, there should be open discussion thread for the popular segment (more than 500 individuals attempted?).

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  • Naming is one thing.  More annoying is people posted ride as run.  It ruined a large stretch of roads.  And, the owner does not change the back to ride.

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  • @Ben Le but you can just report that activity... That's an easy fix. There's still no fix for bad named segments.

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  • It takes ages to flag so many riders on roads that are commuter central - there should be some kind of rule in Strava that if someone beats a running world record for 400m they need to validate their running time or Strava uses an algorithm to predict whether it is run or ride even if the athlete chooses one thing absently minded (which is in most cases what has happened)

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  • Need a fix for inappropriate segment names. Today I just got my 3rd fastest time on "Ghetto sprint #2." Strava shouldn't be promoting racism. 

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  • I am with you all on this one. I also get annoyed seeing names like "almost home" as the segment name when I just started my ride.

    But, unfortunately, in their normal fashion, Strava does nothing about these issues... this issue was reported almost 4 years ago. My guess someone will read this in another 4 years... good luck folks. Strava have gotten to big and the shareholders that wan't "return of investment" don't care about segment names. It's time for a competitor to Strava to show how to be user friendly again.

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  • 2019 aug and nothing done yet. lol.
    Not even a button to "suggest segment creator to change it's title"...

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