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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  • I don't know if Strava has changed their mind but I just built a route on Strava using Google Maps. I was given the choice between standard, terrain, satellite or OSM. Seems like a good compromise and it worked well. If they included elevation in the GPX export it would be better.

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  • I don't mind changing to OSM as the data source, but I, like several other commenters, can no longer zoom/pan the maps, making them pretty useless.  I can zoom in once, and then can't zoom out or in, and can never pan at all.  

    I'm using a recent version of Safari 8.0.3 on OS 10.10.2 on a fairly new Mac, so it's not an outdated browser/OS issue.

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  • @Greg yeah having a few map overlays seems the smart way to go, I'm really hoping all these layers get kept! I've been switching between the two as they've got different errors in different places around my area.

    Note that the routing/connectivity info still comes from OSM, but its good to see what Google thinks the roads/paths look like when connectivity doesn't work right.

    Also, one thing still missing from the OSM layer in the route builder is the marked bike routes... street view + marked bike paths are really what allow the route builder to be used in my area (the strava heatmap tends to push me onto main roads that are frequented by big group rides at 6am, which aren't safe to ride alone when there's heavier traffic)

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  • When is the new OSM map coming to the route builder? The old OSM map there has no topographic info.

    Also, I think your mapbox style could be improved. Highlighting bicycle-designated paths and relations, as opencyclemap does, would be useful.

    Cheers.

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  • I notice Google maps, complete with Streetview, is still in use for creating segments.

    Presumably this will be changing so using Streetview when deciding on the beginning/end of a segment will no longer be possible? I do this for most segments I create, so if this is removed even Strava Segments will be penalised.

    If not - then great, and presumably could still be offered as a choice of map to the user

     

    I was all set to renew my subscription when it was due next month, particularly with the promise of the live segments coming to Garmin devices. However this backwards step with the maps has changed my mind, without the Street View and superior Google maps (at least in my region, UK) Strava is no longer the stand-out product it was.

     

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  • I have cancelled my subscription to your Premium service. The decision to get rid of street view is a disaster and you don't deserve my custom or support.

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  • OSM is a real downgrade, not an upgrade. Big step backwards. Please restore Google Maps with Street View. With OSM, at first I didn't even recognise familiar locations! For some reason OSM maps seem harder to read? Also, please stop changing the user interface to record a ride. When I go on a ride I just want to quickly hit record and go. Don't want to spend ages figuring out the latest new user interface. Thanks!

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  • I don't really care either way about OSM or Google. However, is there a way to get OSM to show imperial units instead of metric? I'm just a dumb American.

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  • "Presumably this will be changing so using Streetview when deciding on the beginning/end of a segment will no longer be possible? I do this for most segments I create, so if this is removed even Strava Segments will be penalised."

    This is another point not touched on enough with the OSM downgrade, segments are what makes Strava standout from the crowd along with accurate mapping. In my local area at least OSM isn't good enough for segment creation. Really not happy about this :(

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  • I'm throwing my $.02 in the ring here, which is more than I'll ever throw at Strava.

    The decision to axe Google Maps was probably financial. The Google Maps API has a history of severe price fluctuations, and more developers are moving away from it because those implications can have a huge financial impact. Being at the whim of a giant machine that's almost impossible to even CALL when you have a legitimate problem, Google's whims could put you out of business.

    However, Strava has been around long enough, with a large enough subscriber base that pulling the plug on the maps most customers have grown accustomed to using, and moving toward an "open source" solution (that most people consider to be worse) as a way to "save money" is a sign that their business might not be sustainable.

    I noticed right away today that the maps looked TERRIBLE compared to yesterday. I suspected they ditched Google, but for OSM???

    OSM isn't terrible, but for a serivce so many people pay for, I would not be surprised if half of their premium users unsubscribe as soon as they find out about this change. I know I won't ever use the premium service now. I do not like the recent updates to the android app as well and will be looking to move my GPS tracking to another application whenever time allows.

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  • Considering that OSM has all sorts of trails and routes that Google Maps is missing, I can't understand the complaints about the missing Street Views. Go there. You will see the street when you are there.
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  • " I can't understand the complaints about the missing Street Views. Go there. You will see the street when you are there."

    Pmsl. I can't believe you just wrote that. If you're going to comment, at least have a clue.

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  • Well, I've just put my money where my mouth is and cancelled my premium subscription.  I used Googles streetview so often I find the change unacceptable.

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  • So the complaints is that you want Street View to identify segments instead of accurate and updated OSM that actually show paths and trails rather than a sea of green and dirt? I prefer the up-to-date OSM. Get a decent GPS and you will find out when segments start and stop. Garmin now have support for live segments in certain devices.
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  • I just canceled my premium suscription as well. This is directly in response to not having integrated street view and an overwhelming lack of attention from Strava. I find it downright insulting for Elle to chime in that a pan/zoom feature has been fixed, meanwhile ignoring 99% of the comments about the real matter at hand. This is unfortunately becoming divisie for road and mountain bike riders. I guess we'll find out who Strava values more. It should be both, but $ talks. 

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  • Johan, my guess is that the people that use street view ride on roads and not trails in the forest so I doubt that trails in OSM are very useful for them.

    That is one problem with trying to make a single solution that should work well for everyone without the choice of different options for the users.

    It should be obvious that the new maps in strava is much worse than before for the people that use streetview, that use the satellite image (like me) and for those that live in areas were openstreetmap is worse than the google maps.

    The OSM map update is good for the people that train in the forests, that don't look at the satellite images and that didn't already use a mapflipper so that they could see OSM maps in strava. 

    But it is at least good that it only took one week to make the trails visible in the OSM maps.

     

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  • It's real simple. Obviously the majority of people want the features of Google. The mtb folks are the only ones that like osm. Why not charge everyone a dollar a month for basic service and then the normal amount plus a dollar or two fee for premium services? This should help out with whatever monetary issues are happening with Google. There should be a toogle between the two maps. Put advertising on the side of the screens like Facebook and YouTube to make money if you must...there are so many solutions to make everyone happy. I hope it gets resolved.
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  • @Johan,

    You are completely missing the point.  A lot of us roadies use Street View to determine reference points for segment start/stops, road conditions, etc.  OSM and the *horrible* new satellite view does not provide enough resolution to resolve visual cues for segments. Furthermore, as a user who doesn't really ride in the forest much (except during CX season), Street View is invaluable for exploring road routes, especially in a country like Canada where there is good Google coverage but there can be great separation between towns, lots of gravel roads, etc (i.e. lots of route options.)  Our provinces are bigger than a lot of countries, so Street View is an incredibly useful tool and if there is no coverage, the satellite view is usually exceptional.  OSM pales in comparison.

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  • @ Joe !!!  I'm MTB and much prefer google. OSM has the trail markers, but no detail in the satellite imagery, and most spots I zoom on end up with a black X :(

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  • Did Google + Street View really leave us?  It is still there fo segment creation, segment explore, ride crop, ... Seems that flipping between products should be easy for Strava.

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  • It's often mentioned that the satellite view is now inferior to Googles, but just as with map data quality varies around the globe (both for Google and Mapbox), just take a look at this segment from austria (the left side still uses Google, while the details are shown with Mapbox):

    http://i.imgur.com/DTauNEQ.png?1

    But I get it, that Street View is very important to some of you and there simply isn't any real alternative to it atm. I guess if the default map views would be from Mapbox, but Street View / Google Maps would be still available as alternative (maybe even only for paying customers), the map requests and therefore the costs for Google Maps would be significant lower and we could get the best from both worlds.

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  • @Douglas Kubler they've just not got round to removing from those bits yet
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  • Not a segment, but this is my home town, which has incredible Google coverage but *HORRIBLE* OSM coverage.  I couldn't zoom in anymore with OSM because of I was getting black and Xs, whereas I could have zoomed in a LOT more with Google.

    Google:
    http://i.imgur.com/6fch55Z.jpg

    OSM:
    http://i.imgur.com/w0pBzHt.jpg

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  • Regardless of whether you believe that this is a change for the better (or the worst), the sad facts are that Strava really couldn't give a rats arse about us as customers and much less of what any of us think!

    The strong sense of bad feeling that this has generated is apparent from both sides of the Google Maps/OSM debate.  It could have been averted by early meaningful engagement (although it may not have changed the move away from Google).  I strongly suspect that even if a whole bunch of VPs were to jump all over this thread it wouldn't undo the damage that has already been done.  Strava as a brand has been irreparably damaged.  The World's business schools are full of case studies of organisations that failed because management didn't listen to customers.  Strava is apparently joining them.

    Here is a personal message to Mark Gainey (but I very much doubt that I will get a response): if you really care about the platform that you helped to create, then get a grip on this before it is too late.  This is an omni-shambles of your own creation and comes about as a result of the complete and utter lack of engagement by the Community Support Team, the apparent contempt that they apparently hold us in and your VPs lack of awareness of what is going on.

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  • Slovenia is all in the fog and snow. Bad, bad, bad......

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  • As an road cyclist I do not like the new maps. Route planing is now more difficult than before for some reasons.

    • There are more clouds and snow in sattelite view than with Google maps. These make these view useless in some regions.
    • Big roads (which I avoid) cannot be identified as easily as with Google maps. In the Google standard maps and sattelite view big roads where color-coded which helped to identify them. In the new map all roads are white and the road labels are only showing in close zoom levels. I hope this can be improved with the promised customizations.
    • No street view

    However, for cross country activities (MTB...) the new maps are an improvement. So why not provide both OSM and Google maps? Maybe you can provide specialized maps for some activity types like road cycling, running or mountain biking?

    I am disappointed how Strava handles these updates. I think it would be better to test changes on a separate test/beta-site and evaluate user feedback before releasing them. I am a paying customer...

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  • I use Strava in the U.S. and primarily in the mountains. OSM shows topographical information in metric units, which are useless to me. Also, most place-names (summits, trailheads, etc.) do not exist in OSM's database, so the maps are much more difficult to use. 

    I'm no Google fanboy, but for me OSM is a real step backward. Please allow us to choose to return to Google maps, or fix these issues in OSM. I'm a Premium member and won't renew if my maps don't work for me.

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  • When first identified an issue and reported it (relating to mapping problems), Strava failed to explain that a mapping update had taken place, by doing so I could have been more appreciative, however, I was led up the garden path with them saying they would investigate, knowing fine well that they had just done a major update which was implemented in the worst possible way, they then assumed things had been sorted and sent a message to say they were going to close the ticket, when in fact the issues were still present.

    Where on earth (excuse the pun) was the involvement of paying customers, testing within the "sandpit" environment and across platforms etc. It was well and truly dumped on us and by the lack of responses shown by Strava at the numerous amount of complaints they seem not to care two hoots, Customer Care and Management alike.

    There are other systems out there which will pick up the customers so strava loss. To pay for Premium membership and be treated like this is absolutely disgraceful, the service I paid for is not what I am receiving now, and if there was a way to be refunded pro rata then I would be after it. I, like others have stuck to an earlier pledge and cancelled my renewal, thereafter I wont have the right to complain, but I wont be paying for a reduced and unwanted capability when other providers give better.

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  • The way the Strava customer support handles this issue is unacceptable. 

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  • 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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