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

18

Opmerkingen

688 opmerkingen
  • Leif Røe, I agree with you regarding the satellite imagery, but the osm map data is actually better than google in the area you were riding. There are NO trails on the google map, but a lot on the osm map, even if it's not complete.

    Look at the comparison:
    Google: https://www.google.no/maps/@61.1062,10.5343,14z?hl=en
    OSM: http://a.tiles.mapbox.com/v3/aj.hdxfoq7i.html?secure#14/61.1062/10.5343 (This is the Outdoors v4 map from Mapbox)
    My custom OSM MTB-map: http://mtbmap.no/#14/61.1062/10.5343

    - Ola Endre

  • Disappointing indeed but sadly I am not surprised although still frustrated that what is clearly a cost cutting measure is branded as a universal benefit to us all. Ultimately do I really care that Strava maybe able to show us a map in the future with orange roads and the like!

    Pity there has to be this wall of either one or the other when clearly there are times when one map or another is best although clearly the aerial maps are universally worse in OSM. Also it is an interesting statement of the sign of the times that whereas once Google was to an upstart in the Tech world, it's now seen as something smaller companies need to move away from.

    We are fortunate in the UK that Ordnance Survey maps are way superior to Google or OSM and for a brief period the Mapflipper tool allowed you to overlay these onto the Strava ones. I was more than happy to pay for a full set to use with Memory Map and would likely do here if offered.

    It seems then we will have to continue to use different tools and websites for the best mapping experience. Pity it is not all in Strava but at least the segments and community feel here is enough to feel like I want to continue to belong but this is not helping one bit.

    As for Live segments - great in principle but almost always it either tells me I have started a segment a long time after I have or, somewhat amusingly, tells me have started a segment that I am actually running away from. I also find it "shouts out" the start of far more segments than it actually says you have finished and records your time on the app - and that's ones I know I have fully traversed because they match in your "real" activity. But I digress...

  • @ Ola Endre R.

    I do a follow up on my previous post and your post:

    Thanks for your opinion. I agree that for MTB-riders and trail-runners that need Strava as their base during their exercise and even for planning for an exercise, the New OSM-maps are better than Google-terrain maps since one actually can see some trails there. For my use during road biking, cross-country and backcountry skiing it makes no big difference since both do the job equally good/bad. I do not use a digital map during running or cycling very often. My mistake in my post was not to clarify that I use the satellite images a lot before and after exercise and often value them higher than the terrain-maps (for my usage). Strava became very popular because they could offer segments. The terrain-maps (and including the new OSM-maps) are not good enough to pick out the precise starting and ending-points for many segments. For that usage, the satellite image was the number 1 advantage. That is now removed by using very, very, very bad satellite images. Therefore, Strava for me has gone one-step forward, but two steps back. Again, thanks for pointing out that the new OSM-terrain-maps are the way ahead for terrain-maps and I totally agree with that. However, since Strava are not willing to pay Google to use the best satellite-images (in parallel?) just like Apple do not want to do that in their devices, we will be stuck with equally crap satellite images in Strava forever. I am of course not willing to quit Strava since it is so great in many other areas, but I am willing to stop being a paying premium member since I now miss a very important feature (accurate segments). Strava will still be useful for me as a "freeloader" :-)

    Best regards Leif 

  • It seems then we will have to continue to use different tools and websites for the best mapping experience

    Agree with Tim on this one.  Strava's routing tool already was not the best one out there, by far.  I had high hopes that Strava would improve this over time.  My assumption was that Strava has a much bigger user base (and revenue) than rwgps, and that as such, they would be able to afford to improve the tool.  What this development says to me is that Strava will never be the best routing tool.  I often use the rwgps routing tool to plan routes on faraway roads I've never been to.  I constantly switch back and forth between Google, OSM, Satellite, and street view.  Indeed, in many cases, OSM has more data than Google, but there are plenty of bike paths that show up in Google and not OSM.  In many cases Google maps are far superior, and so is their satellite view.  For example, Google Maps shows many, many more stores/businesses than OSM (and even has links to the store's website).  This is very useful when I'm planning a long route and I need to know where I can get lunch or water or Gatorade.  OSM will typically show a WalMart but it will not show Rap's Bar and Grill or the Park Vista Inn.  And yes, I know, I can add them myself, but the point is I'm using the tool to find them in the first place.

    I can't say I'm going to leave Strava over this but it certainly has eroded my loyalty.

     

     

  • I am very afraid that indeed this step might also make me think very hard when the annual renewal date of my premium membership arrives. Anyway, trying to be constructive here:

    1) Bring back Street view.

    2) Ok, I see you probably got me, that was not constructive. (Actually...) Anyway, I promise I will be more serious below...

    3) https://www.mapbox.com/editor/#style has no problems with scroll/pinch zooming, or bad image quality, etc. Why does the Strava interface have these problems? Not only it is ugly right now, but user unfriendly, so please do something about it as soon as possible. If we have to get used to another map, at least bring it to the same level as the Google interface. We won't complain if you make it better though.

    4) Wee need a satellite layer, a street and a terrain layer. For the terrain layer, 3D-shaded elevating data, contour lines, and clear, but not as contrasty roads as on the street level map, something similar to the outdoors layer in https://www.mapbox.com/editor/#style. Then for street level layer add more colours to differentiate road hierarchy (highway to unpaved road) a bit like the emerald style on https://www.mapbox.com/editor/#style (but without the shading of the terrain, and more distinct colour - more or less like on Google Maps...), and for the satellites, yeah, its a disgrace that we have to live with the imagery available in MapBox, but yeah, I see that you are not willing to go back... Difficult to give constructive comments, when you are not open to discussion on whether this change is good or bad based on our opinions...

    5) Do you know that one of the most downloaded apps on iOS is Google Maps? There might be a reason...

    6) Please do not make maps in strava colour scheme, that's just not a good idea. Use distinct colours, and more than two if possible.

    Right, I am frustrated, because this is indeed 1 step forward and 2 backwards, but since only half of my list was constructive, I guess we could say we are even...

    +1) Seriously, Strava Premium, and we are downgrading to a cheaper Map service. Great... Just great... Free sites like http://www.routeyou.com/ give you the option to look at the street view imagery while planning a road. And here, we have heat maps... Which would be great, if there was a separate layer for road biking and off road cycling. Because that would help planning rides. Without that distinction, heat maps can be pretty misguiding... 

    I just have to remind myself how long it took to implement custom HR zones, and then I am not surprised anymore that someone could make this decision of ditching the best map service just to have a bit more profit.

    I really like strava, but this is a huge disappointment. And reading the comments here, I am not in minority with this opinion...

  • @ Leif Røe

    A correction to your comment about cross-country and backcountry skiing. There is actually a lot of good data on this in OSM, at least in Norway.
    One example is Winter Wonderland: https://www.mapbox.com/blog/winter-wonderland/
    Map example: https://api.tiles.mapbox.com/v4/matt.3bf5028b/page.html?access_token=pk.eyJ1IjoibWF0dCIsImEiOiJTUHZkajU0In0.oB-OGTMFtpkga8vC48HjIg#15/63.3788/10.2981
    Another example (the map tiles may not work outside Norway): http://www.openstreetmap.no/?zoom=15&lat=63.376&lon=10.29394&layers=0000B0
    Downhill skiing: http://openpistemap.org/?lat=61.2368&lon=10.4838&zoom=14&layers=BTFFT

    But I totally agree with you when it comes to satellite imagery. Google is usually way better than Bing, at least where I live. In Trondheim the Bing images were pretty good until the last update of imagery, which made it all crap. It also has a lot of offset in some areas, which I guess is because they haven't corrected the imagery with good elevation data. I really hope Mapbox or Bing will provide better imagery soon. I understand peoples frustration over this issue. Guess it will be difficult to fine tune point of start/stop on segments.

    - Ola Endre

  • Street view was a big benefit for me in route planning, and given the topography in which I ride road, the current topo detail available is very insufficient in OSM.  I do not plan to renew unless this situation improves very substantially. And this spin?  What a joke.

  • Such a shame to see Strava regress like this. Part of the enjoyment of Strava is that element of virtual exploration and that has just been totally wiped. Suppose it's time to download my data....

  • Very disappointing. I use google streetview to check the surface of the roads which makes it safer us riders. Definitely sacking off my premium membership.

  • Really disappointing to lose Streetview because it was easy to check routes.

  • The lack of satellite view is the most frustrating for me.  As mentioned by others, the satellite imagery on the Mapbox maps is severely lacking.  Here's another example of a segment in Melbourne, Australia (one of the most popular segments) and the satellite imagery is next to useless: https://www.strava.com/segments/612405

     

    Please give us the option to choose Google and Mapbox, just as you do in the route builder.  And PLEASE don't change the route builder!

  • Like many other I become irritated when some pseudoexpert in marketing try to sell this as an improvement. It is not, and I guess that most of your premium paying customers are grownups (if not grumpy old MAMILs)!

    However, I think that we all (and Strava) could give some really useful information back to OSM (Roads, paths, pavement/gravel/.. etc).

    Wouldn't it be a good idea to add some functionality such that the user is asked "Dear user, the super intelligent Strava system has detected, that you and others have biked here more than one time. We have no knowledge of a road, path, etc here. Would you like to tell us?"

    In this way we all (and Strava) could contribute in an easy way to finally get a better OSM quality for bikes (pavement/gravel/track ...) - and that would be a true candidate for a marketing stunt. I've tried editing OSM maps and I found it really tiresome and an easy way to do from existing GPS tracks would be much preferred.

    Personally I use Garmin Connect/Google Maps for planning my courses, and only see segment creation/exploring as a problem area.

  • I played around in MapBox to make a map I would like to see as default: https://api.mapbox.com/v4/papics.ca6cf1f9/page.html?access_token=pk.eyJ1IjoicGFwaWNzIiwiYSI6ImNmYWIxYWI5MDhiY2U2MWI0YjU3Y2RiZjcxYzYxYWE5In0.M_1aL6bF_fL_ZNvOONVKmQ#11/28.3884/-16.5145 Clear road hierarchy, topography, etc. You can imagine a bit less vibrant colours if you wish, but I think the main feel should be something like this.

  • What a shame! A big, big disappointment for me. Please bring back Street View and satellite maps asap! 

  • @Péter I. Pápics - Thanks for the detailed comments and feedback. We will look into the scroll or pinch or double-click zoom functionality for Activity maps. In fact I've already filed a report for the engineers. 

    I don't have more information at this time about how the look and feel of the OSM maps will evolve in regard to colors/shading/etc. but I will pass along your example and recommendations. 

  • Well, colors and shadings are nice, but my ride topos don't even have contour labels.  Just, pretty lines.

  • This is dreadful. Has made it virtually unusable without streetview. I always used Strava to plan routes when running or cycling in new areas, this will now not be possible. I have virtually no satellite coverage in Mid Wales. Thank goodness for Veloviewer, just paid a £10, now I have a usable mapping tool again! Won't be renewing my Strava Premium unless this is sorted.

  • I would just like to join pretty much everybody here in expressing my disappointment and dissatisfaction with this move. As mentioned million times above, I really REALLY do not understand why OSM couldn't have been kept as a layer and Google Maps left at least as an option.

    I have tolerated Strava's bugs in tracking until now but after this move, I think I am starting to look for another app. Sadly.

  • Can't zoom on iPad. I would love for this to be fixed. The maps are prettier, though.
  • I really miss having the ability to pull up Street View and I really do not like the current look and feel of OSM: it's ugly, slow, and the satellite imagery is lacking, to say the least.  But it is the lack of Street View that really kills it for me.  I'm not one for knee-jerk reactions, but I may consider dropping my premium membership as other services out there are starting to look more appealing and seem to actually listen to their customers. :(

  • It will be nive if you can add the functionality to scroll in the map with the mousewheel. It´s not nice to use only the +/- Buttons in the Mapview.

  • You know where does have Streetview? http://ridewithgps.com/

     

    That is what I will be using from now on rather than this OSM shite.

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

     

  • 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.

  • 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'

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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