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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Comentários

689 comentários
  • @Matthew McGarry, about the "I don't think anyone was complaining" comment, that makes me guess you are cykling on roads? And for that case I think Google Maps are great. However, for all the people that are biking off road, like me, the Google Maps are useless since they do not contain almost any trails at all. In Google Maps most off road areas are just white empty space, while they are very detailed in OSM. So for all MTB users using Strava, OSM is a great step forward. 

    However, by replacing the Google Maps with OSM, instead of adding OSM as a option, I understand that some people in areas with a low OSM activity will have lower quality maps. To them the solution for now, seems to be to follow the philosophy of OSM and contribute by mapping the areas they ride in. Luckily, you can get started just in a few minutes by creating an account on http://www.openstreetmap.org/ , and mapping is really simple by just drawing roads on top of Bing satellite photos. Or upload the gpx of your ride and use that as a base. After that you will be able to see the change in just a few minutes in the OSM based maps.

     

    Anyway, just want to say that this change is a huge improvement for MTB users, both since the coverage is much better already and that it is very easy to improve the trail coverage in OSM. So thanks!

    //Mattias

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  • @Elle There's actually quite a few things broken in the Route Builder at the moment, not just the scroll wheel zoom functionality. I logged a ticket about it earlier in the week but am still waiting for it to be allocated. It also affects all browsers that I've tried (Firefox, Chrome and IE).

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  • Street View will never return because Mapbox will never offer it, not the end of the world but definitely nice to have.  Google Maps is the best maps out there, so I'm just curious why Strava is trying to fix something that's not broken. I don't think anyone was complaining about Google Maps.

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  • I have been getting offers of a free trial of Premium lately.  Sorry Strava.  I used to pay for premium but won't again following the map changes.

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  • I highly doubt that Strava employees even look at this thread anymore.  They certainly aren't listening to what their customers want.  Nothing has really changed (for the better) with Strava for the past few years.  They are really stagnating with rolling out bug fixes, never mind new features.  I still can't believe no one from Strava has addressed this thread since last year.

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  • I know that a lot of people have been complaining about the switch to OpenStreetMap but I think it is great!! In a lot of zones in Europe OSM is actually surpassing detail-level available in Google Maps! And also on the good side, there's also places whose imagery is more up-to-date in OSM resource image providers than in Google satellite imagery. But most important of all, OSM will be forever for the users inconditionally.

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  • Haha, it's funny that you think the team at Strava cares about what you want. :) The lack of engagement with their paying members says it all.

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  • It used to be that edits on OSM appeared in the Strava maps within 24 hours. Mapbox stopped accepting raw OSM edits due to vandalism, understandable since they now have some high profile customers who don't want end users complaining to them. At their recent Locate conference one representative I spoke to said they now have in place tools to validate changes and would feed corrections back to OSM. That said, changes I made almost a year ago have still not propagated to Mapbox and hence to Strava so maybe they are not quite there yet, it is afterall a complex problem to solve. The loss of this rapid feedback cycle significantly reduces the incentive to improve the maps via OSM.

    Interestingly, I do see my edits in the Mapbox outdoor map but that's their vector map, not the image tiles. Well that's my digging for now, time for a bike ride!

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  • Have been sent here from https://strava.zendesk.com/entries/70524560

    To summarise my feelings

    Pros

    OSM street/terrain maps seem a little better if you do lots of off road running/cycling as they tend to indicate the trails/paths better than Google

    Cons

    The aerial maps are not as good quality as Google. Have found a few places I regularly run at which are missing high resolution coverage.

    The street maps lack the interactivity with Google Plus to get more info on interesting places along the way.

    Street view is gone from activity pages which is so useful for checking out a segment before you do it including the surface, gradient, exact start/end points, likely traffic levels, potential hazards and junctions.

    Mapflipper/StravistiX is now seemingly blocked so now I can't use Google and switch to OSM if I want an alternative look.

     

    Summary

    Not too bothered about the maps themselves TBH but lack of Street View is a huge downgrade. Am having to resort to the Compare tool and create/edit segments to get Street View but presume if you are set on this path they will be going as well soon - but I hope not !

    Disappointed also that Strava are spinning this as an advantage to me when it clearly is not.

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  •  

    I can’t understand why Strava is not providing multiple maps to satisfy customers… why moving away from google Map? There is a large number of Apps out there, which provides multiples maps… Googles (classic, satellite, terrain) + OSM + OCM + Bing + Apple etc…

     

    If you want to have runners, road cyclists, mountainbikers and others you have to offer multiples maps to fit all the needs. Don’t be Stingy with small development work.

     

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  • I've never been a fan of Google Maps here in the UK for road cycling as there just isn't enough distinction between road types with some 4WD "roads" displaying the same as paved roads. Also there is just a general lack of detail that we are used to from what we are used to having on proper topo maps (i.e. Ordnance Survey in the UK or IGN in France).  When heading off road (cycling or running) then Google maps have nothing to offer at all.

    There are some great OSM tiles out there already (mainly those on http://www.opencyclemap.org/) so providing an OSM/Mapbox tile set along those lines would be awesome.

    However I do often use the Streetview when looking at segments, primarily to check out the exact start/end of segments but also to check out the views on roads that I don't know when planning a ride.

    Combining the Google/OSM (but a more cycling/running focused tile than the default OSM) option you currently have on the Route editor page with the Streetview across all of the maps on the Strava website would be the ideal scenario for me personally.

    I guess the licencing costs from offering both might be an issue though.

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  • +1000!!!

    Thank you for the OSM switch! Can you please remove the Google Maps dependency on android? 

    For all the street view complainers, please get out and help the OPEN GPL www.mapillary.com, then you can petition Strava to use it. 

    Thank you Strava for the Slide (http://labs.strava.com/slide/) and using anonymous GPS data to make OSM a better map for all!

    The slide feature is the #1 reason I switched to Strava, KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

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  • Just ditch Strava and use Ride With GPS.

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  • I am continually, like on a daily basis, frustrated by the lack of the Street View option. Strava used to be good tool for assisting in the planning of routes. It’s ridiculous to remove useful functionality.

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  • Really stupid. Why change from the best to something sub par?

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  • Put Google Maps back please! Street view is so important for planning a ride. 

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  • This is how it's done if you actually respect your users (h/t TrainingPeaks):

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  • I have to agree that this was the biggest mis-step Strava has made in it's history. The strava X extension for Chrome fixes it (you get google street view back,) but I've never used Strava for mapping anyway. 

    RideWithGps is free to join and has all the mapping options you want, including street view, OSM, Osm Cycle, Topography etc. 

    If RideWithGps can afford google maps and they have a fraction of the customers that Strava does, it seems Strava just doesn't care that this is the most heavily discussed feature. 

    As for adding OSM for trail runners/MTB's: that has to be about less the 5% of their users. So that's not an excuse to scrap Google Maps. 

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  • I never leave comments so clearly have been forced into action by Strava's appalling mapping. On a UK countryside race with many users using Strava maps - complete chaos - 80 miles from London and there are huge holes in the sub-standard mapping. Towns not there, features missing, blue for rivers as large as the blue route we were meant to be following. Many people lost and delayed - I am a premium user and would never use Strava routes again. Cheap useless mapping - Google maps in a different planet (Planet earth).

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  • I think its time for Strava to move onto the next map provider or build their own.  Mapbox stopped updating their map last September which has made Strava's route builder absolutely useless.

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  • @David M, Mapbox does continue to update its tiles—they did stop for a bit last fall, but their latest outdoor tileset (click 'view live map') has many of my more recent edits in it. Not sure why Strava's tiles haven't updated, but Mapbox doesn't seem to be culprit.

    That said, the OSM paths recognized by Strava's route builder are even more out-of-date than the map tiles, or they follow some sort rule-set I can't figure out. Either way, I agree—it's gotten pretty useless.

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  • When is Strava going to update its activity maps to Mapbox Streets v7? (https://www.mapbox.com/vector-tiles/mapbox-streets-v7/#overview) The maps that are currently being used are very out of date (for my area at least) and need to be updated on a much more regular basis, say every 3 months as a minimum. There is no point in me making edits in OpenStreetMap if Strava aren't going to use the latest tilesets from Mapbox to reflect those changes. There are OSM edits I made over 9 months ago that still don't appear on Strava, yet they do appear on Mapbox.

    Come on Strava, sort it out ASAP!

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  • >Not too bothered about the maps themselves TBH but lack of Street View is a huge downgrade

    +1

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  • I'm generally happy about the switch to Mapbox/OSM  as my area definitely has better coverage of trails in Openstreetmap so it makes planning routes easier.  I hope that with this new change Strava will take advantage of the fact that OSM can be more quickly adapted to new data.  Currently the Route Builder updates less than once a quarter, so when someone finds and corrects errors in OSM it takes way too long to have those updates available to all users of Strava.  If even a very small Strava athletes work to correct OSM errors, the maps will be superior to google maps pretty quickly, but the feedback between correction and observation has to be done quickly.

    I'm not going to try to convince folks that are having a worse experience with this change that new is better, but I hope that Strava works to improve your experience by improving the appearance and functionality of the new maps.  There have been several good suggestions in this thread already of low hanging fruit for improving the appearance.

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  • @Elle, perhaps your management could change their policy on not allowing you to comment properly on the hugely negative amounts of feedback that you are receiving here. We (the community) are grateful for your input and for reading our threads, but the frustration that's coming from not providing us with proper answers is showing a huge lack of respect from Strava's management towards their passionate user base.

    Why does Strava feel that it's acceptable to alienate so many of your users, by forcing through a change that is obviously receiving so much resistance? OSM is actually a fantastic product but it can't ever be a REPLACEMENT for Google Maps - merely an alternative. This is a totally different situation to a company like Foursquare switching to OSM. Strava users actually NEED the precise information that Google offers through Street View and its very detailed Satellite imagery. Segments and safety depend on it and OSM simply isn't capable of providing that level of detail. Strava immediately becomes less usable as a result and no amount of playing with the OSM map presentation can change that. Does Strava really value finance more than athlete well-being?

    Your management is forcing through an unpopular change which ISN'T a case of 'nobody likes change, we'll get used to it'. You and I both know that you have opted to force a technically inferior mapping service on your community and to hell with the consequences. Sadly this can't be defended.

    Would your approach change if this issue suddenly gained publicity? Perhaps influential websites like Mashable or DCRainmaker covering the story would make you rethink? There isn't anything wrong with realising you've made a mistake and openly admitting it/correcting it. Take LinkedIn for example. They made a HUGE change recently in how users could download their data - but listened to their community and changed it back. They heard us. They listened. They didn't treat them with contempt. And they gained even more fans as a result because of their willingness to do the right thing.

    Elle, please ask your management to read this message and the rest of this thread. This decision is wrong, you probably know it as much as we do, and Strava needs to do the right thing.

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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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  • Bob,

    I probably have seen many of your requests.  One reason the routing in England is so bad is that many of the paths are coded as "bridleway" in the OSM data.  The Strava routing engine does not consider these to be routable by bikes, even though many/most are (and some have been hard coded as bike routable in the OSM database).  Unfortunately, I have not found an actual place to note bugs in the routing engine as opposed to the routing database (which is where you have been placing your bug requests).

    While I'm generally supportive of the switch to the switch to Mapbox data, I feel that Strava has bungled it in more than one way.  One of the great things about using OSM as a database is the ability to rapidly fix changes, but the routing table that Strava builds from the OSM data appears to be updated twice yearly.  They claim it is quarterly, which is bad enough, but in practice, I don't think it even gets updated that frequently.  Furthermore, systemic bugs in routing like not routing on bridleways, cannot be noted and seemed to be fixed on yearly basis.  This slow updating seems to obviate one of the main benefits of shifting to OSM data.

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  • Dudes come on!!! We really want street view!

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  • I've noticed 2 major issues with Open Street Maps:

    1. I've kept a log of the elevation predicted vs the elevation achieved on every ride I've done since I joined Strava. When using Google Maps, the eventual outcome averaged at ~72% of the elevation predicted. When using OSM, it's now averaging at ~61% of the elevation predicted. This is very frustrating when trying to create a ride with a minimum amount of elevation. At the moment I have to use a rough guestimation, and hope I hit the figure I want. Obviously this was an issue before, however having worsened by ~11% isn't great, I'd hope it'd get better instead.

    2. The feature to convert a ride to a route is still very much in an alpha stage. It creates a route longer than the route you've actually ridden, and not just a few feet / metres, it can add several miles. This is because the route created seems to consistently loop forward and back on itself for some unknown reason. This wasn't an issue before the switch, and in-fact seemed to work well with Google Maps. I guess finding the issue when working with OSM will take debugging in your website.

    Having done some development via Google Maps myself, and being aware of the rate limiting / costs, I can understand the switch to the free OSM, however at present it seems to be detrimental to the end user, and with the documented issues this will at-least be currently discouraging users from upgrading to a pro account, if not encouraging users to transfer to your competitors.

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