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Import GPX files as a Strava Route

Lots of routes built on the sites, would like to import to route builder section and not recreate them all.

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  • I think it essential i want to be able to upload a route and assign it my total time on a given ride of that route , I  forgo the whole segment aspect of it as an activity , it would effectively be a personal place-holder for my overall times on that route unless i subsequently rode the same route and recorded it with the strava app in which case it would be a regular activity. Its ludicrous that a route i know I've ridden cant be uploaded and assigned the time it took me to ride the whole thing.

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  • I understand Ellie has a hard job here... but this particular feature...

    It's like offering jam on toast but for no particular reason refusing to allow a jam sandwich. The thought process for the later definitely came before the former. Basically Strava seem to be expecting that someone runs a route before it becomes a route... or making it in Strava. This doesn't actually make sense. I can understand why resource wise it isn't happening but there's not a way in this makes sense.

    I can't see how a runner/rider would make the feature without a gpx upload.

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  • Just to add my +1 to this. I'd really like to be able to upload a route TCX/GPX (from RideWithGPS etc) and turn this into a Strava route. Often I get TCX files for races or other events but I'd like to be able to upload them into Strava. I know Strava are really busy but it does seem lots of people want this feature! 

    Thanks!

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  • Also... the Race's feature... has a map of the course.

    I'm struggling to believe that the way these courses were built was by getting someone from the race to run it...

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  • Did not mean for that to be bold or large. No idea how that happened.

    But this is what I mean: http://www.strava.com/running-races/2014-royal-parks-half-marathon

    Surely that was a .gpx upload?

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  • We're are working on some very exciting new features and improvements, but the ability to upload a GPX file (without time data) directly as a Strava Route isn't among them. We appreciate your feedback, but please understand that we simply do not have the bandwidth to incorporate each and every user suggestion into our product. This feature idea will still exist in the "product backlog" where they can be prioritized at some later time when development allows.

     

    Pfft, premium subscription cancelled, then

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  • Uploading has nothing to do with more bandwith, the uploaded gpx file would take the same dB space as a manually created same route. and interfacing when drawing a route will nog be so much diff as uploading a few gps points. I hope strava will reconsider.

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  • In repsonse to the strava comment that they don't have the bandwidth for this feature, that's just silly, if you have enough bandwidth for recorded tracks with all the sensor data, I can (and have) import gpx files for route albeit a little bit long way around.

    For anyone that wants to know heres how.

    Import your gpx route into gpsies' track creator (http://www.gpsies.com/createTrack.do), you will notice that it has some settings, the key being the speed/pace, export track as gpx track, it now will have some timing in the exported gpx file. you can now upload that file to strava as an activity (make a note of the activity number) In the strava tool icon click create route, you will then be taken to the route creator, save it. Go back to your activity (I use the back button of the browser (2/3 times) but you can use the activity number with http://www.strava.com/activities/ACTIVITYNO ). Delete the activity

    I have also used http://bikeroutetoaster.com/BRTWebU which is a bit more sophisticated, you can get the speed to vary dependant on the incline of the hills, but for the purpose of this exercise that's a bit complicated. Oi I can see all sorts of cheating going on if people get to use these tools cleverly, but there's plenty cheating driving cars and motored bikes anyway,

     

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  • Strava, this is a desperately needed feature. please add.

     

    While you are at it, suggest you check out your competition. They have this feature and many others you don't have. They are beating you.

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  • Import your GPX file as an activity to your account.  Use the UPLOAD/FILE option rather than syncing with a device to do this from a PC.  Once the route is saved as an activity you can use the ACTIONS menu in the detail activity view (a spanner/wrench icon on the left) to select CREATE ROUTE.  That creates an un-editable route in Route Builder that you can then name, describe and save.  Then delete the uploaded activity (using the same ACTIONS menu) to return your activities feed to its original state (or leave it up and add virtual kms to your weekly total - cheat, in other words).

    btw: I think Strava's reference to 'limited bandwidth' in responding to this request was meant to convey that their technical development staff has limited man-hours to modify the site (human bandwidth), not that their servers will fall over if we all start saving routes.  If I am wrong then I suppose I will be responsible for leaking how to break their system.  Oh well.

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  • Thanks to everyone for your continued support for this feature enhancement -

    And yes, it is correct that I was referring to engineering resources, not server bandwidth.

    We are still a small company, and thus have a finite number of engineers to create new features. There are a lot of factors that we consider when making choices for our product, and I hope those of you here can understand that we can't possibly do everything. Even though this project may appear to be small in size, it still requires engineering hours and design work - a project of any size will need to be prioritized against all the other projects we're considering. Please know that your feedback is heard!

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  • Can't see where the problem is.
    Just as easy as described in Harriss Cook comment (2nd from top).

    Create a route (e.g. from GPSies.com) export as .gpx and import as activity. Once in Strava create a route.....

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  • Thanks, Harriss, that worked very well. 

    The next job will be following the route, but that's another story.

    Best wishes,

    Ben. 

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  • +1   That would be awesome!

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  • My +1 as well, of course, plus this: maybe I don't know how routes work, though I just created my first - but here's a question: can you link a route to your run, i.e. force the GPS-data you uploaded to match a known route? That would be an easy way to correct GPS data. Simply upload your run, either select one of your routes, or better yet, let Strava match it for you, and Strava can automatically correct your GPS data based on the points that match the route, discarding the false data.

    Of course, maybe it already works like this, somehow?

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  • Kind of surprised this is not already a feature. Please add.

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  • Companies such as MapMyRIDE, RideWithGPS, Bikemap.net and Bryton Sport provide a standard and basic feature that allows a GPX file (or KML) file containing purely latitude and longitude coordinates (i.e. without timing data) to be directly imported as a ‘route’. The ‘route’ then becomes a ‘route map’ that can be ridden by a cyclist, for example. The cyclist can eventually generate an ‘activity’ file (e.g. ‘.fit’) using a GPS tracking/logging device such as a Garmin Edge, if and when they actually choose to ride the route.

    The source of these purely latitude and longitude coordinate GPX or KML files can simply be the output from manually or semi-automatically mapping a route map using a GPS mapping tool and performing a subsequent export. These simple GPS files might represent a cycling club’s range of group rides. It might represent the course of a sportive or Grand Fondo. It might represent a number of training rides. The point is that the ‘route maps’ have been designed and plotted before they have actually been ridden. They are the ‘golden or ideal’ route maps and will contain no U-turns, trips to the toilets or deviations due to road works that could originate from a route map that is created from ‘activity’ data.   

    Once a cyclist has ridden the route they will have their own ‘ridden’ version of the ‘golden or ideal’ route map. They can then play with their ‘.fit’ data to their heart’s content. Another rider can look at the the same ‘golden or ideal’ route map, go for a ride and generate their own activity data. Websites such as Strava can then compare and contrast these ‘ridden’ performances and this fact is undisputed.

    The Strava website allows routes to be either created by using their online Route Builder tool or by converting activities to routes. ‘Fake activities’ can also be converted to routes as long as the ‘golden or ideal’ route map GPX file have had timing information added/injected into it using tools like GPSBabel or GPSies.

    The only problem is that Strava tries to fit the real or fake activity data to its basemap which in many cases adds extra and unwanted waypoints to the desired “golden route”. This can add extra kilometres and unwanted route deviations to what is desired. The Strava website even displays, to the user, the original activities’ route and its own ‘basemapped version’ in two different colours. The user can see the differences between the two routes but cannot pick one version over the other as the final route choice.

    Ideally the user should be able to *directly* import the original ‘golden or ideal’ GPX file (without timing data) into Strava and generate a new route. The user should have the option of performing the import ‘in manual mode’ i.e. do not try to fit the data to the Strava basemap. The user could also have the option letting Strava try to fit it to its basemap, if they wanted.

    If ‘fake activities’ *have* to be created, then the user should still have the option of being able to perform an ‘activity to route conversion’ with and without basemap fitting.

    I realise that Strava’s basemap fitting process is there to provide the ability to generate cue-sheets directions but sometimes this is not actually wanted. By being able to just import a route ‘as is’ or convert an activity ‘as is’, gives the user an exact version of their known and trusted GPS route map file.

    For any routes that do not follow roads but deviate off roads, onto the dirt and back onto the road, then the basemap fit is not wanted. In some cases there may be 2 or 3 metres of ‘road to bike track linkage’ (e.g. through a gate) which the basemap cannot workout and as such an extra 1 or 2 km of ‘road re-routing’ with extra waypoints may be unnecessarily added to the route.

    So, in conclusion it must be stated that the above listed GPS websites already provide this ‘as is’ import and Strava should follow suit. Sites such as Strava should not only provide all of their excellent ‘performance comparison segment tools’ but an equally versatile route creation facility. The creation of routes provides the ‘maps’ that can then be ridden. Once a route is available then the ‘.fit’ data just starts to floods in.

    These ‘ideal maps’ are not always loaded into a user’s Garmin Edge device before they go for a ride i.e. cue sheets are not always needed. The routes can simply exist to let cyclists know where to ride in their area. The ‘Bikemap.net’ website is an excellent example of this. For this reason a direct ‘as is’ route import facility would provide a user with a convenient way of  loading existing routes, possibly derived from sites such as ‘Bikemap.net’, ‘MapMyRIDE’ or even ‘Google Earth’ into Strava without fear of convoluted ‘fake activity’ conversions or the risk of route augmentation due to unwanted basemap fitting.

    At least give the user the options that are very familiar on other websites.  

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  • (See my previous 'long' comment below to provide context on the following blurb.)

    To provide an example of my experiences with the issue of generating Strava routes I have compiled the following.

    Over a period of about 8 months back in 2011/2012, I created 84 different ‘route maps’ for my local cycling group using the MapMyRIDE online route creation facility. When I was happy with all of my routes, I exported each route map to a GPX file, naturally with no timing data since the routes had never been ridden before. i.e 84 ‘golden or ideal’ route maps. I then wanted to import each route map into the major GPS websites of the day. This would give our riders the choice to view the route maps in their favourite GPS website.

    I then went to Bikemap.net and imported all 84 route maps using the original MapMyRIDE GPX route map files. I ended up with 84 Bikemap.net routes.

    I then went to RideWithGPS and imported all 84 route maps using the original MapMyRIDE GPX route map files. I ended up with 84 RideWithGPS routes.  

    I then went to Bryton Sport and imported all 84 route maps using the original MapMyRIDE GPX route map files. I ended up with 84 Bryton Sport routes.

    I then had to do the ‘old GPX fake activity’ trick using GPSBabel in order to create Garmin Connect ‘Courses’ (their name for a ‘route’), but nevertheless I ended up with 84 Garmin Connect ‘courses’.

    With the remaining big player in the GPS website absent from the above list, I naturally wanted to be able to create 84 Strava routes. The Strava Route Builder was only released around August 2013. There was no such thing as a ‘Strava route’ before this date. The Strava Route Builder initially only offered route creation using their online route builder facility (i.e. ‘draw’ your route on screen and auto-follow roads where possible.) Naturally I didn’t want to ‘redraw’ all of my 84 routes maps using Strava, since I did that once with MapMyRIDE back in 2011/2012. I then waited and hoped for more Strava route creation functionality.

    Around May 2014, Strava provided the ability to convert a Strava ‘activity’ into a Strava ‘route’. I already knew how to do the ‘fake activity’ creation trick from my successful experiences with Garmin Connect. When I tried this with Strava I noticed that a number of my routes had ‘grown’ in total distance meaning that Strava had augmented the original route by trying to fit the ‘fake activities’ path to Strava’s basemap road system.

    So, Bikemap.net, RideWithGPS, Bryton Sport & Garmin Connect all allowed me to import my originally created MapMyRIDE route map GPX files without ‘adding’ any extra kilometers and extra way-points to the newly created routes. Those websites ‘trusted’ my original GPX files and allowed a direct ‘as is’ import.

    Here is an example of our ‘ROUTE01C’ route map on each of the major GPS websites with total route distance listed. As you can see the route distance is pretty much the same except for the case of Strava where the route has grown in total length.

    MapMyRIDE : ROUTE01C
    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/143653083
    Total route map distance = 
    59.03 km

    Bikemap.net : ROUTE01C
    http://www.bikemap.net/en/route/1273192
    Total route map distance = 
    59.00 km

    RideWithGPS : ROUTE01C
    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/935017
    Total route map distance =  
    59.20 km

    Bryton Sport : ROUTE01C
    http://www.brytonsport.com/mapTrackView?id=2450051
    Total route map distance =  
    59.11 km

    Garmin Connect : ROUTE01C
    http://connect.garmin.com/course/3459988
    Total route map distance =  
    58.82 km

    Strava : ROUTE01C 
    Route - https://www.strava.com/routes/1411633
    ‘Fake’ Activity - https://www.strava.com/activities/251015133
    Total route map distance =  
    64.6 km   

    If you view the Strava route map URL above, you can see where it ‘went off the rails’ at around the 42.3 km point. There is a part of the route on ‘Petherton Road’ where the road ends in a ‘dead end’ and the rider must negotiate about 5 meters of dirt track/path that passes through a gate in order to get back onto the sealed bitumen ‘Stuart O’Grady Bikeway’.

    Since Strava always performs a basemap fit (unlike the other GPS websites which just accept the original GPX route map ‘as is’), it has not been able to ‘understand’ this particular ‘oddity’ in the route, so the route has been augmented with two extra way-points that are easy to pick since suddenly the route gets very ‘straight lined’ as the route gets augmented with an extra 5.5 km of unwanted road travel.

    SEE THE ATTACHED IMAGE FILE which shows the problem area of the route.

    Compare this to the RideWithGPS version of the same route map. The RideWithGPS route map displays no such augmentation. (I have numerous other examples of this ‘augmentation’ issue with some of the other 84 Gawler Wheelers routes.)

    I can see why Strava likes routes to be fitted to its basemap (e.g. ease of cue-sheet generation etc.) but by forcing a basemap fit on every route, it has the effect of modifying the trusted ‘golden or ideal route’ map. Strava’s basemap cannot be expected to know about every little road/trail/footpath oddity in the whole world and nor should it be expected to.

    But, by giving the user the option of performing a ‘just import as is and don’t apply a basemap fit’ style of import, it not only avoids issues like that demonstrated in the ROUTE01C example but also completely takes care of any route maps that do not use any roads at all or only use part of them.

    In the ROUTE01C example the entire route is on bitumen roads, in a well-known suburban area, except for about 5 metres of dirt track/path that links two bitumen sections of the route. This 5 meters of dirt track is ‘real’ (i.e. it exists in the real world) but has caused Strava to generate a route map that no longer resembles the trusted original GPX ‘golden or ideal route’ map. If cyclist tried to follow the Strava generated route map, they would be wondering ‘what the hell is going on with this route’ when they go to the 42.3 km point.

    It is unclear to me why the other 4 big players in the GPS website market do not have an issue ‘accepting’ ROUTE01C ‘as is’ but Strava for some reason does.

    So, Strava please provide :

    1)      An ‘as is’ direct GPX file import (with no timing data) and optional basemap fitting.

    OR

    2)      If convoluted ‘fake GPX activity’ files still have to be created (cringe), then please provide an optional ‘do not fit to basemap’ activity-to-route creation user feature.

    The other big GPS website players in the market provide this facility as a standard basic function and have done so for some time. (Some of them are even free to use !).

    Thank you – Gawler Wheelers

    P.S. For those that have read this far, check out the ‘elevation gain’ variances that are reported by each of the GPS website for the same ROUTE01 route….that’s another long winded story to do with Elevation Gain Database accuracy and elevation gain calculation algorithms. (Since ROUTE01C is pretty much a flat route then the elevation gain variations are not that disparate compared to some of our more lumpy routes….)

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  • Being able to do an Activity Search, find one I want to follow, upload that to my Strava account and follow it as a Route on my phone seems incredibly basic. It would certainly be worth $6/mo. The lack of this feature is the only thing that make me wonder if I should look for another app. Thanks.

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  • Just for the record. the gpsies.com solution, does work.  Takes an extra couple of steps and time, but not hard.

     

    "Create a route (e.g. from GPSies.com) export as .gpx and import as activity. Once in Strava create a route....."

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  • I am just trying to import an existing ciylce route into Strava and I am shocked that this super basic feature is not implemented. How the heck can this be? Planning a longer cycle trip, specifically one that has different segments on different days is impossible to do with your planner.
    I hope you'll implement something like that asap!

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  • I want to know why I still can't take a route I created IN STRAVA and manually pull it into my workout log?!?!?! What's the point of having a route if you can't actually log it?!

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  • I downloaded a routeyou route as gpx file and wanted to create a Strava route so I can follow it tomorrow. No need for editing... just seeing the gpx as is. This is apparently not possible.

    Please can you add this feature. The resolution is to switch to a 2nd app on my phone to be able to check my route every now and then while driving. This is cumbersome.

    Thx on beforehand.

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  • When it comes down to importing .gpx MTB routes. Strava's Route Builder is #1 in the useless department.

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  • def a feature i would like to see. 

    That way we can import other peoples rides as a route with out looking like we;ve stolen peoples data

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  • So, if I understand correctly, let's say I have a charity ride coming up this weekend, and the organizers have provided a gpx file of the route, I cannot download it to Strava as a route for me to follow during the ride. Maybe the difficulty is in reading the route and simultaneously recording the 'activity  In any case, it seems like a pretty basic feature.  I would have to use a competitor's app to have this functionality, which is what I would do.  I hope this feature is somewhere near the top of the backlog.

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  • I'm still waiting for this feature which I would expect be standard for a Premium subscriber. I want to be able to upload GPX files without timing data to save routes and export them to my device. This is how all of the centuries, fondos, races, and club rides work, basically all over the planet. Though I can fake it by taking the supplied GPX, adding timing (speed/pace) data through GPSies.com & uploading as an Activity (and then creating a Route), this is (1) lengthy and irritating and (2) the same method as cheating. If Strava is concerned about cheaters it would facilitate the uploading of GPX tracks without timing data as then it's obvious it's a route and not an activity. To be honest if this feature is not added soon I see no reason to keep paying for the Premium subscription.

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  • I use http://www.routeloops.com/ to create random routes and i would like to export these in strava to use it directly. Without recreate them.

    Please add this features :D

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  • You can do this fairly easily.  Strava already allows you to "Create a Route" from an activity.  Just click on the little wrench icon (in the left hand pane of an activity page) and click "Create Route."  In other words, once you have a Strava activity, you can create a route!  The problem that some people may be having is that the GPX files that they are trying to create a route from does not have time stamps.  For example, if you draw a track using a 3rd party tool, and then export it, you will get all of the latitude and longitude points - but no timestamps (which are required by Strava for an activity).  Here is a temporary solution until Strava adds the feature:

    1) Create your GPX file using a 3rd party tool.

    2) Go to this helper tool I have created: http://gotoes.org/strava/Add_Timestamps_To_GPX.php

    3) Specify a start date+time and an average speed greater than 1 mile per hour.

    4) Select the GPX files you need to have time-stamped, and then click upload.  After the upload reaches 100%, wait a few seconds, and you will get a download link.

    5) The download link will give you a zip file containing all of your time-stamped files.  You can upload these to Strava, and convert them to routes.

    6) After you make the route, be sure to delete the files from your account.

    I hope that helps!

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  • A number of contributions to this forum have provided various methods of performing ‘time stuffing’ of GPX files to create ‘fake activities’ that can then be put through Strava’s ‘Convert Activity to Route’ process.

    Once the route has been created from the ‘fake activity’ then the fake activity can be deleted from Strava, so as not to upset any of the leader boards. (Time stuffing with very ‘slow ride times’ will keep your ‘fake activity’ at the bottom of the leader boards until you are ready to delete the ‘fake activity’.)

    The latest suggestion is to use the ‘Add_Timestamps_To_GPX.php’ and previous suggestions have been to use the ‘GPSies’ and ‘GPSBabel’ as you will see further back in this forum.

    All of these methods perform the same trick and result in a ‘Strava Route’ following conversion.

    The only problem is that Strava still tries to fit the ‘fake activities’ actual GPS path to the Strava basemap and if your ‘fake activities’ path does not conform to the Strava basemap’s known roads, it can add extra distance to your original intended route by redirecting your route off to the nearest known road. You end up with weird ‘straight line detours’ in your route.

    Let say your original GPX file (without the timing data) contains a route that you obtained from somewhere and it has a section of the route where the ride leaves the known bitumen road and skirts the edge of a sports field before going through a gate that then leads to a bicycle path. This might be considered an unknown variation/detour to Strava’s basemap and you might find that Strava is ‘re-routing’ your path to the nearest bitumen road and then trying to get you to the start of the bicycle path via a convoluted set of ‘auto-fits’ of other bitumen roads. This could add a few extra unwanted kilometres to your original route.

    This is the real problem.

    Yes, it would be good if Strava could just convert a GPX file (without timing data) directly to a Strava route without having to go through the now well known ‘time stuffing’ technique, but we really need the option of turning off Strava’s basemap ‘fit’ as part of the conversion process.

    Until this option exists, you will still need to carefully compare your original GPX file (without timing data) to the resultant Strava’s converted route and look at the total distance. If the total distance of the original and the Strava converted routes are not ‘reasonably’ close to one another then you will need to determine where Strava has ‘detoured’ your original path and it might have you riding off in all sorts of directions.

    Naturally, if your original GPX file (without timing data) contains only off road (dirt) sections then the Strava’s ‘Convert Activity to Route’ will be no use, since the Strava basemap will not ‘know’ about dirt roads.

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