Inaccurate Strava elevation data

@Elle Anderson

I've been following the endless plaintive requests from other users to "Enter Elevation data for a Manual Activity entry" with some amusement.  Strava seems uninterested, until last week we were told it was at the bottom of the "to do" list.

Lots of people would like to be able to do this.  

My issue with the Strava elevation is not whether or not we can add elevation to a manual entry - instead it is with the abominable quality of the digital elevation model Strava uses.  If you are not going to supply your users with a DEM that is accurate, then you should allow us to manually edit our elevation records to match values we know to be correct.  It is patently ridiculous to make it impossible for people to change elevation data on the grounds that this could encourage cheating, when the data supplied by Strava itself is a fantasy.  And if people wanted to cheat on manual entries they could cheat on the distances - what is the difference?

Using proper DEMs I can find elsewhere I've calibrated some of my favorite runs and I know for example that my main training loop has a cumulative climb of 175 m.  Strava only gives me about a quarter of that because of the excessive smoothing in their DEM.  So I can do hill training and in 10 loops I'm getting a decent amount of work in but according to Strava it is nothing. All those users doing hill training in areas with short steep hills rather than real mountains are getting cheated on their elevation records and have no idea how much they are actually doing.  If you are going to report elevation at all, why not make the effort to report it accurately?

Please find a better DEM.

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  • My issue is also the high elevation reading I receive on every ride.  My friends that do the same ride with me consistently show data that is 30-35% less than mine.  Yesterday we rode a route that four of my friends showed at 1295-1315' of climb, and mine was 1535'.  I always go into the ride on my PC and hit the "correct elevation" button, and it always goes to the same elevation my friends show, eventually.  What do I need to do to I receive the correct elevation data?

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  • I also find this troublesome.  Just last weekend I was on a group ride and logged 2210m elevation gain using Strava mobile app while my friends that have proper gps equipment logged 735m for the same course.  There were two of us using the mobile app and both had this problem. 

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  • @James Mungall  The best way to appeal to better data is to borrow a GPS with a barometric altimeter, e.g. Garmin 920XT and go for a run.  Usually Strava's DEM's give excessive net climbing not too little!

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  • Here is a classic case of how ridiculous strava elevation data can be:

    https://www.strava.com/activities/870594815

    Zero elevation gain!  Ha!  The best part is if you click on the Analysis button and run the cursor across the elevation profile for the ride, it's bang on.  So Strava KNOW what the correct elevation data are.  Strava is actually actively screwing up the data!  Ha-ha!

     

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  • Hey fellow riders, for me this is also an issue, which does not belong to the end of the task list. One can clearly see the problem, when checking on the elevation gains in den Jan 2018 Cycling Climbing Challenge. The calculations got totally wrong. I have collected roughly 1000 m elevation gain in Jan '18. The threshold is set to 7500 m for January. In the Challenge page strava states 210 m elevation gain. What is going on? The funny thing is, that riders top listed in the challenge have ridiculously high elevation gains with up to 25.000 m of elevate gain. When you look at the rides, each ride states correct values for the gain. Few meters here, few meters there, but never close to 25.000. The top of the list is all wrong. Probably for some riders totally erroneous values are used - or they are all wrong. We can only take this with a grain of salt... Until the problem is figured out. Until then it does not really make sense to take part in these challenges.

    Some of the other problems stated here seem to come from the units, that are used to record the ride data. Some smart phones seem to have problems with accuracy here and strava cannot do anything about those, other than offering to recalculate according to map and elevation profile data. My advice is in those cases, to try a different gps device, if you have readings with your unit, that are repeatedly and reproducibly wrong (always in the same direction).

    Lets hope, the data crunching problems within strava get fixed soon, so that it makes sense again, to take part in the challenges. The right numbers are there, at least in my dashboard. Why other riders hav such ridiculously high gain data and even have marked the segments, but the numbers do not get corrected on the challenge page, -just don't know...

     

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  • Ah now I figure. My numbers are so low, because only outside rides count, that is the 210 m from my only outdoor riding I have done on 1st of February, the indoor smart trainer rides do not count.

    I checked a few other top of the list riders in the cycling elevation gain challenge and the problem with those way too high readings for the gain stays as described. definitely wrong numbers...

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  • "Basemap" feaututre still shows insolvency of an idea... its a mess - Polar v650 barometer = 131 m . Strava app - strava calculation = 330 м.  U kidding? More than twice!!! I understand that u need to sold all merchant thru challenges - but its come to absurd level...

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  • Strava Elevation... What an incredible annoying joke!

    I get mental readings with four digit numbers on allmost all of my activities..Even short runs produce these numbers. I have to correct them all (and the even after correction - it's still wrong). This feature seems like a random shot in the dark affair and is so extremly unreliable it's laughable. I'm starting to wonder if they did this to make free accounts so poor to sell more upgrades.. (seems backwards though). On the Dashboard I don't get speed like before, just this ridiculous "Elevation gain" -that's worthless and a bit of a standing joke.

    Strava has been a nice, free training diary for years now, but I bet someone new and smarter will swallow it all up with it's obvious flaws and missing features. The way they run it, ignoring users (on several issues), Strava can become the Nokia of online training diarys pretty fast :D

    Yeah, I know it's free, but who cares about KOMs when activity readings are all over the shop.. Accuracy first!

    ...and it keeps getting more and more like Facbook every day it seems. Hope I'm wrong and things will improve.

     

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