Segment Leaderboards

This is the post for all feedback and feature requests related to Segment Leaderboards.

 

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  • I forgot... the Bullets and Numbers paragraph options don't work on the forum.
    In the previous post it should read...

     

    ... both of these:

    1.  Default athletes to ...

    2.  Automatically detect ...

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  • Ian Barton

    So it sounds like you have encountered the exact same issue. Because Strava regard taking a GPS position every 10s as totally legitimate and they round points only within segments, you frequently see people starting segments multiple seconds ahead.

    For example;

    Rider records a point at 0s, then a segment starts at 1s, then they record their next point at 10s.

    Strava deems them to have started the segment at the 10s point and thus they start with a 9s advantage.

    This can also happen at the end point too.

    Now I do agree, this is quite unlikely. I'm looking at a real example here where an athlete has a GPS track with gaps varying from 1s to 8s, e.g. 2:01 2:08 2:09 2:17 2:19 

    So if a segment starts at 2:09 then that's totally accurate, but if a segment starts at 2:10 then they get a free 7 second advantage. There are a lot of random factors at play so it is very unlikely that someone will get a big advantage at both ends, but let's ignore the worst case scenario of 18s, even a few seconds unfair advantage can be crushing on a short segment.

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  • Craig W.

    Thanks for the comments.  You mention that flagging (and disqualifying) a whole Activity due to a problem with a single Segment can be harsh - I see the point of the flag is to alert the athlete to the problem and they then have a chance to remedy it.  In the case of a GPS anomaly this can be addressed by splitting the ride and cropping out the offending data, so typically only one Segment is lost and the rest of the Activity is retained 

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  • Strava leaderboards have been really slow to update recently - on the order of hours to days (even with segment refresh). It’s a bit annoying -  are the any engineering efficiency gains to be made such that when a person uploads an activity with a segment leaderboard accomplishment, that is reflected on the leaderboard in a matter of minutes rather than hours or days?

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  • When will it ever be possible for the community to report/flag obviously flawed entries in the segment leaderboards? There are so many KOMs blocked by some guy who has somehow teleported himself up a 5 km, 7% hill with literally 71 kph and 3 W power output. Yeah right. There is nothing the community can do about it and that sucks.

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  • Hi Johannes J. Thanks for reaching out and sorry for any inconvenience this athlete has caused. In general, Strava is a community-moderated social network. This means that we rely on our community of athletes to monitor the integrity of our leaderboards. Therefore, there is a way for you to address a bad KOM/QOM/CR but you will need to log into your account via the website to do so. Please see our article on how to remove an activity from the segment leaderboards.

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  • Unfair advantage of racing in a peloton on segment leaderboard

    I see a lot of segment leaderboards in the area where I live taken during peloton race events. That's frustrating and unfair because drafting effect is huge in a peloton. It means that all these segments aren't reachable anymore by a solo rider.

    Would it be possible to exclude these peloton race efforts from the leaderboards? The best criteria I see would be that the corresponding activity is an activity of 100+ km at an average speed of 40+ km/h, the kind of metrics that aren't possible for a solo rider.

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  • Adrian Robert

    As you say you cannot really define local, however I think there is a good solution that does effectively the same thing.

    Strava already records an athletes 3rd best time on a segment (you get a little bronze medal)

    If you only compare these times on a leaderboard then it's much less likely that your "visiting semi-pro" will have 3 results (or at least 3 good results).

    It would also reward the more consistent local riders, as opposed to that guy who got "lucky" one time.

    IMHO there needs to be a leaderboard that combines multiple results (local legends) but also with going fast (so you actually feel proud).

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  • Tracks evovle over the years, but the algorithm for placing people on the leader board is to flimsy. A segment should have the ability to time limit new scores.

    I see many people having taken BIG shortcuts on the track, but stil ending as KOM. Kills the segment.

    Add the ability to flag false people on a segment. 

    On a 10km track, Strava should be able to sort out people with only 8km tracked. It destroys the segment completely.

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  • Soren, you state "Strava is a community-moderated social network."  If this is true then allow the community the ability to moderate segments!  And by moderate I mean delete duplicates, fix start/stop points, and easily note/remove obvious segment and leaderboard errors. Just allowing the ability to suggest a change to a segment to fix poor start/stop locations would be a step in the right direction.  

    Other platforms (Trailforks for instance) allow for local admins that are able to manage content in their region.   Locally (specifically on MTB trails) we have trails that have changed or been rerouted and trails that are very close to each other.  We use their version of heat maps to fine tune the maps to be more accurate.  One would think that Strava's heat map data could be used to somewhat accurately match a ride to the heat map data associated with the segment.

    Strava does not do a good job differentiating the two trails and often people riding the faster, less technical trail will get credit for the KOM/QOM of the other trail.  The actual segment is good but the way Strava decides if an attempt on the segment is correct is not very good...

    Attached is an example of the clearly defined heat map of the segment compared to the route people are getting credit for the segment (highlighted in red).

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  • Is it possible to disable the segments feature, meaning: don't include my activities in leader boards, either ever or just by default until I opt in.

    For my type of Strava user - I'm not interested in this feature, and occasionally it becomes a minor hassle actually.

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  • Michael Murphy - I believe that if you set your profile so all of your activities are set to "private", then they will not show up on any leaderboards.  The downside is that others that follow you wont see them either, but not sure if that is a concern.  I am not sure of another way to not have segments show up other than marking the activity as something other than a "ride" or "run", such as a "workout" possibly.

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  • Soren understood. But doing so defeats one of my actual uses for Strava.

    To developers here: Call this a request for the feature I described.

    Logic change in pseudocode ...

    was

         if (activity.security==public)  { update_leaderboards(activity) };

    becomes

        if (activity.security==public && activity.segment_track==enabled)  { update_leaderboards(activity) };

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Jason Lamoreaux

    I'm trying your suggestion here, "workout". I see there is workout as an activity, what you meant, and tagging a ride activity as workout.

    My most recent activity: received a 4th overall and best this year on leader board, but it is merely from low accuracy GPS data putting me on the wrong trail in Strava's algorithms.

    Setting activity to workout: yes, it removed all awards and the appearance in leader boards, at the expense of not logging my mileage, as exercised miles per month and mileage on a particular bike (e.g. time to replace the chain etc.)

    Activity as ride + setting the workout tag: no effect on segments tracking and leader boards, I'm now best this year on a segment I didn't actually travel on yesterday.

    What did suppress leader board input: setting a real world activity as virtual. I believe the mileage is still being logged for that, and maybe personal heatmap as well, two Strava features of interest to me.

     

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  • William O.

    Hi William - I'm not sure how this might work in practice.  Are you saying, for example, that if you see 2 Segments that have a 90% overlap you would organise some democratic vote by Strava users to decide which of the 2 Segments to keep and which to delete ?  What happens if a new user comes along and creates another overlapping Segment ?  Is a new vote needed or is creation of the new Segment blocked ? 

    Personally I think the current system of alerting Segment creators to the presence of potential duplicates works quite well.  Just yesterday I went to create a new Segment and I was alerted that there was already a very similar one - I hadn't seen it in my Activity because it was hidden.  Hence I cancelled my new Segment and unhid the old one - problem solved. 

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  • Ian Barton we really value your comments and you certainly bring up some valid points. I've passed your feedback along to our product team for consideration. The changes we rolled out to minimum segment distance were to make sure that newly created segments would result in more accurate leaderboards and reduce segment noise overall. There are minimum distance requirements for ride segments (500m) as well as other sport types (250m).

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  • I think Rolf N. has a point although it would mean another whole layer of separating data. Still, it could well be motivating to many.

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  • Some "Mercado Livre" couriers use Strava to record the distance traveled during their workday, this has been harming athletes in the region, every day we have to flag these activities and report these accounts.. Put an automatic filter, if the maximum speed is above 90km/h, it's already flagged, if it's a real athlete, report it as an error!

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  • @Rolf,

    They already do.  But it's just hard to find, hard to manage, and is different on the App than it is on the Website.

    When they make things hard to do, people don't do them.

     

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  • Jason Lamoreaux You totally get my points.

    Ian Barton You can find all the excuses to do nothing, but today, you have to be blind to think the existing way of doing is working fine...

    Just create clear guidlines for the segments, offer the Premium subscribtion to the moderators, and they'll spend hours to reduce the 32 millions segments to less than a million of "real" ones. 

     

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  • Jason,

    Sometimes...  Sometimes Not.

    "All they have to do is ..."

    If they were all doing this, then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    People do not engage with software like those of us who write on Forums (like this).  They do the BARE MINIMUM to get an App going.  So don't make it easier to choose BIKE over EBIKE.

    How about a hierarchy, from Fastest to Slowest:

    When you select Bike, you get a list of options.  The default is Motorcycle, so that anybody with a motor does not accidentally take a KOM away from a Road Bicycle.  In other words, make the path of least resistance something that does not interfere with others.

    BIKES:
    ----> MotorCycle (fastest)    <--------- (((( DEFAULT ))))
    ----> E-Bike
    ----> Road Bicycle (pedal only - no motor)
    ----> Mtn Bicycle (pedal only - no motor)
    ----> tricycle  (slowest)

     

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  • I've been seeing emails ever since I first posted here. It's time to register a new opinion ...
    --> Strava the company should develop leader boards version 2.0. Test it for a while, then announce a changeover date.

    A version 2.0 concept:

    1) Players opt into the leaderboard 'game' - calling it what it is. Sure, let users know this feature exists, but then people take action to join the game. I suspect many users are like me, and aren't interested. Those who do are accepting the rules. It's an opt in, not an opt out, and not a no option (the version 1.0 approach). That change alone I suspect would cut much of the noise out of this game. 

    2) An expanded activity file format, or scheme of files, with digital signatures. The platform which records the activity signs the data with a private key which is tied to a combination of the recording application and the user. So the server side can look at the data and say: this was actually recorded by John Smith with Strava's Android app. This one was recorded by Jane Doe on a Garmin model X. No completely fake data. Let the old applications and file format still work, the content just can't reach to the new leaderboards. With the next firmware update on the platform, it becomes available. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_signature

    3) Capture the accuracy of the GPS data, in addition to lat, long, and altitude. A Google search for the Android API suggests that accuracy can be fetched from the GPS hardware. Set some minimum standard for the recording quality. Every game has its rules like how many stitches are on a regulation baseball. Let this game have some too.

    4) Some algorithm like ... if the result is very high on leaderboard and more than 10% faster than the athlete ever ran it before, prompt the player to positively affirm the validity - that they were not accidentally recording in a car, or recording a bike ride as run. They were not on e-bike.

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  • Ian Barton - I totally agree that each person's personal experience is going to be a little different and not everyone is looking for the same stuff out of a given application.  I do find it interesting, though, that you claim you are happy with Strava's product, but yet you still feel the need to pay extra money to a separate application to get what you want out of it.  If you are so happy with what Strava provides as-is, why do you need a separate program?  Some of us feel that when we see improvements or things we would like to get out of a program that don't currently exist, maybe that program can improve.  

    You also keep mentioning "new" segments, ones that have been created recently.  I'm not nearly as concerned about new ones (although it would be nice to send a note to someone if they create a poor one asking for them to consider tweaking it to fix a start/end point or use a better GPS file), as I am about the multitude of old segments that clutter the system from the last 10+ years.  You wouldn't need to have 300+ hidden segments if there was a mechanism to either fix or remove them.  Unfortunately, early on in the Strava evolution, a lot of people created segments that were suggested by Strava programming and those with little understanding of the program just went with it, resulting in tons of bad segments.  I can't begin to count the number of segments titled "unnamed road climb" or other similar generic name that means nothing and often isn't even on a road in the first place.  Strava has improved over the years, but that hasn't fixed what was already logged into the system previously.  Just like you want the results in segments cleaned up for erroneous activities, we want the segment database cleaned up for erroneous segments themselves.

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  • Jason Lamoreaux

    I totally agree with you that Strava can't tell, however it would be nice if people could tag their own rides as group rides.

    Either as a "type of ride" or as a "tag".

    Either way this requires honestly on the part of the rider, but what doesn't in Strava?

    Perhaps Strava could provide some incentives for riders to do this? Group achievements? Group map types? Group flyby feature?

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  • Filtering segment results doesn't work. It just loads indefinitely for me. Btw all I did was select "This week".

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  • Alternative segment tolerances/ margin of error for other Sports. 

    I might not be using the correct terminology here, but what i would like to see is an ability to make a useful segment for an alternative activity like outdoor swimming or kayaking. 

    Currently, you can make a segment, but it will hardly ever be picked up on a subsequent effort, because slight changes in conditions mean you never follow exactly the same line twice.  

    I imagine the GPS tolerance/margin of error for following a cycle or running route is maybe 10m or so.  I wonder if it would be a fairly easy system tweak to experiment with a wider tolerance for some other designated sports. Maybe 30m for kayaking?

    I think this would increase usage of the app in these alternative activities.

     

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  • Ian Barton - Strava is not measuring the wind speed that is impacting the rider/runner during their activity.  They are sourcing the weather conditions, including wind, from nearby weather stations.  As you are surely aware, wind speed can vary greatly from one spot to another, especially around buildings, trees, vehicles, etc...  There would be no realistic way for Strava to accurately deduce what wind speed/direction is actually occurring at any given instant where a rider/runner is at.  

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  • Ian Barton

    You can already do this with https://mywindsock.com/ although you might need premium these days.

    They do it much better than a simple filter system as well.

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  • Where I live, there's a cyclist that appears twice in every segment he's in the top 10.  Exact same ride, date, time, etc.

    I've added comments to some of his workouts asking him to fix whatever needs to be fixed so he only appears once.  No change.

    I've flagged him in Strava support.  No change.

    If I'm the 10th fastest in a segment and he's there twice, I get pushed to 11th and do not appear in the top 10.  We're both in the top 10 in quite a few segments but I feel sorry for the 11th place guy that won't be seeing his name because of him.

    Anyone have any suggestions or comments?

     

     

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  • Johnny Mawer - when you say you "flagged him in Strava support", what exactly are you doing?  Are you flagging the athlete's profile or are you flagging the specific activity?  You most likely aren't going to get anywhere by flagging the profile.  What you need to do is flag the duplicate activity itself.  You can only do this from the web access to Strava (for some reason they don't have the flagging feature in the app yet).  Just open the activity, click the three dots and select "flag", then select "other" and explain that it is a duplicate file.  Maybe he will get the clue after a bunch of his duplicates are flagged and removed.  Otherwise, I have had success by opening a support ticket with Strava and explaining that this is an ongoing issue with a specific athlete and they have been able to take care of it by reaching out to them directly and potentially suspending the account.

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