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Share your Strava Maps story to win 1-year of subscription!

Marya
Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Whether you use suggested routes to find your new favorite neighborhood loop, download offline maps to trek through the backcountry, or use Heatmaps to find new places to explore — we want to hear how you are using Strava Maps!

Tell us what you value most about Strava maps and routes, how and when you use them, and why you choose Strava Maps over alternatives. 

By sharing your maps experience you help us understand what matters to users like you, so we can keep building the features that help you explore your world. You might even inspire someone else in your community to use maps in a way they’d never imagined. Go you!

And as a bonus, by leaving your response you’ll even have the chance to win 1-year of free Strava subscription*.

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*Limited to US only. Must answer the prompt “Tell us what you value most about Strava maps and routes, how and when you use them, and why you choose Strava Maps over alternatives.” 

Winner will receive a code for a 1-year subscription. If you purchased your subscription through the Strava website, you can redeem the promo code at any time. However, subscriptions purchased through Apple or Google Play can not redeem a Promo Code until the subscription has been canceled and expires.


Information on how to cancel your subscription can be found here. Your subscription status is independent of your activity/segment data. You will not lose any data if you cancel your subscription. Promo codes do not expire. Full Giveaway rules available here.

 

Marya (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team
7 REPLIES 7

Scout
Moderator Moderator
Moderator

👋 Hello!
This giveaway is now over. Thank you for everyone who participated. The Winner will be announced on or about June 26th, 2024 at 2:00 PM PST; Full Giveaway rules available here.


Cheers,
Scout (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team

chanarchy
Mt. Kenya

Having used MapMyRun for years, I recently started using Strava Routes to plan my routes, including multi-day run art projects. The biggest advantage of Strava so far is that the route builder performs a lot better when your route is very complex. Some of my routes have had more than 100 waypoints. On MapMyRun, a complex route can really drag the web browser to a crawl.

The waypoint numbering and the ability to reorder waypoints is really useful.

I've found Strava's distance and especially elevation a lot more accurate, MapMyRun consistently underpredicting the eventual elevation gain. However, perhaps that's biased because my actual activity ends up on Strava and may use the same elevation calculation algorithm.

I do wish I could see the map in larger than 850 x 480 on the route page. Sometimes I "edit" the map just to see the route on the full screen.

Features that MapMyRun still has that I miss on Strava are the ability to take a route and for any given point, "Delete all points before" and "Delete all points after". Otherwise, I've had to manually delete dozens of points to give someone a partial route.

I also can understand why it'd be difficult, but it'd be nice if we could import a GPX file as a starting point for a route. Otherwise, my old routes from other sites I have manually create in Strava from scratch.

MapMyRun had the ability to share routes with just friends/contacts. Of lesser importance, it would be nice to share a Strava route with just contacts who follow each other?

I am always on "Follow most direct", but I could see how "Follow most popular" is useful for others. I always switch the Global Heatmap, Community Photos, and Points of Interest off. I will find a use for the Personal Heatmap though, as I'm glad it's there.

Sorry if my "story" is more product feedback, but thanks for reading.  

Utah_Dan
Shkhara

I use it for a couple different things:

1. I travel a lot internationally for work and always run around my destination. I don’t do treadmills, so what better way to get outside and explore a new city than using my go-to Strava maps to create a few different routes to take me around. Only a couple times has it led me astray by sending me to closed paths or streets undergoing construction. Once I create the route and sync to my Garmin I get turn by turn directions almost ensuring I don’t get lost.

2. I recently started trail running and seeing where the popular routes are has been a massive help.

It’s probably the one feature that keeps me as a subscriber.

Silentvoyager
Kilimanjaro

I use Strava maps and route editor almost weekly, especially in the summer months. Before each weekend I sit down to plan a long trail run. With a mileage and elevation goal in mind, and an area I want to explore, I use Strava route editor to build the desired route, that often involves climbing and connecting multiple local peaks.

As a part of the planning I rely on all aspects of the route builder. The most important is the heatmap. In fact, in some cases it helps me to build an off-trail route where there isn't an official map on the map. By seeing the map being painted by the heatmap and by switching to the manual mode, I can follow the path of where fellow trail runners explored before me. That is super valuable. Of course I also extensively rely on the elevation profile. Seeing POIs with the photographs is a nice added feature. 

Also, I very often use the segment explorer that is built into the route editor. Often when I explore an area where I don't run very often, I want to target 1-3 segments - push a bit harder on them and hopefully improve my previous attempts on those segment. I have Live Strava Segment syncing to my Garmin Fenix 7X watch, so that is the feature that I find super valuable.

Another feature that I started to use fairly often, especially when preparing for races, is adding named waypoints to my Strava routes. When synced to my Garmin watch, those Strava waypoints are automatically converted to Garmin course points, and those show up in the Garmin Up Ahead screen, which I typically use to track progress to aid station. Strava's support for waypoints and how that seamlessly work with Garmin devices is pretty unique! Really well done!

I also wanted to give Strava kudos for the quality of the maps. Strava has quickly become my favorite for planning weekend trail running adventures. The combination of the features I mentioned above makes a really great value.

One feature that would be great to improve is an ability to mark convenient water sources like creeks, springs, etc and other useful POIs. Perhaps if there was a way for users to submit publicly visible POIs, that would be great! That is something for Strava team to consider.

Another potentially great feature is having a seasonal heatmap that reflects perhaps the last couple of weeks. That would be especially helpful in the shoulder seasons when some trails may be inaccessible due to snow. It would be great to see where the local trail running community have gone for the runs recently - that would be super helpful when planning weekend adventures. 

Jana_S
Elbrus

(Non-US member here, so this is just feedback without the competition entry 🙂)

The way I use the Maps tab (in the iOS app) is mostly to explore suitable/safe running paths in the areas that I haven't explored yet. I'd mostly rely on the heatmap and segments, I don't really use routes (not for this purpose... perhaps just when trying to plan some Strava art 😀).

From the usage perspective, I must admit that the recent update is quite... annoying, to put it bluntly. By default, whenever I switch to the Maps tab, half of the map gets cluttered by some routes information (which also slows down the map loading itself - why oh why... just give me the option to load the map without any routes or anything pretty please). The only way to get rid of that clutter is to navigate the map to some deserted area with no routes, tap "search here" and hope there will be no routes, and then carefully navigate back to my location, without accidentally re-loading all the routes around me. That somewhat works but it's not exactly user friendly. 

Similarly, when it gets to segments... lots of clutter again. Once I switch to the segments view, the app gets thinking for a bit, then will open a list of "popular segments", effectively blocking almost the whole map! 😖 Also, when tapping on any segment in the map, the segment information again blocks most of the map (quite unnecessarily, with plenty of blank space in the bottom).

It's understandable that you try to feed people with new interesting information but  - the way it's designed is actually preventing the users from utilizing the map data efficiently. To illustrate - if I want to have a look at the map, I have to do all these steps:

  • open the Strava app
  • click the Maps tab
  • (wait for the routes to load...)
  • switch to the Segments view
  • (wait for all the "popular segments" to load)
  • hide most of the list of "popular segments" by dragging it down (while muttering that even then, it's still in the way)
  • ... and, only then I can finally look around in the map to see the best next direction. 

It would be great if the Maps could get a bit de-cluttered, and if users could choose their default view (routes/segments/heatmap only).  

Thanks for taking the users' experience into consideration! 👍🙂

reganfreeman
Mt. Kenya

I live in Columbia, South Carolina, a small city with somewhat-limited pedestrian and cycling infrastructure (though we're working hard to improve that! ‌😀‌). Strava Heatmaps have been a game-changer for me, allowing me to see my community in a completely different way and discover places I never would have found otherwise. They've helped me solve navigation and safety issues constantly, whether I'm riding a century or just finding the safest way for my girlfriend and me to get ice cream. I've shown it to city planners and friends, and it's been useful to everyone to see what the most popular way is to get somewhere on foot/by bike.

I don't think it's crazy to say Strava Heatmaps have probably saved my life by giving me safer routes. It's not 100% accurate, but it's always a good sign when there's a blue line on a road I haven't traveled before. Definitely, it's the best feature of your app and the first thing I'll reference when I'm building a route.

A fun story to illustrate this: on Memorial Day, I was walking into our local REI and noticed two cyclists looking very ragged out front. They were 180 miles into a trip down the (VERY, VERY UNFINISHED) Palmetto Trail, which will eventually stretch from the SC mountains in the upstate to the coast. These guys were lost, not realizing how dangerous some of our roads are and the large size of gaps on the trail. I happened to have my laptop, so I quickly built them a route using Strava Heatmaps to get them to the coast. They texted me later, letting me know how appreciative they were and how much safer they felt. This tool is incredibly useful and fills a critical gap, helping me and others get to new places, be it down a few streets or across an entire state.

Would love to see more information on how often the heatmap updates, and I'm looking forward to exploring the night-only information in your next release. Keep up the great work. Cheers!

I will basically echo what Jana said.

Strava heatmap is a unique, game-changing feature that could not have been built anywhere else, and should be promoted rather than relegated to a second level. I am also a prolific OpenStreetMap mapper, using my own and other peoples' trails to map wilderness and countryside trails. However, the heatmap has the unique advantage to show where the hikers and runners "voted with their feet" to be the best trails in the area; not something you can ever see on a plain map, no matter how detailed.

When I go hiking to a moderately explored terrain, basically all I need for navigation (of course, given some preparation) is the heatmap. Routes and segments are, for the most part, a distraction. The way they are currently implemented in the app is, to put it mildly, annoying. Just give us a simple option to see the heatmap with the background, and nothing else, please. Oh, and some more POIs (churches, locality names, IDK...) from the basemap would be nice, but not the **bleep** routes.