Strava releases map upgrades

The social media for athletes has collaborated with Mapbox to offer the improved mapping

(Image credit: chris catchpole)

Strava has released a new map upgrade, which offers enhanced detail tailored for cyclists and runners.

In collaboration with custom map designer Mapbox, Strava has improved its mapping to offer more insights like trail names, elevation contours and better route tracking.

Strava CEO James Quarles said: “We are thrilled to share this significant upgrade with our members, with more terrain detail and improved accuracy and aesthetics of how GPS tracks appear.

“Mapbox is a mapping leader and we’re excited about the athlete optimised map that our two teams created for the global Strava community.”

Strava says that most maps are designed for car users, but the new mapping system takes focus away from car-orientated features like motorway numbers and replaces them with detail suited to sport.

Mapbox CEO Eric Gundersen said: “I run with Strava wherever I am in the world and the new Strava experience is next level.

“The maps are gorgeous and it’s been pushing me to share these stunning routes even more because they look so good.

“[I’m] so pumped to discover new runs as Strava’s community shares their trails and I find new places to push myself even farther.”

The new feature was announced as Strava removed Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity for anyone recording activities through the app.

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Strava revealed earlier this month that it found a bug that means pairing Bluetooth heart rate monitors and power meters directly with the app is causing it to crash.

The company announced that to counter this the app will no longer support direct Bluetooth and ANT+ device pairing, as the company says most people don’t use these kind of sensors.

Nothing will change for Strava users who record using a GPS watch or bike computer like a Garmin, but for anyone who uses the app for their activities they will no longer be able to include power and heart rate data.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.