Strava Heatmaps with the slide tool used to be a huge help for me - and many other mappers, I suppose - to quickly and accurately trace new tracks and roads. Unfortunately Strava now changed the access policy: Since March 2018 only logged-in members can see the high-res heatmap. This is not sufficient for mapping and the slide tool.

Since Strava highly profits of OSM - do you guys think it makes sense to get in touch with them and propose for example, that people with OSM login still can access high-res heatmaps with the slide tool?

asked 23 Mar '18, 23:55

rene78's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 01 May '18, 10:41

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

The new tiles work anywhere if you get them from the /tiles-auth/ directory on Strava's server (instead of /tiles/) and then append "Key-Pair-Id", "Signature", and "Policy" parameters that correspond to a valid OAuth token. I was able to get the necessary values from one of the cookies stored in my regular Web browser after having visited Strava's heatmap page.

It's an awkward workaround that takes a lot of copying and pasting (and which probably must be RE-done when the cookie expires), but in a pinch it might work for individuals who just want to get up and running in JOSM.

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answered 27 Mar '18, 20:02

Adam%20Schneider's gravatar image

Adam Schneider
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Hello Adam, can you please provide an example of URL? I've tryed something like this tms[3,11]:https://heatmap-external-{switch:a,b,c}.strava.com/tiles-auth/both/bluered/{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png?Key-Pair-Id=MYVALUE&Signature=MYVALUE&Policy=MYVALUE where MYVALUE are the respective cookies value, but the zoom level is the same as before.

(04 Apr '18, 15:29) Davide_sd

That looks right, you just need to increase the "11" to "15".

Note that if you're happy with the "bluered" color scheme, this cookie rigamarole is unnecessary, as ligfietser's tip (http://globalheat.strava.com/tiles/cycling/bluered/{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png) seems to work for now. But you'll need the cookie data if you want the "hot" or "gray" spectrum, both of which contain more visible data than "bluered."

(04 Apr '18, 21:31) Adam Schneider

Works for me!

(20 Apr '18, 08:00) wegspotter

The cookies can be found once logged in at www.strava.com under strava.com CloudFront-Key-Pair-Id, CloudFront-Policy and CloudFront-Signature

Prepare a TMS URL like this one with your cookie values instead of ......: tms[3,15]:https://heatmap-external-{switch:a,b,c}.strava.com/tiles-auth/all/bluered/{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png?Key-Pair-Id=.....&Policy=.....&Signature=.....

In JOSM/Imagery Preferences/ImageryProviders/Selected entries hit the + TMS button

Enter name for your layer

Edit generated TMS URL

'both' does not work for me, it can be all|ride|run|water|winter.

'bluered' can be changed to hot|blue|gray|bleured.

The total length of the url is about 725 characters.

(25 May '18, 16:12) Bike Mapper

Thanks Bike Mapper for the helpful comment!

(15 Oct '18, 21:01) ElliottPlack

I don't know anything about the ID editor but in JOSM I had to adapt the URL from




to make it work again, so I think it is just a matter of editing the layer definitions

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answered 24 Mar '18, 12:21

ligfietser's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

In the ID editor you can see this url(1) works as custom layer, so they should update their settings

(1) https://globalheat.strava.com/tiles/cycling/color1/{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png

(24 Mar '18, 14:41) ligfietser

Thanks, this URL works! So the only problem left is Slide. It seems to take the low-res heatmap as input. So the result sucks.

(24 Mar '18, 15:20) rene78

So there are two things you could do: Report it to Slide (Strava?) Switch to Josm as editor, much powerful than ID

(24 Mar '18, 16:18) ligfietser

I use JOSM as well. But there is no slide add-on for it. It used to be very useful. Have a look: https://youtu.be/Ea-gLcmMbG8

(24 Mar '18, 19:03) rene78

Nice feature! I didn't know that, best way is contact the developers to fix this.

(25 Mar '18, 11:32) ligfietser

Unfortunately this trick has stopped working since a few days ago.

(25 Apr '18, 08:57) Hjart

I've tried the suggested urls, both [1] and [2], but I get an "error loading tile", "no tile available at this zoom level", irrespective of what zoom level I try.

[1] tms[3,17]:http://globalheat.strava.com/tiles/cycling/color1/{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png

[2] tms[3,17]:http://globalheat.strava.com/tiles/cycling/color1/{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png

(08 May '18, 12:27) solitone
showing 5 of 7 show 2 more comments

Indeed Strava's GPS heatmap is very helpful for tracing hidden ways in natural elements (forests, woods, scrubs...). So, yeah i think that we should definitely remind Strava that they highly benefit of OSM and that it's still a good way for their costumers to know what kind of terrain it's expected on the GPS trace!

About their slide add-on in the optional iD editor, it's not convenient for plotting ways! You cannot create serious accurate ways according reality. I've tested it and seen what users do:
- not accurate and misleading
- doesn't take into account GPS offsets due to lack of signal, cliffs (will influence all GPS)...
- cross-ways whether in Y for or X or more are not respected
- adds useless nodes on straight lines/ways and overloads OSM with useless data and even removes precision on ways that are not straight...
- encourages people to plot ways without proper survey

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answered 27 Mar '18, 19:15

SHARCRASH's gravatar image

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edited 02 May '18, 11:22

Since the high resolution heatmap is only available for Strava users, how about we login with a Strava account but in the editor? Not only it's an opportunity for them to get new costumer accounts but as already said, they highly benefit of OSM and it will help their costumers have a more detailed map. They should really consider the seriousness of our work. I noticed that they even have an error report form to send to Mapbox. So i doubt they would be against this. All this said, their heatmap does not have to be considered as a precise tool but rather a help to enhance hidden ways and for comparison.

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answered 05 May '18, 15:08

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edited 05 May '18, 15:09

There is no way you can duplicated the data collected by Strava for anything related to trails - cycling, running, hiking, country skiing. Everybody with Garmin and other devices upload to Strava. That is where the good data is and that's the one we need to build OSM. If somebody can fix the ID Slide integration it would be so great. It was a truly useful tool.

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answered 15 May '18, 01:19

Martin%20Chalifoux's gravatar image

Martin Chali...
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Everybody with Garmin and other devices upload to Strava.

Not me, guv :)

More seriously, while the Strava data's useful it isn't without its issues. In my bit of central England Strava's running data contains lots of "short cuts" where people have jumped a low wall or run through a broken gate across a field. It's no indication that there's actually a path anywhere - you have to cross-check with other sources that the data's legit and not just someone running across a field because they can. That said, if you can externally verify the data then the extra points in Strava's point cloud do give you more accuracy.

(15 May '18, 08:36) SomeoneElse ♦

Dare we suggest that using OSM tracker is a also a good alternative and available to all editors?

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answered 28 Mar '18, 03:07

DeBigC's gravatar image

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A GPS tracker is not a good alternative to the Strava Global Heatmap.

(13 Apr '18, 08:39) Tractor

I definitely find "Tractor"s statement questionable. We'd be hard at work, however, reaching the coverage of the Strava Global Heatmap, using OSM tracker (or gps uploads created in a variety of other ways). That said, Strava users in my experience often travel specific routes, leading some paths to stand out and others (often more important tracks) go completely unnoticed by editors relying solely on Strava. If we want the network of tracks in a given forest to be complete we still need to pull out our gps devices.

(15 Apr '18, 06:35) Hjart

I didn't say that a GPS tracker isn't useful.

(28 Apr '18, 13:02) Tractor

Perhaps also communicate with > https://josm.openstreetmap.de/ticket/16100 since they're struggling too.

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answered 28 Mar '18, 07:50

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question asked: 23 Mar '18, 23:55

question was seen: 4,320 times

last updated: 15 Oct '18, 21:01

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