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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%

closed 22 Jul '19, 13:57

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦

Thats an exellent suggestion! Did anyone contact Strava about this?

(19 Sep '19, 19:42) Gunnar

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


(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:

(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]:{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png

[2] tms[3,17]:{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

accept rate: 0%

edited 02 May '18, 11:22


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
accept rate: 0%


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}{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 ({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 under 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}{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 found it helpful to use the Cookies.txt Chrome extension (

So I sign in to Strava, go to, turn on the heatmap layer, then when I click on the extension button, it's easy to find the cookie values.

(26 Nov '19, 21:22) kylebarron

For those wanting XYZ for iDEditor, I’m putting this here since search engines lead to this posting This gets you to zoom=16 if you are logged into the heatmap in another tab. You can append the policy, signature, and key-pair-id if you want but I’m pretty sure just logging in in another tab will work. It would be nice if iD would render the tiles past 16 (zoomed in) for easier small edits.


(29 Jan '20, 15:24) aiwetir
showing 5 of 7 show 2 more comments

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

accept rate: 0%

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 > since they're struggling too.

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answered 28 Mar '18, 07:50

wegspotter's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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

SHARCRASH's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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...
accept rate: 0%


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 ♦

For those using JOMS under macOS, I wrote a small python script to automate the update of Strava imagery URLs: ​

You can use it also to set the correct URL strings in the first place.

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answered 24 Apr '19, 14:23

solitone's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Thanks solitons. I just tried it and I got this error. I have no idea what the cause is.

MBPr15:josm_strava_cookies-master Martin$ ls LICENSE MBPr15:josm_strava_cookies-master Martin$ python Traceback (most recent call last): File "", line 12, in <module> stravaImgUpdater.getCookies() File "/Users/Martin/Garmin_maps_project/josm_strava_cookies-master/", line 54, in getCookies if (self.keyPairId == "" or self.policy == "" or self.signature == ""): AttributeError: MacOsStravaImgUpdater instance has no attribute 'keyPairId' MBPr15:josm_strava_cookies-master Martin$

(24 Apr '19, 14:46) Martin Chali...

Hi, I should have fixed it. Could you please pull the repository again and retry? If you will please submit issues on GitHub. Thanks for the feedback!

(24 Apr '19, 17:48) solitone

Thanks for the reply. Sorry I don't know how to add comments to GitHub. I just updated and tried again. This time I get this - and I did login to Strava on the Heatmap.

MBPr15:josm_strava_cookies-master Martin$ python No Strava cookies found! Open Safari, browse to the Strava Heatmap, and login with your Strava account. MBPr15:josm_strava_cookies-master Martin$

(24 Apr '19, 18:58) Martin Chali...

Once you have logged in and loaded the heatmap, Safari should get the needed cookies. Sometimes you need to reload the heatmap page, move the map, and zoom in, in order to be sure to get those cookies. Then try again. Remember that JOSM should be closed when you run the script.

(24 Apr '19, 20:08) solitone

I tried this. No success. I closed safari and re-opened it and loaded the Global Heatmap page. I logged-in without asking for credentials, so I guess the cookie must be there - otherwise it would ask for a login. The script still gives the same error

(24 Apr '19, 23:07) Martin Chali...

That's weird. Have you zoomed in enough? Please retry the following steps:

1) Download again the last release (v1.2 at the moment) from: 2) Try again with python 3) If unsuccessful, launch the script ./, and post here its output 4) Also, activate the "Develop" menu in Safari, browse to the Strava Heatmap, select Develop->Show Web Inspector, select the "Storage" tab, expand the "Cookies" entry, select "", and check whether you have the following 3 cookies: CloudFront-Key-Pair-Id, CloudFront-Policy, and CloudFront-Signature

Please let me know.

(25 Apr '19, 05:33) solitone

The script results: MBPr15:josm_strava_cookies-master Martin$ ./ Key-Pair-Id: Policy: Signature: MBPr15:josm_strava_cookies-master Martin$

I used the Web Inspector, the three cookies are there. I notice they are registered for domaine and not like the other cookies, i don't know if that is your issue. They also have HttpOnly checked. They expire May 1.

Lastly I am running the latest version of Safari 12.1 and MacOS 10.14.4

(25 Apr '19, 11:41) Martin Chali...

Working around Stravas use restrictions by fudging things is at least in violation of their terms of use. If they don't want to make their tiles available they don't want to make them available and we all should simply respect that.

(25 Apr '19, 16:24) SimonPoole ♦


the domain is not an issue, so the script should find them. Are they called exactly CloudFront-Key-Pair-Id, CloudFront-Policy, and CloudFront-Signature?

If you launch python ~/Library/Cookies/Cookies.binarycookies is any cookie shown? Do you find those three cookies in the supposedly long output list?


(25 Apr '19, 16:27) solitone

@SimonPoole Well, if that were the case, then somebody should correct the information published in OSM Wiki, as it says:

"OpenStreetMap users can use Strava heatmap data for tracing into OSM only. For all other non-personal uses, including tracing into other datasets, please contact maps -at- The data is available on a purchasable license basis, so it is great that Strava allows the data to be used free of charge for the purposes of improving OpenStreetMap (similar agreements exist with aerial imagery providers)."

Until I read that, I will continue to use Strava heatmap data to trace in JOSM.

(25 Apr '19, 17:24) solitone

If python ~/Library/Cookies/Cookies.binarycookies does not show any cookie at all, does ls ~/Library/Cookies/Cookies.binarycookies give any output?

If not, try and grant Terminal with full disk access, as explained here:

Then repeat all the previous steps, and see whether the scripts now find those three cookies.


(25 Apr '19, 17:38) solitone

@solitone anybody can write anything on the wiki, literally. Strava originally allowed access to its heatmap via its fork of the iD editor, and that is it. Anything outside of that has been dreamt up, and quoting random wiki ages is not going to change that a jota.

(25 Apr '19, 18:28) SimonPoole ♦

@SimonePoole so, if the wiki is wrong, please do correct it

(25 Apr '19, 18:34) solitone

Thank you solitone, the Full Access permission was the issue. It worked now. Maybe add that to your instructions, as by default it won't work with the latest macOS. Thanks again. It is very nice to again have the option to create a trail using accurate Strava heat map data.

(26 Apr '19, 11:57) Martin Chali...

Ok, good to know, thank you.

Keep in mind though we're probably not allowed to use Strava Heatmap to trace in OSM (see previous comments from @SimonPoole ). Until yesterday I thought the info on OSM Wiki was accurate, instead it is based on just some old tweets from Strava employees. For the time being there is no official statement from Strava supporting it.

(26 Apr '19, 19:17) solitone
showing 5 of 15 show 10 more comments

There is another way to use tiles that require authorization. You can set cookies for the layer in JOSM. This is similar to answer of Adam Schneider, but doesn't require extracting fields from cookies manually to put them into the URL parameters.

  1. Find the cookie in your browser once you are logged in into strava. If you use Firefox you can visit and then press F12. Open Network tab and reload the page. Find a png image with heatmap and open Headers tab on the right. Your cookie will be in Request headers section.
  2. Open Imagery preferences in JOSM
  3. Add TMS imagery tms[3,15]:https://heatmap-external-{switch:a,b,c}{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png{header(Cookie,YOUR_COOKIE_GOES_HERE)} and put your cookie into it. This is the URL for all activities. If you want specific activities you should replace all part.
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answered 20 Jul '19, 10:06

asdqweasd's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 20 Jul '19, 10:26


We do not have any current permission to use the Strava data, please refrain from doing so. If you ignore this you potentially will have your edits removed.

(22 Jul '19, 13:56) SimonPoole ♦

The Wiki page for Strava describes how to enable the Strava Global Heatmap in JOSM and iD.

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answered 11 Aug '21, 16:53

rjb4095's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

The method described in the wiki [1] does not seem to work anymore. It's been a few days now that I can no longer get the heatmap.

Did it happen also to you? Do you have any information on this issue? Have Strava changed anything?


(12 Aug '21, 07:03) solitone

The Heatmap stopped working for me in JOSM and iD several days ago when manually building the tile URL. Using the browser extension described in the Wiki to automatically build the URL got it working again. I used the Firefox addon. You must remove the tms: prefix at the beginning of the URL if using iD.

Manually building the URL works most of the time but occasionally stops working when the cookies expire. I think there may be a non-printing ascii character in the new cookies that you can't see but the browser extension removes.

(12 Aug '21, 14:00) rjb4095

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question asked: 23 Mar '18, 23:55

question was seen: 17,339 times

last updated: 12 Aug '21, 14:00

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum