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Discussion: Using Strava HeatMap in QGIS...

in: Orienteering; General

May 4, 2016 3:32 AM # 
About a year ago, Brian Coleman of RMOC recommended I join the listserver. He said you could basically ask any question and get GIS answers faster than pretty much anywhere else.

I just tried it, and it worked. (Although it's really intimidating---they really seem to know their stuff.)

To use Strava HeatMap in QGIS as a web layer, download the TileLayers plugin.

Create a "Strava_HeatMap.tsv" file in a text editor with this text (the spaces are single tabs, not spaces, and it should all be on one line):

Strava_HeatMap Strava_HeatMap

And use the plugin's add function to point to the directory holding that tsv file. I recommend loading an image or zooming into a small area before trying to load the layer.

One reply I got said: "Not sure if you already know this, but it looks like the tile URLs for the heatmap data all point to
with subDomain being one of a-globalheat, b-globalheat, or c-globalheat. Maybe you could add that to QGIS as a tiled layer?"

The Strava page has buttons for "run" "bike" and "both", so I need to figure that out---It might be that "a" "b" or "c" option in the URL, but I'm not sure. There are also color options. I'm getting blue lines and no black background when I see it in QGIS. It seems to work with just "globalheat", but I'm not sure how it changes with the email's a- b- and c- options.

In figuring out how to setup the TileLayer plugin, I did find an OSM wiki page that shows it is an available layer on OSM for tracing, which I didn't know:

edit: the link in the blockquote got changed. In my tsv file, it ends like this: color3/{z}/{x}/{y}.png

The second link reads tiles/cycling/color7/{z}/{x}/{y}.png?v=6 although I am not sure the ?v=6 is needed.

Another reply:

For the different activities change "cycling" in the url to "running" or "both".

You can also change the number N in the "colorN" part. Some work, some don't.

The a- b- and c- prefixes are usually to send tile requests in parallel and speed up rendering but there seems to be something else going on there. Leaving it off works too.
May 4, 2016 4:01 AM # 
I ended up with a tsv file with three lines:

Bike_HeatMap Bike_HeatMap
Run_HeatMap Run_HeatMap
RunBike_HeatMap RunBike_HeatMap{z}...

Color 7 seemed to be more visible than the others I tried, and I really don't need to differentiate between them.

And again, the last part of each URL is /color7/{z}/{x}/{y}.png
May 4, 2016 4:44 AM # 
Has anyone succeeded using Strava as a Web Map Service (WMS) in OCAD?
May 5, 2016 12:33 AM # 
The OSM editor with Strava heat map data is pretty cool.
May 5, 2016 2:30 PM # 
That's awesome. And OSM vectors are "easily" exported to OCAD, so it's a good use of time when you're considering mapping a location. I usually use the Potlatch editor. I guess I need to try this one.
May 8, 2016 10:32 AM # 
The question is whether the heat map in Strava is publishable as web map service? If so, you can consume it from what ever GIS desktop tool you use..

This discussion thread is closed.