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Discussion: Has Strava Changed Policies?

in: Orienteering; General

Jan 20, 2022 10:46 AM # 
I'm guessing some of you may be using Strava as a way of recording your training and recreational routes and details. It seems millions around the world do.
I have never understood how the Strava business model works but assumed those posting routes probably paid a fee,
Until a few days ago I was using a free service callled Strava Heatmap. It was very useful in looking at an area and finding where the traiuls actually went and which were the popular trails. Those would have a darker line meaning more traffic so more 'heat'.
Now it seems Strava will charge $6/month for anyone to use any of their service - even the heatmap. Strava users: am I reading that correctly?
Strava I'm sure is worth $6/ month for regular users but for the odd persom such as I who wants to look once every 2-3 months that seems a little steep.
Does anyone know of a by-pass of the fee just to look at the heatmap?
Jan 20, 2022 11:10 AM # 
I "use" Strava but not the paid service, just the autoupload from Garmin that essentially just lists my activities. I have no interest in using the full service when I'm already using AP for data analysis. I only use it because my boss wanted me to go on there to motivate my colleagues. I don't think it's working (our group of ten has run 19km so far this week; I've covered 14.5 of those). Strava is presently trying to get me to sign up to a 60 day free trial for the full service, obviously to get me hooked so I continue with the paid service when the free one expires.

Our mapping coordinator has recently sent me Strava heatmaps for a couple of MTBO maps that I'm drawing so I'll ask him if he knows of any change to their policy.
Jan 20, 2022 1:09 PM # 
I don't use Strava, but I just went to their website and was able to look at a fuzzy heatmap. It looked like if I signed up for a free account it would get less fuzzy.
Jan 20, 2022 1:12 PM # 
For about 2 years now, you've needed to be logged into strava (a free account will work) to zoom into beyond level 15 or so. That still works with my free account as of this morning.

They have a comparison page which shows the features available in free accounts vs the monthly subscription. One of the paid-only features is Personal Heatmap, where they take every run/ride/training you've ever done and generate a special map showing the places that YOU have been. This is different from the Global Heatmap (linked above), which shows EVERYONE'S anonymized travel on one universal map.

I expect the Global Heatmap will stay available to anyone with a free account, and Personal Heatmaps will require a paid subscription.
Jan 20, 2022 1:23 PM # 
Thanks for the information folks.
You are still getting the free high res Heatmap?
Now I have to figure out why when I log into the free account I have had for several years it is giving me a blank screen and an offer of account for $6/ month. This on both my computers.
Jan 20, 2022 2:12 PM # 
I also have a free account and the full heatmap on my computer. Have you tried accessing the heatmap from the phone app? If you click on the map in any activity, there should be a heatmap checkbox in the map layers. It's in the map layers when you are recording a track with the phone app.
Jan 20, 2022 2:20 PM # 
Phone app? I don't want or have a phone app. I bring the heatmap up on the computer, Take a screenshot/ snip of it to put in the background for a new orienteering map.
Open Street Map often shows the official trails.
Strava Heatmap shows the trails people are actually using.
Jan 20, 2022 3:49 PM # 
I think the Strava Heatmap editor for Open Street Maps still works:

You can trace the info from heatmaps and load it to Open Street Map.
Jan 20, 2022 4:10 PM # 
@gordhun wrote: You are still getting the free high res Heatmap?
Yes. As long as I'm logged into strava in that browser, I see the detailed heatmap. Just zoomed way into Waterloo, ON as a test. shows a link to my profile and a log out option in the upper right menu, so it recognizes me as logged in to my free account. Maybe you could try logging out and back in again?
Jan 20, 2022 10:30 PM # 
Did you try different browsers on your computers? It might be that strava heatmap is not supported by some. Anyways, a free deleting the excisting account and making a new one could maybe help solve the problem.
Jan 20, 2022 10:52 PM # 
Thanks folks for the great suggestions.
One other thing thta I notice is new for me. When I go to Strava heatmap it zooms in to a location close to where I am. Formerly it was centered somewhere over California. Have you all noticed that change or is perhaps that change part of the thing causing me problems?
I also don't have a Strava account. I just log in using Facebook.
Jan 21, 2022 1:54 AM # 
I have had no issues accessing the Strava heatmap both logged in (it might be the only thing I use Strava for) and not logged in.

I did notice about a week ago instead of the default account login heatmap location of California it was centerred on Ottawa. As a Canadian account I suppose that makes sense, but California is closer for me ;)
Jan 21, 2022 11:46 AM # 
Funny thing: As you know I was having that problem with the Strava Heatmap not showing up.
No one else was reporting the same problem. In the process I learned some interesting things.
So I fiddled and farted with different things including laoding a few of my tracks to Strava and then BINGO the Heatmap is back working on my computers.
I can't be sure the uploads helped fix the problem but sometimes if you kick enough tires or bang the side of the vending machine you can get things to work.
Thanks all for your help.
Jan 21, 2022 4:16 PM # 
Strava began to move more and more functions into the premium paid service a year or more ago. With reference to your OP - so they can start to make some money.

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