Frequently Asked Questions


1. How well does Strava data represent the cyclists in my community?

The Strava community is made up of all types of cyclists and surveys have shown that most Strava cyclists do not refer to themselves as competitive.  In fact, nearly one-half of all rides on Strava in denser metro areas are commutes so Strava Metro data gives great insight into the needs of those riding for transportation only. Furthermore, in metro areas, nearly everyone is a commuter – either commuting to work, or commuting to the ride they’ll be doing outside the city. Through our own analysis of the data, it is evident that cyclists of all types tend to use the same “best available” roads and paths while cycling in metro areas. Finally, by providing providing visibility into cycling activity at a high level of granularity, Strava Metro data enables users to analyze patterns by time of day, day of week, season and local geography. It’s simple to filter the data to show only commute data as well.


2. Does Strava have enough data to provide a meaningful dataset?

Strava represents the most active athlete network in the world. The data set currently includes over 300 billion GPS points. In addition, over 2.5 million GPS-tracked activities, and growing, are uploaded to Strava every week from around the globe. These activities create billions of data points that, when aggregated, enable deep analysis and understanding of real-world cycling and running route preferences.


3. How much does it cost to license Strava Metro data for a city?

License fees are based on the number of Strava members in the requested geographic area and the time span of data required. Pricing is US $0.80 per distinct member in a twelve month period. If you are looking for a heat map image of Strava rides or runs in your area, you can get that free of charge at Strava Labs.


4. Can anyone be part of the Strava Metro dataset?

Anyone using Strava to publicly track their rides, runs and other fitness activities is anonymously contributing to the Strava Metro dataset with every upload. It’s a way for you to vote with your ride or run for better cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in your community.


5. How is Strava Metro data different from bike counters?

Strava Metro takes tracking and measurement of cycling activity into the digital age. It is a supplemental method for the traditional way of collecting data using human counters or electronic gates to survey key intersections within a community. The advantage is that Strava collects data down to the minute at every geographic point on a city grid 24/7.


6. What are some quick ways Strava Metro generates value to DOTs?

Strava Metro enables insight and analysis of bicycling routes and commute patterns around the world. Strava Metro data can be used retrospectively to empower advocacy organizations and government agencies to understand current cycling behavior in local communities and make better-informed decisions when planning, maintaining, and upgrading cycling infrastructure. Strava Metro data can also be used to evaluate efficacy of changes made to this infrastructure within a few weeks after implementation as opposed to waiting months or years to gather data.


7. Does Strava Metro require GIS software?

Strava Metro is designed for use by geographic information system (GIS) professionals familiar with GIS software and engaged in city planning. However, a high-resolution visualization of Strava activity data is available for use for free by cycling advocacy groups and the general public at Strava Labs.


8. How does Strava Metro respect the privacy of Strava members?

The data provided through Metro has been anonymized and aggregated to a linear map so that cycling activity cannot be associated with a specific member of Strava’s community. We are providing this information in anonymous aggregate form to help improve infrastructure and safety for cyclists, runners and pedestrians.


9. What other products is Strava Metro designing?

We see many potential products in the future for Strava Metro. In the near-term we are working on enhanced visualizations and tools for use with Strava Metro data by users without access to and experience in GIS software.  We are also looking into providing tools to facilitate the analysis of the data so groups can use it as effectively as possible.


10. How can I help make my community better for alternative transportation?

If you are a cyclist or runner, use Strava to track your activities. In addition to the fun and motivation Strava provides, your cycling and running data will be in the Strava Metro system and can help inform alternative transportation systems in your community.  And tell your friends who ride and run. Strava grows by word of mouth.


11. I am part of an advocacy group. How can I spread the word about Strava Metro?

Tell your DOT and city planning colleagues about Strava Metro. We have successfully partnered with several advocacy organizations to jointly approach the planning authorities in their area in presenting what Strava Metro.


12. What is the difference between the Strava heat map and Strava Metro?

The Strava heatmap available free of charge on Strava Labs is a visualization of a large collection of GPS points recorded by Strava members.  Strava Metro is a product which contains the data behind the visualization.  For example, a popular street for cyclists looks like a bright line in the Strava Heat Map.  Strava Metro provides data about how many cyclists rode in which direction on that street minute-by-minute.  The Strava heat map is a way to visualize the world of Strava.  Strava Metro is for analysis and infrastructure planning.


13. I’m interested in local popular cycling routes. Is Strava Metro what I’m looking for?

No. You’re looking for Strava Routes.  We’ve counted the “votes” of millions of runners and cyclists globally and made them available via a route creation and discovery tool.


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