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Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is Strava Metro data used?
Metro partners with departments of transportation and city planning groups to improve infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians. Over 70 cities and organizations around the world are using Strava Metro to measure and improve their bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Metro data enables deep analyses to ensure our partner organizations make impactful, data-driven decisions, whether planning and building new infrastructure or measuring impact after a project is complete.
2. What does the Metro data show?
Metro shows aggregated cyclist and pedestrian activity including popular or avoided routes, peak commute times, intersection wait times, and origin/destination zones.
3. 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 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.
4. How well does Strava data represent the cyclists in my community?
The Strava community is made up of all types of cyclists. 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. It’s also simple to filter the data to show only commutes.
While filtering by commute only is possible, analysis of the data shows that cyclists of all types and abilities tend to use the same “best available” roads and paths while cycling in metro areas. 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.
5. 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.
6. How is Strava Metro data different from bike counters?
Metro data is not tied to a single location, like a bike counter. Metro helps to paint a picture of how people ride and run throughout your entire network of streets and how that behavior changes at certain times of year, days of week, times of day or after infrastructure is built. The data shows behavior change not only in one location, as a counter would, but in all adjacent locations and over time.
Many organizations using Metro find it very useful to combine bike counter and Strava Metro data to get a better idea of total bike population and flow. In each of these cases, Metro data is representative of the greater bike population, enabling deeper insights from the Metro data and helping to extrapolate what other counters would read in different parts of the city. In all known correlation studies with Metro data and counters, Strava users correlate highly with the general riding population.
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.
Cycling advocacy groups and the general public can access a high-resolution, qualitative, visualization of Strava activity data for free at Strava Labs.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. What other products is Strava Metro designing?
Strava metro exists to make biking, walking and running in cities better. We see many potential products in the future for Strava Metro to help us further our mission. 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.
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 how to best use Strava Metro.
12. 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.
13. 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. The heatmap is a qualitative representation of GPS points, while 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.
14. I’m interested in local popular cycling routes. Is Strava Metro what I’m looking for?
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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