Strava’s latest update adds 3D maps to its mobile apps

Strava added 3D maps to its Android and iOS apps with its latest update, released yesterday (Thursday).

The update provides a 3D terrain view designed to make it easier for athletes to visualize elevation changes and topography of a route, segment or activity. This benefits riders looking for both challenging climbing routes and more comfortable rides. It’s only available to premium Strava members, providing “added value” to those who pay for the subscription.

The activity tracking company first introduced 3D maps in personal heatmaps in April 2021, but users could only see this feature on the web. However, Strava says the update will simplify route planning, with athletes able to pinpoint their precise location, helping them make informed decisions when on the go.

Strava said, “This update will allow high-end Strava athletes to confidently plan adventures and navigate trails with ease, visualize the difficulty of different rides, and make informed decisions while on the go.

“It also means the next step in making Strava the perfect training partner for trail sports athletes, who can hit unchartered trails knowing what’s ahead and how they’re getting home.”

To access the app’s latest feature, navigate to the “Routes” or “Save” tab, or click on any activity map. Toggle the 3D map layer on the top right of the screen, and there you can see a multi-dimensional view of your surroundings.

This update follows the “Points of Interest” feature, designed to help athletes plan where to find essential amenities while on the go. Strava has identified the most popular places and locations for its users for this update, and adding 3D maps to phone apps will improve this functionality even further now.

Strava also plans to use mapping data designed for athletes rather than cars in future updates.

He said: “Our team works closely with the mappers at MaxBox to optimize our maps for the needs of our community.

“Beyond adding points of interest, you’ll see many small improvements to our maps, including clearer trails and trail networks and the removal of highway labels and other common information centered on the car athletes don’t need when they’re on their own.”

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Casey J. Nelson