“Permission to trace from heatmap

Wednesday at 19:20

Hi 😃

I would love to improve OSM by tracing missing paths from your heatmap. Are you willing to permit this to OSM users?

Currently OSM is the best outdoor map in Sweden but unfortunately a lot of paths is still missing in my area. I would love to use your heatmap to help me trace and visit new paths and add them to the map.

I look forward to you response and hope that you will give back to the community by allowing this use of the wonderful heatmap.

Cheers pangoSE

Scarlett Today at 17:31


Thanks for your interest in using Strava! If you’re interested to learn more about how Strava data is used for city planning, you can learn more through the Strava Metro site.

Hope that helps!

Regards, Scarlett Strava Support Team”

Any suggestions? They refer me to a service “Strava Metro” that is only available behind a paywall and do not offer a heatmap at all.

Ideas for questions to ask:

  1. You did not answer my question. Am I permitted to trace from your heatmap - yes or no? If you want attribution for allowing us to trace I would be happy to add Strava to our list of contributions:
  2. Strava Metro access would be nice, would you be willing to provide that data for free to OSM users to trace after?


Comment from ChristianA on 12 November 2019 at 14:12

I am quite sure that Strava Heatmap used to be available as a layer in JOSM. But then Strava changed the free heatmap to be low-res only, making it less useful. It’s a shame that Strava, that use OSM data themselves, do not want to contribute to the OSM project. Higher OSM data quality would benefit them also.

Comment from pangoSE on 14 November 2019 at 19:02

I replied to Strava with: “Hello Scarlett

Thanks for getting back to me.

I did not get a response to my question, so I would like to ask if you could please escalate this to your manager or to somebody authorized to give me a yes or no if I am allowed to trace from your heatmaps.

Note that in 2014 we got the permission from Paul Mach, Former Director of Strava Labs: “ Guillaume Rischard: «OK to use heatmap in JOSM editor?» Paul Mach, Former Director of Strava Labs: «Feel free to use the heatmap tiles for any map editing» 13 apr 2014”

I believe that this is win-win situation for Strava and OSM. Strava could increase their brand recognition and realize better quality maps if this were permitted. A lot of OSM-contributors are potential Strava users also. There are literally millions of OSM contributors.

If you permit us to trace from your map you benefit by having a better background map and a large possible userbase at Strava.

Thanks for taking this one step further by asking a manager to give us a yes or no.

Thanks in advance

Cheers pangoSE on behalf of the 5.8 million OpenStreetMap volunteers.”

Comment from mdagbro on 18 November 2019 at 12:45

It’s still possible to use the full resolution Strava Heatmap in JOSM by copying some keys from your cookie data - this is discussed in the link provided by Adamant1.

This is quite tedious and also requires you to redo the process about once a month when the heatmap updates, but it’s a functional workaround. I’m not aware of any changes to Heatmap terms of use so I think we’re still allowed to use it (or at least still not explicitly disallowed..). Only change is we now also need an individual Strava account.

Comment from pangoSE on 18 November 2019 at 15:47

We got the permission: so go ahead and trace!

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