In the last week, Strava has quietly added a ton of tiny little icons to your base map – all sorts of Points of Interest visible under your rides & runs. The purpose is to leverage more of the user-generated data from their OSM background mapping to make it easier for you to plan your rides & runs in advance or find a good spot to take a break in the middle of a workout.
Strava Points of Interest on & near your ride
Strava says their POIs (Points of Interest) are all the basic essentials you might want during a workout activity, so expect to see cafes, restaurants, grocers, convenience stores, public bathrooms, water fountains, bike shops, and the like – all pulled straight from the Open Street Maps database. There are also POIs for viewpoints, public monuments, and other key locations that Strava says would be good meeting places. Unique to Strava are predetermined Start Points generated from Strava’s own shared heatmap data highlighting common meeting points for group activities like trailheads, parks, or parking lots with athletes often meet up.
There’s no more detail in either the app or on the web, other than a simple icon to differentiate the type of POI and a brief name, so if you want more detail (like opening hours of a shop or cafe) you’ll have to turn to a smarter mapping service. But for those who track their activities directly through the Strava app or plan rides in advance with Strava, this looks like a simple addition that might make picking a cafe stop or other mid-ride refueling easier.
Planning routes with POIs
Everyone will see the POIs, you might just have to zoom in tighter to see more. They are visible only when you view the standard map layer (not orthophoto aerial, hybrid, or other specialized map layers) – although especially in some remote places where we mountain bike, there’s not a lot of interest outside of the trailhead
Of note, Strava subscribers can also get suggested routes from any Point of Interest in the mobile app just by long-pressing it in the Maps route builder. Or while recording an activity mid-ride, you can just long-0press to reroute to that nearby water fountain or cafe.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve noticed the new Strava POIs, or whether you think they’ll be a helpful addition?