Thursday, November 1, 2012

GPX Download From Strava

I've been asked several times to share GPX tracks of my rides I upload to Strava. Most ride mapping apps (MapMyRide, Garmin Connect, etc) allow anybody to download anybody's track in multiple formats. Except Strava. I think there was a brief time when the export button was available under the actions tab which allowed one to download a GPX track of a ride they liked. Now you can do that only for your own content you upload. I read speculative comments that Strava risked security problems with the GPX export function and limits it to only your own data now. I'm not a premium member, but as best I can tell from recent forum activity, premium members do not have the luxury of GPX export either.

But all is not lost. Many avid Strava users will no doubt know of ways to circumvent this limitation. It is a bit of a nuisance, but you can download any track or segment you see on Strava, and even ones you can't see, I've learned.

Strava data is available via API tools. One such tool I use when Strava data mining is Strava Export v2.0 by Cosmo Catalano. There is an instruction link below the URL box on how to use it.

Data on Strava is open for anybody to access. Just for fun, I uploaded a ride and labeled it as private. I then pasted the URL for the ride in Strava Export, and what do you know, the ride isn't so private! How much information can be extracted from a private ride, I don't know. But if you could get the track, presumably you could get who it belongs to. User beware.

I did test some privacy zones. These do seem to hold up when a third party API like Cosmo's Strava Export downloads a track.

Not sure what Strava is trying to protect here. If you can see who the track belongs to and then grab the raw data via other means, why not just let everybody export from within Strava? It would make life much easier for a miner of good track material like myself.

1 comment:

mkr said...

Wonder if they are trying to protect among other things, potential "poachers" of illegal trail/areas from potential liability? Like lets say you broke into Area51 and did some hot laps, the loaded it into Strava privately, you wouldn't want the Men in Black tracking you down. That said, why would you upload something like that in the first place? Same reason you'd chase a Strava segment through an intersection and get run over I guess. Dumbass :)