This month we’re going to start experimenting with Open Street Map (OSM) data and MapBox maps on a few pages on Strava.com. Here’s the background:
1. We’ll admit that Google’s new pricing structure triggered the exploration of different map providers. You may have seen some stories recently about companies like foursquare and Wikipedia making the switch to OSM. In order to keep Strava free (and free of advertisements), we can’t afford to pay those prices for maps. The revised pricing that Google announced last week doesn’t apply to a large portion of our map views given we’re a subscription site.
2. As we started to explore over the past couple of months, we realized that the OSM/MapBox combination gives us a lot of flexibility to customize the maps to meet the unique needs of runners, cyclists, and triathletes.
3. OSM’s open source map data simply gets better and better every day because of the thousands of people contributing to the project.
We’re going to start small with this release by swapping out the map thumbnails (the small maps) on the dashboard, profile, and group pages on Strava.com. Interactive Google Maps continue to power our Ride, Run, and Segment pages and our mobile apps.
Take a look at the maps and tell us what you think in our New Maps discussion board.
Alex Mather & the Design Team