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Strava is a social fitness network, that is primarily used to track cycling and running exercises, using GPS data although alternative types are available. Strava offers a free service with no advertising in its mobile application, and a monthly subscription plan called Strava Summit (formerly Strava Premium).
Strava was founded in 2009 by Mark Gainey and Michael Horvath, and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. During the early years of Strava, both founders held CEO positions before being succeeded by current CEO James Quarles who joined from Instagram. Strava has not published numbers of its user base and paying users although the service claims it was adding one million new users every 45 days, with 8 million activities uploaded each day.
Strava depends on GPS, in mobile phones or other GPS-enabled devices, to record supported activities which can be shared among user's followers or shared publicly. If an activity is publicly shared, Strava automatically groups activities together, when they occur at the same time and place (for example, taking part in an organised marathon/sportive or group run/ride). Each activity, depending on which activity selected, shows users' activity results, including route summary in map view form, elevation (net and unidirectional), speed (average, min/max), timing (total and moving time), power (with optional accessory) and heart rate (with optional accessory). Each activity post has "Kudos", enabling followers to like followed activity and leave comments.
Strava Slide is a fork of iD Editor for OpenStreetMap, which allows map editors to draw roads and trails more accurately using the same aggregated and anonymized GPS data. Cycling and running traffic may be monitored by everyone on the Strava Heatmap page which shows a global heatmap.
In July 2015, Strava switched to Mapbox maps and imagery, based on OpenStreetMap data. Strava allows users to report issues with the maps, which are linked to the OpenStreetMap editor so that users can contribute improvements to the map.
Strava has a Trophy system in the form of periodic challenges that require completing either a running or cycling activity within a certain range of distance or elevation. Each activity has its own trophy badge shown in the Strava Trophy case and limited rewards if the Challenge is held by Strava partners.
In July 2018, Strava discontinued its Strava Premium subscription system and announced its replacement, Strava Summit, which divides Strava Premium benefits into three different categories,
- Custom Goals
- Custom Leader-board
- Training Plans
- Race Analysis
- Segment Effort
- Personal Heatmaps
- Power Analysis
- Workout Analysis
- Live Segments
- Relative Effort
Strava Summit includes a "Suffer Score" if heart rate data is available during an activity. The Suffer Score allows Strava to rank user activities, which is used for Strava's Training Plans and customized goals. Other features of the subscription include Beacon, live location tracking of the athlete for family and trusted friends, Live Performance Data and Live Segments, used to check real time information and compare athlete's best available record in Strava, and Strava Premium only Leader-board, Power Meter Analysis, Race Analysis, Workout Analysis, GPX Export, Personal Heatmap and Trophy Case.
In November 2017, Strava published a "Global Heatmap"—a "visualization of two years of trailing data from Strava's global network of athletes." In January 2018, an Australian National University student studying international security discovered that this map had mapped military bases, including known U.S. bases in Syria, and forward operating bases in Afghanistan, and HMNB Clyde—a Royal Navy base that contains the United Kingdom's nuclear arsenal. The findings led to continued scrutiny over privacy issues associated with fitness services and other location-aware applications; Strava's CEO James Quarles stated that the company was "committed to working with military and government officials" on the issue, and would be reviewing its features and simplifying its privacy settings.
In July 2019, Strava terminated access to its APIs to Relive—a service that allows fitness data to be combined with multimedia to generate video recaps. Strava considered this to be in violation of its terms of service, which forbids the API's use with services that "replicate Strava sites, services or products", and the combination of "Strava data" with any other customer data. Relive had recently introduced social networking features; the features were subsequently removed, but Strava did not reverse its decision. DC Rainmaker disputed the decision, presenting an opinion that "Strava data" constituted personally-identifiable information under the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), meaning that users had rights to control how it is used by Strava—including third-party processing that they had already agreed to by linking Relive to Strava, and noted other examples of similar services (such as Trailforks) engaging in similar if not more extensive use of "Strava data", and that Strava had previously endorsed Relive on several occasions.
In October 2019, Strava announced that Bluetooth and ANT+ sensors would no longer pair directly with the Strava mobile app which caused some consternation from its users.
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