Introducing the Explorer Cluster (and configurable explorer visuals)

Since the introduction of the Explorer Score and Explorer Max Square there have been requests for some sort of metric to represent the maximum number of connected Explorer tiles. The recent improvement in the calculation of completed Explorer tiles sparked a very active discussion which resulted in the refinement of the concept and the creation of the Explorer Cluster. The Explorer Max Square provides a hard-core challenge but can be tricky for people who live in geographically challenging areas or have key tiles which are completely inaccessible.  This is where the Explorer Cluster looks to provided a more level playing field.

Explorer Tile Calculation Updates

The way that completed Explorer tiles are calculated has remained pretty static since its inception in March 2015 which included some, less than precise code to try to get around some of its known limitations (detailed below). I’ve now refined that code to improve the accuracy and also speed up the processing quite considerably and also introduced a method to get a definitive list of tiles for an Activity.  This improved accuracy will of course result in a number of tiles that were previously marked as ticked now showing up as unticked (and potentially affecting your max square size) but only tiles that you never actually visited in the first place 🙂

Meet the Explorers

The Explorer Max Square leaderboard has brought together a small but remarkably dedicated international community of riders taking in new roads and trails at every opportunity in order to increase their Explorer Max Square. What drives them to ride across frozen lakes, attempt to access military bases and buy opera tickets to tick off map squares? Let’s ask them!

VeloViewer Explorer Score and Max Square

The VeloViewer Explorer Score and more specifically the Explorer Max Square has acquired a bit of a cult following since its introduction to the site back in March 2015 despite me not having fully explaining what it is all about until now! The Explorer Score rewards those people who explore new roads/trails rather doing the same old loops. Providing non-performance based motivations has always been one of the main goals of VeloViewer and this one really looks to tick that box.

Strava Subscriber vs Non-Subscriber – VeloViewer Differences

All of the data you see in VeloViewer comes direct from Strava’s API, lots of information is just that raw data from Strava being presented in different ways and then I also calculate lots of other interesting stats (e.g. Explorer Tiles) and visualisations (e.g. 3D profiles).  If you are a Strava Subscriber then the Strava […]

Strava Segment/Climb Comparison and VVOM

We’ve all seen profiles of many climbs over the years and when looked at individually, taking note of the elevation gain and distance, you can get a good idea of the severity of the climb, especially when they are coloured by the gradient. If you show two of these profiles next to each other then because the elevation and distance scales are usually very different it is very hard to get a feel for how one compares to the other. Last year I tweeted out images of a few climbs sharing the same scales but had to do lots of manually resizing to get them to be correct. Now we have a built in way to compare any segment/climb with any other.

Strava Club & Friend Yearly Distance/Elevation Leaderboards

Who in your Strava cycling/running/swimming club has put down the most distance or climbing over the year? VeloViewer’s yearly leaderboards for whole array of different metrics might be just the ticket to finding out. Pick any of your Strava clubs or the list of people you follow to see year or all-time leaderboards for all of the key metrics.

VeloViewer Chrome Extension for Strava Website

Chrome Extensions allow you to extend any website out there to provide additional features. There are a number of Strava specific extensions already out there with StravistiX being by far the most popular. I’d had numerous requests over the last year for a way to plan routes whilst seeing the explorer tiles so the most obvious way to do this was to use an extension that extended Strava’s Route Editor. And while I was at it I may as well add a bunch of other handy links directly back to VeloViewer as well.