Interactive 3D Elevation Profiles

Alpe d'Huez 3D ProfileThis is something I’d been wanting to do for ages and I’ve even surprised myself with how well they’ve turned out! The majority of elevation profiles you see around the cycling world look like they were drawn in the late 1990’s so it was time to bring them up to date and make the most of the latest technologies to allow you to interact with them.

On every VeloViewer segment page you will now see a “3D Profile” tab which will open up your very own interactive view of any Strava segment.  Just click (or touch) and drag the image to see around and over the profile. Neat!

As with all the elevation based info from Strava, if the segment has bad data (i.e. not from a barometric GPS device) then the profile will probably look weird!  I’ve done what I can to smooth it out but if it still look wonky then have a look to see if there is a duplicate segment that has better data.

Here’s some examples of some great roller-coaster segments.  Post a comment below linking to the coolest profiles you come across.

Box Hill, UK

Box Hill 3D Profile

View Box Hill segment on VeloViewer to get interactive.

La Marmotte Sportive, France

La Marmotte 3D Profile

View La Marmotte segment on VeloViewer to get interactive.

Holme Moss, UK

Holme Moss 3D Profile

View Holme Moss segment on VeloViewer to get interactive.


Puy de Dome, France

Puy de Dome 3D Profile

View Puy de Dome segment on VeloViewer to get interactive.

Hawk Hill, San Fransisco, USA

Hawk Hill 3D Profile

View Hawk Hill segment on VeloViewer to get interactive.

Elland CX Course, UK

Elland CX 3D Profile

View Elland CX segment on VeloViewer to get interactive.


Alpe d’Huez, France

Alpe d'Huez 3D Profile

View Alpe d’Huez segment on VeloViewer to get interactive.

Please add in the comments links to the best 3D profiles that you find on VeloViewer. Enjoy!

0 thoughts on “Interactive 3D Elevation Profiles

  • would you be able to toogle gradient colours on and off? would love to print some out in different colour schemes

  • Patrick Smith says:

    These are really beautiful, and finally an accurate rendition of a climb, the Box Hill one is exactly how I picture it rather than a graph with a five per cent incline going across the screen. Well done.

  • That’s awesome, but it would be even more awesome if you could compare multiple climbs at the same time! and get a feel for the size of 1 climb compared to another. might be easy to do this by just loading two climbs next to each other and loading them to the same scale.

    • The scale thing is tricky. It makes each segment fill the area available whatever it’s length and adjusts the elevation stretch to make smaller climbs look slightly more impressive. Tricky trying to find a sweet spot. Comparing two side by side would have to sync both distance and elevation scales.
      The longer I’m spending writing this response the more I want to try it out though! Can’t think of a good way to allow 2 segments to be picked though. Might have to be a URL hack with segment id’s for now.

  • How about a way to control exaggeration of elevation. For us living in hilly, but not mountainy areas, hard segments look a little flat and makes it difficult to visualize the actual feel of the segment.
    Google Earth has a setting where you can do this, and it is much easier to get a feel for the terrain when you multiply elevation by 3x.

  • matt mccluskey says:

    Any thoughts about implementing this with Rides, not just Segments? I think there’d be some interesting “digital artwork” for mountain bike rides.

      • matt mccluskey says:

        So confused on your instructions for 3D activities. Dragging links? Bookmarking what now? HUH? Sorry.

        • Bookmarklets are really powerful things but at the geeky end of the usability scale! Lets say you are using Chrome on a PC/Mac as that is easiest (not going to work on an iPad etc).

          1. navigate to

          2. Click on Chrome’s menu (3 horizontal bars on button in top right)
          3. Chose “Bookmarks” then make sure “Show bookmarks bar” is ticked.
          4. You should now see a row of buttons for any bookmarks you’ve got set up just below the address bar at the top of the Chrome window.
          5. Left click and drag the 2 links at the top of my route page up to this Bookmark bar. They should now appear as buttons on that bar.
          6. Head on over to and click on someone’s ride so you are looking at their ride details.
          7. Click the “3D Activity” button in you bookmark bar.
          8. Chances are Chrome will say “Popup blocked” at the right hand side of the address bar. You need to click on that and allow popups from
          9. Press it again and this time a new window will open showing you all the 3D goodness!

          Like I say, at the geeky end of the scale and no way to make setting them up any easier I’m afraid.

          If you are using the new Routing features in Strava then if you are in “edit route” mode for a previously saved route then you can press the “3D Route” button in your bookmarks bar and see the same thing for that route.

          Like I say, I will build a dedicated activitiy details page that will be just a click away from your activity list at some point but I initially built the bookmarklet as I wanted a 3D profile for a new Strava Route which isn’t available via the API and this was the only way.

          Good luck!

  • This looks incredible. Have you considered having something other than a white background, maybe a map or a 3D view with the Google Earth plugin?

    • I’ve got the grid on there now. I had a try with trying to put a map underneath but nearly melted my brain trying to get it to line up correctly and still didn’t get close.

      • A map in monochrome (in a very light shade, not 100% black) could sometimes be
        useful, such as if a climb passes through a village that you can use as a reference point, but beware information overload of too much mapping info
        getting in the way. The 3Ds have an elegant look about them at the
        moment.Grid lines are good if they aren’t just decorative but actually to scale (kms or miles?) to show the climbs’ extent.

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