When I meet VeloViewer users out and about, the enjoyment of ticking off VeloViewer Explorer Tiles is the most common feedback I get. Since I came up with the idea of Explorer Tiles back in 2015 1000’s of VeloViewer users have been discovering new roads and trails close to where they live and further afield. A global heatmap of the ticked tiles has been on my to-do list since 2015 so it is embarrassing that it has taken so long to make it a reality! But wait no longer.
Put simply, VeloViewer Explorer Tiles are (roughly) 1km square grid covering the whole world. Ride/run/kayak/etc into a tile and your corresponding Strava activity, sync’ed with VeloViewer, will tick off that tile. More details about everything Explorer Tile related are available in these older posts:
- VeloViewer Explorer Score and Max Square
- Introducing the Explorer Cluster
- VeloViewer Chrome Extension for Strava Website
- Explorer Tile Calculation Updates
- Meet the Explorers
About the Global Heatmap
The Global HeatMap will colour the tiles across the world showing:
- Number of visits – total number of visits to each tile.
- Number of athletes – number of unique athletes that have visited each tile.
- Visits by me – your own personal tile heatmap.
With options to change the colours being used (“Invert” reverses the colours).
The scale for the colours will adjust automatically as you pan/zoom the map in order to account for tiles with higher visit numbers. If you pan/zoom into an area with lower visit numbers you can use the “Reset” button to force the scale to re-adjust based on the data in the current view.
If you Zoom out too far then the heatmap is hidden as it would cook your browser trying to display that much information! If you press the button just above the Zoom buttons it will zoom you back to the top level zoom that has the heatmap displayed.
Whose data is shown?
The data shown in the Heatmap is made up from VeloViewer PRO users who have opted-in to make their data public on their Update page Options. Tiles from their private activities are not included. Tiles of users who don’t make their VeloViewer data public are not included in the heatmap. The tile stats are cached for 24 hours so it might take a day for data to include or remove your stats if you change your privacy options.
Restrictions for non-Strava Premium users
Strava’s remarkably fantastic Global Heatmap is a wonderful resource which I often use to scout out lesser ridden roads/trails pre-holiday as well as just simply enjoying its artistic qualities. The full version of Strava’s heatmap requires a Strava Premium subscription and as with all functionality in VeloViewer I work closely with Strava to make sure I honour the T’s & C’s of using the Strava API with regard to not replicating Premium functionality and providing that functionality to non Premium users. Although the VeloViewer Explorer Tile heatmap is different to the Strava Heatmap in how it works it overlaps enough to require some restrictions.
Around 90% of VeloViewer PRO users are already Strava Premium users so for those people you will see the full glory of the VeloViewer Explorer Tile Heatmap. For those of you that aren’t then you will see a simplified version of the heatmap that groups the counts into three buckets/colours.
For those of you that aren’t already signed up to Strava Premium I have a promo that will give you a 60 day free Strava Premium trial (Ts&Cs apply) in order to try out all of that goodness as well as the additional functionality available in VeloViewer as a result.
My plans are to incorporate the existing and additional Explorer related stats and charts into this page along with the leaderboards to give a single location for all of your Explorer needs.
I’m not planning on showing links to individual athletes or activities due to privacy concerns. If you want to find out who has ticked a particularly awkward tile and how they did it then click on the tile, copy the x,y number from the popup and then post a question in the discussion section of the Ride Every Tile Strava club. Getting involved in the excellent Explorer community is part of the fun of it.