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Best Garmin Map option to use to match with Strava?

  • 23-02-2023 11:12pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7,647 ✭✭✭

    Hi all,

    A pet annoyance I have is the disparity between the stats I get from my Garmin app and the same synchronised trip on Strava.

    For example I recently did a spin which shows up on Garmin as 81.81km with 632m climbing but Strava reports it as 81.81km with 744m climbing.

    Is there a way to ensure the two pieces of data are the same and preferably the version that's actually accurate?

    There's a ton of map options which can be selected on my Garmin Edge Explore, does anyone know if there's an optimum selection which correctly sync's with Strava?


  • Registered Users Posts: 429 ✭✭gmacww

    Not really is the short answer. Pending on your setup Garmin will take speed and elevation from additional sensors. Speed from a whee mounted speed sensor and elevation from an in built altimeter.

    Strava takes raw map and route data from the migrating fit file and ignores all sensor data. For elevation it uses pure mapping data. Where you went and what that elevation gain is on the mapping they use.

    There will always be differences between Garmin and Strava.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,618 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    I often see big differences in elevation between the two, but I've a cheap Garmin with no air pressure sensor to measure elevation change via air pressure. It's consistent on long climbs but often underrecords smaller ones

    So as above, AFAIK I think Strava matches my rides against known elevation data, and I'd trust it more than the pure GPS data the Garmin is providing. Elevation data from GPS is deliberately inaccurate (compared to latitude and longitude data) and is not just limited to Garmin devices.

  • Registered Users Posts: 429 ✭✭gmacww

    It can also depend on weather conditions as they work based off air pressure. I did a spin last year in damp misty conditions around the wicklow mountains and recorded an eye watering 203mts of climbing over 105km. A route which included the mann, shay and wicklow gap. On the garmin website you can set your ride to elevation correction which will use pure map data.

    That's not my biggest annoyance though. Everyone knows there is a world of difference between 30.0 avg speed on garmin and 29.9 on strava!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,647 ✭✭✭54and56

    Thanks for the tips, I guess I'll just have to ignore my data OCD!!

    Another pet hate is Garmin GPS tracking. I have a Garmin Edge Explore as I have a terrible sense of direction so I like to create a course in Garmin Connect and then use the Explore to follow it but time and time again, despite plotting the exact course from beginning to end on regular roads the Explore will try to steer my via roads it somehow thinks are a better choice and then ends up having to re-route back to the original course if I know the route and stick to it but if I don't know the route I've plotted I end up taking a course Garmin decides I should do rather than the one I actually plotted! 😡

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,618 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i just checked - the garmin edge explore does not have a barometer for elevation calculation, and this is from the strava FAQ:

    "A device without a barometric altimeter and the Strava mobile app:If your activity was recorded with the mobile app or with a GPS device that does not have a barometric altimeter, Strava will use your activity's GPS data to "lookup" the elevation for each point you record. We do some smoothing to the data, which includes discarding outliers to reduce noise. The amount of smoothing is more on activities without barometric data than it is for activities with barometric data. While we attempt to match the path of your activity with the actual trails and roads in the area, elevation calculation is still somewhat dependent on your GPS data and the accuracy of the database for that region."

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,618 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    FWIW I finished up yesterday with 598m in the Garmin, but Strava said 717m.