Map Lines In Citystrides

My Garmin watch wouldn’t hold a charge so I sent it back for replacement. While I didn’t have it I tracked my runs using Strava on my phone. I noticed that the Strava runs appear on the map as jagged lines. I got my new Garmin and used it this morning and the Garmin lines are straight and smooth. Does anyone know why that would be? Are the two devices using different methods to map the runs?

It’s either GPS tracking quality, or it’s the rate at which the app collects GPS coordinates.

Either it’s not evenly split between Garmin & Strava or I’m just seeing Garmin-tracked activities marked as Strava-tracked because there wasn’t always a Garmin connection.

Jagged Strava: Chad Brooks's Activity on May 16, 2020 - CityStrides
Smooth Strava: Chad Brooks's Activity on March 11, 2020 - CityStrides
Smooth Garmin: Chad Brooks's Activity on April 25, 2020 - CityStrides

Zoom into the intersection of N Jackson St & W 6th St in that Jagged Strava activity. That looks like bad GPS tracking, because it’s quite far off the streets. It also looks like it’s taking a lot of GPS coordinates, because of how detailed the line is.
If it was taking half the coordinates, then you’d see straighter lines.

. line . line . line . line . line . line . line . line . line . line . line . line .
.     line     .     line     .   line     .     line     .    line     .     line     .

@JamesChevalier is right - it is the device you are using.

Your garmin watch was designed with one primary purpose - get a GPS signal and track your activity with it.

Your phone, while it has a GPS chipset, was not designed with that purpose and is not optimized for it.

1 Like

It can also depend on the area of town-my tracking data gets lower quality in the Kendall Square/MIT area of Cambridge while it’s smoother/more accurate in different neighborhoods on the same run (see example: Kevin Pels's Activity on May 3, 2020 - CityStrides). I read it has something to do with tall buildings, but the conspiracist in me wonders what MIT is up to…

1 Like