Strava Launches Activity Video Flyover Feature: Hands-on

Strava has just announced and launched the first stage of their video flyover function. This feature creates a 3D map video fly-over of your activity, showing an orange line and a moving blue dot alongside the line. It’s roughly like what Relive does, except without all the extra features. This feature requires a Strava (paid) subscription.

At present, this is launching on Android, with iOS set to arrive next month. However, also at present, it’s very very basic. Way more basic than I thought it’d be after reading the press release. Thus, the good news is this post won’t take long.

How it works!

First, go do an activity. Ideally for this feature, you want a short activity with some sort of impressive elevation gain/descent. Like, skiing quickly from the top of the mountain to the bottom. Once. Why short? You’ll see why in a second. Once you’ve got that activity in the Strava App, then tap the map view. Here’s a 12hr/60KM hike from two weeks ago:

Vlcsnap 2023 11 15 14h42m10s272 Vlcsnap 2023 11 15 14h42m19s988 Vlcsnap 2023 11 15 14h43m48s197

As you can see, there’s the ‘Flyover’ button. Simply tap that, and off you go; it’ll do a flyover of the blue dot moving along your Strava-orange colored line. Do not, under any circumstances touch the screen. Touching the screen ends this ride. You’ll need to start over again. Obviously, showing you screenshots doesn’t convey a video, thus, hit the video above.

Vlcsnap 2023 11 15 14h40m30s733 Vlcsnap 2023 11 15 14h42m45s878 Vlcsnap 2023 11 15 14h42m56s703

There are no photo overlays or labels or anything else. Nor is there a way to adjust the playback speed. Thus, things take forever to play back. Or, maybe I’m just impatient. Roughly speaking, it seems like a 1hr activity takes 60 seconds. Yet, my 60km hike (which was 12hours) took 6 minutes to playback. An 8hr hike around the Dolomites? 3 minutes to play back. Which, umm…is forever to watch a small blue dot haphazardly move along a line. Also, in case you’re curious, there isn’t anything dynamic that happens camera-wise for something like going around a running track. I’m not sure what I expected, but, I can confirm – it’s just as boring to watch a dot go around the track 55 times, as it was to run it.

Vlcsnap 2023 11 15 14h47m09s805 Vlcsnap 2023 11 15 14h47m37s953 Vlcsnap 2023 11 15 14h40m08s133

Now, sports-tech historical sidebar for a moment here. Some of you are remembering back 4 years ago when Strava got all upset at Relive for adding a social-feed to their app, so much so that Strava severed their API connection to Relive, issued some ugly stuff, and had a tantrum. I’ve heard both sides of the story many times from both companies, and I still fail to see what Relive did wrong here, other than simply ‘existing’ as a sports app. Either way, you still can’t connect Relive to Strava anymore. But, you can connect it directly to Garmin/Suunto/Wahoo/etc… So it works out just fine for most people.

In any event, what Relive does is FAR more advanced than Strava. And that’s fine – that’s their thing in life. I don’t expect Strava to have everything a dedicated app has. In the same way that Strava has a fraction of the features of a dedicated training analysis platform like TrainingPeaks. Or, the fraction of the recording features of a dedicated watch or bike computer. If we look at Relive, you can add in your photos, your videos, your highest points/speeds, friends, change video orientation, speed, quality, etc…

IMG 9319 IMG 9323 IMG 9325

I occasionally use Relive, a few times per year – mainly for very specific items. For example, last week I used it to show that hike route within the opener of my Polar Vantage V3 video (you’ll see it about 15 seconds into it). It was perfect for that. And in that case, I actually unchecked all the Relive photos/etc features, so it was literally just the line itself (identical to Strava). I even adjusted the playback speed further in the video editing process. Otherwise, I don’t tend to use Relive day-to-day, but obviously, many people do.

Going Forward:

Look, I’m first in line for cool video geekery Strava features. I know there will be hate in the comments below that Strava should be focusing on some specific thing instead (like triathlon support). But hey, it’s almost winter, and nobody’s doing triathlons except people in Australia. And sharks will eat them anyway, thus they’ll never upload that activity to Strava.

However, there’s no other way to say it: This isn’t ready yet. The minimum viability of this feature should have at least been:

1) Concurrent iOS/Android release
2) Ability to Export/Save the video
3) Not be so darn slow to playback longer activities

I don’t understand why this feature exists without the save/export feature. That’s almost entirely the whole point of such a feature: To post it to social media. If I wanted to just zoom around the map, I could already do that within the Strava 3D feature.

Sure, this is still a far cry from what Relive has with overlays of photos/videos/landmarks/times/music/top speeds-altitudes/nacho cheese tasting sessions/elevation profiles/exports, and more. But I’m actually OK without all that stuff for now – that’s a totally normal V2 update type feature. Especially since Strava also has those puzzle pieces already easily accessible to it. Undoubtedly Strava will get there, and, if they don’t, Relive will keep doing what they do best – making nifty little videos.

In any case, I look forward to Strava finishing this feature, as I think a lot of folks will actually use it – once they can export out the videos, and likely add in some photos/labels/etc, like what Relive has done.

With that – thanks for reading!


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  1. nalc

    I am a long time occasional Relive user. One thing that Relive seems to struggle with is that (as far as I can tell) it doesn’t vary the speed of the dot, and it always takes the same length of time for the video. I only played with it a bit on Strava so I’m not sure if it does a better job with that. I would like to see one or either of them have the ability to do a gradient overlay and better sync it to actual speed so you can see the dot slowing down on climbs and speeding up on descents, with 3D terrain. That would be neat.

    The few times I did it on Strava, I honestly got bored of the 3+ minute videos. Definitely needs the ability to speed up / slow down and to jump around instead of starting at the beginning.

    Also, just a heads up, I think you accidentally a word

    “bothcompanies, and I still fail to see what Relive here, other than existing”

    • Tim

      “Also, just a heads up, I think you accidentally a word”

      You also FORGOT a word in your response telling him he forgot a word lol.

  2. Tsachi Avrahami

    It seems more useful when looking at friend’s posts. Doing flyover on my ride with limited functionality doesn’t add match, but looking at a ride that a friend did it is another view that lets new decide if I want to try that route.
    Btw, it’s funny to look at Zwift rides in flyover

  3. Bruno

    This is just the FATMAP integration from Strava. and it has not evolved on FATMAP for months/years. So do not expect to have there a speed toggle anytime soon…

  4. Rick

    Is everything okay Ray?

    You sound a bit frustrated towards your readers.

    • Hmm, not sure where I’m frustrated towards readers? Definitely not the case.

      Now…Strava – sure. I think this is half-baked. So, calling it like it is. At the same time, I’m also trying to convey (to them), that no matter what new features they add, people get upset at them. For whatever reason, that’s what happens to Strava. Some of that, is justified.

      However, in this case specifically, I’m trying to point out that I think this feature is actually worth investing it, but that I’m disappointed that this was something someone thought was ready to release.

    • Rick

      ” I know there will be hate in the comments below”

      But maybe I misread

    • Eni

      Maybe quoting the whole sentence instead of half of it will help with the context…?

      „I know there will be hate in the comments below that Strava should be focusing on some specific thing instead“

      Don‘t understand how there can be any „frustration towards reader“ vibes read from this…

    • Rick

      Sure, people will complain about anything.

      But to expect your readers to show hate. Really? Hate?

      sow the wind, reap the whirlwind

    • Barry

      Go start outrage campaign somewhere else, if the whole takeaway from this article is this…

    • Dr. Jones


      Let me help you before you strain something reaching too far

  5. Maciej Szymanski

    Great outro!

  6. gingerneil

    Looking at your own routes is slightly interesting at best, but the strength here would be in sharing to others. I would also like to see this for route planning so its easier to see where a route goes, change of terrain, elevation etc.
    I dont pay for Strava, but its things like this, done properly, that could tempt me.

    • Greg

      I liked FATMAP for hike planning and understanding what’s ahead. Does it far better than this imo, but imagine it will come to Strava soon

  7. Michael

    I’d rather have the ability to block virtual routes on my feed

  8. Sebastian Malter

    Doesn’t the Suunto App do the same thing for routes?

  9. craig

    Looks liked Strava just released what Suunto has had on their platform for a while.

    • Yup, many platforms have had this over the years in various forms. Relive is the most well-known, but lots of manufs have put similar playback-type things in there.

      Thanks for being a DCR Supporter!

    • inSyt

      Garmin does it as well, at a much better pace, but it’s 2D.

      Between a watch manufacturers platform and 3rd parties (VeloViewer, Smashrun, Runalyze, Wandrer, Strautomator, Elevate, Statshunters, Windsock, ActivityFix, IntervalsIcu, etc), there seems to be an alternative for every subscription feature.

      At this point, they might as well add ads to Strava, and tempt people into a paid subscription via an ad-free experience.

    • Antonio Pereira

      Intervals.icu and Strautomator for the win!

      I just wish all their features was built in.

  10. TheStansMonster

    “Thus, things take forever to play back. Or, maybe I’m just impatient”

    I’ve had this feature for about a month and even though I’ve started watching about 2 dozen, I don’t think I’ve finished a single one, it’s ridiculous. It’s almost anxiety-inducing trying to watch one.

  11. morey000

    best part is the video of you going around the track. ;).

    • I agree, it’s like having a relaxing fireplace TV during Christmas (and it is coming soon!) but instead of fireplace you just watch some calming, steady circling movement in nature (with or without mountains) :)

    • Raido Puust

      Please remove the picture. Thought that it is somehow connected to a profile. My bad.

  12. Daniel

    It seems very much like Strava feels like it must add features beyond segments, can’t decide which ones, and subsequently doesn’t throw enough money at it to do it right. When they came out with heatmaps in their maps back in 2013 or 2014 it was groundbreaking. Since then, they haven’t kept up. Their mapping engine is terrible compared to RWGPS and several others (it’s just utterly inaccurate in where you can or would want to ride a bike of particular sites.) Fitness and freshness, training plans, suggested workouts, insights are all other examples where they were ahead of the curve then sucked. It pains me–I still think Strava does some things better than anyone else, but they seem stuck outside of about 3-4 core features. I wish I could find a way to give them some real feedback.

  13. Richard Cranium

    Wait how much nacho cheese do I get if I use relive?

  14. Matt Haber

    Just got an email from them requiring me to subscribe to (something) for (?$$) in order to see the VERY exciting Year in Sports, which they always pushed out as a freebie.

  15. Big A

    “But hey, it’s almost winter, and nobody’s doing triathlons except people in Australia. And sharks will eat them anyway, thus they’ll never upload that activity to Strava.”

    Ouch, you’re not invited back the next time you want to avoid the wind and rain in Amsterdam during winter..

    As touch on by others in the comments, yeah Suunto has this feature, and it is entertaining for a few seconds.

    My take on this is that the Strava are starting to struggle a bit for relevance in a crowded market place, when they introduced 1/2 baked paid features.

  16. ArT

    Completely unnecessary function. The 3D satellite view is unreadable even without the video.

    There are so many necessary features waiting for you:
    1- Virtual activities do not unnecessarily cover the start and end of privacy set in real routes.
    2- When will it be possible to add photos to EVENTS?
    3- Grouping friends. A few groups I want to browse.
    4- Viewing the segment results table by swiping the tables down as on www. I won’t go down in the app, I won’t see what I want.

    and many other necessary functions


    They should buy all trails or something to keep relevant. Maybe I would actually pay for a hiking and fitness app.

    • Dr. Jones


      Strava has shown it’s unable to innovate and so we don’t want them buying those who do.

    • David M

      I’ve used the feature and few times and liked it, but it would be really valuable for planned routes / maps and not just previous activities… Does anyone know if that’s possible? Doesn’t seem like it.

  18. TR5642

    Wait. They BOUGHT FatMap which has this feature and this is the best they can do for a first release? Seriously?

    Oh and as a side note, nerd that I am I wanted to try it. My only Android phone is a Galaxy 5. Turns out Strava won’t even install on that. WTH?

  19. Alex

    I have a question about how fly over interacts with personalized security settings specifically hiding the start and end of an activity.

    When I look at my own flyover it starts and finishes from the exact location even though I hide 200 m. I can watch other people’s flyovers but it’s hard to tell whether they do or do not have hidden parts of their activity.

    Do you know the answer to this, Ray?

  20. Andrej Z

    As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. When I first discovered Relieve, I liked it very much. But gradually some of its aspects began to irritate me, even though I realize that these very same aspects probably attract others. Namely, Relieve’s graphics do strike me as somewhat cartoonish and overly pictoral, and I do not see much actual use for that, except as a visual distraction. I don’t mind pretty pictures at all, but the best and clearest possible serious presentation certainly takes precedence for me. So, when I saw the new Strava functionality my first thought was, “oh, great, now I don’t need Relieve any more and can save one extra and unnecessary subscription fee”. But, as DCR absolutely correctly points out, we are not quite there yet, alas! However, Strava is such a big and important player in this field that I’m simply holding my breath and hoping they will eventually (hopefully soon) get their “Flyover” act together.

  21. Heiko

    is there anybody who had a Relive subscription? I was wondering: Will i be able to keep “premium” videos after ending the subscription or will they revert back to the “free” quality? I am condering to buy the subscription for a month or so, create some nice videos from recent tours and then end it.

    • Paul S.

      I have a current Relive subscription. After I make a video, I usually save it to my iCloud camera roll. From there, as I just checked with a video I made recently, I can export it using Photos as a 4k video. So provided you save/export them at the time, you should be able to keep the full quality videos.

    • Heiko

      Hi Paul! Thanks for your reply. May i ask one more dummy question? Where can i find my videos within the Relive app? The main page (Feed) shows all activities and i have created a video for some of them. But i cannot see a way to filter the list. I assume there is another way than scrolling through months of sessions to find an old video.
      Best Regards,

    • Paul S.

      There’s no way that I know of. Search in the app seems to be for something else. That’s another reason why I save my Relive videos to iCloud immediately. They seem to be tagged when I do that, and searching for “Relive” in Photos shows me all of them in one place. I generally don’t make very many Relive videos, so it’s not much of a problem for me personally.

  22. Hannes

    Not directly related to the flyover feature, but have you heard about the law that is in discussion in Germany about restrictions regarding recording and publishing of GPS tracks in forests? It is called “Komoot-Paragraf”.
    Best regards,

  23. David

    With latest Strava update you can now set the speed of flyover, play and pause it. Looks awesome