Veloviewer Explorer

I just found a new feature in Veloviewer: The Explorer score, which shows how many zoom level 14 map tiles you have passed through, and the average distance per tile. For me at the moment: 1,005 tiles, with 13.5 kilometers per tile. The ratio isn’t so interesting for me though, since I have spent whole summers biking the same routes over and over again; Havelchaussee in 2013, Tempelhofer Feld in 2014. In 2015 I have deliberately searched out new roads, and that can be seen when my Explorer data are split for each year (that’s when the ratio gets interesting):

  • 2013: 100 tiles, 24.4 km/tile (2,443 km total distance)
  • 2014: 289 tiles, 22.37 km/tile (6,463 km total distance)
  • 2015: 816 tiles, 3.7 km/tile (2,985 km total distance so far)

Actually, the ratio isn’t calculated on my Veloviewer page, so it’s raw data rather than a “score”. If the number of tiles are divided by the number of kilometers, we get scores of 4.10 in 2013, 12.9 in 2014 and a blasting 221 in 2015, with an average of 74.4 since the start.

I’m skeptical to this kind of ratio score though, because even though it was fun to see, especially my exploring efforts in 2015, it also means that your score will get lower the more kilometers you gather, as long as you don’t search out new roads for each ride. This might discourage you from going out and “eat” kilometers. Maybe that’s why Ben at Veloviewer has chosen to present the raw data rather than the ratio score that I calculated myself.

Update: Ben replies on Twitter: “initially I used the dist per tile as the main ‘score’ but as you say, often gets worse with more riding so use count instead.”

But now over to the really cool thing, because those tiles that you have passed are marked green on the heatmap. And I just think I got even more addicted to Veloviewer, because how can anyone born in the era of video games resist the urge to paint the whole map green by going after those unlucky gaps in it! Look how beautiful:

Colonise it! My Explorer tiles on Veloviewer 27 April 2015.

Colonise it! My Explorer tiles on Veloviewer 27 April 2015.

That’s it. Gotta work now instead of getting caught up in addicting Veloviewer!

11 Responses to Veloviewer Explorer

  1. Simon April 27, 2015 at 11:14 #

    I like! 😛

  2. bret April 27, 2015 at 20:29 #

    Yes! And filling up green is much easier than riding every road…and actual winnable video game.

    • Karl April 27, 2015 at 22:57 #

      But I see you actually did ride every road in SF! Very impressive project there on your Tumblr. And cool to be athlete no 287 on Strava, I notice our 2015 kilometers only differ by 200 meters:

      • bret April 27, 2015 at 23:14 #

        Wow. That is close…though I’ll have more by the end of the day. Looks like you get a couple good rides in a week while I have a lot of commute miles. There is a guy attempting to ride all of London Inner Circle. Check out our little strava club:

        As for my number. I have a couple early employee friends there and they got me hooked early.

        • Karl April 27, 2015 at 23:41 #

          Yeah, and the difference in elevation gain is huge, reflecting our cities I guess. I saw the club, inspiring! If I ever start such a project it has to be on another bike than my road bike, since most smaller streets in Berlin are cobblestones.

  3. Graham August 4, 2015 at 23:46 #

    Hi Karl
    Just found this. I’m that guy from London ^^
    My Explorer stats are therefore 2498 tiles, average of 10.700 km per tile, obviously due to the density of London’s roads.
    My reason for getting touch is I’d like to know how you get that map above?
    I would highly recommend giving riding the streets of Berlin a go. I can only speak for London, but its been an exceptionally fascinating ride so far, and can only imagine that any other city in the world would be too. I ride a second hand £300 steel fixed gear bike for these rides, and its perfect.
    Anyway, please let me know about the map above – these things interest me!

    • Karl August 5, 2015 at 00:08 #

      Cool, Graham! Not sure I understand your question, it’s just the regular Veloviewer map from the Activities tab, with the Explorer check box checked. I won’t bike every street (anytime soon) but my current project is to build a completely green square and count how many tiles are on one side (that will be the “score”) of that square. Berlin is perfect for such a project since there are no big lakes that would be hard to bike in.

  4. Oriolj January 19, 2016 at 18:04 #

    how can you see that heatmap?

    • Karl January 19, 2016 at 20:02 #

      In Veloviewer, it’s in the Activities tab, where you can choose if you want to display your rides in a list or on a map.

  5. monaxle January 23, 2016 at 21:47 #

    This is great Karl. I’ve been wondering for a while what the explorer score was all about. You have explained it nicely and now I do. I also now have a mission for 2016. Cheers.


  1. Cycling goals for 2016 with added Veloviewer explorer tiles. | monaxle - January 23, 2016

    […] Anderson has done a good job of explaining / illustrating what explorer tiles are all about in this post. Thank you Karl. It helped me understand and means I won’t have to bother trying to explain […]

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