Update 2018

As a Strava API application, SRanks has always existed at the mercy of Strava and the data they allowed to be queried via their API. In early 2018 they made changes to the API in the name of privacy that affected many API applications in various ways. SRanks was disabled by these changes. As a result, the jobs that pulled data for SRanks have been disabled and the site has been placed on hold indefinitely. Thanks much for your enjoyment of the application and I'm sure I share your sentiment in hoping Strava and similar applications look to foster healthy competition and data analysis in the future. Safe riding!

What is SRanks?

SRanks is a regional ranking system that awards points based on the popularity of a segment and your placing on it.

How does the scoring work?

The top 10% are awarded points. This means if 1018 people rode a segment, 101 are getting some points. If 52 rode it, 5 are getting points. How many points? Riders/n. The number of total riders divided by your ranking. So the KOM gets all the points available - 1018 or 52 in our examples. Second place gets 1018/2 or 52/2, so it's a sizable dropoff. Third place gets 1/3 and so on, until the last scored rider in each example gets 1018/101 or 52/5 points... in both case about 10. Only whole numbers are used for now - no decimals. The new detailed report will show you where your points have come from including the total points available on a segment, your ranking, and the resulting number of points allocated to you.

How are the regions defined?

Regions are centered at a city center as defined by Google Maps bordered by a perfect square with diagonal of 50 miles (~80.5km). Trial and error established this as a standard to capture a large sample of the segments of interest to a community of riders. Regions may overlap in the future if participating cities are close to each other; in those cases segments in the overlap will count towards both regions! Region centers may not follow Google's definition in special cases - coastal cities, for example, where moving it inland would capture more rideable area and discourage riders from riding at the bottom of the sea. Other examples may include smaller areas that get overrun by riders from a nearby large metro area if the square wanders too close to the latter territory. Note: it takes a lot of processing to cover a given area, and the more riders/segments the longer it takes. As a result some of the largest cities have been disabled over time with more emphasis on refreshing areas where people have requested it.

Tell me more about the rationale that went into region definitions...

Defining regions in a consistent manner is challenging and potentially fraught with controversy. Political boundaries including city limits are of little use since they are generally defined for political reasons, may focus on densely-populated areas that aren't well-suited to cycling, and are subject to change. Changing region borders may include or exclude segments that are of particular importance to a specific rider. As a result, consistency is key. Another challenge is accommodating the vast differences in size and geographical shape of different metropolitan areas. The emphasis is placed on keeping regions to a finite size that could encompass riders that may actually know each other, while remaining large enough to capture most of the major rides that frequent an area. As a result, some particularly massive areas may consist of more than one Strabbaranks region one day. Lastly, the square shape is used for regions for algorithmic simplicity. Modeling a circle would incur significantly more processing and network traffic and taint much of the elegance that makes this solution tenable.

How are ties handled?

Version 2 presents an opportunity to implement a creative way to handle ties. Since only the KOM was awarded points in Version 1, the person designated by Strava received the full point allocation. There was a great deal of speculation around how a winner was designated among tie-holders, but the end result was that one and only one person received the points in question. With Version 2, Strabbaranks has a system to allocate points in tied positions. The major statistical ranking methods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranking) were considered to handle ties, and the Fractional Ranking system was ultimately chosen. Tie-holders split points. A picture is worth a thousand words, so refer to the figure below to see how the various scoring systems would look on a real segment. Fractional Ranking was used because it incentivizes a tie-holder to break the tie. It discourages collusion among tie holders that could be present if they all received full value. With Fractional Ranking, Breaking a tie not only increases the points allocated to the tie breaker, but it also diminishes the points held by those left behind. More motivation to try and squeeze a few more watts out on your next attempt.

Recent changes

v3 API
SRanks is compliant with the latest authenticated API standards required by Strava, including an opt-in model
SRanks excludes segments with <-0.25% average gradient in accordance with Strava API policy
SRanks now loads data much more quickly - especially on mobile devices