This site is no stranger to Strava extensions. We have reviewed more than a dozen of the the top Strava add-ons and continue to find new ones regularly. Recently we discover yet another great addition to this collection with Wandrer.Earth. This unique web app syncs with your Strava activity data and makes a bit of a game out of exploring new places.
The release of heat maps, available to Strava Premium members, made collecting new areas a bit of a thing. There have been high profile athletes who made a game out of running every street in their city. This is particularly impressive when the city in question is a big one like San Francisco. Admittedly the location on a peninsular makes San Francisco easier to achieve this in compared to more rural locations. Still the achievement of running 1303 nearly unique miles in the Bay areas is one to admire.
For mere mortals running that distance, and even more so in just under two months, is too daunting of a task to take on. That is where Wandrer.Earth comes in. By tracking each of your runs and noting which portions are unique it keeps a running total of your new unique miles covered.
If you are not a Strava Premium member the Wandrer service replaces the ability to gain access to heat maps. This means that if you simply prefer to see a mapping feature then getting the premium version of Wandrer is more cost effective than the annual subscription to Strava.
The premise of Wandrer as a game is simple. You get more points every time you run on a new section of road or trail. While there is some overlap such that running on a different side of a major road can sometimes count, for the most part this means that you are incentivized to find an entirely new route. It works by identifying your GPS track for each workout and then pulling apart the new sections, much in the same way that Strava looks to match up unique Segments.
Once you have a score from the activity, and you have upgraded to the paid version of Wandrer.earth you can then take part in their monthly challenges. Each of the challenges is designed as a collective against the broader population and those who have explored the most new territory (or Wandered the earth the most) are crowned the champions. There are no prizes, beyond internet points and the glory of topping a leaderboard, but it can be a unique way to stay motivated especially when racking up miles for a training plan.
Is Wandrer.Earth Free?
While Wandrer.Earth does have a free version, you are likely to find that if you like it even a little you will want to pay for the upgrade. The default version only allows you to sync your 50 most recent activities from Strava to the service. This is fun to be able to gauge how the system works and scores your new route, and may be enough to keep you motivated to avoid the same route every day.
Still, unless you just want to repeat the cycle every 50 workouts, the cumulative nature of the product will have you looking at an upgrade. Thankfully the “Extra Lost” version of Wandrer is fairly inexpensive at just $30 for a full year.