Australian City Names

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Revision as of 01:42, 13 September 2019 by Age4670 (talk | contribs) (Naming Australian Cities)

The Problem With Some Australian City Names

Some Australian suburb (City) names are not unique inside Australia. For example, there are six suburbs (in five states) called Mount Pleasant.

How Waze Currently Deals With Australian Cities

Non-unique City names can create problems with Waze placing suburb name labels in the wrong place, as well as potentially offering a route that goes to another state instead of to the right street in a nearby City. As there is no separate field for the state in which a City resides there is potential for confusion.

If you are editing the map in WME, and have the City layer turned on, you might see a city polygon extending somewhere off the edge of the map instead of being a nice contained region. This is known as a smudge. It can be due to mislabelling of Streets or Landmarks, or it can be due to a non-unique City across Australian states.

Naming Australian Cities

The basis of the City name is the official name of the Suburb or Locality, without applying any abbreviations. The ACT does not have Suburbs or Localities - instead it is divided into 19 Districts which cover the entire Territory. There are also 119 Divisions which cover the populated areas, but only cover 15% of the total area. For the sake of consistency with conventional addressing, the "City" for any ACT location should be the Division if it lies within a Division, or the District if it doesn't lie within a Division.

Note that "St" (for "Saint") in a suburb name is part of the legal name (except for Mount Saint Thomas in NSW). It should not be expanded to "Saint", but it should be shown as "St." to get correct pronunciation.

Whether the City name is derived from a Suburb, Locality, Division or District, it should be spelled in the conventional way for proper nouns (initial capitals). Exceptions:

  • All capitals for initialisms - i.e. MP Creek, HMAS Cerberus, OB Flat, Brownlow KI, Kingston SE
  • The first letter after "O'" is capitalized - e.g. O'Connell, O'Malley, Tam O'Shanter

The WME will not allow normal editors to change the capitalisation of city names once they are in place. If you discover a city name that is wrongly capitalised, contact your country manager to get it fixed.

The City name may then need modification to make it unique within Australia. Each City with a unique name must be named in the following way:

"<City>". Do not put the suburb name in quotes, just the characters that will be used in the suburb label.
Examples:
Parramatta
Newport Beach
Brighton-Le-Sands

If there is more than one City with the same name, but the name is unique within the state, it should be named in the following way:

"<City>, <State>", where <State> is the two or three letter shortened form of the state's name: one of {ACT, NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Tas, Vic, or WA}.
Examples:
Gin Gin, NSW
Gin Gin, Qld

If the City name is NOT unique within the state it should be named in the following way:

"<City>, <State> <Id>", as shown in the list of Australian Duplicate Cities (Note: <id> is the PSMA ID, not postcode).
Examples:
Mount Pleasant, Qld 4521
Mount Pleasant, Qld 4720

Using these rules makes the suburb unique within Australia and removes some of the problems outlined above. If a suburb or part of a suburb is known by a different local name, this can be placed as an Alternative name for that street/landmark.

If you want to know whether a suburb name is unique within Australia, you can use the following online resources:

"The highlighted road is too far from the city it was added to." message when saving in WME

The current version of WME prevents the naming of a Street or Landmark that is considered 'too far' away from an established City (it's not clear how far 'too far' is). This is a good thing, as it prevents trans-state suburbs and thus prevents 'Smudged Cities'. The problem with this is that WME might not allow you to name widely separated parts of a new suburb. The solution to this is to name and save major roads or highways first, and then name and save the roads that join to these streets so that the suburb is extended gradually instead of trying to label the edges of a suburb first.

A good indication that you may be 'too far' away from the existing suburb is that the suburb name doesn't automatically appear in WME when naming a street as a pop-up option when you type the first couple of letters of the name of the suburb in the City field.

"Smudged" Australian Cities

Occasionally you might see a label of an Australian city in an inappropriate place, far from the place where it is meant to be. This can occur both in the Client (Android, iOS) and in the browser while editing.

These incorrect labels may be the result of an incorrect filled-in City field that has extended that City well beyond of where it should be (a "Smudged" city), or it might be a Zombie City. Zombie cities are shown on the map, but you can't locate a Street or a Landmark that has this City and sufficient time has elapsed for the old City name to have been flushed in a tile update. The main Wiki has a page specifically written to identify city names in inappropriate places - Smudged city.

Occasionally, even if you have fixed up all the City fields, there may remain a city label that remains for no good reason. If you do find such a label, then consult Australian City Merge / Name Change in the Waze forum for instructions on how to request the unneeded label to be removed (or merged into the correct label).