Australian Road Types & Naming

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Revision as of 08:24, 10 March 2019 by Ituajr (talk | contribs) (Minor rewording of roundabouts)

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This page covers road names and attributes for Australia.


This forms part of Australian Editing Best Practice. Editors are encouraged to follow these guidelines.

Road Name and Number

As the first country in Waze, Australia has a complete set of automatically generated road shields. They are generated by the system, if a certain pattern in applying the Road Name & Number is observed. Please note that this is a special process: it is only running once a week and has to be implemented in the tile build too. So it may take up to two weeks, before a new edited shield appears in the client.

Shields in the Client. Picture showing the test area created during the implementation
Shields in the Client. Picture showing the test area created during the implementation

To get a road shield displayed in the app, the form of the shield and the number (numeric or alphanumeric) have to be coded in the street name in a predefined pattern. Please use the patterns exactly as stated here, otherwise the display in the app will not work properly.

Traditional route numbering
Road Shield Example
(App Screenshot)
Pattern Example streetname in WME
National Highway
Picture of National Highway Shield
NHx - Name
NHxx - Name
NH1 - Stuart Hwy
National Route
Picture of National Route Shield
NRx - Name
NRxx - Name
NR1 - Pacific Hwy
Alternate National Route
Picture of Alternate National Route Shield
ALTNRx - Name
ALTNRxx - Name
ALTNR1 - Dandenong Rd
State Route
Picture of State Route Shield
SRx - Name
SRxx - Name
SRxxx - Name
SR8 - Anything Hwy
Metro Road
Picture of Metro Road Shield
MRx - Name
MRxx - Name
MR5 - Centenary Hwy
Rural Road/Route
Picture of Rural Road Shield
RRx - Name
RRxx - Name
RR99 – Dontknowit Rd
Tourist Road/Route
Picture of Tourist Road/Route Shield
TRx - Name
TRxx - Name
TR7 – NoIdea Rte
Alphanumerical route numbering
Road Shield Example
(App Screenshot)
Pattern Example streetname in WME
National M
Picture of National M Shield
NMx - Name
NMxx - Name
NM39 - Goulburn Valley Fwy
Picture of M Shield
Mx - Name
Mxx - Name
Mxxx - Name
M3 - Eastern Fwy
National A
Picture of National A Shield
NAx - Name
NAxx - Name
NA8 - Barton Hwy
Picture of A Shield
Ax - Name
Axx - Name
Axxx - Name
A4 - Capricorn Hwy
Alternate A
Picture of Alternate A Shield
ALTAx - Name
ALTAxx - Name
ALTA2 - Warrego
Picture of B Shield
Bx - Name
Bxx - Name
Bxxx - Name
B12 - Road Name
Picture of C Shield
Cx - Name
Cxx - Name
Cxxx - Name
C234 - Example Rd

Abbreviations and acronyms

We decided long ago to use abbreviations (Rd instead of Road) and made an extra page for it, because all abbreviations have to be introduced to TTS for proper pronunciation. For place, feature, roadway & traverseable path naming, please see:

Abbreviations and acronyms (Australia)

Unfortunately this has not been observed in the past, so we have to do a lot of fixing.

Road types and Lock levels

This part of the policy is not intended as a guide to whether or not a segment should be locked. That should always be an informed decision made by an editor based on the best way to label the road type that would be helpful to the driver on that road. This policy is a guide for the MINIMUM locking level to be used for the convenience of the community, plus some notes about when not to lock:

  • You should not normally be locking segments unless they are complete:
    • Segments aligned to aerials (there may be some exceptions to this)
    • Junction geometry adjusted for proper navigation instructions
    • Turn restrictions set correctly
    • Road type set correctly
    • Correctly named
  • You should not lock segments unless you are regularly visiting the forums to deal with unlock requests.
  • If you lock segments, your name will be recorded on them and you will generally be considered responsible for their state.

Any editor found mass-editing lock levels simply because this policy suggests a minimum lock level is likely to face reduction of editor rank and/or removal of AM/CM rights.

Unfortunately there is no nationwide consistent system (i.e. NR8 is according to official WA governmental documents a freeway, even if it would be a Minor Hwy by its shield according to Qld or Vic standards). So use judgement and discretion in combining the shields with the proper road type.


Waze Road Type Description
Freeway Freeway, motorway, expressway and tollway. Designated by an alphanumeric road number that begins with the letter "M", usually in a gold-on-green symbol. Generally major roadways with a divided carriageway of two or more traffic lanes in each direction, where opposing traffic is separated by a median strip with controlled entries and exits. In the case of tollways, the sign is presented in a gold-on-blue style, but toll roads are handled in another way (we don't cover it with the road shields).
  • Road Type: Freeway (or Motorway for en-GB)
  • City: activate None checkbox
  • Name: <Mx>" - "<Name> i.e. "M3 - Eastern Fwy"
  • Add Alternative Name: <Mx>, with None checkbox activated i.e. "M3"
  • Lock: Level 5

Major Highway

Waze Road Type Description
Major Highway National highways. Usually designated by gold-on-green shields with the word "National" written at the top. May contain alphanumeric numbering with the letter "A" at the start of the number, or may just use a number. Also referred to as primary routes. In rural areas a long way from the nearest National or A route, some B routes have been promoted to Major Highways to aid long-distance routing.
  • Road Type: Major Highway
  • Street: <Axx>" - "<Name> i.e. "A1 - Pacific Hwy" or
    <NHxx>" - "<Name> i.e. "NH1 - Stuart Hwy"
  • City: activate None checkbox
  • Alternative Name:
    • Street: <Axx> (i.e. "A31" or "NH1")
    • City: activate None checkbox
  • Alternative Name:
    • Street: <Name>
    • City: City Name as per Australian City Naming (or None selected in a rural area where there is no appropriate city/town/etc.) (i.e. Pacific Hwy, Batemans Bay)
  • Optional Alternative Name: If the segment has another name used for local reference (postal deliveries etc.), add that too, in the standard way for Primary Streets or Streets.
  • Lock: Level 3

Example names for a segment: (note that the order of Alternate names is not significant)

Name Type Street City Country
Primary A1 - Pacific Hwy None (select None checkbox) Australia
Alternate A1 None (select None checkbox) (N/A)
Alternate Pacific Hwy Batemans Bay (N/A)
Alternate Vesper St Batemans Bay (N/A)

Minor Highway

Waze Road Type Description
Minor Highway State highways or State Roads. Usually designated by a numbered white-on-blue bullet sign, or by a gold-on-green alphanumeric designation starting with the letter "B" or "C". Also referred to as secondary and tertiary routes. In rural areas a long way from the nearest B or C route or State Road, some of the longer primary routes between towns have been promoted to Minor Highway to aid long-distance routing.
  • Road Type: Minor Highway
  • Street: <Bxx>" - "<Name> i.e. B23 - Monaro Hwy
  • City: activate None checkbox
  • Alternative Name:
    • Street: <Bxx> or <Cxxx> or <SRxx> (i.e. "SR8" or "B23")
    • City: activate None checkbox
  • Alternative Name:
    • Street: <Name>
    • City: City Name as per Australian City Naming (or None selected in a rural area where there is no appropriate city/town/etc.) (i.e. Pacific Hwy, Batemans Bay)
  • Optional Alternative Name: If the segment has another name used for local reference (postal deliveries etc.), add that too, in the standard way for Primary Streets or Streets.
  • Lock: Level 3

Example names for a segment: (note that the order of Alternate names is not significant)

Name Type Street City Country
Primary B72 - Snowy Mountains Hwy None (select None checkbox) Australia
Alternate B72 None (select None checkbox) (N/A)
Alternate Snowy Mountains Hwy Cooma (N/A)
Alternate Sharp St Cooma (N/A)
A special note on locking:
The above mentioned road types are vital for routing calculation in Waze, therefore they need to be locked to prevent especially new editors from unintentionally damaging these traffic arteries. But keep in mind that a lock also blocks lower level editors from adding streets. So only apply a lock on a segment, if all roads are connected.
Example of a handle
If creating a new road in a not yet mapped area, you also may choose to add just one short segment of a connecting road (a handle) to create the junction and allow a lower level editor to connect the surrounding streets later without being blocked by the locked highway.

Primary Street

Waze Road Type Description
Primary Street Main Roads, Regional Roads, Tourist Drives, Scenic Drives, etc that are not classified as highways. They connect suburbs and towns. May also include roads designated as "D" roads in some states. Also referred to as tertiary routes. In rural areas where there is no more major road present, the main route connecting two towns should be marked as a Primary Street.
  • Road Type: Primary Street
  • City: City Name, see Australian City Naming
  • Name: <TRxxx>" - "<Name> i.e. "TR10 - Princes Hwy" if it has a number, otherwise Street name according to postal addres
  • Lock: Level 2

    • Updated in Oct 2018 from L1 to L2 over concern that routing between towns was being accidently broken by L1 editors, per forum post.


Waze Road Type Description
Street Urban streets and rural roads not identified above. Use also when in doubt of proper street type.
  • Road Type: Street
  • City: City Name, see Australian City Naming
  • Name: Street name according to postal address
  • Lock: Level 1

Private Road

Waze Road Type Description
Private Road A road not intended for use by through traffic. Waze will only use a private road segment when routing to a destination on that private road or an attached private or parking lot road. Do not mark a public dead-end street as a private road.
  • Road Type: Private Road
  • City: City Name, see Australian City Naming
  • Name: Street name according to postal address or (none) checkbox.
  • Lock: Level 1

Parking Lot Road

Waze Road Type Description
Parking Lot Road A road not intended for use by through traffic. A parking lot road is used to map publicly accessible parking roads to access businesses or otherwise. Waze will not use PLR's for through routing, only where the destination resides on such a road type.
  • Road Type: Parking Lot Road (or Parking Road for en-GB)
  • City: City Name, see Australian City Naming
  • Name: (None) checkbox.
  • Lock: Level 1

Narrow Street

Waze Road Type Description
Narrow Street This is a special road type. It applies a significant penalty of around 5-8 minutes for unbroken segment transition normally, but no penalty for motorbikes. This is not intended for use in mapping "laneways", as the width of the road must not exceed 2.2m for one-way , or 4m for two-way.
  • Road Type: Narrow Street
  • City: City Name, see Australian City Naming
  • Name: Street name according to postal address
  • Lock: Level 3

Note: this Road type's usage conditions are still under revision. Please contact your State Manager or Country Manager for more information and guidance on how to use it.

Other Situations

Roads Not Matching Aerials

With the change to Google aerial imagery there will probably be some situations where the current road layout doesn't match the images. It is advisable that these are locked at L3+, to prevent well-meaning editors "correcting" them.

"Unexpected" Situations

These are odd situations that occur sometimes. For example: a no-right-turn where you wouldn't expect one; a short one-way segment at the end of a two-way road; a deliberate no-name segment joining double-mini roundabouts. If you think that a feature is likely to be reverted by someone who doesn't know what was intended, it is acceptable to lock it.


If an area is subject to repeated bad edits, it may be locked up. This should only be done after discussion with the Australian Community team and the approval of the Country Managers (who may want to take further action).

Toll Segments

These should be locked to L5 to prevent interference.

Level 6 Locks

So far we have not identified any occasions where we really need to use L6 locks. We don't have so many L5 editors that we can't all keep track of what's going on, so we hope not to need it. But, if you have a situation that you feel needs a L6 lock, please post on the forum for discussion.

Dual Carriageways

This guidance is based on the global best editing practice for divided roads.

The following convention should be followed where possible, although it is acknowledged that you may need to deviate from it in some circumstances.

A road can be divided into be 2 one-way roads if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The central reservation is greater than 15m.
  2. There's a visible gap between the GPS traces (when viewed at the 100m/500ft zoom level).
  3. It is split by physical barrier (e.g. Grass, raised concrete, jersey barrier etc).

Pedestrian refuges and painted road separations (cross hatching that can be driven over) should not normally be divided.

Special Note

Keep in mind that Waze actually works best when roads are not divided, because all reports made in the app for the other carriageway on divided roads are in vain - the app currently doesn't support these kinds of reports. In addition, representing a road as two one-way sections makes it difficult to control U-turns properly. Road dividing used to be more common in the past, so we have since increased the conditions to be met before dividing a road.

If there is a perfectly working divided road that does not meet the above stated conditions in the editor, don't un-divide it. It's a lot of work that can be put into improving other areas of the Waze map, rather than the risk of losing valuable traffic data if editing is not done correctly.

If a divided road isn't working and should be un-divided, then it is important to follow these instructions carefully, and get a second experienced (L4 and above) editor to verify the entire un-divide within 24 hours.

Freeway carriageway naming convention

This policy was changed in February 2014.

Due to changes that have been made to the Waze App in recent times which has helped improve reporting of incidents on freeways (motorways), compass directions in addition to the road name are no longer required when mapping any road in Waze.

This does not apply to roads which have a compass direction in their actual name.

If there are existing roads with compass directions on them, please remove them.

All that is required is the route number (if applicable) and the name.

Example: "M1 - Monash Fwy" (and the appropriate alternative names as described earlier)

On and Off ramps

Ramps lock level (revised procedure from Nov 2015): L3

For Ramps are a connection of the high level road grid to the local travel roadsystem they serve as a kind of gateway - from streets and primary streets (usually L1) to Highways and Freeways (L3 to L5). To have them under control of the appointed AM they are to be locked as L3, regardless of the lock level of the connected segments.

Exit Signage along M1 - West Gate Fwy
Exit signage along M1 - Monash Fwy

For the best balance between information and screen real estate, the following conventions are used. As a general rule ramp names should match exactly the Big Green Sign (BGS) which is at or immediately before the exit or entry. All ramps will be set as the 'ramp' type in the Waze Map Editor. The route number(s) (if applicable), the name of the road and destination(s) should all be added for clear guidance to be given when using the Waze app.


Naming is only to be used for freeway style on and off ramps. Please do not add names to forks, splits or slip lanes on other types of roads, as this is unnecessary for directions to work.

Off ramps to non-freeway style roads and freeway to freeway ramps

  • If the ramp exit sign shows a number as well as a street or highway name, it should be named "Exit 15: SR16 - Police Rd".
    • A colon has been added because it adds a pause, which makes the Text-to-Speech directions easier to understand.
  • If the ramp exit is not numbered, "to C722 - Donnybrook Rd" will do. The colon is not necessary when there is no exit number.
  • If a single ramp serves multiple roads, use a slash with leading and trailing spaces: "Exits 15 / 16: SR16 - Police Rd / M3 - EastLink".
    • "to SR56 - Valley Way / Princeton Rd".
  • If a ramp exit number contains one or more letters, include it exactly as displayed on the sign: "Exit W2: ALTNR1 - Kings Way".
  • Where the ramp connects two roads that have route numbers, the ramp should have one alternative name with the route number (None for city) for each of the routes. For example, a ramp that connects "M31 - Hume Hwy" to "A23 - Barton Hwy" should have two alternative names, "M31" and "A23".
  • If the ramp does not have a road name on it, but does have a route number with or without destinations, then follow the sign that is nearest to the exit, as closely as possible. For example, "to C789 to Rosebud / Dromana".
    • This is often the case on country or regional roads where a C-route number is displayed on the exit sign, but the road name is not shown.
  • If the ramp has destinations but no road name or route number, then include "Exit to" and the destinations. For example, "Exit to Rosebud / McCrae", if the sign is only labelled "Rosebud / McCrae".
    • This is because voice navigation precedes the ramp name with "Exit left onto", meaning "Exit left onto Rosebud" would not make sense. "Exit left onto Exit to Rosebud / McCrae" would be less confusing to the driver.

Off ramps that don't have a fork along them

If there is no fork along the off ramp, then place the destination(s) on the off ramp itself. Example: "to C422 - Koo Wee Rup Rd to Pakenham / Koo Wee Rup".

Off ramps that do have a fork along them

For these ramps, some minor additions need to be made to the segment positioning to enable correct TTS (text to speech) instructions from the app.

  • Small 90 degree angles are to made to the 2 fork segments which come out of the fork node (refer to Detail #1 on image below). This is so that the spoken instructions say "turn left" or "turn right" as appropriate.
  • The ramps which join the non-freeway style road need to have a less than 45° join angle at the end (refer to Detail #2 on image below). That is, the angle needs to be quite narrow, so it appears as a continuation to Waze and therefore has no instruction given.

The following naming conventions are to be used:

For the segment before the fork:

Follow the ramp naming conventions listed above, for example "to A1 - Princes Hwy".

For the segments after the fork:
  • "A1 - Princes Hwy to Wollongong". (e.g. for one fork)
  • "A1 - Princes Hwy to Sydney". (e.g. for the other fork)

On ramps from non-freeway style roads

For on ramps, use this format. For example:

  • "to M1 - Monash Fwy to Chadstone / City"

Unique scenarios

If you encounter a uniquely designed interchange or ramp system, and not sure of the best way to name the ramps, then ask for help from other friendly Australian Waze users over on the Australian Waze Forum: [1]


Due to the variety of different styles of naming and destination mentioning which is on signs across the country, and due to differences in the way the text to speech in the Waze App works as well as the limited space for ramp names to display until they are cut off; slashes should be used to separate the various names. The word "to" may be used in the ramp name when there is only one destination (as shown in the examples above)

Suburb and road names should not be shortened unless it's part of a standard Waze text to speech abbreviation. Otherwise, road names and destinations will sound incorrect when they are read out aloud.


Roundabouts are special road segments created using the "roundabout" tool under "Road" in WME. Roundabouts need to be configured correctly to aid navigation instructions. Any roundabout with a radius much less than 10 metres will not be visible on the client, so make the roundabout at least this size, even if it appears to overlap the curbs on the aerial photography. The radius is displayed in the editor while you're drawing the roundabout.

In Australia, roundabouts are configured as follows:

  • Naming roundabouts
    • Street: Tick "None"
    • City: enter suburb/locality
    • Rationale: Waze does not support street names on roundabouts and therefore adding one does not assist drivers to navigate with the app. Further, where the app comes across a segment with no street name it will use the street name from the next named segment in the route whilst retaining any turn indications (called inheriting). If the roundabout does have a proper, signposted name, then this can be labelled using a 'Junction/Intersection' type landmark that fills the centre of the roundabout.
  • Speed: Blank
    • Rationale: Speeds on roundabouts serve no purpose and risk distracting the driver with an excessive speed warning tone while executing a complicated driving manoeuvre. Roundabouts with speed should be configured as per above.
  • Road Type: See Roundabout Road Types
    • Rationale: The purpose of this configuration is to assist with routing through a roundabout by the routing server.
  • Lock Level: Highest connecting road lock level
    • Rationale: Lock levels are used to protect roads and therefore, the roundabout lock level should be set to the highest lock level of the roads connecting to it. For example, if the roundabout connects a street (lock level 1), primary road (lock level 2) and a minor highway (lock level 3), all segments on the roundabout should be set to lock level 3.
  • Do not add 'Y' or 'V' necks to roundabouts
    • Do not split the road into two one-way segments just before the roundabout unless the road meets the requirements for a divided road. The majority of roundabouts do not need these splits.
    • Rationale: Adding extra and unnecessary segments to does not meet the Waze Editing Philosophy requirements of "usability and simplicity". Extra small segments might look "pretty" but do not serve the purpose of aiding navigation.
    • Example 'Y' or 'V' necks and instead, how a roundabout should be correctly configured:
A demonstration of the poor practice of adding 'V' necks connections to roundabouts.
Contrast this image with the previous and note the simple connections meet the Waze Editing Philosophy requirements of "usability and simplicity".

Below are some facts and considerations applicable to roundabouts:

  • Oval Roundabouts
    • If an oval or elliptical roundabout is required, hold down the Shift key while creating the roundabout.
  • "Roundabouts" in cul-de-sacs

Freeway Service Centres

Freeway Service Centres should be mapped according to the following convention:

  • Use "Parking Lot Road" for all roads inside the Freeway Service Centres.
    This is necessary to avoid the creation of traffic reports.
  • You may use "Private Road" for limited access roads (with no public right of way). Ensure appropriate restrictions are set on the segment.
  • Do not add a Street name to any road with the exception of the ramps.