- 1 ArchAbaddon's Guide for New US Editors
- 1.1 Tips for New Editors
- 1.1.1 Apply Occam's Razor to your editing habits
- 1.1.2 Ranks and How to Get Them
- 1.1.3 Working With and Around Locks
- 1.1.4 To align Intersections, grab the Junction, not the Endpoint
- 1.1.5 Editing Address Markers
- 1.1.6 Parking Lot Roads
- 1.1.7 Cul de sacs and Dead-End U-Turns
- 1.1.8 Places
- 1.1.9 Keyboard shortcuts
- 1.2 Working with User Reports
- 1.3 Advanced Editing Tips
- 1.4 References
- 1.1 Tips for New Editors
This guide is a Work in Progress
ArchAbaddon's Guide for New US Editors
I think most editors will agree that new editors are a welcome part of the community, and also a chore to educate and clean up after. Personally, I've been schooled by more senior editors, and am already passing down their pointers to editors more junior than I. That being said, I'm making this thread in an effort to place commonly-used references in one easy place for new editors.
Tips for New Editors
Apply Occam's Razor to your editing habits
When editing the map, keep Occam's Razor in mind:
"(...) among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove correct, but—in the absence of certainty—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better."
That is to say that usually the simplest solution is the best. In Waze, the the fewer the nodes and routes, the better. Don't make overly-complicated intersections, parking lot road structures, etc. unless it improves navigation. Obviously, the simplest solution won't always work in every situation. But remember to start simple and add as needed, especially in regards to resolving User Reports and correcting navigation errors.
For example, a back alley that an editor added for map completeness might cause a user to get routed into it, instead of being routed to a standard street leading to the front of the intended destination. The simplest solution would be to remove the alley, if it's not needed for navigation to any pertinent location. Otherwise, you can move the address marker at the location to be closer to the intended street, although that is a more complex solution requiring Google Mapmaker (see the Address Marker section below).
Some basic tenants:
- Draw as few segments and junctions as possible to navigate from Point A to Point B.
- Simplify the map when possible. Remove excess junctions and roads if they're interfering with navigation and causing URs.
- Don't split a road unless you have to.
- If you can, use a bow-tie intersection.
Ranks and How to Get Them
Curious about how to reach higher map editing ranks? Lots of edits, dear reader. Reaching Rank 3 requires 25K map edits, while reaching Rank 5 requires 250K. There are exceptions, of course, but either way you'll have to prove you have exceptional knowledge of map editing and your area to increase your rank. See the Map Editing Rank sub-page for more info.
Working With and Around Locks
I mention Ranks because of Locks. Some road segments will be locked to prevent less-knowledgeable editors from accidentally creating problems with critical road segment (although, sadly, this doesn't stop less-knowledgeable high-ranking editors from fouling things up, nata365). This is more common with Interstate and highway segments, but might also apply to surface streets and other segments, especially those used by rush-hour commuters or are otherwise subject to heavy usage.
- Lock segments sparingly, as they can hamper future necessary editing. Use best practices for deciding when to lock a map feature.
- If you find yourself needing assistance with a section that's locked, you'll want to put in a request on the US Unlock and Update Requests sub-forum. Remember to follow the guidelines for making a request - they're listed at the top of the forums. In this manner, a higher-rank editor can check out your issue and make proper adjustments, or even lower the lock if the section is locked in error.
To align Intersections, grab the Junction, not the Endpoint
If you need to re-align an intersection, you need to be careful not to lose the arrow and turn settings for the intersection.
Do NOT do this:
- When you have a street segment highlighted, you'll typically see to endpoints labeled A and B. But moving each road segment individually is not only tedious, it destroys any previous turn settings for interlocking segments. Resetting them is also tedious, and you may make a mistake resulting in future URs.
Instead, do this:
- When you grab a junction, you click on an intersection without highlighting any street segments beforehand. If you have a street segment selected, use the Escape key or click off of it before grabbing the junction. When you do do, the junction will turn into a bright blue dot. Grabbing the junction will enable you to drag the adjoining segments with it. This allows easy re-alignment of intersections without destroying the junction arrow settings for the intersection.
Editing Address Markers
One of the most common navigation issues is that the address marker, usually pulled from Google, is in the wrong place or too close to the wrong street. This happens most often with residential addresses, addresses in strip malls, and businesses that are farther from their respective parent streets. These should be fixed in Google Mapmaker (https://www.google.com/mapmaker) before using a Waze address marker. Waze will typically query Google for address and business locations first. Although it's OK to add business as a Place, Google Mapmaker should be the first choice for correcting address and business locations. Businesses addresses can also be added through Yelp and Bing, which Waze can also use when searching for addresses (although users generally have to select these search engines manually when using the Search feature).
- Great care should be taken if you decide to map residential locations.
- The same is true for Parking Lots.
Parking Lot Roads
In the past, use of parking lot roads was frugal at best, but usually forbidden. However, without them, the app may not know how to get to a location with existing streets and give poor navigation at best, routing users to a residential street behind a shopping center, complete navigation on a busy highway, and so forth.
Even though, currently,, parking lot streets are more allowed, always use the Best Practices and Occam's Razor before employing parking lot roads.
- Only create enough road as necessary to navigate users to the store front, and don't map every single row or aisle. It's best not to overdo parking lot roads, not only to keep the map less cluttered, but also to ensure the navigation with the Waze app isn't confused by too many intersections.
- When you add parking lot roads, be sure to Edit the Unnamed Segment. Usually, you should at least enter the City in which the segment is located, but you can check the box next to None for the Street. Remember to Apply the edit before you Save any changes. Otherwise, the road will save but turn bright red, meaning that it's not usable for navigation.
- Don't map drive-throughs. They aren't necessary to navigate to a location, and add unnecessary clutter (imagine if every drive-through were mapped). Navigation will only be interrupted for a moment if a user goes through a drive-through.
- Note that your planned road may intersect with a street that is locked; in this case, you'll need to seek the aid of a senior editor to connect the road to that street, ramp, or highway.
Cul de sacs and Dead-End U-Turns
Never use u-turns on dead-ends. Even though most cul de sacs and dead ends must allow u-turns, u-turns are disabled in WME because they can cause navigation problems with the app. See this sub-page for more info, and DON'T enable u-turns in your cul de sacs.
Places are a new feature to Waze. In their previous incarnation, Landmarks were sporadically used to outline gas stations, public parks, schools, and hospitals - and that was about it. With Places, you're more than welcome to put a Place down for your favorite restaurant, auto garage, bar, etc.
Remember that for Navigation, Google Mapmaker should be your first stop for declaring a place or moving an address marker. Businesses addresses can also be added through Yelp and Bing, which Waze can also use when searching for addresses (although users generally have to select these search engines manually when using the Search feature).
Note that places come in two varieties: Areas and Points. Most places will be Points, but larger Places will be mapped as Areas. Use this chart to determine When to use Area or Point.
The Q, W, and I keys will be your best friends for most circumstances.
- Q disables all turns at a junction point
- W enables all turns at a junction point
- I initiates drawing a new road section
- Use CTRL + Left-Click to select multiple road segments. This is useful for:
- Merging/ bridging segments.
- Renaming or reclassifying multiple segments.
- Creating a permalink for multiple segments for senior editor review in the Unlock forum.
- And so forth.
Instead of enabling or disabling each turn arrow at a time, it's usually easier to enable or disable all of them, and then toggle the exceptions.
For more keyboard shortcuts, refer to Keyboard shortcuts.
Working with User Reports
When working with URs, always remember to use the proper etiquette so you don't inadvertently step on another editor's toes when trying to help, close an extremely old UR, etc.
Many users will drop a report without additional info because they can't type a message while they're driving. This means that a lot of URs will lack information vital to resolving a map issue, such as a turn that should/ shouldn't be allowed, bad address markers, etc. As an editor, you'll have to reach out to the user to figure out why the report was dropped.
Basic UR Workflow
Below are other pointers to help out new editors looking to gain some editing points and / or be helpful:
- Introduce yourself: Not always necessary, but helps brake the ice if you introduce yourself as a "volunteer editor" or "Fellow Wazer".
- Remind reporter of report location: Sometimes a user won't remember where they made a report. If you give them a brief reminder in your first message (ex.: "Near the intersection of First & Central"), it might help a reporter give more info about why they reported - especially if the report is older than a week or so.
- Give a bump before closing a ticket: If the reporter doesn't respond to an inquiry for more info after 7 days, send a simple message explaining that the ticket will need to be closed as "Not Identified" without more info. This sometimes will be enough of an incentive for the user to volunteer info.
- Explain that reports are submitted anonymously: Sometimes users will be lax to provide info, especially for address markers, because they fear for their privacy. By explaining that reports are submitted anonymously, users may be more forthcoming with info relevant to fixing the map issue.
- Close old URs: Sometimes you'l be able to Solve a problem reported by a user, but unfortunately (based off of my experience) many URs will be closed as "Not Identified." If the user fails to respond, even after you or another editor bump the ticket after 7 days without any info, close it as "Not Identified." There will always be more URs to fix, and clearing out old ones that aren't getting any traction will allow you and other editors to focus on URs that can get fixed. Remember to enter a conversation message stating what you did to resolve the problem, or why the request is being marked as Not Identified.
Some of the more common URs include:
- Bad address markers: The user will report that Waze navigated them down the wrong street to get to a location, or that a store in a shopping center wasn't in the right place. See the Editing Address Markers section for more info.
- Missing Parking Lot Road: The user might report that Waze didn't get them to the correct location, but navigated them to the main street inbstead. This is common for buildings with a lcoation that isn't directly near the main road. In this case, adding a parking lot road that leads from the street to the location is beneficial. Refer to the Parking Lot Roads section for more info.
- GPS resolution errors: If user GPS info is included in the report (indicated by a light green direction line) and it's all over the place, chances are that the user's app or the GPS in their device wasn't correctly reporting their position. Although they can seek help in the Waze App subforoum, this isn't a map issue, and should be explained as such to the reporter before the ticket is closed as "Not Identified."
Advanced Editing Tips
WME Addons, Extensions, and Scripts
- WME Validator: checks segments and junctions to ensure no errors exist, such as self-termination, missing incoming or outgoing traffic flow, dead-end u-turns, etc.
- UROverview Plus: Helps sort and filter User Reports. Very useful to find URs in which you're involved.
- WME Color Highlights: Used to highlight road segments based on various filters and criteria, such as locks, segment type, etc.
Remember to thank the author of the software in the relative forum thread!
- Best map editing practice
- Creating and Editing street segments
- Incorrect edits
- Junction Style Guide
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Update Requests in Waze Map Editor
- Waze Map Editor (wiki reference)
- Your Rank and Points