Road names/USA

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< Road names

Revision as of 10:07, 7 November 2009 by Krankyd (talk | contribs) (Minor Highways)

Labeling; giving your road the correct road type

While editing the maps, you will notice that some of the roads are not labeled properly. This means, the road type might be wrong (a highway is marked as a street) or that one road has a few road types (a highway is marked as Freeway, highway and primary at different segments).

The importance of proper labeling is in two aspects: 1. When viewing the map, the 'bigger' roads should appear at the far zoom levels. Without proper labels, the 'zoomed out' display can be very confusing. 2. When planning a route, major roads will get priority over smaller roads. For example, 6 miles on the US-101 are better than 6 miles on El Camino Real.

When editing your area and labeling roads, please work with these definitions in mind


These are interstates (such as I-90), highways, freeways and expressways that are multi-lane, divided roads with no stops (no traffic lights, exit and entrance from/to the road is through ramps)

Major Highway

A big highway, usually 3+ lanes, with minimal stops – mostly exits and interchanges, bt possibly with some intersections and junctions

Minor Highways

Usually a narrower highway, 2 lanes or less, that has stops or traffic lights at almost every intersection, but is still a highway (minor state route or highways, or minor US route or highway)


all highway exits and entrances should be labeled as ramps.

Primary Street

Other streets or BLVD w/ stoplights that are relatively used (such as Middlefield Rd. in Menlo Park or Park blvd. in Oakland)


all other regular streets

Service Roads

These are streets that are typically adjacent to a freeway (or major highway). Also called Frontage roads in some states. These could be access roads to the highway itself, but have the property of a regular or primary street.

Naming; giving your road the proper name


All roads in our base maps came with the names as defined in the US TIGER dataset.
However, you might notice a few problems with the original road names: Some of the names are not the 'common' names (usually, waze will display the 'name' of the hwy while most people know this hwy by its number)
On other examples, the same highway will have a different name on each side (for example, US-101 going North, and Bayshore Fwy going South).
Some roads actually have two 'common' names (for example, the NJ Turnpike is also I-95 and both are relevant names), but currently we can only display one name per road.

For all these issues, we ask that you currently leave the situation as is. We are working on a few fixes, that will automate the proper naming and also allow multiple names for each segments (with a 'Primary' name as the one being displayed, but other names that bring up the same search results).

Also note that certain formats are shown in the Live Map with their shields. Leave a space between the dash and number of an Interstate (e.g. "I- 10"), and format all US highways as "US Hwy *" (e.g. "US Hwy 90", as opposed to "US-90") to ensure that this is done properly.

Exits and ramps

Exits and ramps (on and off the highway) should both be labeled as ramps. The name should be based on what is seen on the exit / entrance sign.

  • If the exit sign shows a number as well as a street or highway name, the exit ramp should be named "Exit 24 Schwarzenegger Road".
  • If the exit serves multiple roads, use a slash with leading and trailing spaces: "Exit 32 Terminator Blvd / Total Recall Rd".
  • If the exit is not numbered, "Exit to Kindergarten Ct" will do.

For entrance ramps, use this format: "to [street name] [direction] [control city]", where applicable. For example,

  • "to I- 10 W Baton Rouge"
  • "to Clearview Pkwy N / Mandeville"
  • "to US Hwy 90 Bus W"

Using "Ramp to", "West", "WB", and "Westbound" is unnecessary, and we should avoid excess since we're dealing with small screens. On the contrary, do not omit the word "to", because this could cause confusion with, say, the "Select entire street" function. Also, try to include everything present on the sign. "to US Hwy 90 Business W to I- 10 W Miss River Br / Baton Rouge" is fine because it is accurate.

New streets

In some cases, there is no prior name since it is a new road that you just recorded. In this case, make sure to choose the proper road type.