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Places is the Waze Point of Interest (POI) system. Places supports two types of POIs: Point and Area.
- 1 Point
- 2 Area
- 3 Client Rendering
- 4 Setting the stop point for a Place
- 5 Area+Point Combinations
- 6 Multiple categories
- 7 Place address detail
- 8 When to use Area or Point
- 9 Parking Lot
- 9.1 Area or Point
- 9.2 Principles
- 9.3 Implementation
- 9.4 Special cases
- 9.5 Examples
- 9.6 Including noncompliant parking within larger Area Places
- 9.7 The Parking-Lot Point Place
The Point type of Place is rendered with the following icons:
- The Point marker for a Place should be located on or nearest to the segment to which the driver should be navigated. The Point Marker is the stop point.
AreaThe Area type of Place is rendered as a polygon. Just like a segment, you can adjust the shape by using the geometry handles. All Area Places in the editor show in pink when not selected and blue-green when selected:
- The Area type has a target which is the navigation stop point.
- The target stop point can be moved anywhere within the shape and also a short distance outside the actual Area shape
- The stop point target should be placed on or nearest to the segment to which the driver should be navigated.
As of this writing, we do not have any details on how Point places may be rendered within the Waze app.
Setting the stop point for a Place
Here is an example of an Area (a large park in this case) which has an entry road on the east side. The second image is zoomed in on the target to show how this type of Area should have its navigation stop point set.
There are some situations where it will be appropriate to mix both Area and Point Places. For example, shopping centers and shopping malls where the mall itself could be considered a navigation destination, but there are also individual stores which are also valid for being marked.
A simple shopping center, when mapped in this manner, would look like this:
- A Place can be assigned to multiple categories
- The Primary Category for a Place must be the first one you enter
- The Primary Category is displayed in a darker shade of blue than the others
- The Primary Category is used to determine whether to use a Point or Area for the Place
Place address detail
Every Place, whether Point or Area, should have as much detail completed as possible. This includes a name, proper categorization, and full street address, city and state. If any Place doesn't have a City or Street, you will need to check the None checkbox.
Here is an example of a Gas Station Area with its details completed:
Additional fields to allow entry of more detail will be coming in future editor releases. (One field available in previous editor releases but not available at this time, is phone number.)
When to use Area or Point
Here is the global guidance on selecting Area or Point for Places in the Waze Map Editor.
The Primary Category for a Place is used to determine whether to use a Point or Area.
|Car Services||Car Wash||Point|
|Car Services||Charging Station||Point|
|Car Services||Garage / Automotive Shop||Point|
|Car Services||Gas Station||Area||Many gas stations also have convenience stores and ATMs. Remember to use "Gas Station" as the primary category and the add any others which are relevant.|
|Car Services||Parking Lot||Both||There are very few parking lots which should be mapped at all. Please see the Parking lot section on this page.|
|Transportation||Junction / Interchange||Area|
|Transportation||Seaport / Marina / Harbor||Area||Size-dependent.|
|Professional and public||Cemetery||Area|
|Professional and public||City Hall||Point|
|Professional and public||College / University||Area|
|Professional and public||Conventions / Event Center||Area||Size-dependent|
|Professional and public||Courthouse||Point|
|Professional and public||Embassy / Consulate||Area|
|Professional and public||Factory / Industrial||Both||Size-dependent|
|Professional and public||Fire Department||Point|
|Professional and public||Government||Point|
|Professional and public||Hospital / Medical Care||Area|
|Professional and public||Information Point||Point|
|Professional and public||Kindergarten||Point|
|Professional and public||Library||Point|
|Professional and public||Military||Area|
|Professional and public||Offices||Both||Size-dependent|
|Professional and public||Organization or Association||Point|
|Professional and public||Police Station||Point|
|Professional and public||Prison / Correctional Facility||Area|
|Professional and public||Post Office||Point|
|Professional and public||Religious Center||Point|
|Professional and public||School||Area|
|Shopping and services||Arts & Crafts||Point|
|Shopping and services||ATM||Point|
|Shopping and services||Bank / Financial||Point|
|Shopping and services||Bookstore||Point|
|Shopping and services||Car Dealership||Point||Size-dependent|
|Shopping and services||Car Rental||Point|
|Shopping and services||Convenience Store||Point|
|Shopping and services||Currency Exchange||Point|
|Shopping and services||Department Store||Point|
|Shopping and services||Electronics||Point|
|Shopping and services||Fashion and Clothing||Point|
|Shopping and services||Flowers||Point|
|Shopping and services||Furniture / Home Store||Point|
|Shopping and services||Gifts||Point|
|Shopping and services||Gym / Fitness||Point|
|Shopping and services||Hardware Store||Point|
|Shopping and services||Jewelry||Point|
|Shopping and services||Laundry / Dry Cleaning||Point|
|Shopping and services||Market||Point|
|Shopping and services||Music Store||Point|
|Shopping and services||Personal Care||Point|
|Shopping and services||Pet Store / Veterinarian||Point|
|Shopping and services||Pharmacy||Point|
|Shopping and services||Photography||Point|
|Shopping and services||Shopping Center||Area|
|Shopping and services||Sporting Goods||Point|
|Shopping and services||Supermarket / Grocery||Point||Standalone could be an Area, but a Point if it is part of larger shopping mall/center.|
|Shopping and services||Swimming Pool||Point|
|Shopping and services||Toy Store||Point|
|Shopping and services||Travel Agency||Point|
|Food and drink||Bakery||Point|
|Food and drink||Bar||Point|
|Food and drink||Coffee shop||Point|
|Food and drink||Dessert||Point|
|Food and drink||Fast Food||Point|
|Food and drink||Food Court||Point|
|Food and drink||Ice Cream||Point|
|Food and drink||Restaurant||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Art Gallery||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Casino||Area||Large hotel-casinos perhaps could be Area Places.|
|Culture & entertainment||Club||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Game Club||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Movie Theater||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Museum||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Music Venue||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Performing Arts Venue||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Racing Track||Area|
|Culture & entertainment||Stadium / Arena||Area|
|Culture & entertainment||Theme Park||Area|
|Culture & entertainment||Theater||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Tourist Attraction / Historic Site||Point||Size-dependent|
|Culture & entertainment||Zoo / Aquarium||Area||Size-dependent|
|Other||Construction Site||Area||Not necessary to be mapped.|
|Other||Residence / Home||NONE||Not to be mapped|
|Lodging||Bed & Breakfast||Point|
|Lodging||Camping / Trailer Park||Area||Size-dependent|
|Lodging||Cottage / Cabin||Point|
|Outdoors||Promenade||Point||Unsure about mapping these at all|
|Outdoors||Scenic Lookout / Viewpoint||Point|
|Natural features||Forest / Grove||Area||Only map official state/national forests, not every stand of trees.|
|Natural features||River / Stream||Area|
|Natural features||Sea / Lake / Pond||Area|
- The decision to map a Parking-Lot Place is covered here, and the decision to map a Parking-Lot Road is covered in the Road type article for mapping parking lot roads.
- The forum discussion thread for the Parking-Lot Place is separate from the general Place thread, and is located here.
The Parking Lot Place marks a well-defined area constructed for off-street public parking, including parking structures and garages as well as at-grade lots.
Area or Point
As of this writing, the primary application of the Parking-Lot Place is as an Area. Future additional applications of the Parking Lot as a Point are under consideration (see The Parking-Lot Point Place).
Three principles govern whether a given lot, structure or garage warrants a Parking-Lot Area Place:
- General Public Use
- The Waze map must never show a Parking-Lot Area Place where a naive driver could risk towing, ticketing, or violating community norms. All Parking-Lot Area Places must be legally and locally condoned for at least short-term use by the general public. There are no exceptions.
- General Purpose Use
- Drivers who leave cars in a Parking-Lot Area Place should be entitled to walk or take other transportation to any destination of choice, and this should be a common occurrence. The sole exception is for public waiting lots where drivers are required to remain with their vehicles, such as airport cell-phone lots.
- Distinctive and Significant
- Overuse of Area Places quickly leads to map clutter. A Parking-Lot Area Place must mark a parking facility that would be distinctive and significant to passing drivers, including those not seeking parking.
Parking that does not satisfy these three principles shall not be marked with the Parking-Lot Area Place.
Interpreting 'distinctive and significant'
For the purposes of the Parking-Lot Area Place, the 'distinctive and significant' principle means a facility or lot fully dedicated to parking and no other activity. An otherwise compliant parking garage that is part of a multi-use structure does not satisfy this principle. However, should the structure warrant an Area Place for other reasons, it is acceptable to add "Parking Lot" to its category list provided its parking satisfies both general-public and general-purpose principles.
Parking-Lot Area Places should be mapped to the property boundaries (the "fence line"). If those are unclear, map to the extent of the lot, structure, or garage.
In situations where a compliant Parking Lot is located within the boundaries of another Area Place, it may be best simply to add "Parking Lot" to the larger Area Place's category list. Compliant parking located within a much larger Area Place, such as an airport, should still receive its own separate Area Place within the larger Area Place.
If a parking facility or area has a documented identity, such as "Beach Street Garage", "18th Avenue/Geary Lot", "City Lot #7", "Short-Term Parking", "Cell-Phone Lot", etc., its Area Place should reflect that name to facilitate searches. Generic park-and-ride lots should be named consistently according to local custom, for example as "Park & Ride".
If a Parking-Lot Area Place is contained within a larger Area Place, do not repeat the larger Area's full name; for example if the Domestic Garage is contained within the "SFO San Francisco International Airport" Area Place boundaries, it need not be named "SFO San Francisco International Airport Domestic Garage", "Domestic Garage" is sufficient (unless the neighboring region has a number of other Places whose names incorporate the words "Domestic Garage", in which case "SFO Domestic Garage" may be more appropriate).
Some municipal parking facilities have no separate documented identity; for example, general-purpose public parking adjacent to a hospital may not have its own explicit name. Area Places for such parking should leave the name field blank unless local Waze convention dictates otherwise. In particular, never use hopelessly generic names such as "Parking" or "Public Parking" for unnamed parking facilities. Also to be avoided are names such as "St. Mary's Hospital Parking" that suggest that the parking is dedicated.
As with all Area Places, do not use mapping abbreviations for any part of a Parking-Lot Place name.
Free versus paid parking
As long as parking satisfies the three principles of general public, general purpose, and distinctive and significant, it is eligible for a Parking-Lot Area Place regardless of whether it is free or paid.
Suppression of automated problem reports
Like the Gas Station Area Place, Parking-Lot Area Places suppress Waze's automated "Map Problem" reports such as for missing roads; thus the Parking-Lot Area Place should never be drawn over or attached/snapped to roads bearing through traffic.
Airports typically distinguish between parking for different terminals, for short or long term, and for cell-phone/waiting. As common navigation destinations, such parking deserves to be marked with Parking-Lot Area Places and named according to the airport's documented nomenclature, even if it means creating Parking-Lot Area Places within a larger Airport Area Place.
Bus and train stations
Bus and train stations are often located within city centers and may offer convenient public parking. At some stations, such parking may be intended and commonly used for general purposes. At others it may be illegal, inappropriate, or simply pointless to park if one doesn't intend to use that transit facility. Thus whether to mark bus- or train-station parking with a Parking-Lot Area Place depends on the local situation. Regardless, if by local Waze convention the entire station complex would be marked with a Area Place, the boundaries of this Area Place may include its associated parking. In this case, provided the parking is compliant, the Parking-Lot category may be added to the complex's Area Place.
Privately operated public parking
Private businesses often provide public parking in dense urban centers and near airports. Privately operated parking facilities that support short-term general-purpose parking for the public may receive Parking-Lot Area Places subject to the 'distinctive and significant' principle as interpreted above. Private facilities intended only for long-term parking are special-purpose and inappropriate for the Parking-Lot Area Place.
With the availability of the new "Car Rental" Place, rental-car facilities and returns, including at airports, should now be marked with that Place category rather than with the Parking-Lot category.
The Parking-Lot Area Place is always appropriate for:
- Generic Park & Ride and similar municipal commuter parking.
- General-purpose short-term public parking lots, structures or garages dedicated to parking only and independent of any particular mall, complex, campus, or other final destination.
- Named municipal public parking serving an airport.
The Parking-Lot Area Place is NEVER appropriate for:
- Street parking, whether parallel, angled, or right-angled.
- Parking intended, either legally or by community convention, to serve a single non-transit-oriented destination such as a business, store, office, church, park, city hall, library, hospital, gym, school, museum, restaurant, campground, etc. Do not mark such parking with the Parking-Lot Area Place even if some locals use it as if it were general purpose.
- Unnamed transit-center parking if dedicated for transit-center patrons.
- Employee, student, resident, visitor, or guest parking.
- Parking for attendees of events, services, or performances.
- Parking associated with campuses, cemeteries, parklands, shopping malls, theme parks, stadiums, private installations, and office parks or complexes of any size or purpose.
Including noncompliant parking within larger Area Places
Some neighborhoods enjoy abundant but dedicated parking for shopping malls, office parks, theme parks, stadiums and the like. Parking lots for exceptionally large venues may even have distinct, named identities such as "South Lot", "Green Lot", etc. Such parking is typically not intended as general purpose and thus should NOT be marked with a Parking-Lot Area Place.
If an entire complex warrants an Area Place, any associated parking may be included within its boundaries; for example, a Shopping Mall Area Place with dedicated parking could include all stores and parking associated with the mall. Be sure this complies with local editing conventions before doing so. Even if this is done, however, the larger Area Place remains ineligible to include the "Parking Lot" category if the parking involved is dedicated and therefore special-purpose.
The Parking-Lot Point Place
As of this writing the client display of Parking-Lot Area Places versus Point Places remains unclear. In the future, the Parking-Lot Point Place may be useful for identifying parking in certain situations that would not be appropriate for the Area Place, for example campus, park, stadium, or theme-park parking zones, privately operated long-term public parking, or parking located within a multi-use structure.
Until more clarity emerges, new Parking-Lot Point Places should not be created. Existing named parking that does not comply with Parking-Lot Area Place guidelines may be converted, provisionally, to Point Places. Unnamed parking that does not comply with Parking-Lot Area Place guidelines should not be marked with the Parking-Lot category.