Rest areas

From Wazeopedia

Revision as of 18:31, 29 August 2014 by Sketch (talk | contribs) (→‎Adding a Place: naming)

This article is a US-based set of guidelines. It includes the community recommended guidelines for mapping rest areas.


In Waze, the following terms are defined as follows:

Rest Area

A convenient stopping place located directly off of a highway, which typically provides, at minimum, parking and restroom facilities. Some may have information kiosks, vending machines, picnic areas or "dump" facilities for RVs.

Welcome Center or Visitor Center

A special type of rest area, often located near state borders or near major airports.

Service Area or Service Plaza

In some states may also include private commercial businesses such as fuel stations, and restaurants. These rest areas are typically found along the East Coast.

Other related terms

A rest area or Rest Stop with limited or no public facility is a Parking Area, Scenic Area, Wayside Park, Roadside Park, or Picnic Area can cause false traffic reports if not mapped, so include them as a rest area when editing the map.

Mapping guidelines

Exiting the highway

Alabama Welcome 1.jpg

Road type

In general follow the standard guidelines for road types leaving the highway as can be seen along the highway nearby the rest area.

If the exit from the highway is a one-way road that can be taken at speed, it should be a ramp.

If the main entrance is a two-way road, just use a parking lot type.

As with all newly created roads, be sure to confirm the roads so they appear on the client map.


Follow the guidelines for your area when naming the exits from the highway. In the US follow these guidelines. For example a typical exit ramp would be named "Exit ##: Rest Area" (if numbered), or simply "to Rest Area" if not numbered.

The main parking area

Alabama Welcome 3.jpg

Road type

Inside the parking area there should be at least one segment using the parking lot road type that links between the exit from and return to the highway. Follow the general guidelines for mapping a parking lot meaning only the main roads of the rest area should be mapped.

Using only the parking lot road type will prevent the Waze server from sending cars off and on the highway through the rest area to avoid traffic.


Generally the parking lot roads are not named, but if inside the city limits be sure to include the city name.

Returning to the highway

Alabama Welcome 4.jpg

Road type

When selecting the road type, generally follow the same guidelines as was done for the exit from the highway unless it is significantly different from the exit and would not make sense to match the exit type.


Also follow the standard convention as was used for the exit. For interstates the typical convention would be "to I-5 N" (to Highway_Name Cardinal) and if a control city is shown on the local signs use "to I-5 N / Sacramento".

Adding a Place

Alabama Welcome 2.jpg

The Rest Area Place area should be covered by an Area Place, drawn to the borders, and along right-of-way of the adjacent highway, but not snapped to the highway. Use two separate Places if there are two separate rest areas on opposite sides of a single highway. Use the "Transportation" category.

Except for Welcome Centers, name the Place using the highway name, cardinal direction, and mile marker in the following format: [highway] [direction] mile [mile] [Rest Area type]. For example,

I-59 N mile 152 Rest Area – for a rest area on northbound I-59 at mile marker 152.
I-59 S mile 11 Parking Area – for a parking area (no services) on southbound I-59 at mile marker 11.
I-10 mile 122 Rest Area – for a rest area on I-10 at mile marker 122 which is accessible from both sides of a highway.
I-75 S mile 15 Scenic View - for a scenic overlook (signed "scenic view") on southbound I-75 at mile marker 15

For named service plazas and travel plazas (which typically offer fueling stations, restaurants, etc.), you may use the common name:

I-77 mile 45 Beckley Travel Plaza – for the Beckley Travel Plaza, a large service plaza on the WV Turnpike
New Jersey Tpke N mile 5 John Fenwick Service Area – for the John Fenwick Service Area on the northbound NJ Turnpike

Also, if fuel is offered, add a Gas Station Place over that location in the service plaza.

Do not use a given name for a standard rest area, however, as those names are not typically known to the general driving public. You may put a name given to a rest area by the state DOT in the "description" field of the Place.

For Welcome Centers, name the Place using the highway name, cardinal direction, and state name in the following format: [highway] [direction] [state] Welcome Center / Rest Area. For example:

I-65 S Alabama Welcome Center / Rest Area for the Ala. welcome center on southbound I-65
I-81 N Virginia Welcome Center / Rest Area for the Va. welcome center on northbound I-81

This way, welcome centers should also be found when searching "Rest Area", since they typically have the same services.