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:
- 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.
- 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. These also have navigational value, and provide drivers a safe place to pull off the highway to rest, or do other tasks. These should be included as a rest area when editing the map (with special guidelines below).
Exiting the highway
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. If the Rest Area has a unique name or additional information, posted on signs at or approaching the area, common to plazas, and welcome centers, that should be included in the ramp name. Basically Entrance ramps should be named matching their signs, according the Road Names wiki guidance.
|Sign Says||Ramp Name|
|Rest Area =>||to Rest Area|
|Parking Area =>||to Parking Area|
Louisiana Welcome Center
|to Rest Area / Louisiana Welcome Center|
Tourist Information Center
|to Rest Area / Tourist Information Center|
Beckley Travel Plaza
|Exit 34: Beckley Travel Plaza|
|to Rest Area / Trucks Only|
|Truck Haven||to Truck Haven|
The main parking area
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
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
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.