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This page covers the mapping techniques to use for private installations and for neighborhoods that have restricted access of some kind.



Military Bases
Gated Community
Gated Community

A Private Installation or Community is a small to large restricted-access set of regularly navigable roads connected at one or more points to a public road network. The smallest example may be a single private community street protected by a gate. The largest USA installation is White Sands Missile Range at 3,200 square miles, larger than the USA’s smallest state, which includes dirt roads, primary streets and highways. We wish to address such locations because many people work and live within private installations and Waze should be capable of serving their needs as well as preventing erroneous routes through private installations for those who do not have access.

Actual access restriction in these installations or communities is usually implemented by gates or guards that only allow entry by authorized individuals or vehicles. An unmanned means of preventing one-way access could be tire puncture strip that would deflate tires of vehicles going in one direction. In some cases access may be unrestricted by physical means, but may be implemented through patrols, cameras, or other means that would lead to a response to apprehend an unauthorized visitor.

A private installation, particularly larger government facilities, may have nested levels of access control. A particular region of the installation may be excluded to those who have general access to the larger installation. Larger examples may have all types of roads such as primary streets and highways. Smaller examples would only have roads and dirt roads.


Figure 1. General Concept

Waze should not automatically route onto or through a private installation unless the source or destination point is within the installation. Figure 1 shows the general concept of a private installation which is embedded in a public road network. In this case there are two access points. Waze should route around the private installation from A to B even though a shorter or faster route might exist through the installation. Waze should also be able to route from A to C or C to A, where C is located within the private installation.

Figure 2. Nested access on Private Installations.

Figure 2 shows that some, usually larger, private installations may have nested levels of access. Waze should be able to route on or off of a private installation at any level of nested access without entering a separate access area of a deeper level. Route A to B illustrates this concept. Additionally, Waze should be able to navigate from a deeper level of nested access to any other point including off the private installation. Routes between points C and D illustrates routing onto or off of the private installation. Routes between points E to F shows navigation between nested levels. Waze should also be able to navigate well within a larger installation that has multiple road types.


We suggest two separate approaches for treatment of these installations or communities, one for smaller installations and one for larger installations. Due to the large variability in these installations or communities, the editor may have to adjust or combine approaches based upon the details of the particular installation or community. Therefore benefits and detriments of listed approaches are provided as guidance.

Underlying logic

Waze uses a routing penalty system to control traffic flow. This approach for controlling traffic into and through private installations depends upon that routing logic. When a Private or Parking Lot segment is used on the map, the Waze routing server places a routing penalty when transitioning from a Private or Parking Lot segment to and non-private or non-parking lot segment. When a destination is a parking lot, there is no penalty to reach the parking lot. However if the destination is on the far side of a parking lot on a standard street, Waze will try to avoid driving through the parking lot to get to the street on the other side. The same is true for private segment types.

Places / City Names for Private Installations

Should a private installation be marked over it's entire area as a Place Area (old landmark)? Not always. Very small private installations are usually marked by a Area Place over their entire area. This does not make sense for larger private installations that might have other Places within them or that are actually cities. For these larger installations, use the city field of all street names to name the private installation.

In general here is specific guidance about Private Installations use of Places or City Names:

  • Does the state DOT consider it a city? If so, then use City Names in each street to identify the installation.
  • Does the US Post Office consider it a city with it's own zip code? If so, then use City Names.
  • Does the local community consider it a city like entity? Then maybe it should have a City Name if it is large, or an Area Place if it is small.
  • Is it large enough that an overall Area Place on the Private Installation would obscure finer detail Area Places below? If so, use City Names. If not, use an Area Place to denote the Private Installation.

What smaller Place should be included within a larger private installation? We should generally follow the rules that are set for Places in cities and areas. In addition to these, you might also consider marking the following as Places because they are critical navigation and destination points:

  • Entry/Exit gates (Place Area)
  • Visitor Centers (Place Area)
  • Museums and other similar destinations the installation may maintain
  • Memorials
  • Parade Fields
  • Items locally useful for navigation

You should avoid mapping Places that are specific to private or military uses on a private installation. See the Places Wiki Page for specifics about using an Area or Point for these items.

Background Testing

Significant testing of these suggestions have been tested on actual private installations of various types and discussed in the Waze Forum. You may wish to test your edits. Here are some suggestions of how you may accomplish this after you make edits.

  • Monitor that area for User Reports.
  • Test drive.
    • Navigate between two distant points outside the private installation to ensure no through-routing.
    • Navigate from outside to inside the private installation, drive around the outside of the private installation and ensure rerouting occurs to the logical nearest gate.
    • If you have access to the private installation, repeat the above, by by driving around inside the installation.
  • Test routes in Live Map to ensure no through-routing and good on/off installation routing.
  • Test routes in client by setting various "from" and "to" destinations without having to drive.

Smaller Installations

Definition - Smaller Installations

NOTE: This approach of "Smaller Installations" is now being questioned due to routing problems observed when using this approach. We suggest that you use the "Larger Installations" approach in all cases for the moment.

Smaller installations are those private installations or communities with few roads that can be easily represented by only normal street types and that have a single level of access control. Specifying exact size is not effective because of significant variation in these installations. Typically these attributes might indicate an installation is small: (a) less than 20-30 roads, (b) no secondary or highway streets needed.

Moderate sized installations between "smaller" and "larger" will exist and discretion of the local editor should be considered.


  • Small gated/private community
  • Gated country club with smaller area
  • Private school
  • Small closed commercial campus
  • Very Small Military sites (e.g., National Guard armories)
  • Smaller Government sites

This does not include paid parking lots and other parking facilities. These are to be mapped with parking lot roads. See the Special Rules section below.

Preferred Approach: Smaller Installations

Gated Community - Smaller Installation

Mark all roads internal to these areas as private roads.

Benefits of this approach are simplicity and a more robust solution to naïve editor error. If a new connection is made to this private road network from the public road network, no additional traffic will accidentally route through the region. In addition, manual locks are not usually required which allows other editors to more easily make changes.

Detriments of this approach are that no dirt roads, primary streets, or highways may be identified and multiple levels of access control are difficult or impossible.

Smaller Installation: Other Notes / Details

A. Mixing road types in a smaller installation

Because smaller installations are often most easily handled with all private road segments, we presented just one approach. Editors may see need for mixing other road types such as street, dirt, and parking lot within a smaller installation. Note that a single rogue normal street segment or clusters of street segments within an area set to all private roads will be avoided similarly to a private road or cluster of private roads within an area of street segments.

B. Guest Gates & Resident Gates

Some, usually moderate sized installations, like private communities, may have some gates that are used by residents only and others that are used by residents and guests.  Resident-only gates might be unmanned and have automated access with radio tags, card swipes, or code entry.  Guest gates are often manned by guards that decide if access is permissible.  Furthermore, egress by anyone is usually permitted through a guest and resident-only gate.

Note: In Private Installation communities sufficiently large to have both guest gates and resident gates, it is recommended that roads within that installation be handled like larger installations - regular street types.  This is because variations on handling differences between resident gates and visitor/resident gates will work more easily if the internal road network is not all private.

There is no means to automatically route a particular Wazer through the right kind of gate because Waze does not know if the particular client is a resident or not and there is no logic in the map or client to differentiate which gate to access.  Use of mapping per this Private Installations page will typically route to the nearest entry point.

A work-around for this situation is to use a sufficiently large Area Place (so it is visible) to mark the guest access points to the Private Installation.  Name the Area Place "X Guest Gate," where X is the name of the Private installation.  You may use other appropriate wording.  Then have the Wazers route to this Area Place through search or by touching it on the client display and routing to it.  After entry into the gate, the Wazer can route to the intended destination.  For those who know how to add a waypoint (or stop) to a Waze route the process is as follows.  First route to the intended destination.  Then next immediately  route again to the Guest Gate.  The Waze Client will ask if this should be a new stop on the route.  Reply "yes."  Waze will then route first to the appropriate gate, then to the indented destination within the Private Installation.  Routing out of the installation will use the nearest gate unless this process is also followed.

Do not disconnect roads to alter routing into Private Installations because this does not reflect reality in the road system, impacts residents that can enter any gate, and stops people from routing out of the Private Installation.

Larger Installations

Definition: Larger Installations

Larger installations are those private installations or communities that are large enough such that there is some reason to have primary streets or highways or because that installation requires multiple levels of access control (installations within installations). Specifying exact size is not effective because of significant variation in these installations. Typically these attributes might indicate an installation is large: (a) more than 20-30 roads, (b) secondary or highway streets needed.

Moderate sized installations between "smaller" and "larger" will exist and discretion of the local editor should be considered.


  • Larger Military base
  • Larger Government sites
  • Huge hunting lodge and hunting grounds, ranches, etc.
  • Large closed commercial campus
  • Large country club or private communities with multiple entrances

Private installations covered by this article do not include airports or theme parks. See the bottom of this article for special rules concerning roads in airports and theme parks.

Larger Installation Treatment common attributes:

The general approach is to isolate the entire installation from the public road network with private roads or one-way exit roads. This will prevent Waze from routing through a private installation unless the route begins or ends on the installation. All roads within an installation will be of type appropriate for that road (dirt road, street, primary street, minor highway, major highway, freeway). In order to prevent novice editors from changing these access controls, the private and one-way roads, and any necessary connecting roads should be locked at a level as high as appropriate or possible.

Benefits of the two following treatments are allowing full use of road types within the installation resulting in better routing and a simple logical notion that the private segments (or one-way segments) represent the gates or guards on a road protecting entrance into an installation. It also allows nested levels of access control. The approach for smaller installations does not allow this to occur.

Detriments of the two following treatments are that the private road segments isolating the installation from the public road network and internal nested installations should be locked to prevent change by novice editors. In addition, a novice user could connect one or more new roads between the installation and the public road network that would potentially begin to have Waze route through installation roads that are not accessible; however, this would require two such errors by the novice and should result in URs and those areas could be repaired and locked in the future.

Warning: Do not mix the two treatments (preferred & alternate) shown below on the same nested level of a private installation. If you do, exit routing from an installation would favor the one-way regular exit roads and avoid the two-way entrance/exits. This would create incorrect exit routing. You may mix the preferred/alternate treatments at different nested levels. For instance you may use the preferred treatment at the first level of an installation and then use the alternate treatment for a second internal nested level.

Preferred Treatment: Larger Installations

Access Point detail - Preferred Treatment

Each entrance to the installation should be connected by a one-way split road entering and exiting the installation. The entering one-way road will include one private road segment. The exiting one-way road will be of one segment using the appropriate type of that road (usually street, primary street, or minor highway). This structure often mimics the actual lanes for such installations. The private road segments, one way exiting segments, and surrounding roads should be locked with a high enough level lock to prevent novice editors from deleting or changing this control.

Larger installation preferred treatment example. Note that this road is of a "primary" type but the private segment used for the inbound lane is used to prevent through-routing.
Larger installation preferred treatment example. Note that this road is of a regular "street" type. The private road segment is used for the inbound lane.

Nested private installations (wholly within another private installation) will likewise be isolated in the same manner or Alternate Treatment from the larger installation.

Benefits of this preferred treatment is that it allows the exiting road to be of any type and of no penalty to routing out of the installation.

A detriment of this treatment is a more complex structure than the alternate treatment for larger installations.

Warning: See warning above in the "Common Attributes" section about mixing the preferred and alternate treatments within the same nested level of a private installation.

Alternate Treatment: Larger Installations

Access Point detail - Alternate Treatment

An alternate approach for these installations is to connect to public road networks through one short private two-way road segment at each entrance or exit to the installation. This effectively isolates the entire installation from the public road network unless a route begins or ends within the installation. All roads within an installation will be of type appropriate for that road (dirt road, street, primary street, minor highway, major highway, freeway). The private road segments and surrounding roads should be locked with a high enough level lock to prevent novice editors from deleting or changing this control.

Alternate Treatment for Larger Installations

Nested private installations (wholly within another private installation) will likewise be isolated in the same manner or Preferred Treatment from the larger installation.

Benefit of this alternate treatment is that it is structurally simpler than the preferred treatment.

Detriment of this treatment is that it does not allow any road type to be used for the exiting protective one-way segments in the preferred treatment.

Warning: See warning above in the "Common Attributes" section about mixing the preferred and alternate treatments within the same nested level of a private installation.

Larger Installation: Other Notes / Details

A. Public Roads Across Private Installations

Many larger military bases and perhaps other private installations sometimes have long right-of-way permissions for a publicly accessible road, often times this is a highway or primary street. (e.g., US-70 through White Sands Missile Range.) These highways run across the private installation with no restriction to traffic but provide no access to the installation itself. Editors should not create any access restrictions in these regions. Because these roads are often times fenced off on both sides from the private installation, editors should be on the look out for private installation roads inappropriately connected to the public road. These are usually locked off by gates most of the time, in which case the road can be disconnected or have a gap. Some of these are entry/exit gates with treatments noted above.

B. Preventing Other Editors from Making Mistakes

One method of preventing mistakes from novice editors has already been discussed, locking of the private road segments and surrounding segments. There is another approach that may be valuable.

Larger private installations, such as a military base, that are embedded in a city often have legacy roads that used to connect to the public road network. From the Waze Editor aerial images, it can look like these roads actually connect to the private installation, when upon closer inspection (if possible) there is really a fence that permanently blocks the road. There may also be a fence gate that is closed most of the time, only opened when guards are present. In both these situations, there should be no road connection, or a gap in the road network within the Waze Editor.

Novice editors or experienced editors that are not paying attention, may accidentally connect these roads when they should not be connected. One should lock these segments. One may also put a signpost only available to editors noting this issue. Until Waze implements signposts for editors, one may use Live Map to inert a Problem Report at the location, then go back to that report in the editor and enter a note such as "Do not delete this report.  Fence gate at this location is always closed." This should alert and remind editors that the roads should not be connected.

C. Gate Closures and Restrictions

Many larger installations will have access/entry points or gates that have limited hours or that are closed on certain holidays. Utilize Scheduled Restrictions in the editor to allow Waze to know when to route through a particular gate. These are typically not turn restrictions, but restrictions on traversing a segment. Some gates can be very isolated on larger installations so routing may navigate someone 10 to 30 minutes to a closed gate.

When doing this, enable Scheduled Restrictions for only one segment in each direction to reduce editing errors and maintenance. This segment should be the private road segment on the inbound direction (or the single two-way private segment). For entry points with a one-way outbound regular road type, it should be the segment adjacent to the private inbound segment. Scheduled restrictions would usually be the same on these two segments unless the private installation has differing entry and exit policy.

You can find the hours of gates or entry points through the private installation website or by calling the appropriate private installation authority.

D. Area Places for Access/Entry Points

Entry points for larger Private Installations are typically named such as "North Gate" or "Maxwell Gate." These are Area Places that are useful for those using Waze to understand their location relative to the Access Point. It is suggested an Area Place of type "Professional and public" then "Government" be generated over the larger region of the Access Point and named with the short name of that Access Point. Do not make the Area Place just the size of the guard houses or other features. Make it large enough to encompass the area so that it is easily seen on the Waze client.

If you do not know the name of the Access Point, do not create an Area Place. Names of Access Points may be known locally or found on on a website about the private installation.

Additional information about Places is in the Special Rules section.

Installations with Special Rules

Military Bases and Government Installations

While road treatment is covered in the body of this Wiki page, questions often arise about what items to landmark by adding Area and Point Places on these facilities.  This is particularly important if you have access to these locations as a resident, worker, or visitor and use that access to learn something about the Private Installation.  A general rule is to not mark specific locations with a Place unless the public installation website provides that information via directors or maps.  Specific examples of what not to map include organizational names occupying buildings, building numbers, hangar numbers, etc. when they are not publicly available.  Examples of items to usually map include gates, visitor access points, and frequent destinations like marching fields, parks, museums, etc.

Landmarks (Places) approved for military bases

  • Commissary
  • PX/BX
  • Gas stations
  • Parks
  • Museums

Parking Lots

Paid parking lots and other parking facilities are to be mapped with parking lot roads, and not according to the Private Installation rules defined in this article. See Best map editing practice#Parking Lots.

Theme Parks

Publicly accessible roads in a theme park, even after a pay-station/gate, are to be mapped with parking lot roads, similarly to other paid parking lots. Furthermore, be careful with mapping the "backstage" private roads which are only to be used by employees. It may be wise to not map these roads, similarly to "air-side" airport roads as described below (but to a lesser extent), so that routes are given to the public entrance of the theme park facility.


Do not map the private, restricted-access roads on airport grounds at all. Map airport roads which are accessible to the public (terminal pick-up/drop-off roads, parking lot access roads, etc.) as public roads, not as private installations.

Airports have "air-side" restricted road networks that allow traffic for baggage carts, service vehicles, airplane fuel tankers, etc. While it may be tempting to map this road network either as an isolated set of roads or with provisions cited elsewhere in this document for Private Installations, this should not be done. Here's why:

  • A large number of people use Waze to navigate to airports. The particular search service or function that returns a GPS coordinate to Waze may be in error, placing the destination marker nearer to the air-side private road network of the airport than to the public airport roads. This could lead to an incorrect route or even an impossible-to-reach destination, which would frustrate the traveler.
  • The private air-side road network of an airport tends to be both close to and accessible from the public road networks around the airport and therefore is more prone to this navigation error.
  • Very few people use the private road network of an airport, relative to the great number that use an airport's public access roads. To those that have requested this function, we apologize. The benefit of doing this for few would likely inconvenience many. We suggest routing to the nearest spot to your destination (i.e., the gate) on the public road network.

In some cases, military bases hold public airports. In such situations, some discretion and creativity may be needed to decide which roads on the airport should not be mapped and which on the military base should be mapped. Usually there is a second perimeter around the airport separating it from the base.