Philippines/Editing resources History

Map Editing Guide for the Philippines

It is presumed you have read Best map editing practice before reading this section. While most of the content in the Global Waze Wiki are applicable for the Philippine road network, the Waze map still needs to be tweaked and customized for the Philippines. Below is the general guideline for Waze map editing in the Philippines. This supersedes any generic guide wiki entries not specific to the Philippines.

Note to all would-be editors in the Philippines

Waze map editing differs from traditional cartography and other online cartography programs in that we don't just map exactly as we see. There are very specific ways to map out roads and places on the Waze Map Editor for routing to be correct, going far beyond seeing something and drawing it on the map. Many well-meaning editors have attempted to edit the Waze map without carefully perusing the guidelines first, causing damage to the map and messing up navigation instead. That being said, once you have gotten the hang of the rules, much of it is common sense and logic. It is, however, expected of every editor in the Philippines to be part of the community because Waze is ever-evolving and so are community guidelines.

Map Editing Priorities

Higher level editors especially Area Managers, are expected to maintain and update the area where they live. This means, L3+ editors SHOULD first work on their immediate vicinity. The reason for this is because you should have first hand information and should be familiar with your areas. You don't need to send messages to reporters to ask questions, this should facilitate for a faster resolution of URs.

The suggested way to clear your area is;

  1. Go to maximum zoom in level (10)
  2. Go to your location
  3. Zoom out one level at a time
  4. Resolve and UR, MP, PUR, etc.
  5. Repeat step 3 and 4

By doing this, you should be able to clear hole near your area. Even if you clear until zoom level 3 only, you would have cleared 12 sq km or an area within 1.5 km radius from your location.

The following should be prioritized if you are not working in your immediate area:

  1. Update Requests - Do this first to reduce the number of URs.
  2. Place Update Requests - Do this next if you have cleared ALL URs.
  3. System Detected Problems - Also known as Map Problems, these need checking as they may be valid issues.
  4. Place Points - Move place points to their exact locations, use personal knowledge or street view to accurately move place points to the correct locations.

The following are NOT priorities, work on the previous list instead of these:

  1. Speed limits - Don't be a points whore. You shouldn't be after points anymore since we don't look at it for level promotions.
  2. Alignment of place shapes - Seriously, you don't need to align every place to its perimeter. There is no added benefit to this for navigation. If even part of the place is within the perimeter or if the entry point is correct, Wazers will be led to the right location. You are just doing this for points if you do this.
  3. Aligning roads to aerials - It is impossible to exactly align segments to their exact locations based on the aerial images. You need to factor in elevation of the roads, parallax effect due to the angle of the satellite, accuracy of how the images were set in WME, etc. The tolerance for the map stickiness is around 20-30m so even if the segment is 20m off its location, Waze should still be able to handle it. Do something useful instead like doing the items on the priority list instead of this.

General Guidelines on Road Editing

1. Creating roads: You may use aerial images or GPS tracks as a guide, or you may use your recorded drives. When drawing roads, pay careful attention where you trace. Generally it is recommended that you trace right where the GPS tracks are thickest (if available). Please make sure the Roads layer is on before tracing a new road to prevent making duplicate/overlapping roads. Note also that we don't necessarily trace exactly what we see. See Best map editing practice for specifics.

2. Setting the road type:

  • Freeways – Toll Roads or Expressways where a toll fee needs to be paid
  • Ramps – On and off ramps from Freeways, segments that are not at-grade or ground level, used to connect segments with different levels
  • Major Highway – DPWH Primary Roads or roads that connect cities of > 100,000 population
  • Minor Highway – DPWH Secondary Roads or roads that connect other cities (i.e. <100,000 population), ports, ferry terminals, airports, tourist service centers, and other national government infrastructure to the primary network.
  • Primary Street – Main thoroughfares of a city or municipality and/or DPWH Tertiary Roads
  • Street – ordinary street, mainly residential
  • Off-road / Not maintained – drivable roads but not used for routing, except when 'allow dirt roads' option is enabled or if destination is on the dirt road.
  • Parking Lot Road – drivable roads within a commercial or private parking lots, used for routing but with a high time penalty. If the parking lot is covered, do not create any parking lot roads or if it is a parking building or structure and it does not have a roofdeck, do not create any parking lot roads. Map only the main roads leading to and out of the parking area, DO NOT map all the lanes inside the parking area.
  • Private Road – drivable roads within gated communities, subdivisions, villages, or compounds. Not used for routing except when destination is on the private road. All roads within the area must be the same private road type. Put '(sticker required)' on the main entrances to these areas where a pass or sticker is required.
  • Ferry - Ferries that meet any of these conditions should generally not be mapped
    • Passenger ferries without vehicles
    • Ferries requiring pre-booking
    • Private ferries unavailable to the general public
    • Ferries over two hours in duration If the ferry does not meet any of the above conditions, it can be added to the map
  • Walking Trails, Pedestrian Boardwalk, Stairway, Railroad, Runway/Taxiway – other non drivable and non-routable roads, do not map these unless they are used to landmark an area or to help in navigation. If the road is too narrow like an alleyway and only motorbikes and tricycles can drive through it, use Street instead and restrict access to it so that only select vehicles can be routed on it.

3. Setting road type attributes:

  • Toll Road - Expressways where toll fees are collected
  • Unpaved - If the road is a highway, primary, or a street but is unpaved. Different from off-road where only specialized vehicles can pass through
  • Tunnel - If the road is underground

4. Setting directionality: This is fairly straightforward for most roads. However, take note of the rules for splitting segments before mapping two parallel one-way segments going in opposite directions. Many Philippine roads should be mapped as two-way segments despite being split in reality (e.g. subdivisions with a guard house between the entrance and exit)

5. Setting the elevation level (Ground, Tunnel = -1, Flyover = 1, 2, 3, etc.): Only tunnels or underground roads are to be set to -1. If one road passes over another, the bottom road is Ground and the one that passes over is 1. Tunnels should at least be 100m in length, otherwise leave them as ground level unless they pass under a segment already on ground level.

6. Setting speed limits: Do this in accordance with REPUBLIC ACT No. 4136 Chapter IV Article 1 (Section 35) Restriction as to speed. Check here for details.

7. Connecting or creating junctions (attaching to existing roads): Before attempting to connect roads, make sure both roads are within your editing level. If any segment is above your level you will not be able to make a connection (they are not connected even if they look like they are). All you will have succeeded in doing was to put an end node on top of a segment. You will know that you have successfully made a connection/junction when you see the roads "snap" together, and turn direction arrows appear.

Do not make a connection/junction between non-routable road types (e.g. Walking Trails, Pedestrian Boardwalk, Stairway, Railroad, and Runway/Taxiway) and routable road types, even if they are connected in real life. This will cause routing problems.

8. Setting turn restrictions and u-turns on junctions: This is straightforward - red is disallowed, green is allowed. The easiest and fastest way to allow all turns is to click on the junction node and hit 'w' on your keyboard. This will set all turns to enabled or green.

Leaving a turn restriction disabled does not mean that Waze will not route to it, Waze might still route a turn to it since it is connected. Hence, for cases where driving through is physically impossible (e.g. there is a gate or wall between segments), the segments need to be totally disconnected from and placed 5m apart.

For u-turns at junctions (those fish-hook u turns at the ends of segments), the default is still to leave them disabled.

9. Naming roads: If you don't know the street name, add the city name and mark the street name as 'None'. Somebody else could edit it. Do not leave segments in red (unnamed). Do not name roundabouts, the road name will not wrap around the roundabout segments and will not look right on the map. It will also break the routing instructions for the roundabout.

Follow the PH Road Naming convention when adding road names -

  1. Always use the official name as the street name (DPWH Name).
  2. Do not use multiple street names separated with a slash "/" except if it will immediately fork into two exits. Or the exit leads to two separate turns
  3. If there are local (LGU) or other name for the street, add them as an alternative name
  4. Use punctuation for initials except for cardinal directions
  5. N, E, W, S, NE, NW, SE, and SW without punctuation will be read as cardinal directions
  6. Excluding route numbers, maximum length of street name should NOT exceed 5 words (street name)
  7. Do not use the word 'to' (preposition) on a street name, unless it is an actual street name. It will not sound right when using 'Adora' or non English TTS
  8. Do not use the word 'exit' (e.g. 'Exit to...') in the street name. It can be used when the street is commonly known to have one e.g. 'Marilao Exit'. Segment names are not localized so it will sound awkward when the rest of the instructions are in Filipino.
  9. Refer to the Philippines TTS List for a complete list of supported abbreviations

10. When naming streets, omit "City" and "Street". e.g. "Pasig City" to "Pasig" only and "Dela Rosa Street" to "Dela Rosa" only. Except when they are not "Streets" like "Kamias Road", "Aurora Boulevard", "Ayala Avenue", etc. If you are going to abbreviate, make sure you follow Waze Abbreviations and TTS standards so that our street names are ready for TTS (Text To Speech).

The City field should only contain the CITY or MUNICIPAL Name and NOT the AREASUBDIVISION, DISTRICT or BARANGAY NAME nor should it be combined with the PROVINCIAL Name.

Take extra care on the City labels of your edits. Unlike Street names which reflects edits (or corrections) quicker and appears on the next update, City names embeds much longer on the City tiles in the servers. So misspelled City names reflected during an update will appear for a long time in the client app despite any corrections made.

Stick to the official (but shortest possible) name of the jurisdiction being edited. If you are unsure of the political boundaries of the "city" you are editing, leave it at that for the moment. let's leave it to the more experienced and knowledgeable editors to sort this matter out.

On the matter of city labels, we omit the word "city" to derive the shortest possible official political name of the area. The only exceptions are Quezon, Cebu, Davao, Cavite, etc as these cities have a provincial counterpart. This will distinguish Quezon City with the province of QuezonCebu City with the province of Cebu, and so on. All other cities or municipalities will stand on its own without the label "City" or "Municipality", provided it does not have a same Province name.

Currently Waze has a global issue with cities having duplicate names (with the exception of North America). We are hoping to resolve this in the future by having the Province label (equivalent to State) activated. For the time being, to address this issue, the  province's initial, to which the city or municipality belongs to, is added (suffixed) to the name. e.g. Alaminos (L) for Laguna, Alaminos (P) for Pangasinan. Kindly refer to this link of repeating city names for a complete listing of all the cities and municipalities within the Philippines.

11. Splitting roads: Most Philippine roads can be mapped as a single road despite being split in reality. Do not split roads unless they are Expressways, Major, and Minor Highways. Even if they are Major or Minor highways, do not split them if they do not have wide median barriers. Split roads complicate routes and are harder to maintain. Some formal guidelines for splitting roads in the Philippines

A road should be split if:

  • GPS tracks show a clearly definable and continuous gap (blank area) between the color-by-azimuth arrows at the 100m/500ft zoom level.
  • Multiple houses or businesses with no off-street parking are located directly on the street but are not accesible from the opposite direction of traved due to lengthy median, obstruction, or traffic control signage.
  • U-Turns are required to properly make turns that are blocked by a median.

A road should not be split because:

  • There is a curb or non-drivable media less than 5m wide between lanes of travel. This means a turn lane, even a wide one, between directions of travel, does not count because it is drivable (see exceptions above).
  • The non-drivable median is interrupted by a cross segment at most intersections.
  • There is a center turn lane (any width) between directions of travel. Dividing this type of road creates problems when people turn from the middle lane because there is no road for the navigation to follow.
  • It is possible and legal to make a driver side turn/u-turn everywhere along the road
  • The objective is solely for visual appearance or to make the road match another visual source like Google Maps.

12. Turn Lanes or at-grade connectors: First and foremost, the need to have the turn lanes mapped needs to be established. As the driver approaches an intersection, Waze has usually given at least one warning that a turn is imminent, and we can assume that the driver is already looking for turn lanes. For most intersections, that is enough to guide the driver into the proper lane and to turn at the proper time; in other words, it is enough that the two roads intersect without separately mapped turning lanes. There are only a few situations in which connectors are called for in an intersection:

  • When the turn lane physically separates from the main road well in advance of the intersection
  • When the turn lane is far enough from the point of intersection on the map (due to the size of the intersection or the angle at which the roads meet) that the driver might overshoot while waiting for a delayed "turn" audible, or that the Waze client might become confused and disrupt navigation
  • When the area is "busy" enough that the driver may not get any advance warning that a turn is coming up--in which case a connector lets you notify the driver a little earlier
  • When there are user complaints (update requests) that the audible was too late, or that the map should have shown a connector
  • When you get an automated report (map problem) that the roads are too far apart due to the intersection being too far from the turn lane
  • When in doubt, leave it out. Each connector complicates the map and adds to your workload when the time comes to check connectivity, direction, name, etc

13. Locking roads: When you are confident of the area you have mapped, lock the roads to prevent any changes or edits on the roads. While we appreciate the help of newbie Waze editors in editing our maps, they are prone to creating errors if not informed and educated properly on our map editing guidelines. It would be great if we can direct them to read this guide first before they start doing any edits. Read the Philippines Locking Policy for more details.

14. KISS! - Keep It Simple, Stupid! Our maps should work best if they are kept simple rather than complex, therefore simplicity should be the main objective in our maps and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

General Guidelines on Editing Places

Places are the equivalent of Points of Interest (POIs) in other navigation systems. Unlike traditional cartography or other online maps, we do not map every single place/POI we see. We only add places that are likely to be useful for navigation. Hence, we do not map generic places such as fishball stands, sari-sari stores, plants, pedestrian footbridges/overpasses, etc. That is also why we try to avoid generic names such as "basketball court", "fountain", "store", etc. for places we've deemed worth mapping. See our Places Policy for more details.

  • Area Places - These are POIs that are useful visual landmarks and are mapped to be visual cues on the client app. .
  • Point Places - Most establishments should be mapped as a point place. These are searchable on the Waze app but not visible unless chosen as a destination

General Guidelines on other WME Objects

Map Comments

Map comments are used to communicate with other editors but it is NOT an alternative to the other communication channels of the community. Use it to leave short notes to other editors (e.g. "Do not connect these segments, there's a gate here"). DO NOT use it to request for edits as map comments are too easy to overlook.

See next section for guidance on use of Map Comments with Real Time Closures.

Real Time Closures

A Real Time Closure (RTC) is a temporary closure that is added to the map for segments that are impassable in one or both directions for any reason but does not need to be modified (i.e. no change in turn restrictions, etc.). This should NOT be used for lane closures. Read here for more details.

At present, editors level 4 and above are able to add and remove real-time closures to roads in the Philippines. Special permissions have also been given to our CCP partners such as the MMDA. For urgent closures, contact a local champ to facilitate the addition or removal of an RTC.

When setting RTCs based on information coming from an external source, the best practice is to add a Map Comment with a link to the source. This will be helpful for local editors to verify the info, and make changes if needed.

It is also recommended to lock the map comment to a higher level, and set an expiration date matching the closures end date. But please consult with your local community on that.

If you need to set an RTC that is more than a month long, make sure you check on it at least once a week. There have been a lot of instances where RTCs for several months have been placed and then never checked again. This resulted in segments being closed off from routing long after they have reopened. URs were piling up on the area due to this and routing has been severely affected on the area.

Watch a tutorial on adding Map Comments to RTCs here.

Speed Cameras

Adding any form of camera from the app has been disabled. This can only be added on WME by high level editors.

Major Traffic Events

A Major Traffic Event (MTE) is an event that involves road closures. Read here for more details.

Before making any MTE, please coordinate with local champs first. This is to prevent duplication of events and to make sure all closures are created and placed correctly.

Subdivisions, Villages, Gated, Restricted, and Private Compounds

In order to not break routing into gated areas, all roads inside these areas should be of the Private road type. If there are multiple entrances to these areas, consider implementing suggestions from the Private Installations wiki. If you are unsure how to do this, contact your area manager or a senior editor.