Philippine Places Policy
This will serve as a guide for Waze Philippines on how to edit places and what should be approved and rejected for Place Update submissions.
The community has come up with very specific standards for the classification and naming of places. All editors who want to edit places in the Philippines are asked to observe the following standards very carefully. At present verified places are locked to at least Level 4 to ensure that all edits will be reviewed by a local champ.
Before anything else, decide whether a place has to be on the WME at all. We only add a location that:
will likely be a destination for driving and/or is a significant visual landmark,
is not a private residence
is NOT a road (roads are already searchable on the app and it makes no sense to add them as places)
actually exists ("sa puso mo" or "bahay ng duwende" will not work).
Please follow the following steps/guidelines when adding a New Place:
The first thing to do when adding a new place is to make sure the location is correct.
Make sure the contemplated place will not be a duplicate of another place on the WME, be it an Area Place or a Point Place.
In determining if a new place is a duplicate, you may need to
Manually examine existing places in the area
Use the WME search bar. Sometimes you will find that the place is already registered in the Waze map.
Determine whether it should be an Area Place or Point Place (see guidelines for place type), then choose the appropriate category (see place categories).
Once you've added a place you must then add all the pertinent details. At the minimum you should put the Name and Address. Unnamed places are useless for navigation and are not searchable on the app. As for place addresses, remember to remove the DPWH RNS number from the street name, and make sure the house number is purely numeric (letters will not be accepted).
Make sure the navigation point (if an area place) or the point place are placed right where the Wazer is supposed to be notified that they've arrived. If an Area Place will go beyond a city's/municipality's boundary or will cover more than one city/municipality, mark the city address as none. For bodies of water like creeks, rivers, lakes, sea, etc. mark the city address as none, this is so that their area will not be added to the city tile.
- Area Places - These are primarily POI locators though they also serve another function on the Waze map. They serve as navigation aids and visual cues. So if a place is a significant landmark (serves as a navigation cue) and is more than 50m on its X or Y coordinates, you can use this place type. If it is smaller than 50m, consider adding a Point Place instead. Compounds and buildings fall under this place type.
- Pointers for using Area Places:
When drawing an Area Place make sure to include the entire place including its parking lot. Draw it right up to its fences/walls. The parking lot then has to be drawn as another Area Place within the bigger establishment. The bigger place will appear as a gray polygon in the app while the parking lot will appear as a blue polygon that will only appear as the Wazer is approaching the destination.
When drawing an area place, be very conscious of parallax, especially for very tall buildings. Don't just simply trace the entire building, as that will result in a misrepresentation of the actual location of the building. Try to trace the base of the building instead. A helpful technique, though not applicable to all, is to trace the rooftop of the building first and then move it to the base of the building. As with all Area Places, do not forget to move the navigation point to the correct location. On a related note, try to draw the simplest shape for the building - no need to trace the intricacies of a building when a simple rectangle/square/other basic polygon will do.
Try to avoid drawing an Area Place within an Area Place. This will not display properly on the client and will only appear as one whole gray area. The only exception is if it is essential for navigation that the name of the smaller place appears on the map.
When drawing adjacent Area Places, do not let their borders overlap or touch each other. Always leave some space between the two, otherwise it will render as a contiguous sea of gray on the app.
- Placement of the navigation point:
Leave the navigation point at the location where the Wazer should be informed that he/she has arrived, relative to the road. Keep in mind that the client will route the driver to the road segment nearest to the navigation point.
For places with multiple entrances, try to locate the main entrance and use that. For places with in-building parking, DON'T leave the navigation point at the parking entrance. Instead, draw another area place for the parking and use that place's navigation point to indicate the parking entrance. The driver will be routed to the main entrance/lobby but will also be shown the entrance to the parking lot as he/she approaches the place.
DO NOT leave the navigation point right on top of a road segment, and especially not on top of a node - this can make it difficult to edit. Leave it off to the side of the segment, as this will also serve as a visual cue to the Wazer as to which side of the road the establishment is on. Try to avoid placing geometry nodes on top of segments for the same reason.
- Point Places - These are the main POI locators for establishments that you want to add on the map. Adding these makes these places searchable on the Waze app but not visible on the map unless selected as a destination. If there is already an Area Place, do not add a Point Place and vice versa. Establishments inside a building or compound fall into this place type.
- Placement of point places:
DO NOT leave a point place and/or its navigation point right on top of a road segment, and especially not on top of a node. This can make it difficult to edit. Leave it off to the side of the segment, as this will also serve as a visual cue to the Wazer as to which side of the road the establishment is on.
Put the Point Place at the actual location of the establishment and put the navigation point adjacent to the nearest road segment to which the Wazer should be guided. These two don't always have to be separated, and it is perfectly acceptable to keep these joined as long as routing will remain correct and the point place is not too far from its actual location.
Special Place Categories
- Gas Station - Gas stations should always be mapped as Area Places. If the X or Y coordinate of the contemplated place is not long enough, consider adding a small spike on one of the sides so that it goes over 50m in length. This is so that it will get displayed on the client app.
- - Please note NOT to use "Others" for gas station brand as this can cause issues with categorial search results (the name of the gas station gets displayed as "Others" instead of the actual name of the gas station).
- Parking Lot - All parking lots should be mapped as Area Places. Once added to the WME, Parking Lot categories cannot be changed so be very careful about using this category or approving PURs using this category. Trace the parking lot as an area and place the navigation point at the entrance. Use the establishment's name followed by "Parking" or "Carpark" when naming. For parking lots with no official name or are not associated with an establishment, don't leave them unnamed. Use "Parking Lot" as its name instead.
- Add the following information if it is known:
- Operator - The company that owns and operates the parking lot.
- Parking Lot Type:
- Public - available for parking to general public without restriction. Does not matter what your destination is or whether or not there is a fee.
- Restricted - available to general public under certain conditions. Any individual can park here as long as that individual is visiting this store, or this restaurant, or this shopping mall. You do not need a permit, any person can park there as long as that person meets certain conditions. Examples are stores, restaurants, shopping centers, some "visitor parking" lots (e.g., at an apartment complex or a university)
- Private - available only to a select group of people. Only certain persons (e.g., residents of a certain condominium complex, workers in a certain office building, students at a particular university) can park there. You may need a permit to park there.
- Opening hours - hours of operation
- Number of spots
- Hospital/Urgent Care - Only places that offer emergency medical services may use this category. Other medical/paramedical facilities must be categorized as Doctor/Clinic or Offices.
- Residence/Home - This category is no longer an option in the drop-down menu on the WME but is still in use for some old places. At present this category can only be added by Wazers using the client. These are private residences that will not be searchable on the client app. The names of old places that used this category have been automatically removed. If you see any public place using this category, choose a more appropriate category and rename it. Only private residences should use this category. If it has been mapped correctly it should appear as a triangular point place. Area Places using this category are incorrect.
- Refer to the Places Policy for more details on what can be added.
Place names are very important because it affects search results. Make sure the name you use for a place will not only correctly identify the place but will not result in confusion for someone looking for it.
For most places, use the name on the signage as the primary name and then add alternative names for other commonly-known names for the establishment. Observe proper capitalization: we use Title Case for all place names regardless of how it is written on the signage, though we make an exception for acronyms.
For businesses with multiple franchises make sure to put a branch name/locator after the business name, following this format: <Business Name> - <Branch/Locator>. This is to prevent getting multiple generic names when a Wazer is searching for a specific branch. When deciding what branch name to put consider what a Wazer will likely use as a search term. This is of particular importance for gas stations whose branch names are often not known by customers and are instead known for their location. In those cases we use the location as the branch name.
*Please note the dash between the business name and branch name. The exceptions to this format are Banks and other places that already have dashes (not hyphens) in their names.
For a place-within-a-place (e.g. condominium buildings within a larger development, business establishments within a mall, school buildings within a larger school compound, etc.), put the name of the building/establishment first, followed by the name of the larger place (separated by a dash). Example - Building A - Alphabet Estates
Use the "Alternative Names" to add other possible iterations of the name that you think an ordinary Wazer might use to search for the place.
Name: ABC ; Alternative Names: Alpha Beta Charlie, AlphaBetaCharlie
Name: D and E Enterprises ; Alternative Names: D & E Enterprises, D & E Ent., D and E Ent.
Other Place Details
Put only verified services and operating times. Leave blank if unsure
Phone number format: +63 (Area Code) XXX XXXX OR +63AreaCode XXX XXXX (no dashes)
Website format: Remove "http://" or "https://" and remove any slash (/) at the end
Address: use the establishment's listed address whenever possible. Do not use the DPWH RNS, and do not just copy the Waze road name (e.g. avoid using 1: EDSA S or 1: EDSA W, just use EDSA). Some wazers mistakenly use the house number field for the phone number. Please correct accordingly. As of this writing, only numeric house numbers are accepted. Do not accept alphanumeric house numbers, particularly those that use the Block and Lot number format.
External Providers: Sometimes Waze uses third-party results for places, and unfortunately, many of these third-party results are wrong. Use this feature to link Google Maps results to Waze places so that even if the user selects the Google result, they will still be routed to the Waze place. When this feature was launched, places were auto-linked to Google Maps. It still happens for new places that we add to the map. Always check if the auto-linked places are correct. You can also manually link/unlink places.. [This feature is available only to editors level 3 or higher]
HANDLING PLACE UPDATE REQUESTS
Place Update Requests (PURs) are place reports sent from the client app. There are four kinds of PURs: New Place, New Picture, New details for place, and Flag requests.
Every report that gets approved counts toward a user becoming trusted. A trusted user's submissions will no longer have to be reviewed before appearing on the app. This is why we are very strict about approving reports - we don't want careless people to become trusted users. On the other hand, any user can be distrusted if they submit a certain number of PURs that have been rejected. However, regardless of trusted/distrusted status, users can get blacklisted and banned from adding places if they have enough submissions that get flagged. We also track places that have to be removed - if we see a pattern where a certain user created many of these, he could get blacklisted.
General Guidelines for all PURs
Before approving a New Place or PUR, it is good practice to:
Google the establishment to confirm if it really exists and acquire more details from the websites
Use the WME/Google Street View to confirm the exact location of the establishment. It should be noted that the images may not be up to date but there may be familiar structures that can help you determine the correct location. This is particularly helpful if the PUR has a photo of the establishment.
Reviewing "New Place" Reports
There are two kinds of "New Place" reports - reports for public places and Residence/Home.
For "New place" PURs for public places, apply the same standard for creating new places on the WME. That is, determine first if it even needs to be on the WME and make sure it is in the correct location before approving. Once you approve a new place, edit it further to make sure it fits our standards for places (above). If you have to move the location, change the category, place type, etc, do so. Delete inappropriate pictures if there are any.
For "New place" PURs under the Residence/Home category, approve only places with a valid address (house number required). Make sure the location is correct. Once done, edit the road segment adjacent to the place and add the street number to the segment.
- New places that are legitimate POIs. Confirm if it is a real place and at the correct location.
- New places marked as Residence/Home WITH Address (Street number and Street)
- Place submissions for roads/streets - check if the adjacent segment is correctly named, reject the PUR.
- Duplicate places - If the new place contains more information or detail than the existing place, copy these information over to the old place and then reject the new place submission.
- Inappropriate places - bored Wazers submit all sorts of things as places: traffic, trees, dirty fingers, cuss words, etc. Report these places to a local champ so the erring reporter can be dealt with accordingly.
- Incorrect capitalization and spelling - create new place instead and reject UR.*
- Incorrect information*
*Why not just approve the place and manually correct the capitalization/spelling/information? If a reporter gets a certain number of reports approved, he/she eventually becomes a trusted user and their submissions will no longer need to be reviewed before appearing on the app. We don't want someone careless to become a trusted user so reject these reports.
DO NOT FORGET TO LOCK NEW PLACES TO LEVEL 4 (or the highest level available to you if you are below L4).
In reviewing pictures, put yourself in the shoes of someone who will be going to that place and does not know where to go or what to look for. The picture should be something that will make it easier for anyone to find that place.
- Clear image of entrance/facade
- Clear image of building or structure
- Images including a signage / billboard of the establishment displaying its name &/or address
- House or residence images set to private viewing - that is, approve only for places classified as Residence/Home
- House or residence images set to public viewing - that is, places not classified as Residence/Home
- Obstructed view or taken while inside a vehicle
- Images with faces
- Dark images
- Blurred images
- Images with clear plate number or conduction sticker of vehicles
- Interior images of buildings
- Images showing incorrect place
- Pornographic images or other inappropriate pictures
- Blank/Green image - the reporter encountered problems uploading the photo
Reviewing "New Details for Place" Reports
Accept only updates that are correct. Again, we do not want careless or malicious people to become trusted users. If there are just minor formatting issues, that is fine to approve, otherwise reject all submissions that do not conform to our standards above. Pay special attention to services offered, as many Wazers like to add multiple services even if the establishment does not offer it, just to get extra points. Also be very wary of requests to edit the location/navigation point, as many users like to move this to their residence. Some like to hijack an existing place to add the details of another place instead of creating a New Place request. Many also like changing the name of a public place to "Home" or "X's Residence." Needless to say, be careful in approving new details for any place.
Adding place addresses
See guidelines for addresses above. DO NOT add the RNS route numbers or blindly copy the Waze road name. Use just the official street names.
- Correct information
- Wrong information
- Wrong capitalization
Reviewing Flag Requests
Be careful about approving flag requests because depending on the what the place was flagged for, selecting "solved" results in different consequences. At the same time, a Wazer whose submissions get flagged enough times can get banned from submitting PURs. This would be fine if we didn't have other Wazers who abuse the flag function but some people just flag stuff for no reason.
Flag reasons and appropiate actions to take
Closed or moved - select "delete place" only if you are sure the place is closed and will not re-open. Some places close temporarily, for renovations or other reasons.
Duplicate - DO NOT choose to merge places even if they are duplicates. Previous attempts at merging places have resulted in both places becoming unusable. Instead, select "ignore flag", choose to retain the older place, copy pertinent details from the newer place to the older place, make sure all details are correct for the place that will be retained, and then delete the newer place.
Inappropriate place - selecting "solved" will result in the place getting deleted. Do this only if you are sure the place does not belong on the map.
Residential place - selecting "solved" will result in the place getting re-categorized as a Residence/Home. Places under this category lose their name and become unsearchable on the app. Such flags should only be approved for private residences. The following DO NOT qualify as private residences: Condominiums, villages/subdivisions, barangays, and any other place where the public is allowed.
Wrong details - select "solved" only if the details were actually wrong. Otherwise, select "ignore flag". Some people like flagging gas stations for having the wrong prices. Ignore those flags.
Picture - choose to delete pictures only if they violate our standards.