Best map editing practice (Cartouche) (obsolete)

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This information is obsolete and the active links to this page have been reviewed for disconnection or replacement. More current alternate information is likely available and should be followed rather than this information.

CAUTION: This page covers the best editing practices with the "Old Cartouche" map editor. Go to best map editing practice for information on best editing practices with the new web interface.

Cartouche (old editor) caveats

Features only available in Cartouche (old editor)

  • Alternate names for segments (currently not referenced, but may have future value)
  • Removal of separating line (obsolete feature, but useful for getting rid of the black line on the Primary Street segments, which may make it difficult to see arrows which indicate the directionality of the segment - also for the sanity of editors who can't stand the sight of that black line. Has no effect on routing or client maps whatsoever.)
  • Viewing of Update Requests sent prior to February 2012, or URs that have been sent via LiveMap.
  • Entering/editing of house numbers (not referenced in basemapped countries).

Everything listed below refers specifically to Cartouche

Every tool, however good, has its limitations, and Cartouche is no exception. For general editing, what you see is usually what you get, and if you read the copious online documentation in advance, you will be able to make sense of (and extricate yourself from) most situations that you run into when editing the map. But there are a few things to watch out for, that can result in a lot of extra work for you if you miss them.

Road geometry and alternate names

Simply put: when you edit the geometry of a road, any Alternate names assigned to it are gone. It makes no sense, people have been aware of this for ages and it has not been fixed. Perhaps it will be addressed in the next incarnation of the editor. Until then: Nothing to see here, move along. (Just remember to go back and restore the Alt names after the geometry is set. Copy & paste are your friends...)

Note that this only affects the segment whose geometry is actually being modified, and not any roads that might be connected to it via junctions. So if you have a road with an Alt name (e.g., a minor highway), you may be able to adjust its geometry without disturbing its Alt name assignment by editing the geometry of adjoining roads instead.

Directionality & Locking

If Waze sees enough people driving along a road in a certain direction, it will conclude that travel in that direction is allowed, and update the map accordingly. The problem is, client GPS signals can be inaccurate, and Waze can mistakenly think that you are on one road when you are really on another. When this happens, one-way roads suddenly become two-way. When this happens on a highway or one of its ramps, it can have far-reaching effects on navigation.

UPDATE: Waze has changed its heuristics to make it more difficult for road directionality to change as described above, once it has been set via the editor. Therefore, in order to allow automatic geometry adjustments, it is now better to leave roads unlocked after assigned them to be one-way.

The Turn Restrictions Layer is Broken in the Cartouche editor

Just leave this layer off and use the Highlight Connectivity feature instead.


Just because two roads are touching where there is a junction, don't assume they are connected. Because you have "Highlight Connectivity" turned on (see above), you should notice pretty quickly that a segment is not connected. To fix, either:

  • Highlight the disconnected segment and the one to which it needs to connect, in from-to order where one-way roads are involved, and use "Connect roads in order of selection" (or the 'c' keyboard shortcut)


  • add a junction on top of the existing junction. The new one will replace the old one. Most of the time you will want the "Allow all turns" mode on, but sometimes when working with one-way roads it is easier to turn that option off and enable turns individually.

Reducing Junctions / Consolidating Segments

You will often see junctions in the middle of roads, where there is no intersection. These "extra" junctions are often the result of editing attempts gone awry, and seem to be a magnet for ill-connected and incorrectly-named roads. They multiply the number of segments that you need to maintain, and I'm sure they're not helpful to the routing servers. In short, unnecessary junctions indicate problems, and should almost always be eliminated. (The only exceptions are when they mark a change of city, or when you know that you will be connecting a road there very soon.)

When deleting a junction, remember that the segments on either side of the junction have to match road type, name, city, state, and have compatible directions. If both segments are two-way, or one-way in the same directions, it will work. If they are both "no entrance", it will fail. IMO this is a bug; just remember to change them to two-way beforehand, and then change the consolidated segment back to "no entrance" afterward.

After the junctions are removed, you may need to adjust the consolidated segment's geometry to account for the missing junctions.

Please note that there are currently bugs can occur when deleting junctions.

How to Remove Multiple Junctions

During the interval after pressing the 'y' key (to confirm removing a junction) and before Cartouche returns control to the Edit Panel, it is possible to click on additional junctions and use the 'y' key to delete them as well. This often results in faster deletions because Cartouche is effectively deleting them in parallel; However, there is one known bug and one suspected bug associated with this practice, so its use is highly discouraged:

  1. Deleting adjacent junctions in this manner often causes nearby road segments to vanish, and need to be re-created. I suspect this is due to a race condition. Deleting adjacent junctions means you are deleting the junctions at both ends of a segment. If the first junction is deleted, and then before the segment can be merged with its neighbor, the second junction is deleted, the road segment between them ends up being deleted.
    The workaround for this bug is to make sure you never multi-delete adjacent junctions. However, I have started to suspect another bug that has sworn me off of multi-deleting junctions at all, adjacent or not:
  2. Also probably due to a race condition, I believe that using this technique may corrupt the segment IDs of the road segments involved, causing route highlighting problems when using the Waze client to navigate.