Sample Editor Outreach Message:
I see you are editing around the ________ area. Thanks for helping. I would like to welcome you to editing and offer you to join other editors in Ohio. We communicate in Google Hang Outs (GHO)s and Discord, and share tips, news and tools that make editing and asking for down-locks easier.
In the meantime please read these two pages:
If you would like to pursue joining with us, just click the link below to join the Great Lakes Region (GLR) Discord server. Then join the Ohio Channel on the left side list of Channels
Hope to see you editing,
Your Name/Editor Name
New Editor List of Scripts and Extensions
WME (Waze Map Editor)
First thing in the Editor, select the “gear” icon and enable the first two checkboxes, then change the language to US English:
Scripts and Extensions
New editors should be aware there are many scripts and extensions that editors use to assist with editing and not only make some jobs easier but verifies what we do is correct. The use of these scripts is highly encouraged and should be a minimum to get started.
The most common and supported browser is Chrome with Firefox a close second.
If you are using Chrome, the scripts are managed by TamperMonkey.
If using FireFox, the scripts are managed by TamperMonkey
TamperMonkey should be installed prior to the scripts.
The first one is an extension in Chrome at least, I don't know about Firefox.
After Toolbox is installed it will add several things to the WME editor. At the top next to the Map Comments Icon will be a picture of a toolbox with the word Toolbox. If you hover your mouse over it, a menu should open. Select the following options:
Toolbox loads a toolbar that is usually at the bottom but it is moveable, place it where you want. Toolbox shortens the Permalink or PL, for better usage when requesting down-locks and up-locks. You can refresh your screen by selecting the chain links in the bottom right corner and left clicking. The chain links also give you the PermaLink (PL) info by hovering over the links and then clicking CTRL-C.
This will validate edits and other general best practices of the map. Ohio settings for lock levels, and other state specific settings are already loaded in Magic.
This checks map features for errors and highlights them or can make a report that is clickable.
WME Ohio Specific Scripts
These are Ohio Specific. Validator settings for Ohio are included in these scripts.
There is another set of Region Specific scripts that can be found at the GLR Specific Scripts
Each of these scripts adds a tab that has its settings under it.
To assist with editing places use Place Harmonizer,
A pretty complete list of scripts can be found here,
While in Discord, initiate a DM with the Community Bot and type this in, !scripts new editor, you will get a list of suggested scripts for new editors.
It will work from the Ohio Channel but it is private if you do it in the Community Bot.
Request a Lock Level change
To request a Lock Change in the GHO, state the level coming from and going to and then state the area it is in by naming the closest city. Next would be your reason, why are you requesting the lock level to change and lastly be polite. A please and thank you go a long way. Paste the PL starting on its own line.
- You can select multiple segments in one PL by selecting the first one, holding down the CTRL key and selecting the others.
- You can goto a new line in the GHO by holding the Shift Key and then hitting Return, without sending the message.
A request for a DownLock to change turn restrictions would be formatted like this:
Can I please have L3 > L1, Dayton area, to change turn restrictions to match local signage.
Insert PL here and on a new line.
To go back when finished:
Can I please have L1 > L3, Dayton area, finished with turn restrictions, please review and lock when satisfied.
Insert PL here and on a new line.
WME Helpful Links for URs
How to remove locations from the Waze App
How to set or change Home and Work
Questions about your account:
How to collect logs from the App. (see next item also)
Form to fill out for Waze reporting to accompany the logs. (see above item also)
Waze Help Center
Waze Bug Report Form
How to create a Permalink video
Big Detour Prevention (BDP) Explained by Bill473
|This section was written in 2015, when the over-application of detour prevention caused routing errors. Due to changes to the algorithm in 2017, these types of problems no longer occur, but now detour prevention can be under-applied, so understanding how it works is still important in resolving routing problems.|
The following was originally presented by Bill473 as a training aid to satisfy the BDP requirement to attain R4 rank for both of us. Bill has made changes based on feedback from PesachZ and TerryPurdue but remains responsible for any errors or omissions. If you have suggestions to make this better, please contact either Ron or Bill.
This is an introduction to how Waze does detour prevention, how it can go wrong and how to fix it.
First, detour prevention is a good thing. You don't want Waze to recommend getting off an interstate, following some ramps and getting back on even if it saves a few minutes. That is an unneeded detour and Waze has mechanisms to prevent it.
When Waze editors discuss BDP, what they are focusing on is Big Detour Prevention errors – where the attempt to prevent detours goes wrong and actually takes you on a detour.
When checking BDP errors, you need to look at primary and alternate names on segments.
A very useful user script is WME Show Alt Names. It shows the names of all selected segments in a table on the edit page. And it can be turned off and on as needed. You can use it to select the segments for a LiveMap route or you can select them yourself.
I list this now in case you don't have it and want to install it while I continue. I don't have an "exercise" planned where you need it, but it will make diagnosing BDP errors easier in the future.
Here's a real-life example of a BDP error (fixed now, of course):
And here's the LiveMap link to the area so you can see where the segments are.
The "obvious" way to get to the destination is possible. Going northbound, take the exit and drive down to the bow-tie on US-36 W. Turn left and drive to the destination.
So why didn't Waze recommend that? Because it thought that would be a detour!
Let me try to explain the "detour" before getting into all the details. US-127 N has an alternate name of US-36 E (because both highways share the road before the exit.) Our destination is on US-36 E. Once we leave the freeway, we are taking 2 ramp segments to get to US-36 E. Neither (at the time) have the (primary or alternate) name US-36 E.
Visually we can see that path makes sense, but Waze sees this as leaving US-36 E, driving on two ramp segments and getting back on US-36 E. "Clearly" a detour to be avoided. (The Waze recommendation shown in the picture goes to US-36 W which is not considered a detour due to more advanced criteria discussed later.)
(As an aside, the old guidance to disable the "straight-through" at the end of interstate ramps was to prevent the type of detour where you leave a highway, travel a few ramps and return to the highway. However, BDP (working properly) should keep that from happening. For this reason that old guidance is old, and no longer recommended.)
- If we are OK with my description here, we can take a look at the Wiki to see that the exact definition is met.
The global Wiki entry on Detour Prevention is Detour Prevention Mechanisms, however is it rather vague, and partially inaccurate leading to confusion.
A more detailed version written for the US is Detour Prevention Mechanisms
This latter link has five criteria that must ALL be met to be considered a detour. Let's check to make sure my summary above is right:
- Road Name Discontinuity - The freeway/highway segments immediately before and immediately after the possible detour must share at least one street name
- Yes: US-36 E on both. (Primary or alternate, makes no difference)
- Road Type Discontinuity - The freeway/highway segments immediately before and immediately after the possible detour must be from the same 'Road Type Group' as defined in the chart below. The possible detour must include at least one segment not in that same 'Road Type Group.'
- (The grouping is Freeway/MH in one group, mH in another)
- Yes: US-127 N is Freeway, US-36 E is MH so same group. Our ramp "detour" isn't in that group.
- Existence Of Direct Route - The idea is there needs to be a direct route before labeling a different route as a "detour" to be avoided.
- The " direct route" doesn't need to be "direct", it just needs be a different route which does not use any segments used by the "detour route" being evaluated. The "direct route" here is not the route Waze is suggesting, rather a different more circuitous option.
- The second portion of the "direct route" is that there is another way to approach the segment after the potential detour from a matching road type. For the potential detour here, the alternate approach is coming EB on the Fwy which becomes US-36 E. (This is also the reason the route suggested above is not a detour, the only alternative path to the post-detour segment would be via the ramps, which are not in the same road type group. So no alternate pathway to the post detour segment, means that this route can not be considered a detour.)
- Minimum Length - The possible detour must be more than one segment long.
- Yes: 2 (ramp) segments.
- Maximum Length - The possible detour must be shorter than the threshold length
- Yes: Threshold for this group is 5km.
Whew! Let's take a breath. The complexity of the Waze routing algorithm and the difficulty in putting it into words is why (I think) some view BDP as very hard to understand.
Here is the basic idea that I think makes this "simple".
You have 2 highways (A and B) running together for some distance. The highways then diverge with B exiting on ramps. If the ramp segments aren't labeled to indicate they are part of highway B, Waze will see that as a detour and "penalize" the way you should be driving...which results in Waze recommending a strange detour.
There are, of course, other configurations that will result in BDP errors. But every BDP error I've seen fits the "simple" summary. (Check "Confirmation bias" on the Internet)
So what's the fix? Let Waze know that this ramp is part of US-36 E. Adding US-36 E as an alternate name to the second ramp segment was sufficient to fix the problem. A more robust solution is to add US-36 E to all ramp segments that carry that route.
At one point we believed you could have a one-segment name discontinuity anywhere along a series of ramp segments. We discovered Nov 2015 that the only safe place to have a discontinuity was the first segment. However, unless there is a reason to leave the name off the first segment, it is safer to add it.
Des Moines Iowa
Here's the LiveMap link to the area so you can see where the segments are.
I-80 (E/W) and I-35 (N/S) run concurrently for a while near the center of Des Moines. Where I-35 N leaves I-80 E and heads north was connected by a single ramp segment. Everything was OK at that point because of #4 above ("detours" must be 2 or more segments). It was then cut to Seagull it. Now we have 3 segments and I-35 N was not added as an alternate to the new ramp segments. Within a few days there were numerous URs from commuters wondering why they were no longer being sent the normal way.
The Des Moines error was fixed by adding I-35 N as an alternate to the ramp segments.
Although currently only the last of the three segments is checked for BDP (probably to make checking faster), PesachZ suggests that is likely to change. The best fix is to have I-35 N on all. Indeed, if that single ramp segment had I-35 N added earlier, even though not required to prevent a BDP error (since 2 ramp segments required for BDP here), when it was cut into 3 segments no BDP error would have occurred.
It's very easy to cause a BDP problem in a case like this without realizing it. Think "name discontinuity" any time you are working on ramps. As more Seagulling in being done, it's likely other such errors will occur. Again, the most dangerous areas are where two major highways diverge.
That one was pretty dramatic. The tendency is to think "temporary traffic issue" when the URs start coming in. Especially since not every LiveMap route test will show an error. (If you are too close the "detour", there may not be an alternate direct route so LiveMap won't show it.)
Are we OK with the Des Moines example and fix?
Here's an example that show this is really Big Detour Penalty rather than Big Detour Prevention:
Here's the LiveMap link to the area so you can see where the segments are.
The obvious path is still listed, but listed second so it won't be chosen by default. (Again, the problem is caused by 2 ramp segments, the second one didn't have SR-5 for name continuity.) The recommended route is 6 minutes, the second (penalized) one is 3 minutes. But the penalty (not publicly revealed, changeable without notice and possibly different for different configurations) is enough to make it listed second. Also, depending on traffic conditions for the first choice, the second route with the BDP error could actually be listed first so BDP errors could (theoretically) come and go.
(This is also a "favorite" of mine because I lived it. I took the 6 minute drive since I trusted Waze that there was a problem at the SR-82/SR-5 intersection. The problem was BDP.)
I have other examples of BDP errors I've seen in the last year, but they are all the same flavor. When you see a strange detour, after checking Shift-Z to make sure there aren't invalid turn restrictions, take a look at name discontinuities.
If we're OK with BDP, there is also there is also Small Detour Prevention.
This is discussed much less because there doesn't seem to be the same type of associated errors. Basically this is meant to prevent doing a U-turn followed by a right turn instead of the more obvious left turn. From the Wiki "While this may save a few seconds over waiting for a long average left turn, it is undesirable. Waze will prevent such detours if there is not a measurable difference in the route times. The exact difference in time required to trigger this prevention is proprietary, and subject to change as needed. "
Here is an example where Small Detour Prevention doesn't seen to be working.
It seems that at certain times of the day, the obvious left-turn takes long enough for Waze to recommend continuing and doing a U-turn.
Here's the LiveMap link to the area.
Waze Turn Instructions and When, Why They Occur
9/21/2017 at 9:26 PM – Waze USA Server, TTS Channel
So, there are a maximum of 4 prompts and a minimum of 1 (really 0)
I usually call them the 1st, 1.5th, 2nd, and final prompts.
1.5th might be better thought of as the “long distance reminder” prompt.
The reason I call it 1.5th is it was added a year or so later than the other three, which I’d already established names for.
The first question: how long until the next turn?
Is it imminent? If so, you only get the final prompt. “Turn right on Main St”.
If the next turn is not imminent, you get the first prompt.
Then it asks, how far until the next turn?
If it is fewer than 7 km, you get the distance-based first prompt. “In 3.2 miles, turn right on Main St.” or “in 900 feet, stay to the right on Regular Rd”.
If it’s more than 7 km, you get the time-based first prompt, which not only is time based but also has a different structure.
“Continue straight for 25 minutes to Main St.”.
The time based 1st prompt does not include the actual movement instruction. It doesn’t say “turn left” or “exit right” or anything like that. It also doesn’t say the name of the road you’re on.
The first prompt is given a few seconds after the previous prompt, or at the end of the ramps if the previous prompt was onto a set of ramps and the next movement is past the end of the ramps.
So, that’s the first and last prompt. That might be all you get!
The next prompt you might get is the 2nd prompt.
The decision whether to give the 2nd prompt is based on both distance and speed.
If the 1st prompt was more than 2 miles away, when you get to 2 miles away, it asks, are you going faster than 150 km/h (93 mph)?
If so, it says “in 2 miles, turn right (on Main St.)”
Whether or not it says the name depends on how long ago was the first prompt. I haven’t nailed this down but it’s on the order of a few minutes, if not, it says nothing.
If the 1st prompt was more than 1 mile away from the turn and it didn’t give the 2nd prompt at 2 miles, it asks, are you going faster than 90 km/h (55 mph)?
If so, “in 1 mile, turn right (on Main St.)”; If not, no prompt.
If the 1st prompt was more than 1/2 mile away from the turn and it didn’t give the 2nd prompt at 2 miles or 1 mile, it asks, are you going faster than 70 km/h (44 mph)?
If so, “in half a mile, turn right (on Main St.)”; If not, no prompt.
(I can’t remember whether the low speed 2nd prompt is still “in a thousand feet” or “in a quarter of a mile” but they’re roughly the same, ¼ mile is 1056 ft)(edited)
If the 1st prompt was more than ¼ mile away from the turn and it didn’t give the 2nd prompt at 2 miles or 1 mile or 1/2 mile, “in a thousand feet, turn right (on Main street)” or “in a quarter mile, turn right (on Main Street)”, I forget which.
Oh, you thought it was over??
So, that’s the 3 prompts you normally hear.
There’s also the long distance reminder prompt, which you get only if it’s been a while since the first prompt (15 or 20 minutes I think).
It is given at the point where you are five minutes from the next movement, but it is given in distance terms.
It asks, “next movement is in 5 minutes, has it been 15 or 20 minutes since the first prompt?”
If yes, “in 5.3 miles, turn right on Main St.”
That’s everything ASSUMING there isn’t a “then”
enembee (5) And if there’s a “then”?
sketch (6) okay fine
RonRover (5) For the decision on the 2nd prompt is 93MPH correct?
sketch (6) The speed thresholds of the 2nd prompt are 150 km/h (93 mph), 90 km/h (55 mph), 70 km/h (44 mph)
voludu2 (5) CM In my case, this happens, for example, here: https://www.waze.com/livemap?zoom=17&lat=40.02262&lon=-75.62624&from_lat=40.02262&from_lon=-75.62624&to_lat=40.0107&to_lon=-75.61653&at_req=0&at_text=Now route #1, approaching the "keep right" (which is actually an exit right in the app)
voludu2 (5) CM At half a mile it said "In half a mile exit to Pottstown pike" When I got there, it told me to exit right https://www.waze.com/editor/?env=usa&lon=-75.61685&lat=40.01352&zoom=7&segments=503329443
So yeah the 1st prompt doesn’t include the direction for an “exit” for some reason,
maybe because it dates to the time when there was no such thing as an off-side “exit”.
Before TIO, exit always meant exit right in the US.
Another thing about the first prompt, if it’s between 1 and ¼ mile to the next turn, it rounds to the nearest quarter mile.
You have 0.79 miles between movement and by the time the 5 or 10 seconds have passed since the previous turn, it’s too late for ¾ mile, so you get the first prompt at half a mile.
That’s a design flaw now so I will see if I can get it fixed.
Here is a flowchart of this information for another perspective, prepared by Kent Smith (kentsmith9)