Places/Hospitals and urgent care

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Revision as of 22:38, 2 January 2019 by Tango259 (talk | contribs) (→‎Adding a hospital: Added Departments/Clinics subheading)

Hospital image.png

Properly mapping hospitals is important to routing and for proper search results. This wiki will cover how to map a hospital, urgent care clinic, place the stop point at the appropriate location, and how to name them. These entities are added to the Waze map as places, below we will discuss the proper methods.

Hospital Campus

When adding a hospital to the map, first identify the grounds where it is located. Many major hospitals are located on extensive grounds known as campuses or centers. These property types may include many buildings and multiple parking lots. Other hospitals are just a single building, usually with parking. To ensure that the hospital grounds are mapped correctly, please only use information either provided by that facility's website, or obtained by observation on-the-ground.

Emergency Rooms

Properly mapping an Emergency Room (ER) is very important for both routing and search results. The stop point of the ER should be set at the public entrance of the ER. If the facility has a website map, it will usually indicate the location of the ER entrance. If you can not find the entrance from facility sources, or first hand knowledge - and the ER has not undergone recent construction - you can use the Streetview in WME to find the ER entrance location.

In some cases, hospitals may operate standalone emergency centers at locations other than inside the same building as the hospital itself, especially in rural areas across the US. These locations only serve one purpose; emergency care -- the entire building is an ER (or space if inside a larger building like at a mall). Whether the ER place should be set as a Place Area, or a Place Point is discussed in the Place point or area section below.

For the proper naming of the ER place, please refer to the naming section below.

Departments and Clinics

Medium and large hospitals will have specific entrances for large departments or clinics that are inside the hospital.

Adding an urgent care clinic

Urgent care centers should only be added under the "Hospital/Medical Care" category if they truly provide walk-in (no appointment) urgent medical care services. A simple indicator to differentiate Urgent Care centers from basic walk-in clinics is whether they have in-house X-ray equipment which is a national requirement[1], and laboratory services.

NOTE: Be careful to set the hours correctly, especially for centers not open 24/7. This way the client app will display to users when they are closed.

Walk-in clinics not providing urgent medical care (e.g. stitches, basic broken bones, etc.) regardless of their name, should not be added using the "Hospital / Urgent Care" category. Instead, they should be added like any other doctor's office, or clinic.

Place point or area

The assignment of point or area for the place is very important as explained in the Places page. This controls whether the polygon shape and name of the place will be displayed on the client maps. For this, special rules apply;


These types of properties are mapped as Place areas, if needed. As with many large places, they should be mapped to the fence line of the property, including the parking lots.

Buildings on property

Often, large properties will contain buildings that house specialty clinics or individual medical practices. For these buildings, add a Place point using only the appropriate categories, and ensure it is located at the entrance nearest to parking.

The place names have been added to this image to help visualize them. Large Medical Center with Points for buildings and ERs, and Parking Lot Areas.


The general hospital building should be mapped as an area. If it is encompassed in a larger Place area with the same name then it doesn't need to be a Place area, and can be a Place point. This will show the name at the hospital location, aiding the users in their navigation.

Emergency Room (ER)

  • ERs inside the main hospital building (encompassed inside the area polygon of their associated hospital's building) should be mapped as a point place (PP).
  • Standalone ERs (outside the main hospital building) should be mapped as an area place (AP). The AP polygon should cover the entire footprint of the ER, and may include the parking area as well.

Free Standing Psychiatric Hospitals Free standing facilities that offer dedicated mental health care should be point places, with category Doctor/Clinic. Naming should include a description indicating that these facilities only provide mental health or psychiatric care.

Psychiatric ER facilities as part of a larger hospital complex with emergency medical care are hospitals, but have to be clearly marked as "Psychiatric ER - Hospital Name"

Psychiatric Care and Mental Health may be used interchangeably based on local custom.
Name Use Hospital Category
McLean Hospital (Mental Health) NO
Kingsboro Psychiatric Center NO
Psychiatric ER - Jacobi Medical Center YES

Urgent Care Clinics

Urgent Care Clinics should be mapped as a Place area, unless they are encompassed in a larger hospital Place area. The Place area polygon should cover the entire footprint of the urgent care center, and may include the parking area as well.

Stop points

The Stop Point (or location of a Point Place) Controls where navigation will lead to. It is highly important that we set this so it leads the user to the most optimal destination point. Details on editing the Stop Point are in the Places article.


The stop point should be located at the main entrance (main point of access and not a side street). Many locations have signs along the road to guide visitors to location they are looking for.


The stop point for the hospital should be located at what would be considered the main entrance to the hospital itself. Many hospital websites will include this in a map that they offer, or via an online directory. If you are still unable to locate the main entrance, consult an SM or RC for assistance.


As indicated in the Places article, and mentioned above, only Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, and places offering Urgent Medical Care should use the Hospital / Urgent Care category.

There used to be a single combined "Hospital/Medical Care" category which covered all medical places, and was decided to be used only for hospitals and urgent care. In March 2017 this category was split into two new categories "Hospital / Urgent Care", and "Doctor / Clinic". On March 28th, 2017 an automated was completed which migrated all places with the original category to the new Doctor / Clinic category.

If you see places which should be using the hospital category, and they were last updated by a Waze bot, please fix them.

Clinics, and Medical offices which do not offer urgent medical care for Walk-Ins should use the Doctor / Clinic, (and any other appropriate) category instead.

As for the campus/center areas, they should also utilize the office and other appropriate categories in relation to what is found on that property (there are instances that a university may run a hospital and the location may be on or adjacent to the university and offer classes).


Please use the following naming format for Hospital / Medical Care names

  • Name the hospital Area: Hospital Name
    • If the ER entrance is in the same location as the main entrance for the hospital; add an alternate name to the main hospital to assist those searching for the ER: ER - Hospital Name
    In these cases it is not necessary to create a separate place point for the ER.
  • Name the Emergency Entrance: ER - Hospital Name
  • If there is a separate ambulance entrance, please name it as: Ambulance Entrance - Hospital Name

Lock level

Lock levels vary by state. Please check your state's wiki page (links on left sidebar) for the proper lock level of hospitals.

Parking lot roads

It is essential that parking lot roads (PLRs) are mapped properly to ensure proper routing. Especially at large hospitals with various place points. It is also helpful to utilize the GPS layer to get an idea of what PLRs are used the most.

Many hospitals, that are large enough, have named roads that go through it. It is important to ensure these roads are named correctly as the addresses of many buildings are tied to them.


  1. ^ American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine (AAUCM) - FAQ