Road names

From Wazeopedia

Revision as of 20:56, 30 September 2011 by Dmcconachie (talk | contribs)

Please note UK-specific guidelines can be found here

Labeling; giving your road the correct road type

While editing the maps, you will notice that some of the roads are not labeled properly. This means, the road type might be wrong (a highway is marked as a street) or that one road has a few road types (a highway is marked as Freeway, highway and primary at different segments).

The importance of proper labeling is in two aspects: 1. When viewing the map, the 'bigger' roads should appear at the far zoom levels. Without proper labels, the 'zoomed out' display can be very confusing. 2. When planning a route, major roads will get priority over smaller roads. For example, 6 miles on the US Hwy 101 are better than 6 miles on El Camino Real.

When editing your area and labeling roads, please work with these definitions in mind


These are interstates (such as I- 90), highways, freeways and expressways that are multi-lane, divided roads with no stops (no traffic lights, exit and entrance from/to the road is through ramps)

Major Highway

A big highway, usually 3+ lanes, with minimal stops – mostly exits and interchanges, bt possibly with some intersections and junctions

Minor Highways

Usually a narrower highway, 2 lanes or less, that has stops or traffic lights at almost every intersection, but is still a highway (minor US or state highway). These roads are generally important thoroughfare that goes through several cities or towns.


When traffic moves between two roads or highways that are at different grades without the use of traffic lights or stop signs, they use ramps. The typical example is the on-ramps or off-ramps of a highway.

Primary Street

These are major roads or boulevards in urban and suburban areas and have large amounts of use (such as Middlefield Rd. in Menlo Park, Park blvd. in Oakland, Constitution Ave. in Washington, DC). In less urban environments they are main thoroughfares in towns that are not US or state highways.


These are normal streets that hold only a normal amount of traffic.

Parking Lot Roads

These streets are the entrances and exits, or otherwise main roads going through large parking lots to direct traffic, especially at traffic lights at major boulevards (e.g., shopping malls and commuter parking lots). Do not map the rows within parking lots because it clutters the map.

The "parking lot road" designation is also very useful for indicating segments which are driveable but undesirable for routing, such as alleyways (source: gettingthere and ircphoenix)

Service Roads

These are streets, sometimes called frontage roads, that are typically adjacent to a freeway (or major highway). These could be access roads to the highway itself, but have the property of a regular or primary street.

Private Roads

A road that is not open to the public. You can drive on it, physically, but there may be legal (and physical) restrictions or it is a privately maintained road on private land.

Naming: giving your road the proper name

NOTE: we are in the process of revising the names as they appear in the cartouche. In the near future we will be able to display alternate names for each segment / road, and choose which one of these is the 'common' name.
If you are not sure about changing the name of a road, it is best to ask in the forum or wait until the changes described above are implemented.


The naming of highways is, of course, somewhat more complex than that of normal roads. Therefore, conventions must be followed to assure consistency throughout the map.

NOTE: All roads in our base maps came with the names as defined in the US TIGER dataset.

However, you might notice a few problems with the original road names: Some of the names are not the 'common' names (usually, waze will display the 'name' of the hwy while most people know this hwy by its number)
On other examples, the same highway will have a different name on each side (for example, US Hwy 101 going North, and Bayshore Fwy going South).
Some roads actually have two 'common' names (for example, the NJ Turnpike is also I- 95 and both are relevant names), but currently we can only display one name per road.

For all these issues, we ask that you currently leave the situation as is. We are working on a few fixes, that will automate the proper naming and also allow multiple names for each segments (with a 'Primary' name as the one being displayed, but other names that bring up the same search results).

Highways in the United States

Certain formatting guidelines must be followed to ensure that highway shields are shown in the Live Map. This will ensure that if, in the future, the developers choose to incorporate shields into the client, it will be trivial to do so.

Interstate Highways
Components of the Interstate Highway System should be denoted as shown:
I- 10 E for Interstate 10, Eastbound
I- 310 S for Interstate 310, Southbound
I- 35E N for Interstate 35E, Northbound (this is a rare case)
Nearly all interstates are divided highways by necessity, and they should be drawn as such in the map for navigational accuracy.
US Highways
Federal highways should be denoted as follows. Note that the trailing N, S, E, W directionality indicator is used for highways and interstates which are split into two 1-way segments, per the guidelines.
US Hwy 61 S for U.S. Highway 61, Southbound
US Hwy 90 W for U.S. Highway 425, Westbound
US Hwy 90 Bus S for U.S. Highway 90 Business, Southbound
US Hwy 90 Alt E for U.S. Highway 90 Alternate, Eastbound
US Hwy 199 Spur for U.S. Highway 199 Spur
Use this format and not "US-90" or "US- 90" because this is the format that the Live Map will parse. (And hopefully some day, so will the client!)
U.S. Highways will often have local road names (such as Airline Hwy for US 61 and Claiborne Ave for US 90, among others). Use these street names as the primary name for such highways if said name is used for addresses of houses and businesses along the highway.
State Highways
There is some debate as to what should be used for state highways. The Live Map will parse "State Rte xx" and "State Hwy yyy" and show a sign badge. However, as different states have different naming conventions (and different shields), this is not optimal. Consistency within each state is key.
The same note for U.S. Highways above applies for state highways. LA-308 in Golden Meadow should have "E Main St" as its primary name since that is the name used in addresses of houses and businesses along the highway.
State routes may also be split if it meets the guidelines. Similar to interstates and US highways, state routes are named as follows:
State Hwy 6 for state route/highway 6
State Hwy 99W S for state route 99W, southbound
State Rte 96 for state route 96

Exits Ramps and Entrance ramps (on-ramps)

Exits Ramps and Entrance ramps are to be set as Ramp road type. The name should be based on what is seen on the exit or entrance signage and be similar enough that the driver will not have to struggle to compare Waze's on-screen or verbal instructions with what he or see sees in real life on the road.

  • If the exit sign shows a number as well as a street or highway name, the exit ramp should be named "Exit 24 Schwarzenegger Road".
  • If the exit is not numbered, "Exit to Kindergarten Ct" will do.
  • If a single exit serves multiple roads, use a slash with leading and trailing spaces: "Exit 32 Terminator Blvd / Total Recall Rd".
  • If the exit off the main interstate or highway serves multiple exits further down the road, it is advised to not name the first exit ramp, but name the ramp which is the first one to a distinct destination. The Waze client will give all the proper exit and keep left or right instructions to guide the driver to the correct exit, even if the first one is not named.

For entrance ramps, use this format: "to [street name] [direction] [control city]", where applicable. For example,

  • "to I- 10 W Baton Rouge"
  • "to Clearview Pkwy N / Mandeville"
  • "to US Hwy 90 Bus W"
  • Similar to combined exit ramps, when multiple on-ramps combine before merging into the main interstate or highway, it is advised to name the last common ramp with the conventions listed above. This will usually be the last ramp which is the one which actually junctions with the main interstate or highway.

Using "Ramp to", "West", "WB", and "Westbound" is unnecessary, and we should avoid excess since we're dealing with small screens. On the contrary, do not omit the word "to", because this could cause confusion with, say, the "Select entire street" function. Also, try to include everything present on the sign. "to US Hwy 90 Business W to I- 10 W Miss River Br / Baton Rouge" is fine because it is accurate.

New streets

In some cases, there is no prior name since it is a new road that you just recorded. In this case, make sure to choose the proper road type.

Construction Zones; naming large sections of major roads that are under construction

Basic Rules

Start by following the naming rules for your major roads. Interstate as "I- 10". US highways as "US Hwy 90". To show that the segments are part of a construction zone, just add the suffix "CONST ZN". "I- 10" becomes "I- 10 CONST ZN". "US Hwy 90" becomes "US Hwy 90 CONST ZN".

When temporarily re-setting road geometry, closely monitor recent GPS points as the aerial maps will likely display an out-dated view. Also, be sure to closely monitor these sections of roadway and remove the CONST ZN suffix whenever the construction is done.