User:Sketch/Road names

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< User:Sketch

Revision as of 19:19, 6 February 2019 by Sketch (talk | contribs) (→‎Entrance ramps: compass direction & TTS exposition)

For Road Types in the editor see Road types

Road naming

NOTE: we are in the process of revising the names as they appear in WME. In the future we may be able to display alternate names for each segment / road, and choose which one of these is the 'common' name. This is also true for road shield generation which is partially broken so shields may or may not be displayed in your area.

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.

IMPORTANT! Due to upgrades in the client, some naming conventions have changed. The altered conventions will be marked with a bolded *NEW*. These changes have now been finalized. Thank you for your cooperation.

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 highway while most people know this highway 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).

Concurrent names

Overlapping Highways - When two or more numbered highways (or interstates) run concurrently (one stretch of road has multiple route numbers), the segment should be named after the primary route name, which usually has one or more of the following attributes:

  • The route whose mile markers are used for the concurrent segments
  • The route whose exit numbers are used for the concurrent segments
  • When the concurrency ends, the route whose path does not get signed as a numbered exit.

The other route number(s) can be entered as alternate names. If alternate names are entered, be sure not to introduce any alternate name discontinuities which may trigger the big detour prevention mechanism. In particular, use cardinal (directional) names on divided highways for both primary and alternate names.

Highways through cities/towns - In situations where a highway passes through a town, the road in those areas is typically named something other than the numbered route. In these situations the road should be named based on the following conditions:

  • If the local street signs provide guidance with the local name, that should be used as the primary name in the Waze map. The numbered route should be added as an alternate name.
  • If the local signs only indicate the route number, then that should be the primary name and the local road name should be added as an alternate name.

United States Interstate Highway System I-95.svg.png I-695.svg.png

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 (Letter suffixes are only in Minnesota and Texas)
Nearly all interstates are divided highways by necessity, and they should be drawn as such in the map for navigational accuracy.

United States Numbered Highways US 20.svg.png

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.

Certain formatting guidelines must be followed to ensure that highway shields are shown in the Live Map and in the client. Note that map shield generation is not implemented for all situations, so some roads will not display a shield. Waze has said that there will eventually be a process allowing map editors to add shields to road segments in a way that is not connected to the name of that segment.

US Highways
Federal highways should be denoted as follows. Note that the trailing N, S, E, W cardinal direction indicator is used for numbered highways and interstates which are split into two 1-way segments, per the guidelines.
US-61 S for U.S. Highway 61, Southbound
US-425 W for U.S. Highway 425, Westbound
US-90 BUS S for U.S. Highway 90 Business, Southbound
(note that BUS should be all uppercase for TTS to pronounce as "business". "Bus", "bus", etc. will pronounce as "Bus".)
US-90 ALT E for U.S. Highway 90 Alternate, Eastbound
US-199 SPUR for U.S. Highway 199 Spur
Also refer to the concurrent names section when the highway passes through a city or town that also has a local name for the road.

State highways State Hwy Sign 35.svg.png South Carolina 170.svg.png Florida 60.svg.png Louisiana 3234.svg.png Alabama 5.svg.png MT-sec-326.svg.png North Dakota 23.svg.png Hawaii marker.png

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 for ramps. Local naming conventions are preferred for ramps and exits; this will be discussed below. Consistency within each state is key. *NEW*
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.
Each state may use a longer or shorter naming format. See the highway naming by state table for specific formatting of each state.
Long Names
State Hwy 6 for state highway 6
State Hwy 99W S for state highway 99W, southbound
State Rte 96 for state route 96
Short Names
Use the SR-xxx or SH-xxx formats instead of State Rte xxx and State Hwy xxx format as appropriate for the state, while keeping the same cardinal, business, etc. extensions as described above. These shortened formats are now preferred over the Long Names for all applications.
NOTE: In some states there are other formats used, e.g., in Louisiana, use the LA-xxx format. Refer to the highway naming by state table for specific formatting of each state.
Also, refer to the concurrent names section when the highway passes through a city or town that also has a local name for the road.

County and township highways and roads Baldwin County Route 64 AL.svg.png St Louis County Route 7 MN.svg.png

Text to speech on the client reads CR- as "County Road." So "CR-10" is read as "County Road Ten"

Where road names are the same as cardinal directions (N, S, E, W), no special modification is necessary so that the voice prompt will read the letter and not say it as a direction. Ensure there are no spaces between the hyphen and the letter. Double or triple-letter roads with directional letters (e.g. CR-EN, CR-SAL) will not be spoken as directions but might be pronounced as if a word.

There is no other TTS abbreviation for county-owned roads in any capacity except those listed here. For these reasons: that county shields may someday be supported (and a named standard makes this easier to implement), and for brevity's sake in turn instructions and map displays, it is suggested (but by no means required) that individual states adopt one of these standards;

  • CR-
  • CH-
  • TR-
  • TH-

Another standard in use (which is longer, but you may see) is 'County Hwy XX'. The shortened format of CH- is available and is encouraged to be adopted when CR- is not appropriate.

Many states have adopted the short format CR-xxx instead of the longer format. See the highway naming by state table for specific formatting of each state.

Also, refer to the concurrent names section when the highway passes through a city or town that also has a local name for the road.

For regions that have township highways, the shortened formats of TH- and TR- are also available.

Exit ramps and entrance ramps (on-ramps)


Exit ramps and Entrance ramps are to be set as  Ramp  road type. The name of the ramp should match the exit or entrance signage as closely as possible. If the Waze instructions and display are different from the sign on the exit, Wazers may be unsure about which exit to take. Include everything that is present on the last sign prior to the exit. Do not combine all possible pre-ramp signage into the single ramp segment name.

Exit ramps

  • If an exit is signed and numbered, start with the word "Exit", followed by the exit number, followed by a colon (":") and separate all the elements (road names and/or numbers) after the colon with slashes ("/").
    • Exit [number]: [element] / [element] / [element] (as needed)
    • e.g.,
      • Exit 24: US-103 / Schwarzenegger Rd
      • Exit 32: Terminator Blvd / Total Recall Rd
  • If an exit number contains one or more letters, include it exactly as displayed on the sign. Separate sub-exit letters with a hyphen.
    • Exit [number][letter(s)]: [element] / [element] / [element] (as needed)
    • e.g.,
      • Exit 33B: Running Man St
      • Exits 35C-B-A: Junior Dr / Twins Ave / Jingleallthe Way
      • Exit 1E: Sarah Connor Blvd
    • Do not leave spaces between a hyphen and the adjacent letters, or between the last letter and the colon.
    • Note that, if the exit number contains one of the cardinal directions (N, S, E, W), that letter will be pronounced as a letter, not as the corresponding compass direction.
    • If the Exit has an official number that is documented elsewhere, but this exit number does not appear on any signs, do not use it to name the exit ramp. Waze instructions should match the signs where possible to avoid confusion. Please check your state's page for any local exceptions to this rule.
  • If an exit is signed and unnumbered, start with the word "to" (lowercase) and follow with all elements on the sign, separated with slashes ("/")
    • to [element] / [element] (as needed)
    • e.g., to SR-33 / Kindergarten Ct
  • If there is no sign at the exit, start with the word "to" (lowercase) and follow with the name of the road the ramp leads to. If that road has both a route number and a local name, use the route number first, followed by a slash, followed by the local name. If only a local name or only a highway designation are present, use only that. The goal is to avoid confusing the driver.
    • to [element] / [element] (as needed)
    • e.g., to US-12 / Michigan Ave
  • If a single exit serves multiple roads or cities, use a slash with leading and trailing spaces
  • Remember to abbreviate common words according to abbreviations and acronyms.
  • If the off-ramp from main interstate or highway serves multiple exits further down the ramp, it may be advisable not to name the first exit ramp, but rather name only the ramps which are 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 (Navigation instructions for unnamed segments for more).That said, this should only be done if the signage for the first ramp is the same as that on the subsequent, named ramp.

Entrance ramps

  • Entrance ramps should be named similarly to unnumbered exits, following the format to [element] / [element], etc. A typical entrance ramp should follow the format to [road name of highway] [direction] / [control city], where those elements are present.
    • to [element] / [element] (as needed)
    • to [highway name] [direction] / [control city] / [control city]
    • e.g.,
      • to I-10 W / Baton Rouge
      • to Clearview Pkwy N / Mandeville
      • to US-90 BUS W
      • to LA-1 / Thibodaux / Lockport
      • to I-10 E / US-90 E / Lafayette
  • If signs before the on-ramp provide multiple destination information, combine them into the single on-ramp name.
    • e.g.,
      • to US-90 BUS W / to I-10 W / Miss River Br / Baton Rouge
    • The highway name and direction should always come before the control city, even if signage is presented in the opposite order.
    • Do not omit the word "to", because this could cause confusion with, say, the "Select entire street" function. Text-to-speech (TTS) instructions will deal properly with the word "to" when it constructs turn instructions.
    • Do not use "Ramp to" (this would result in [turn right / exit right] to ramp to ...)
    • Compass directions (such as "West" or "Westbound") accompanying highway shields and road names should be abbreviated using single-letter abbreviations, such as W.
      • e.g., the legend "WEST" above a shield for I-10 should be entered as I-10 W
      • Do not spell out compass directions (such as "West" or "Westbound") which accompany highway shields and road names. Do not use "WB" or other non-approved abbreviations, as they are not supported by the TTS engine.
    • 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 joins the main interstate or highway.
    • When naming ramps and exits that lead to state highways, refer to the road naming conventions listed in Highway naming and cross-reference the state's wiki page (therein linked).
      • New Jersey: to SR-45 / Passaic
      • Louisiana: to LA-308 / Raceland
      • North Carolina: to NC-55 / Winston-Salem

New streets

Sometimes, there is a brand new road that does not yet have a name visible to drivers. Or the person who used the pave option did not leave a note giving the name of the new road. In these cases, it is okay to leave the name of the road blank by marking the "None" checkbox next to the Name field in the Address Properties in the editor. Always make sure to choose the proper road type and confirm the other road details to ensure that the road appears on the client app.

Incomplete segments or red roads


Be sure to select country, state, enter the city name or check "None", and enter a street name, or check "None". Until you do this, your road will not be routable and will not show on the client map. These incomplete segments are colored bright red in WME.

This must be done on all streets created in WME and on all streets created with the client "Pave" function.

"Paved" streets must also be connected to their adjacent roads, and turn restrictions must be set in order to be routable.

For more detailed instructions on how to address red roads see: Confirming the road by updating details

City names on segments

No Primary city name with alternate city name added
Every segment with addresses (House Numbers or Residential Place Points) on it, must have a city name. On segments which have the "None" checkbox marked for the primary city name, the city name designated by the U.S. Postal Service should be set as an alternate city name for that segment.

To keep city names from sprawling over too wide an area in the Waze app, in WME and LiveMap, a city name should only be used as a primary name on segment details within the boundaries of the city polygon. That means many addresses on the map are in these “no city” areas, particularly in rural regions. The Waze addresses on these segments are otherwise not searchable without a city name, and because many Wazers will search for a location by its postal address, U.S. community leadership has established the above editing standard.

There are other standards in place for other purposes requiring adding other street data in the the alternate. The addition of the USPS data does not change any other standards but is in addition to anything existing already on those affected segments.

For more details on city naming, see /City names.

Navigation instructions for unnamed segments

When Waze gives navigation instructions to "turn", "exit", or "keep" onto an unnamed segment, it will look ahead on the recommended route for a road name that it can use. If there is a named segment further along the recommended route, it will use (inherit) that name in the instruction.

The inherited name is only used in the displayed and spoken instruction prompts, it does not affect the actual name of the segment. Unnamed segments are often used to control instructions on feeder ramps and at grade connectors (AGCs). Please be sure to understand all the ways in which unnamed segments can affect navigation instructions before adding names to unnamed segments or removing them from named segments.

This always works for  Freeways  and  Ramps .

This never works for  Parking Lot Roads  or  Private Roads , As of October 2018

On all other road types (any road type which is not a Freeway, Ramp, Parking Lot Road, or Private Road), this feature only works if:

  1. The combined length of the consecutive unnamed segments is shorter than 400 meters (1,312 feet),
  2. There are 3 or fewer unnamed segments in a row.

To explain the above conditions from other perspectives:

  1. If the consecutive unnamed  Local Street ,  Primary Street ,  Minor Highway , or  Major Highway  segments measured together are longer than 400 m (1,312 ft), or if there are 4 or more unnamed segments in a row, Waze will not show or speak a name in the instructions.
  2. Names are never inherited through unnamed  Parking Lot Road  or  Private Road  segments.

Abbreviations and acronyms

Only abbreviations that Waze recognizes should be used within the editor. Since Waze uses TTS (Text-to-Speech) prompting, it is important that the correct abbreviations are used to produce the correct speech output.

A basic rule of thumb is, "when in doubt, spell it out".

Refer to the Abbreviations and acronyms page for a list of suffix and recommended abbreviations.

Construction zones and closed roads

Updated as of December 2014

This section describes the naming of roads that are closed. See the article Real time closures for instructions on how to enact a closure on a road segment. The closure should be enacted before renaming the road segments.

This section also describes what actions to take when a road remains open, but there are significant changes to it while construction completes.

Brief closures

Roads can be closed using the Waze application for brief closures. Don't change the map for closures that will last less than about a month. Instead, use the Waze app Road Closed reporting function.

Long term closures

Updated as of December 2014

The requirement to add '(Closed)' to a road segment has been deprecated. Adding this phrase to a road segment can cause routing/navigation issues for Wazers.

Major construction without closure

Updated as of December 2014

It is no longer necessary to add '(Construction Zone)' to any road under construction. Adding this phrase can cause routing/navigation issues and serves no purpose in the app or for the Wazer.

If there is a significant change to traffic patterns or geometry (lane shifts), adjust the geometry, connections, and restrictions of the segments to match the current traffic pattern. You must be able to monitor the area, and readjust once the construction is complete, or when additional changes are made during construction.

Official sources of mapping information

Being in the Waze community of editors means sharing information you discover and learning from the discoveries of others! You can see some of the (old) official sources of mapping information (US only) provided in the forum or check out the (new) mapping resources wiki page (preferred).

Feel free to add new resources as you find them.