Difference between revisions of "Locking Policy"

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Revision as of 09:05, 30 November 2015


This forms part of UK Editing Best Practice. Editors are encouraged to follow these guidelines.

This policy is not intended as a guide to whether or not a segment should be locked. That should always be an informed decision made by an editor based on circumstances such as whether a road is "complete". This policy is a guide for the MAXIMUM locking level to be used for the convenience of the community, plus some notes about when not to lock:

  • You should not normally be locking segments unless they are complete:
    • Segments aligned to aerials (but see Roads Not Matching Aerials below)
    • Junction geometry adjusted for proper navigation instructions
    • Turn restrictions set correctly
    • Road type set correctly
    • Correctly named
  • You should not lock segments unless you are regularly visiting the forums to deal with unlock requests
  • If you lock segments, your name will be recorded on them and you will generally be considered responsible for their state

Any editor found mass-editing lock levels simply because this policy suggests a maximum lock level is likely to face reduction of editor rank and/or removal of AM/CM rights.

Automatic locks

Waze uses a simple system to assess automatic lock levels for segments. Segments are divided into one of 5 groups based on how many Wazers use them. The busiest group of segments gets an auto-level of 5, the next busiest gets 4 and so on. This is an entirely objective and automatic system.

In the UK, we have chosen to limit auto-locks to 4: so the 2 busiest groups of segments will both get an auto-lock level of 4. Automatic locking is an vital part of protecting the busiest parts of the UK map.

A segment can be manually locked to any level (1-6) or to it's auto-level. Waze periodically re-assesses the segment groups and the lock level of any segment that is auto-locked can change automatically when this happens.

  • Unless there are special circumstance, no segment should be manually locked BELOW it's auto-level.
  • Any segments manually locked AT their auto-level should be auto-locked instead. This will allow the periodic re-assessment to change the lock levels as appropriate.
  • Segments may be manually locked ABOVE their auto-level, if required as detailed elsewhere on this page. For example, all segments of Motorway and their junctions will be manually locked at 5.
  • If most of a road is auto-locked at a higher level than a few segments, those segments should be manually locked to a higher level.

Road Types

Freeways (UK Motorways)

Motorways should be locked to L5, including their associated ramps & junctions. They are primary routes that should all be correct by now and need to be protected to keep major routing working. Editing will normally only be done by level 5 editors or UK Country Administrators

Major Highways (UK Primary Route Network)

Major highways should be locked to level 4. This will allow CMs, plus senior AMs to make necessary changes, but will also protect important routes.

Minor Highways (A Roads)

A roads should not normally be locked above level 3. Complex junctions or particularly important sections may be locked at level 4 by a local, active AM/CM if considered strictly necessary.

Primary Streets

Only primary streets that are actually B roads should need to be locked - and these should not be locked above L3.


Railroads should be locked at L5 to prevent accidental deletion.

Other Situations

Roads Not Matching Aerials

With the change to Google aerial imagery (which seems to be much older for most of the UK), there will probably be more situations where the current road layout doesn't match the images. It is advisable that these are locked at L5, to prevent well-meaning editors "correcting" them.

"Unexpected" Situations

These are odd situations that occur sometimes. For example: a no-right-turn where you wouldn't expect one; a short one-way segment at the end of a two-way road; a deliberate no-name segment joining double-mini roundabouts. If you think that a feature is likely to be reverted by someone who doesn't know what was intended, it is acceptable to lock it.


If an area is subject to repeated bad edits, it may be locked up. This should only be done after discussion with the community and the approval of the UK Country Administrators (who may want to take further action).

Toll Segments

These should be locked to L5 to prevent interference.

Level 6 Locks

There are only a few occasions where we need to use L6 locks. These would include particularly unusual situations such as the Time-Based Toll Restriction constructions all around the London Congestion Charging Zone. Since L6 is reserved for the Country Admins, they will all be aware of these situations. If you have a situation that you feel needs a L6 lock, please post on the forum for discussion.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is a special case: there was no basemap import, the aerial images have always been very poor and there aren't many high-level editors. Assistance from the mainland editors is always appreciated, but they should not lock anything above L3.


Places that are important, or take a lot of effort to draw, should be locked.

Natural features (Sea, Lakes, Rivers Forests and Woods) should be locked at L3.
Petrol Stations and Car Parks should also be locked at L3.

All other Places that have been edited and are considered complete should be locked at L2 so that a user editing them from the Waze client triggers a Place update request requiring approval.