Directionality on Road Labels

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Directionality on Road Labels

Postby zzyzxuk » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:31 am

I'm going to re-open a discussion that we had earlier here on whether or not to include the directionality on road labels.

When I first asked about it, I was told that it was essential to include the direction of carriageways (for example, labelling a road as I-10 W), and the argument was that this was necessary to make traffic alerts useful.

The reason I'm bringing it up is that now that we're starting to see useful traffic alerts here in the UK, I've noticed that if you click on a traffic alert, Waze very helpfully shows you WHICH carriageway is affected through a map where the impacted carriageway is shown in yellow/red, with arrows also helpfully showing you which direction is involved.

I also noticed that in the case of an alert I saw last night, Waze actually inserted the direction involved on it's own. (The alert I saw last night said "A4 W Heavy Traffic" - I'm fairly sure that nowhere along the A4 is it actually labelled as "A4 W", so it must have worked out the W bit on it's own and inserted it?)

If this is indeed how the client renders traffic alerts, I really don't see any further point in inserting directionality onto carriageway labelling as it really does clutter up the map and should be avoided if possible.

(I also note that on all of the existing maps I've seen in the US, directionality isn't included on the interstates there either... Add in the problem that in different languages, "East", "West", etc., are going to be abbreviated differently (something we need to consider here in Europe), I think that having the client work out the directionality and display it in the local language is preferable, and I think, something that the client is now doing? (can someone confirm this?)

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Re: Directionality on Road Labels

Postby sketch » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:06 pm

I've never seen that automatically inserted onto road labels. I'd consider the possibility that there is at least a small section of the A4 labelled with directions.

Automatic direction detection would also present problems with segments that don't point in the overall direction of travel. I am reminded of all the times I have driven basically eastward along the codesignated I-81 N / I-77 S in southwestern Virginia. Sections of this are southward, as well, and if a traffic alert is given as "I-81 / I-77 S", well, that's half wrong... and "I-81 / I-77 E" is just impossible.

Yes, it'll take a while to give all the motorways direction information, but I think it's worth it for that and for routing where ramps are not named. A better solution to reduce map clutter would be to disregard the direction for map display purposes only, and it'd be lovely to replace the plain text with a shield!
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Re: Directionality on Road Labels

Postby krankyd » Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:01 pm

waze currently does not insert the directionality into the report.
It will, as mentioned, show the arrows to point out the direction of the traffic, and (when the info is available) describe the traffic as 'highway z, between x and y'.

We have the option to add a shield to the maps (it's already available in the US) instead of the street name... and hopefully we'll be able to do the same for carriageways in the UK as well.

and to be clear, it is valuable to add the directionality into the road name when possible. The cluttering added by another letter is worth it for the purpose of better routing directions and traffic reports.
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Re: Directionality on Road Labels

Postby sketch » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:42 am

Dror, do you think it's possible that we could get those shields to display in the client as well? That would look really nice...
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Re: Directionality on Road Labels

Postby FrisbeeDog » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:21 pm

I agree that we should keep putting direction notation on roads. Beyond the issue of traffic, it helps confirm navigation. For example, if you are directed to I- 40 W then you can confirm that you are indeed on the right road as the traffic signs you see contain that designation as well (at least in the US).
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Re: Directionality on Road Labels

Postby dfdk » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:41 pm

This is a bit off topic, and in general is regarding the shield display. I have been standardizing the names of some freeways in my area but I am not sure how to label them correctly in order for the shield to show up at all. For example I labeled a freeway as "CA- 24 W" including the space after the state designation, but I reckon it might be an incorrect way of doing so, even though it is within the guidelines from the waze wiki page. Anyhow when I label the freeways as such no shield appears in the live map.
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Re: Directionality on Road Labels

Postby sketch » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:58 pm

The only shields I have seen in the Live Map are for "I- ##", "US Hwy ##", and "State Rte ##".

It'd be very nice to have each state's shield as well. I know states do things differently: while one might sign it "State Route 543", in Louisiana it is signed "LA 182". Optimally it'd be nice to put in "LA- 182" and have this interpreted into the Louisiana shield with "182" in it, for example.
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Re: Directionality on Road Labels

Postby floppyrod84 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:37 pm

Shields would be useless in the UK. We have blue signs for motorway and green for A roads, white for most B roads. That would be an option for us at least, just changing the background colour :)
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Re: Directionality on Road Labels

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:47 pm

xteejx wrote:Shields would be useless in the UK. We have blue signs for motorway and green for A roads, white for most B roads. That would be an option for us at least, just changing the background colour :)

If the shields in the US for each state are different (which I am not sure of), I would think it would be possible to have other country/state/province-specific shields/icons.
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Re: Directionality on Road Labels

Postby dmcconachie » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:16 pm

Shields would be useless in the UK. We have blue signs for motorway and green for A roads, white for most B roads. That would be an option for us at least, just changing the background colour

Whilst shields wouldn't be right for UK, small coloured boxes with the road number would be good, leaving the road name number-free! There was lots of chat about this last year including a colour scheme more closely matching the DoT! Went quiet long time ago though!
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