Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

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Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby lsin023 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:06 am

Hi All,

As you may know, the UK English TTS (Text-To-Speech) Navigation voice Serena (Nuance) has been replaced by the UK English TTS voice Kate (Google).
Those voices read street names aloud but there are some issues (abbreviations not read correctly, incorrect pronunciation...)
We need your help to test and report such issues so that the Waze Team can correct them.
The list of abbreviations (set by country now) is from Waze Wiki: How_to_label_and_name_roads_(Ireland) and will be updated accordingly.
If your have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to post in this thread.

All tests are with the Google female "Kate" voice only as used in UK/Ireland. Another English voice choice for UK/Ireland, "Tomas", is likely to use the same TTS databases.

To hear the most current TTS results from your Waze client device, it is necessary to clear your current TTS cache. Enter "cc@tts" (case sensitive) without quotes in the Navigation search to clear the cache. Waze should reply with a "TTS cache has been cleared!" popup box.

If you already know or learn any TTS results, fill up the Google Spreadsheet below:
Waze Abbreviations and TTS (Ireland).
Please submit only results that you are absolutely sure of, with the Permalink for all issues, and the confirmed TTS output result.

For abbreviations used in other countries, please refer to How to label and name roads (by country).
Thanks to Gizmo for his initial post.
Last edited by lsin023 on Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby lsin023 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:27 am

Abbreviation "Tce" issue here.
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Re: Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby lsin023 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:50 pm

Timbones wrote:Abbreviations are set per country now, so Waze can add missing ones for you.

Does it mean that the same TTS voice can read the abbreviation "Tce" "Terrace" in country A and "TeeCeee" in country B?
And both TTS voices "Kate" (UK) and "Jane" (US) would read "Terrace" in country A and "TeeCeee" in country B but just with a different accent?
Technically, how does the algorithm behind work/apply to TTS voice and/or country?
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Re: Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby Timbones » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:00 pm

lsin023 wrote:
Timbones wrote:Abbreviations are set per country now, so Waze can add missing ones for you.

Does it mean that the same TTS voice can read the abbreviation "Tce" "Terrace" in country A and "TeeCeee" in country B?

I'm not sure about exact details here, as we get confusing and conflicting answers from staff. We can certainly ask to have Tce added as an abbreviation, and it won't be a problem for UK users.
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Re: Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby davidg666 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:41 pm

Timbones wrote:I'm not sure about exact details here, as we get confusing and conflicting answers from staff. We can certainly ask to have Tce added as an abbreviation, and it won't be a problem for UK users.

If that could be done (as well as having the 'N' in (for example) "M11 N" pronounced as "north") then it would be very handy, and would probably the only difference we'd need from UK TTS - and would also mean that we wouldn't need a separate set of TTS rules to the UK (with all the maintenance that that would entail).

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Re: Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby lsin023 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:10 pm

davidg666 wrote:If that could be done (as well as having the 'N' in (for example) "M11 N" pronounced as "north") then it would be very handy, and would probably the only difference we'd need from UK TTS - and would also mean that we wouldn't need a separate set of TTS rules to the UK (with all the maintenance that that would entail).
Hi David,
You have published the list of abbreviations Waze Wiki: How_to_label_and_name_roads_(Ireland) some time ago and it differs from United_Kingdom/Roads#Abbreviations and not 'only' 'N' and 'Tce'. I'm still trying to make a list of those issues here and it takes times as I don't get much help.
Unfortunately, some editors keep chasing points and updating road geometry unnecessarily as we don't have a locking policy...
davidg666 wrote:It would probably be better if we included a link to the standard Abbreviations & Acronyms page instead of having our own table.
The entries have only been tested for the US English "Samantha" voice and some are no longer valid.
Don't you think that we should test the entries first?

There are many street names in Waze map in Ireland with, 'Grn', 'Pde', 'Lwr', 'Upr', 'Est', etc as suggested in Waze Wiki Ireland and I believe that many editors still use it as 'THE' reference.
Maybe adding a note inviting readers to visit the Wiki page regularly due to 'coming changes' would be useful, at least until the final decision regarding the naming convention.
Of course, it's much easier to follow the list of UK abbreviations. Can anyone confirm that all those abbreviations have been correctly tested with the UK voice 'Kate'?
If we use the UK list, what do we do with all those street names with 'Lwr', 'Est', 'Grn'..? MapRaids?
To request Waze Team to load a script which renames all street names with issues in Ireland and popup a message in WME to inform editors of the new naming convention in Ireland? (not so many read messages here) Really possible?
Last edited by lsin023 on Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby davidg666 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:42 am

Hi Stan,
lsin023 wrote:You have published the list of abbreviations Waze Wiki: How_to_label_and_name_roads_(Ireland) some time ago and it differs from United_Kingdom/Roads#Abbreviations and not 'only' 'N' and 'Tce'. I'm still trying to make a list of those issues here and it takes times as I don't get much help.

Although I wrote that page, I didn't create the table of abbreviations - the page sucks it in automatically from elsewhere, although I'm now starting to wonder if that was a bad idea. I think we could probably make our own table of about ten abbreviations (just the most common ones, like Rd, St, Ave, Dr, etc)

I commend your work in making a list of issues with TTS and abbreviations, although it's a shame there hasn't been much feedback. I'd really like to see more engagement with the forum from our editors, but I have a bad feeling that many of them may not even be aware of the forum. If anybody has any ideas for increasing the participation in the forum by editors, that would be very welcome.

Naturally editing (or any Waze work) is voluntary, and unfortunately some people have very little time; I just sneak in a few minutes here and there - a couple of years ago I had hours a day to do this, but now, much less so.

lsin023 wrote:Unfortunately, some editors keep chasing points and updating road geometry which don't require as we don't have locking policy...

I think anybody who edits to chase points (and without making the map better) is doing us all a disservice. We do have the facility to block dishonest editors if necessary.

Speaking of a locking policy: do you think we should have one? Obviously it's possible for one L1 editor to cause a lot of damage right now, so maybe we should be looking at routinely locking high-value roads such as motorways.

lsin023 wrote:
davidg666 wrote:It would probably be better if we included a link to the standard Abbreviations & Acronyms page instead of having our own table.
The entries have only been tested for the US English "Samantha" voice and some are no longer valid.
Don't you think that we should test the entries first?

I think a much-reduced list of our own abbreviations (maybe ten, as mentioned above) would be worth creating - and much quicker and easier to test than a very long list.

lsin023 wrote:There are many street names in Waze map in Ireland with, 'Grn', 'Pde', 'Lwr', 'Upr', 'Est', etc as suggested in Waze Wiki Ireland and I believe that many editors still use it as 'THE' reference.
Maybe adding a note inviting readers to visit the Wiki page regularly due to 'coming changes' would be useful, at least until the final decision regarding the naming convention.

I have a feeling (untested) that very few editors come to the forum and even fewer editors look at that wiki page. That said, we should certainly make sure that it's accurate. What do you think of a very short list of preferred abbreviations and a link to the standard abbreviations and acronyms page?

lsin023 wrote:If we use the UK list, what do we do with all those street names with 'Lwr', 'Est', 'Grn'..? MapRaids?
To request Waze Team to load a script which renames all street names with issues in Ireland and popup a message in WME to inform editors of the new naming convention in Ireland? (not so many read messages here) Really possible?

I don't know if a MapRaid is necessary (if we were to have a MapRaid, maybe it would be best used to make those parts of the country that have almost no roads at all), but if there are some abbreviations that the TTS can't handle then we should certainly make it a habit to rename bad abbreviations as we come across them.

As for automated renaming: we now have a means of getting city/town names renamed and/or merged, so it's no longer necessary to do this by hand, but I'm not aware of an automated means of renaming parts of street names. We can certainly ask Waze HQ about this, but I wouldn't have high hopes of getting an automated script run to transform all unsupported abbreviations to their longer form.

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Re: Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby Timbones » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:11 pm

I'm moderately sure that all of the abbreviations on the UK page do work with the new voices.

If you have other abbreviations not in our list, then we can have them added.
Alternatively, it might be best to limit abbreviations to just the common ones (St, Rd, Ln, etc), and have all other names spelt out in full (e.g. Uppr, Lwr and Est).

If you wish to have more roads locked, you can ask Waze to enable "Automatic locks", which are based on how busy the roads are. This would mean that motorways would be locked to the highest level, and other busy roads to a lower level. I would suggest starting with a maximum of lock of 3, so that your Area Managers are unhindered. You'll need to consider the trade-off between protecting the map, and turning anyway potential good editors.

Of course, manual locks for important roads and junctions is also an option.
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Re: Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby lsin023 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:17 pm

Hi David, Tim,

I have added the 24 UK abbreviations to the test list (beige color)
Timbones wrote:I'm moderately sure that all of the abbreviations on the UK page do work with the new voices.
"Gdn" is pronounced "GardenS" with the "S". Is it just in Ireland or it's the same in UK?

I agree with both of you that we should have a limited list of common abbreviations.
The UK list seems a good starting point, not the outdated US one (the Irish list until 12/09/15).
This limited list of common abbreviations should match the ones drivers can see on street signs.
==>David, do you think the UK list matches? Except "Ter". How about "Gn", "Gr"?
The cardinal directions should be added.

davidg666 wrote:I'm not aware of an automated means of renaming parts of street names. We can certainly ask Waze HQ about this
It's probably a small script with Regex. Nothing really complicated for DBA/developers.
==>Tim, David, Can you find out if Waze HQ is willing to help us to clean the street name database?
We have an average of 60 active wazers everyday in Dublin whereas the average in London is +3k and +20k in Paris. Can you imagine how many active editors? We also have the lowest penetration ratio in Europe. How many years to get things done if we don't take the initiative to grease the engine?

davidg666 wrote:I have a feeling (untested) that very few editors come to the forum and even fewer editors look at that wiki page(...) Obviously it's possible for one L1 editor to cause a lot of damage
In my opinion, all editors should follow the same guidelines (Waze Wiki) and have read and understood the Best map editing practice. If it's not accurate, we should have it updated. Every editor (all levels) not aware of the editing rules can cause damage.

davidg666 wrote:Speaking of a locking policy: do you think we should have one?
Yes, we should enable "Automatic locks" once we have accurate Wiki pages or properly linked to UK ones and some "housekeeping" done on the map..
Last edited by lsin023 on Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Abbreviations and TTS navigation voices

Postby Timbones » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:35 pm

Thanks for testing the abbreviations, Stan. Looks like we have one or two we need to fix for Kate.

As for the cardinals, it looks like they all work except for N at the end. I now remember that someone in the UK reported something similar where "Something Ln N" would be wrong, but other combinations are fine. I'll push to have that corrected.

As for automatically fixing street names, I reckon Waze could do it, but probably not on a timescale that you'd like. Instead, I can provide a detailed list of segments with incorrect abbreviations, and we can have Map Raid to clean them up. Extensions like WME Color Highlights or WME Validator can be tweaked to highlight the bad names directly in the editor.

Then again, I've found over 1,000 bad names in Dublin alone, so perhaps there's just too many...

[Edit] over 7,500 segments with bad names in Ireland :o
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