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road naming: townland boundaries for back roads

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What do we all think about dropping the practice of naming back roads after the townlands they pass through?

As all editors know, it takes a long time to work out townland boundaries when naming back roads.

One idea is to mark most back roads as having no name (or just Lxxxx if the L-number is known) and just to work out the townland name and use that for back roads that join a main road.

Another idea would be to leave *all* backroads unnamed.

So, ideas please: we could do:
  1. continue with the current practice: name all all back roads after the townlands they pass through.
  2. mark all back roads that don't have a name of their own as unnamed (this is common in mainland Britain).
  3. give back roads that join a main road (Nxx, Rxxx or primary street with a name) a name that is the same as the townland they are in at the point at which they leave the main road.
I'll collate responses and talk to the other CMs so we can make a decision about this...

++David \ davidg666

[edit: swapped two words and removed one where I was typing faster than I could think :) ]

Post by arthurohara
David, Yanis, et al,

Preference would be for 1 but where that’s not possible because of time and precise boundary constraints opt for 2.

Overall if we have to choose one, number 2 seems the most logical at present.

Arthur.

PS. This is a brilliant comms system David, thank you.
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Post by arthurohara
I still make an effort to name the Townland.
In the longer term, hopefully it can be made easier to determine.
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Post by cw1998
(There’s a tl;dr at the bottom).
My say may not be worth just as much on this matter. After all, I’m just a lowly rank 3 UK editor! With that in my mind, here are my thoughts. Long term, I like the current practice of naming each segment with the townland they run through.
  1. Completeness - Something in me likes giving every segment a name, even the LXXXXX only option is better than nothing. The only downside to that is the majority of the roads I’ve seen (I check each junction!) don’t have these helpful little registration plate sized signs with the magic number on them.
  2. Ease - A map with names on it is much easier to use than one without. Panning around the map looking for something (be this in the app or on the live map) is much easier when you have names to get your bearings.
  3. Aesthetics - We all like maps here. Surely you must agree that a map with nice complete labels looks far better than one without! :D (see screenshots in the spoiler - click to view full size)
  4. Search - I don’t live the in the south, but from my limited experience of finding places in the south, and what I’ve been told by family that have stayed and worked in the south, people give their locations by their townland where no other reasonable means of road identification is available (other than coords).
    I can’t remember where it was mentioned, but someone said search falls back to Google Maps if Waze shows up empty-handed in search results. I personally don’t like this, as we’ve probably all seen before, Google Maps isn’t perfect when it comes to townlands. It’s alright though if you look at it with a “ that’s close enough” perspective.

    Adding in townlands (at least one segment for each townland) will keep search queries and destinations within Waze where we have more control. This also ties in with completeness mentioned above: It would be good to have each townland searchable just in case someone does need to search for it at some point in the future. In some cases where particaulary large townlands don’t have roads on them (just long driveways that serve multiple properties) I have tended to add a segment for these, just to ensure the townland is in search.
  5. Effort - Looking at it from a map editors point of view, this is A LOT of effort. I agree with that. However, just like any other place without a basemap import, a lot of effort is to be expected. In Northern Ireland, I’m sure something similar was done. Hours on Streetview looking for road signs to name segments. I can think of multiple examples in my own area where a road name changes between junctions.
  6. Effort 2 - All of us have already put in lots of work adding in the present segments with townland names, I feel this would go to waste if we had to go around them all and remove them/join segments etc.
If I were just voting for the three options in post #1, I’d go 1, 3, 2. I’d also like to propose a possible compromise:
Townland names could be made an optional thing.
LXXX if available + a townland name for roads connected to regional/national and possibly even primary local roads could be a requirement.
Then allow the editor at his or her discretion to add the rest of the townland names if they desire. Townlands aren't going to change in the foreseeable future, so maintenance isn't a burden if they are added.
This may not be the best option though for consistency across the whole country, but for the townland name enthusiast (maybe I’m outnumbered here), they can be all added eventually! I would be very open to helping out in map raids to give all roads in an area their townland names (county-sized areas, or half county sized).


Sorry for the read, but hopefully it displays my keenness for townland names.

Tl;dr, I vote for keeping townland names, but make it optional on roads not connected to the R/N and primary local roads.

-Chris
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Last edited by cw1998 on Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post by cw1998
Sorry for the double post. This is probably best separate. This is in addition to what has been said already about using townland geometry datasets.
For those of you reading who are not in the Ireland editors hangout - we have been chatting (22nd and 23rd April) about the use of publicly available townland geometry datasets which can be viewed in the editor using Timbone’s WME Geometries script. Without a doubt, when used, this has boosted my efficiency. It is much easier to match a boundary with that on the OSI map viewer for referencing townland names!

The downside to this though, even if you have a half decent computer, this is heavy on resources, and you will notice a significant amount of latency if you try to load in and use these datasets.
In terms of accuracy/usability, the generalised 50m dataset is just about manageable but certainly isn’t as good as the ungeneralised one. However, the ungeneralised one is almost a gigabyte in size, and I have never got it to load in WME.
To get around this, I threw it into some software to split it into helpful regions that I can load in as I need. (files around 3MB in size)

I was doing some thinking earlier, and it might just be possible to automate this process with some scripting, and I’ve started to throw together some ideas for how this might be done. I may just develop a script or something to help with this if the CMs decide to keep townland names. (Don’t hold me to this though! I may not get the time).
If I remember correctly, the dataset also includes the townlands names. With some help from Tim, it might even be possible to show the name of the townland in WME from the dataset. But how far do you go before it's considered copying...?

Here are a couple of screenshots. For some context, to keep things organised, I crudely split Monaghan up into chunks. Before using Tim’s script, I could get one of these chunks done in an afternoon (3-4 hours) at a fairly steady pace. With townland geometries in the editor, you can complete one of these segments in an hour or two pretty easily. Of course, this depends on if there are many towns/villages in the segment and other things to draw around like lakes and forests, but these are just rough estimates. The zoomed in image is generalised (green) vs ungeneralised (purple).

Screenshots in the spoiler below. Click to view full image. Chris
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Post by cw1998
davidg666 wrote: I haven't tried this out yet, but I want to. Any chance of a cheat sheet for setting it up?

I'm not sure if my computer can handle the extra load though - it already struggles with a simple WME setup (with just a couple of extensions, such as Toolbox and Colour Highlights).
I could write up a short tutorial style thread for the Ireland forum? In the meantime, Tim's Geometries script is a little bit broken at the minute because of the WME update (but an easy fix if you're comfortable with editing scripts, just one line to change for the new version of OpenLayers).
Which area are you working on, and I'll create a clipped down file of that area for you to try out?
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Post by cw1998
Depends on your browser... Also depends on how many townlands there are. I'm writing a Python script at the minute to extract information from the original townlands data file because it is far too big to be practical. I'll make the script available for anyone to use, but I'll also check to see if I can rehost modified files on a server to help out other editors. If that turns out to be against any rules, each editor will have to generate their own from the original file and the script. Edit: I think it's okay to redistribute the files, so I'll probably host a few smaller ones, maybe by county, or smaller...

I'll get back to you on this later on or tomorrow morning! :D
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Post by cw1998
davidg666 wrote: Assuming we do change the policy a bit, we'll have to either make it a pinned post here in the forum or migrate our wiki pages to Wazeopedia, since we can't edit them any more where they are. We need a volunteer to do this...
Well, you can count me in on that if you need help with rewriting the Wiki. :) Although I may not be experienced enough with editing in Ireland to be doing this.
davidg666 wrote: That said, I think a lot of editors still won't go to the trouble of installing an extension and downloading data files to show the townland boundaries - although these would be the same editors who don't bother naming roads in the first place and don't make working junctions...
You're right. We may find the process easy, but new editors who aren't familiar with custom scripts may not bother with this. I don't know what else could be done about this. New editors could start off in cities and larger towns where editing is "easier" to get some experience with WME, then maybe ask them to do some work to the countryside with scripts/extra data.
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Post by cw1998
Hi!
Generally when naming roads with L numbers available, we do "L### Townland" (no hyphen), but there has been talk in this thread, (and I think among the country admins privately?) that this policy *may* change in favour of dropping the "Townland" bit and just putting L numbers if known, so I'd say for now only do this if you're keen!
I like to give every segment its townland name for a number of reasons :D .
So for the example you gave, I would name it "L5040 Ballybur Lwr"

I also tend to only place the L number on the segment(s) up to the first junction with another road.
After the first junction, it's hard to tell if it keeps that number or gets a different number. Sometimes if you're lucky, an L road will have a regional or national road at both ends, and you can confidently name the segments in the middle if they have the same number on the sign at both ends.

(Minor thing, unlike the UK, "Lower" gets abbreviated to "Lwr" where it makes sense to do so.) :)
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Post by cw1998
That's very true about Eircodes. But I'm sure as you've experienced in the UK, postcodes don't work very well at all in built up areas when you search for them in Waze! So it could be a very long time before Eircodes become useful.

About hyphens, yeah, in the UK we put them in, but not in Ireland. Here's a quote from an email conversation I had with David about this a while back:
If the road has a number (Lxxxx or Lxxxxx, sometimes Lxxxxx-yy) then this should be prepended to the name. Examples: L2243 Carrigtogher, Left St, Belturbet Rd, L22431 Knocknagroagh.
Have a look around Co. Monaghan for some examples if would find that helpful :)
There are plenty of other places where other editors have done work as well of course.

Keep up the good work! :D
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