First of all, thanks Champs for working on this. I may have a different perspective on a number of things, so offer up a long list of comments below as input to your considerations. I agree with a lot of what you've put into a simple terse list of ideas, something needed to be operational and effective. So to counter that, I provide the following long set of ideas… sorry it is so long.
I have a perspective on landmarks that is different than a recent post. While I think they can be enduring, there is also rapid change in landmarks across generations and the utility of Waze should not be stymied by holding to a pre-Internet-social-media norm. One power of Waze is apparently the social community editing capability that allows some dynamic nature. I think landmarks are those things useful in navigating while driving in your car from one location to the other, whether it is in your neighborhood or cross-country.
I guess I would like to see a bit more background in whatever Wiki document you make, something that gives rationale and objective that will make clear the remainder of the items you list. You’re trying to communicate to a vast dynamic bunch of editors, a small number that may endure for their own reasons. Giving them the background and some history, as I have seen in other parts of the Wiki is always nice. One can skip it
A general comment I would make is that a lot of the rationale to not map a landmark is given as it will be taken care of in POI Search. I think this is a mistake in some cases. The POI search is not the whole reason one uses this app. I would say that the visual content is critical to many in giving a driver a place in their own mental map of the place they are navigating. In addition, not having landmarks seems to create a very bland map that is not as rich in content as it could be to make the app more useful to some. Waze could provide a feature to turn off some of these landmarks as is done is so many of the stand-alone GPS devices… you can pick what you want to see.
An important set of things that are visually important to some are those items that block their travels or are used a mental reference as to where they are navigating… so rivers, lakes, golf courses, and the like are important to see on the map in my opinion.
I think people like to see their local landmarks like the Walmart, a favorite long-established restraint, the McDonald's, etc. because the POI Search is not always used and once you get closer in a search, the spatial reference provided by the map is of use in other ways. I really worry that the POI Search is being used to limit the value of Waze, when it should add to it. On the other hand, I agree, we should not put every single
Another general comment is that I worry that the items you listed are being too analytic and not inclusive of another important feature of Waze, the ability of localities and communities to add what is important to them. This may vary by geographic location city, maybe even neighborhood. If you are too strict in some of these things, you’re eliminating another great value Waze could add to being popular in all these locations.
I also think that you could offend segments of users (or editors) in saying what is major or important when you are not part of that community. There was a comment in the wording about which religious sites are relevant or not. I would not want to go to any Church member, Synagogue, or Mosque and tell them their religious site is not important.
Some of the things I think you got very right is providing guidance on where the landmark boundaries should be. This is the kind of thing that such as standard would be of value. In experimenting with landmarks, I see that making them small is of no use. It is better often to have them as the outline of the property including parking lots, so they show up well. Outlining buildings makes no sense unless the item is large, like a mall – which is not even consistent with one of your items.
Here are a set of more specific comments to some things in your list. If I didn’t comment on it, I agree.
1.3 Terminal - Not used at this time. Not defined at this time.
What is a Terminal? I think some general types would be useful. For instance, I think one thing that should be included on Waze are rest areas as landmarks. I know one might be very comforting when I have an urgent need running down the highway. I looked around the USA and saw that these were of various types because there is no “rest area” type. In a way they are a terminal on the highway.
1.7 Sea Port - Not Mapped.
Why? I have never mapped a Sea Port, because we don’t have many in New Mexico.
I wonder if they would be of use in some locations. I could see utility in some cases.
1.12 Subway station - Not Mapped
Why? I could see some utility here in some instances. Having ridden on them for years, I know that the DC Metro stations often include substantial real-estate in parking lots and drop off lanes. I would like to see these used for such items, not avoided. POI Search is not the end-all.
1.14 Car Rental - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I don’t agree and think this would be a mistake. POI Search is not the end-all as I have mentioned. This is one of the primary values Waze can provide because it is used by travelers who really need GPS apps. A visual / spatial reference would be very useful in finding out where the rental location was, and even perhaps, where AVIS is versus Hertz.
1.15 Garage - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
What is a Garage? Parking? Repair?
2.1 Park - Mapped at the fence line, including parking lot(s) in one landmark. Further definition in the works, but Private Golf Courses are not included.
I am somewhat concerned about Golf Courses here. I really like to see them on the map because they are a visual reference for navigation and impediment to travel in that you must route around them. I have marked some of the Golf Courses of type “park” because it makes them green. I would really like to see golf courses on the map.
2.3 Mall/Shopping Center - Major Malls/Shopping Centers Mapped at the fence line, including parking lot(s) in one landmark. A "Major" Mall/Shopping Center is typically defined by those having 45 or more individual stores in the complex. Please see local Wiki Pages / local Area Managers for information on what is considered "Major" and mapped for this category in your area. Please note that strip malls & grocery store plazas typically do NOT meet this definition.
I agree we should not map every strip mall, primarily because people don’t often go to “Sequoia Plaza,” they go to the anchor stores in that strip mall. If those stores are a key landmark in a community that many travel or reference navigation from, then I think just that store should be seen (like a Walmart or major grocery store)
2.4 Convenience Store / Kiosk - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I agree with this only because they are small.
2.5 Restaurant / Bar / Coffee Shop - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I don’t agree overall, but generally agree we should not map every restaurant. I do think that we should map community-relevant locations, important McDonalds or other fast-food places that are important to travelers. The POI Search is not used by everyone and is not the end-all as I have mentioned. Visual reference is valuable.
2.7 Hotel / Motel / Guest Room - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I don’t agree on this one as it is an important visual navigation reference for travelers and locals. I would map them to the property line like other items. Not all have to be mapped, but why create a bland map for Waze that is not as interesting? Why impose on a local community to not map such things. I sure like to see some of these when I am traveling. Again, POI Search is not used by everyone all the time and even when it is, a spatial reference is valuable on the map.
2.10 Camp site / RV Park - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I think some of these would be nice to see on the map. They are important to travelers who use Waze. Why would you eliminate this added value? POI Search is not the only way to find things.
2.11 Casino - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I don’t agree. These are often major landmarks in a community and for travelers. I would map them to include parking lots. Many of them include concert venues that exceed your requirements for concert halls. POI Search is not the end-all.
2.12 Marina - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I don’t know because of the lack of water in New Mexico, but wonder if some in costal areas would want this as a visual reference to find the place they are hauling their boat.
2.13 Promenade / Boardwalk - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I don’t agree that this should be excluded. The spatial reference on the map will be useful for people to have a reference of where they are with regard to the location. POI search brings you to some random place that does not embody the full size of some of these locations. You really need a visual reference.
2.14 Store/stall - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I agree we should not map every store. I do think we should map major stores that become community landmarks… such as Walmart, Target, whatever is important to the local community.
3.2 Sea/Lake/Levee - Not Mapped. Handled by Waze Water Layer. Waze is currently working on issues with the water layer. Once this work is complete, this guideline will be reevaluated to determine if bodies of water not included on the water layer should be mapped.
I really do not agree with this one. I think that all these are critical at understanding your location with respect to the water feature. I really want to see this on the map when I am driving as it gives me a spatial refernce to where I am and where I am going. To not see it is a distraction and disadvantage. Furthermore, the water layer in Waze is inaccurate and always missing something. There are places where water is shown on the Waze water layer that have no water. Big mistake to not include this.
3.3 River/Stream - Not Mapped. Handled by Waze Water Layer. Waze is currently working on issues with the water layer. Once this work is complete, this guideline will be reevaluated to determine if bodies of water not included on the water layer should be mapped.
Same as lake/levee… This is critical to include. You should see these things and Waze does not include them on their water layer. One thing that I have added in some places is the Arroyo system. Arroyos are dry ditches to cement waterways that are dry until they are suddenly full of deadly water rushing by. These are impediments to travel and references to your location that are visually valuable. Why eliminate value from Waze?
4.1 Religious Site - Major religious sites are Mapped at the fence line, including associated parking lot(s) (if attached) in one landmark. "Major" is typically defined as a site which someone would make a pilgrimage to/visit similar to a tourist attraction. Please see local Wiki Pages / local Area Managers for information on what is considered 'Major' and mapped for this category in your area.
As I mentioned before, the big issue is making a value judgment on what is important. Let’s not get into such politics and religious debate. I would let a community map what they see as valuable. To me, a local community worship location is good enough to be on the map because it is a community landmark.
4.3 Office Building - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
Agree somewhat, but I think certain office buildings are critical to map, especially the visitor center or HR location of larger corporations, which are destinations that many people might search and would find valuable a visual reference. POI Search is not the end all in finding a location. You need a visual.
4.8 Pharmacy - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
I disagree. I think pharmacies are critical community landmarks that have value in being on the map visually.
4.9 Supermarket/Market - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.
Agree somewhat, but think some are are critical community landmarks that have value in being on the map visually.
5.1 Hospital/Clinic - Hospitals Mapped at the fence line, including associated parking lot(s) (if attached) in one landmark.
5.2 Correction Facility / Prison - Mapped at the fence line, including parking lot(s) in one landmark.
I included these here for contrast. Why would you map a correction facility but not a pharmacy or supermarket? So you can lock your doors when driving by and not pick up hitch hikers? If you map these, you should map other community-important landmarks, in my opinion.
5.3 Military Site - Mapped at the fence line, including parking lot(s) in one landmark. This landmark is used for smaller facilities like Armories and National Guard Training Facilities. Larger facilities such as Naval Submarine Base New London is NOT landmarked, but given it's own City name.
This is interesting because many military bases are mapped to the fence line. This would be a big change. I can see benefits and detrrments in doing this. Are you sure? Huge landmarks over a whole base are somewhat distracting, given I have driven on many. I have noticed that park landmarks and some other things still show through this landmark type.
5.6 University / College / Academy - Mapped at the fence line, including associated parking lot(s) (if attached) in one landmark. Do not use landmarks to map individual buildings (even if they could qualify as another landmark type), parking lots, or other campus features. This is due to the way landmarks are displayed in the client.
I very much disagree with this and I see some discrepancy to this one and the military site item. Both could be of similar size. I experimented and mapped individual buildings at a university. Why? Because you need it! You cannot do a POI search because there are no roads! You have to walk. I walked on the campus with the buildings mapped and found it essential to see where each building was located. I got a university map and mapped the major buildings, many of which are large. With this reference we add A LOT of value to Waze. I do not want to see a huge landmark over the whole campus of a university because it is of no use to me. I am going there to find a specific building in a maze of chaos. Waze should really help people find such locations, not avoid such detail, in my opinion.
5.8 Cemetery - Typically not mapped and handled by POI Search. HOWEVER, those cemeteries with historical significance or a significant tourist draw can be mapped using this type. Internal roads, if needed, are mapped using the Parking Lot Road Type whether or not the landmark is used. Please see local Wiki Pages / local Area Managers for information on which, if any, cemeteries are mapped for this category in your area.
This is a big change from the base map, that had a lot of cemeteries all over the place. I think these are community landmarks and sometimes barriers to travel. I would like to see them mapped to the fence line at the discretion of the community editors.
5.10 Post Office - Mapped at the fence line, including associated parking lot(s) (if attached) in one landmark. ALL landmarks are named "Post Office" - do not use abbreviation "USPS".
I include this for contrast. If you include this one, why not a Pharmacy that is just important to people in a community?
6.1 Other - Not used at this time. Not defined at this time.
Isn’t it good to have a general catch all category that is useful to community editors and their population?
Some things I did not see covered in the list above include rest areas… I really think you should address some guidelines about those since they are transportation-important.
I also forgot to mention that you want to map a train station but not a subway station. I think there is some confusion there and inconsistency. What is a train station? What is a subway station? Both use trains, usually.
If I think of more, I'll post another item.
Again, thanks for your work in this. It will be valuable.