Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

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Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:31 pm

Take a read here: viewtopic.php?p=385433#p385433

What is brought up is a good point and one I think we should carefully consider.

There can be all sorts of "unpaved" roadways from city streets, primary streets and highways. "Unpaved" is more of a surface treatment. Whereas "4x4/Offroad" is more of a type of roadway. I think the suggestion has a lot of merit. The problem is, is that it will likely take Waze more time to implement a new checkbox and possibly add app/routing features to allow us to route around such areas.
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Re: Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby CBenson » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:58 pm

Makes sense to me.

I would point out that the client does a have a dirt road road setting. I had been assuming that this setting would still apply to the renamed "unpaved" road type and would be changed to be the unpaved roads settings. If "unpaved" become a checkbox property, I would still think that setting should apply so that user can decide whether they want to be routed over unpaved roads.

We would then need an additional setting as to whether the user wants to include "4x4/Offroad" roads if these are ever to be included in routes.

The other issue that comes to mind is that I have seen in reference to unpaved roads are roads that are only open seasonally. Is this something that should be addressed within the options for these road types, addressed with time based restrictions, or addressed manually as the roads open and close.
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Re: Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby skbun » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:53 pm

CBenson wrote:The other issue that comes to mind is that I have seen in reference to unpaved roads are roads that are only open seasonally. Is this something that should be addressed within the options for these road types, addressed with time based restrictions, or addressed manually as the roads open and close.


It was strongly implied at the meetup that a best solution for this is to use time based turn restrictions (when implemented) to a seasonal segment, along lines of:

00:00-23:59 from November 1 to March 31 each year.
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Re: Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby skbun » Fri May 10, 2013 3:36 am

AlanOfTheBerg wrote:Take a read here: viewtopic.php?p=385433#p385433

What is brought up is a good point and one I think we should carefully consider.

There can be all sorts of "unpaved" roadways from city streets, primary streets and highways. "Unpaved" is more of a surface treatment. Whereas "4x4/Offroad" is more of a type of roadway. I think the suggestion has a lot of merit. The problem is, is that it will likely take Waze more time to implement a new checkbox and possibly add app/routing features to allow us to route around such areas.


I think it'd actually be pretty easy to implement. They already did this with toll roads. All they'd do is more or less copy the code that said 'avoid segments with flag TOLL', and replace it with 'avoid segments with flag 'UNPAVED', or whatever. There's no reinventing the wheel here.

That said, I've done a lot of thinking about this subject recently, and I think I am now putting in my opinion as 'I think this should be a checkbox, not a road type'. On the top end (where we have the option to avoid freeways), I think editors are in pretty clear agreement as to what a freeway and major highway is, and on the other side, a client user ALSO understands what it means to say 'Avoid major highways'.

On the low end, however, we have 'dirt/4x4/unpaved/whatever we ultimately call it', 'street', and 'primary street'. Waze's own Wiki description admits that a primary street to give one example can be 'a dirt road through a town', and in Western states, there ARE good examples of roads that will cut off hundreds of miles and may even be faster - but is not ideal for someone who doesn't carry their own gasoline or wants something to eat along the way.

The US is a huge country; it's possible to find dirt roads that are long enough that if Waze routed a user onto it, they'd not be able to get gas from 'full tank to empty'. However, they ALSO are 'that one way to that little town somewhere'.

I'd like to suggest the term 'Avoid primitive roads' for a checkbox. or similar verbiage, and that this box be checked by default on install (or in a user's saved settings in the cloud). Primitive CAN mean 'unpaved' OR '4x4' (which is the typical thing people will think of when they see 'primitive road', and it keeps it simple. They get three choices: 'Toll', 'Major highways', and 'Primitive roads'.

This way, we can in fact have primary roads or even minor arterials that are dirt, one lane, whatever...BUT...this means that a Waze user understands that if they uncheck the box, they may be on roads that...well...can get ugly.
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Re: Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby CBenson » Fri May 10, 2013 2:35 pm

I don't think the code should be country specific, so whatever is done I would expect to be done worldwide.

I think primitive roads and unpaved can be two different concepts. In other words, there can be major roads that are unpaved. There are people that want to avoid perfectly passable dirt/gravel roads. Those are the people who we are catering to with an unpaved checkbox.

What seem to me to be a rather different problem is that waze has indicated that ultimately the plan is to have all roads mapped even they are not typically passable for the normal passenger car. Those it would seem to me should be designated with a separate road type. When waze implements vehicle types then there should be a 4x4 option for vehicle type that would need to be selected to route over primitive roads. Otherwise they shouldn't be used in routing. I'm not sure if this would work given the current scheme, because it seems to me that this should not be a case of don't use the road if there another alternative. Rather, unless you have positively indicated that you want 4x4 roads they should never be used in routing. But we know waze has a difficult time with never.

As an aside I'm surprised by the following statement:
skbun wrote:I think editors are in pretty clear agreement as to what a freeway and major highway is, and on the other side, a client user ALSO understands what it means to say 'Avoid major highways'.

I pretty much think that major highway is the road type with the least agreement among users and editors.
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Re: Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby CBenson » Fri May 10, 2013 4:40 pm

Haydenray wrote:Does anyone really want waze to give it's users the "option" to route through this dangerous and undefined area?
Consider that the county has a much better and safer road classification.
It is "Gravel road", or "unpaved".

My understanding is that yes waze does want to give that option, which is why I see a distinction between unpaved and primitive.
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Re: Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby skbun » Sat May 11, 2013 2:49 am

CBenson wrote:As an aside I'm surprised by the following statement:
skbun wrote:I think editors are in pretty clear agreement as to what a freeway and major highway is, and on the other side, a client user ALSO understands what it means to say 'Avoid major highways'.

I pretty much think that major highway is the road type with the least agreement among users and editors.


Admittedly, I do much of my editing out in California and Washington, where a major arterial road in funtional classification is usually a 'Very long range point to point road that is not a freeway', and there hasn't been much disagreement there, particularly as they tend to be fewer and further between. Out east I could imagine this could get a lot more contentious, especially where several roads are nearby one another with similar characteristics. 'Which is the major one?' and so forth.
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Re: Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby thefatveganchef » Sat May 11, 2013 3:03 am

I have read posts in the New Zealand forums where minor/major highways are unpaved / dirt /gravel and I think that is why the check box was brought up as a way to indicate it being a dirt road vs being a drop down road type. 4x4 roads were decided to be a road drop down type since most people who choose to drive those kind of roads has the vehicle to be able to drive them. I think "primitave" roads would fall under the 4x4 road type. Isn't this what was agreed on in the meetup and wasn't that the plan of action by Waze or was this when the discussion started to de-evolve?
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Re: Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby Daknife » Sat May 11, 2013 5:39 am

Haydenray wrote:Out west, when we see a sign that says "primitive road" ...."road not maintained"; that is when we stop, check our map and turn around !!
It is about the lowest classification there is. By definition, the county does not maintain a primitive road. But they are required to warn the traveler with a sign: "Primitive Road, not maintained".

Since when are any such signs required? In Utah and indeed most of the southwest, you leave the hardball at your own risk.

There are many high quality dirt roads that are kept graded and depending on the snow levels open year round (this is NOT just a seasonal issue). And then there are roads that get a once over once a year, there are roads that get graded once every five years, and there are roads that are only kept open by the 4x4 trucks that cruise them hunting (many of which the feds and enviro's want to close and eliminate), or the roads that are in the base maps but are really 1800's era government mule trails that can be hard to follow on foot. I've deleted "roads" that I grew up hunting on until the feds cross hatched them to close them (plowed trenches across the road every couple hundred feet doing far more damage to the terrain than the road ever did.) I knew those were no longer viable but can we count on editors doing so, or is someone going to be led up a closed road (cross-hatched or not) only to find a forest service agent at the other end with a ticket book ready?

Not that all opinions are not valid but this discussion should be most led by those who operate in areas with such primitive roads. As I've said in multiple threads on this topic, people have died because they followed their GPS on a dirt route that petered out to nothing and by the time they realized they were in trouble, they didn't have the skills to turn around (a 20 pt turn may be required) and get back out and they were so far in they didn't have the gas even if they could manage to turn around.

I am a big fan of the checkbox option. We should then discuss the exact criteria for what gets marked as an unpaved street and what gets left as a 4X4 trail. I say if there is not an outlet and no residential structures on the road leave it a 4X4 (once we get the checkbox). If the editor can feel fairly certain the road is at least periodically maintained and there is an outlet back onto a hardball road then it gets the street category.

This checkbox for unpaved and a determination of what will qualify as which road type is a good idea, it does allow us to more safely edit into the backcountry but we still need to be very careful about which roads/trails actually get paved. Despite Ehud's stated desire, every trace paved is NOT a good idea.
Haydenray wrote:Does anyone really want waze to give it's users the "option" to route through this dangerous and undefined area?
Not really, in my opinion. Not until we can tell the app exactly the capabilities of our vehicle, and select not just between dirt (yes/no) but 4x4 or worse (yes/no) as well.
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Re: Unpaved as a checkbox instead of road type?

Postby PhantomSoul » Sat May 18, 2013 2:52 am

Frankly, to me, anything unpaved is a "dirt road/4x4 trail" and should be marked as that type in order to make the "avoid dirt roads" switch in the client work as accurately as possible until a better classification system is developed, if that even happens.

If you're familiar with dirt roads along your commute and want to include them, simply turn dirt roads on in your client. But to try and classify different kinds of unpaved roads, as much as I like the idea, may be beyond the scope of Waze's intended purpose.
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