The following guidance on gas station landmarks in the US is what the US Champs have figured out in terms of how we should proceed.
Prior to April 14, 2013, all US gas stations which were updatable from the app were not visible, updatable, and could not be added from the Waze Map Editor. The Gas Station landmarks people created in the editor had no relation whatsoever to the gas prices people could search and update in the app.
The stations visible in the app were a separate data element and linked to an external data provider.
On the evening of April 13 (US Time), Waze started a merge of the gas station data with the landmarks layer in the Waze Map Editor.
As part of the merge process, Waze tried to minimize duplicated gas station data, but it is inevitable that some stations were not able to be merged due to incompatible or mismatched data in either the existing landmarks layer or the data from the 3rd party provider.
What We See in the Waze Map Editor
After the merge, for stations which either did not have any kind of matchable station, or where the matching failed, you will see very small gas station landmarks. In fact, you probably need to be down to the 20m zoom level in order to see most of them. Here is an example of the small size of the imported landmark:
You will often find that the updatable station location is 1-3 blocks away from the actual station location. It is important to visit the actual gas station in the editor, and then search around it for the imported station landmark.
How do you know if the station is from an import?
- All stations imported on April 13 have their name set to ALL CAPS
- All imported stations do not have a City or State assigned
- Until someone edits the station, it will also show a last update of "April 13, 2013 by staff"
What if there is a duplicate?
If there is a station which is a duplicate, that is, there is a landmark already in Waze with the station info, and now there is another station with an ALL CAPS name, then we have a duplicate situation.
DO NOT DELETE THE IMPORTED DATA WITH THE ALL CAPS NAME.
You need to delete the other landmark in Waze which is in the correct location and has the correct name, and was updated/created previously by a Waze map editor.
What must be updated
In order for the data to be useful to the Waze community, all the details of the station need to be updated. This includes: Name, Address, Phone number, Brand, City, State, Country. These are shown graphically surrounded by red boxes below. Note the Address line between the Name and Phone boxes is only for the street address. The City and State is located in the lower Address box.
- Store Numbers are NOT needed in Names, please remove them
- For Gas Stations that are part of Highway Service Plazas/Rest Areas please use the following format <NAME> - <Service Plaza/Rest Area> (<Road Name & Direction>). Please match local signage when determining if the location is a "Service Plaza", "Rest Area" or whatever the signage calls it. For example on I-95 in Madison, CT the two landmarks are named: Mobil - Service Plaza (I-95 N) & Mobil - Service Plaza (I-95 S).
If you know what brand gasoline a station sells, you should select it as the Brand. Stations named after their brands, such as big companies like Shell, 76, Mobil, Chevron, are easy to identify the brand which should be selected. Smaller or non-national stations may be harder to identify. Some are their own brand, and some buy a specific larger nationwide brand of gasoline. Do some research to find out this information. If it isn't clear or information isn't available, mark these as Unbranded.
Big-box and one-stop-type stores like Fred Meyer, Costco, Sams Club, Home Depot, Safeway, Winco, etc., often buy a larger national gas brand. However, to allow drivers to select their preferred retail brand (rather than Brand of gasoline), select the store name as the brand as well.
For any other stations you cannot determine the gasoline brand, select Unbranded.
Current known issues
Adding stations: Stations which are added to Waze as a new landmark, will not appear in app search results or be updatable until Waze implements some new code and update process on the server side. Go ahead and add stations which do not appear and for which you cannot find an imported station. They will be live in the app once Waze makes their code changes.
Was station data merged or not? We can easily identify a newly imported station which didn't find an existing landmark to match against. But what if the match did succeed and a previously-existing landmark is now linked to the gas station data for updates? How do we identify those? We are unsure at this time.
Brands are being reviewed The list of brands is currently extremely long and contains dozens of names which are not brands. There are actually very few actual brand-name gasolines.