Ramp naming proposal

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Ramp naming proposal

Postby mithrandi » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:19 pm

Okay, I wasn't actually going to write this up now, but I decided to go ahead while I was on a roll. This is just prose, but I'll try to dig up pictures to illustrate different types of signage etc. if this makes it onto the wiki.

The idea behind ramp naming is that the name displayed in the Waze client should match the signage the driver will see on the road. We don't need to replicate the signage exactly, but it should be close enough that it is recognizable to the driver.

There are basically three types of ramp segment:

Highway entrance: a ramp connecting a regular road to a highway, providing access onto the highway.
Highway exit: a ramp connecting a highway to a regular road, allowing one to exit the highway.
Connector: a ramp connecting a highway to another highway, allowing one to transfer between the two highways.

The signs for highway entrances and connectors basically look the same; some type of visual diagram of the road structure, and a label identifying the destination, eg. "N1 Pretoria" which indicates that the ramp leads to the road designated "N1", heading towards the destination "Pretoria".

Highway exits are slightly more interesting, however. On a freeway these are usually specially designated with a number (and sometimes a letter suffix when an exit is split up eg. "105A" and "105B") that appears on all (or almost all) of the signs describing the exit. In addition to this exit number, the area closest to the exit (eg. "Sandton") will also appear on the exit sign.

My proposed naming convention for entrances / connectors is simple: the ramp should be named like "to N1 Pretoria" where the destination is represented as it is written on the ramp signs. In cases where multiple destinations are listed, these can be separated by slashes, like "to N1 Pretoria / (M1) Johannesburg". Note that parentheses on these signs indicate that a road is indirectly reached. For example, you might see an indication like "N1 (M1) Johannesburg" which shows that the highway you are entering now is the N1, but following this sign's direction will let you connect to the M1 which leads towards Johannesburg.

Exit naming is similar, but instead of the simple "to" prefix, we now include the exit number like: "Exit 95: R511 William Nicol Dr". The area ("Sandton") is left out, as this adds too much clutter to the exit name and does not provide much additional benefit.

Blank ramp names can be used to great effect in order to reduce the length of ramp names in cases where the signage lists multiple destinations. For example, often going left from the offramp will lead to one destination, while going right will lead to another, and both of these are mentioned on the initial offramp sign. Instead of labelling this ramp like "Exit 113: R24 Johannesburg / R24 OR Tambo Int", leave the name blank; then label the ramp to the left as "Exit 113: R24 Johannesburg" and the ramp to the right as "Exit 113: R24 OR Tambo Int". This way, the name of the final ramp will propagate backwards to the blank ramp as per standard Waze rules, and the driver will only be presented with the information for the route they are travelling.

Make sure that the ramp name is recognizable on the initial exit sign, however; for example, if one of the destinations is not listed on the initial sign, then it is important to name the initial ramp so as to avoid confusing by presenting a ramp name that looks nothing like the exit sign the driver will see. See the Junction Style Guide for more detail on this subject: http://www.waze.com/wiki/index.php/Junc ... e#Naming_3


Commentary on this would be much appreciated, even if it's just to say that you're happy with the proposal.
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Re: Ramp naming proposal

Postby txemt » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:03 am

Um.....we do that in the US.
Just wazeting my time to help you waze your route smoothly.
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Re: Ramp naming proposal

Postby mithrandi » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:16 am

txemt wrote:Um.....we do that in the US.

Yes, I mostly based this on the US guidelines.
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Re: Ramp naming proposal

Postby Kuhlkatz » Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:58 am

I agree with the general exit naming conventions as far as ramps are concerned. They should convey the same information as the signage in TTS. Most people will tend to look out for exit numbers, route numbers and specific street names as mentioned by voice guidance, so if it does not conform, drivers may overshoot an exit or entrance, and then end up doing something stupid to compensate for that.
Our 'job' is just to make it as safe and easy as possible to get from point A to point B.

I do not like the "to aaa" naming for onramps, as TTS tends to pronounce it "onto to aaa". Leaving it blank is a better option, or naming it specifically eg. "N1 : Bloemfontein" when turning onto the "N1 South" or on the "N1 North" depending on where you are.

We are also not planning on reinventing the wheel - current references in the Wiki does reflect the same standards, based on area-specific signage. If it works elsewhere, there is no reason why we could or should not adopt the same convention.

To make things 100% clear, the idea behind tabling specific items and putting it up for voting is not to be hard-assed about it. It's simply to ensure that we all agree on a standard, and to peg it down.
Once this is put up, we can safely say that with all things considered, it was the accepted method by the majority, i.e. it would/should/could or does currently work and it does not need to change what was tabled.

Just some food for thought and things to consider with naming:

In general, an exit sign contains a minimum of 3 pieces of information, but can be any of :
1. An exit number
2. The general location of the exit.
3. Route number(s) for the further routing destinations.
4. The immediate destination i.e. street name if applicable.
5. The routing destination(s) for the exit - Town(s) / Cities

What is deemed as important in this case, and to whom ? Someone exiting the N1 to Kroonstad is not interested in the route numbers, but someone passing through might be.
Person 1 likely wants the street name, where person 2 would not give a hoot.
Is it acceptable to split the ramps in this case for wayfinders just to split the info, especially on short ramps like the N1 ? Or do you want to 'blast them' with all the info.
Just use Exit No & general area, and use unnamed for rest of the destinations?
Use Exit & area and split further for simple route number ?

We also need to consider TTS.

I have been listening to some of the cached TTS files on my device, and noticed that the conventions for "name1/name2" have no pauses in between, so ends up sounding like gobbledygook. Also, in the convention of "name (Rnnn)" vs "name Rnnn", the "name (Rnnn)" has a slighly longer pause. It's also clear on directions with "route name direction" vs "route name (direction).

Below is some of the tts samples I've uploaded to Dropbox. We are still getting the 'North x' for 'Nx' routes. Hopefully we can get this sorted for ZA.
Serena - onto Marlboro M1 South On Ramp - compressed at the end
Serena - onto N1 South/N3 South - the / does not force any pausing
Serena - onto N3 (S) - slight pause for south
Serena - onto N3 South - no pause, still discernable

The TTS files can be played using the free opensource VLC media player from http://www.videolan.org/.

If you do not trust my links, you can still use the player & listen to files on your own device.
Using 'Airdroid', you can access files off your Android via a browser interface.

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Re: Ramp naming proposal

Postby mithrandi » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:41 am

Kuhlkatz wrote:I do not like the "to aaa" naming for onramps, as TTS tends to pronounce it "onto to aaa". Leaving it blank is a better option, or naming it specifically eg. "N1 : Bloemfontein" when turning onto the "N1 South" or on the "N1 North" depending on where you are.


I'm not sure about the "to" prefix, I mostly copied that from the other countries. I guess I'll take another look at this. If the ramp leads to a road labelled "N1 (N)" then there is absolutely no point in labelling it something like "to N1 (N)"; it should definitely be left blank in this case. However, in most cases, the ramp signage will say something like "N1 Pretoria" for north, and "N1 Bloemfontein" for south, rather than giving the direction explicitly. I think this should be included in the ramp name, regardless of whether we just have "N1 Pretoria" or "to N1 Pretoria" or something else.

Kuhlkatz wrote:Is it acceptable to split the ramps in this case for wayfinders just to split the info, especially on short ramps like the N1 ? Or do you want to 'blast them' with all the info.

Ultimately, the purpose of naming the ramp is so that the user will be able to visually identify (by signs etc.) the road that Waze has told them to turn onto. For a ramp that leads up to a straightforward intersection, maybe with a small split or slip lane at the very end, I don't think there's any need to get fancy with wayfinders / splitting the ramp.

For example, if you take the N1 northbound offramp to William Nicol Dr, the signage all along the highway, including the final exit signboard, just says "R511 William Nicol Dr". Once you've taken the offramp, the ramp splits at the end to go left to "R511 Fourways" or something like that, and right to "R511 Randburg". However, in this case, I don't think there's any need to identify the short splits by name; the direction to turn/keep left or turn/keep right should be perfectly clear to the driver.

For longer / more complex ramps, especially with multiple splits, it probably does make sense to introduce wayfinder names further along; ultimately, this is going to come down to individual judgement calls. The idea should be to include as much information as necessary, no more; the longer the ramp name is, the more unwieldy any TTS direction including it will be, and it's not going to help if the driver falls asleep halfway through listening to the ramp name :D

Kuhlkatz wrote:I have been listening to some of the cached TTS files on my device, and noticed that the conventions for "name1/name2" have no pauses in between, so ends up sounding like gobbledygook. Also, in the convention of "name (Rnnn)" vs "name Rnnn", the "name (Rnnn)" has a slighly longer pause. It's also clear on directions with "route name direction" vs "route name (direction).

I don't really have any justification for this other than personal preference, but I prefer the pause-less version when the route designation comes first (ie. "R511 William Nicol Dr"), and the pausing version when it comes last (ie. "William Nicol Dr (R511)").

Kuhlkatz wrote:Below is some of the tts samples I've uploaded to Dropbox. We are still getting the 'North x' for 'Nx' routes. Hopefully we can get this sorted for ZA.

Yep, that's a pain. Apparently setting the road name to "N"1 would solve this, but hopefully nobody actually thinks that is a good idea.

Kuhlkatz wrote:Serena - onto N1 South/N3 South - the / does not force any pausing

Yeah, that sounds completely ridiculous. I just stole the "/" convention from elsewhere, again, so I guess this bears further consideration. Do you know if it makes a difference if there are spaces around the slash?

Kuhlkatz wrote:Serena - onto N3 (S) - slight pause for south
Serena - onto N3 South - no pause, still discernable

As far as this goes, if we want to remove the use of () we could still name it like "N3 S" instead of having to spell out "N3 South". I prefer the version with the pause slightly, but I'd be happy with either; what I'd like to avoid is spelling out words like "North" and "South" in full without abbreviating, since this is incredibly unwieldy when shown on the map / in the client.
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Re: Ramp naming proposal

Postby mithrandi » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:44 am

Oh, something I wanted to clarify. My original post seems to imply that we *should* include indirect route names in ramp, but this goes against the standards of other countries and doesn't seem to be a good idea at all, so I want to clarify that I think they should be excluded.

That is, if the signboard reads "N1 (M1) Johannesburg", the (M1) portion should not be mentioned in ramp names. "N1 Johannesburg" should still be perfectly sufficient to identify the sign, and less confusing when fed through TTS (especially in cases like this where the route names are so similar!).
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Re: Ramp naming proposal

Postby mithrandi » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:00 am

So, here's an example of where we might need to include "multiple destinations" in a ramp name. This is the offramp from the N14 to the R512.

Final sign before ramp: http://goo.gl/maps/Q06cO
Exit 295:
R512
Randburg
Lanseria
Brits

First sign on the ramp after leaving the highway: http://goo.gl/maps/85JLE
Right:
R512 Randburg

Left:
R512 Lanseria
Brits

View of the actual intersection, for reference: http://goo.gl/maps/YvItp
Just a regular four-way intersection with a robot, not even a slip lane.


Following the UK guidelines, this ramp would be named: "N14 (S) 295 Exit to R512". That seems simultaneously too verbose, and too different to the actual signage. In particular, mentioning the name of the highway you are already on is either redundant (if you already know what highway you're on, you don't need Waze to tell you!) or confusing (if you don't know what highway you're on, the exit ramp sign is unlikely to tell you).

Following the US guidelines, this ramp would be named: "Exit 295: R512 Randburg / Lanseria / Brits".

If we split the ramp near the end, the terminal segments could be named like "Exit 295: R512 Randburg" and "Exit 295: R512 Lanseria / Brits". This would unfortunately make the road geometry more complicated, but might be worth it to shorten the naming. Judging from the information I've seen elsewhere on the wiki, it looks like the TTS *should* insert a pause for a slash with spaces around it (like "Lanseria / Brits") although it does not insert a pause if there are no spaces around it (like "Lanseria/Brits"). I still need to verify this locally.
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Re: Ramp naming proposal

Postby Kuhlkatz » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:38 am

mithrandi wrote:I'm not sure about the "to" prefix, I mostly copied that from the other countries.

The Wiki page on the Ramps does indicate that it's supposed to drop the 'to' and I have no evidence that it's not being dropped. I just prefer I have TTS on, but mostly have the radio blaring when commuting, so hardly listen to it locally. When I want to explicitly hear police warnings or TTS, I'll plug in an earphone on one side as that does not drown out the radio ;)

mithrandi wrote: ..."N1 Pretoria" for north, and "N1 Bloemfontein" for south, rather than giving the direction explicitly. I think this should be included in the ramp name, regardless of whether we just have "N1 Pretoria" or "to N1 Pretoria" or something else.

I would agree on adding the direction of the Freeway / Highway you are joining as part of the ramp name. So it would be either 'N1 North Pretoria' or even 'N1 North to Pretoria' which would likely sound better in TTS. If left blank TTS will pronounce the following named segment which would be 'N1 (N)'. This SHOULD be pronounced 'en one north' but currently is 'north one north'.
I found a ramps close by that's labeled (link further down below) with "NAME / NAME" and navigated across there last night to hear how it's pronounced. It's not doing the expected pause vs. "NAME/NAME" without any spacing.
It sound like TTS ignores spacing of any form indiscriminately at this point. Serena is definitely seriously getting confused with Streets and Saints at the moment, so I'm not sure if this is also just a temporary glitch.
We really need a testbed where you can just plug in this stuff and listen to what sounds best, instead of having to semi-breaking something in an update just to listen to it.
Above also relates to :
mithrandi wrote:Do you know if it makes a difference if there are spaces around the slash?
.
I'm at work at the moment where external mails sites & cloud storage is blocked, but will try and get the TTS file onto dropbox & link it in later.

Kuhlkatz wrote:Is it acceptable to split the ramps in this case for wayfinders just to split the info, especially on short ramps like the N1 ? Or do you want to 'blast them' with all the info.

I did not add it here, but adding too much will mean that current TTS annunciation will be either cut off for the next instruction, or Serena will yak on like the wife on a long distance call and cause the next TTS instruction to be skipped altogether. We need to keep it as short as possible.
I think we can skip the Streets it leads to in the immediate ramp, and just have the "Exit nnn : Area (Route no.)", "Exit nnn : Route No." or even "Exit nnn : Route No. Area". Streets names in major metros like Jhb or Pretoria would be announced as the next segment for the turn. Not sure what other preferences are here, but I think most people would actually prefer to hear that the are turning of onto 'Grayston Dr' or 'Rivonia Rd' instead of 'Sandton' being the general area.
mithrandi wrote:Do you know if it makes a difference if there are spaces around the slash?
On Freeway / Highway sections that split into other Freeways / Highways I don't think it's of any real benefit to add ultimate destinations, but it might be useful for users not familiar with the area, just to confirm that they are still on right track, e.g. the exit I traveled named Exit 124A : N1 Midrand / Johannesburg.

mithrandi wrote:...I don't think there's any need to get fancy with wayfinders / splitting the ramp....
For longer / more complex ramps, especially with multiple splits, it probably does make sense to introduce wayfinder names further along; ultimately, this is going to come down to individual judgement calls.

Agreed. No need to get too fancy in most cases. We still need to keep it simple and predictable.
99% of all ramps / exits can be named without fuss.
Judgement would usually include an indication on an explicit 'Exit Left' and/or 'Exit Right' and the destinations for the the wayfinders as per the US Wiki samples.

mithrandi wrote:I don't really have any justification for this other than personal preference, but I prefer the pause-less version when the route designation comes first (ie. "R511 William Nicol Dr"), and the pausing version when it comes last (ie. "William Nicol Dr (R511)").

Same preferences here, "Rivonia Rd (M9)" or "M9 Rivonia Road". I'll hunt for confirmation if a decision was ever made on "Route# Streetname" vs. "Streetname (Route#)". I know there were some discussions around this.

mithrandi wrote:Apparently setting the road name to "N"1 would solve this, but hopefully nobody actually thinks that is a good idea.

It would actually have to be lowercase, like "n"1, but that would look horrible in the client and not match any signage. I'll look for the mail from support, but it might be possible to have country-specific tweaks for TTS.

mithrandi wrote:As far as this goes, if we want to remove the use of () we could still name it like "N3 S" instead of having to spell out "N3 South". I prefer the version with the pause slightly, but I'd be happy with either; what I'd like to avoid is spelling out words like "North" and "South" in full without abbreviating, since this is incredibly unwieldy when shown on the map / in the client.

I prefer the "N# (direction_abbreviation)" with the slight pause. It would also assist if entry ramps are not named to have consistent pronunciation and takes up very little space on the screen.
It would also work for all cardinal directions and the combos (NE), (NW) etc. if that's ever used, and still take up very little space. Most direction indicators would however be just N,S,E or W.
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Re: Ramp naming proposal

Postby mithrandi » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:54 pm

I'm working up a separate wiki page to cover this (and I'll probably do the same with other subjects as well). I haven't linked it from the main wiki page yet as I still want to do some editing to reduce the verbosity, and of course solicit commentary from everyone else on the forums, but the idea will be to link all of the subpages from the main page once they're done, rather than trying to cram everything into one page. This allows for more room to go into detailed examples, hopefully eventually with pictures to go along with them (guess I need to dig out my camera and go photograph some highway signs!).

At any rate, feel free to check the page out as a "sneak preview"; I tried to incorporate the suggestions from this thread and to elaborate more on some specific examples to provide guidance, although some things will ultimately just be a judgement call. Incidentally, I'm fairly happy with how the TTS renders the ramp names on the few interchanges I've edited recently (N1/Malibongwe and N1/William Nicol), aside from the "North 1" issue (hopefully Waze will fix that some day, but they still haven't even fixed the recent St=Saint issue...). I think I still need to check the ramp signs on a few of the ramps (not available on Google Street View), but it doesn't seem like the "to ..." ramps are causing a problem with TTS.
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Re: Ramp naming proposal

Postby Discus » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:45 pm

Nice!

To ease reading, I'd edit the section after There are basically three types of ramp segment: to have either
1.
2.
3.
or bullet points rather than as a paragraph.

I'd proof more of it, but apparently the substation outside our house has just blown up, so I best go and rescue things.

Incidentally, someone seems to have edited one of these roads I recall previously being Ramps to being a Major Highway, yet in my mind (and being somewhat familiar with the junction), it's a ramp, even if that ramp is on the ground rather than flyover concrete style (the roads are at different levels).
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