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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:32 pm

DwarfLord wrote:I'm still thinking of the dregs-end of the airstrip spectrum here. I have no problem with big long names for major international airports, or even for public regional airports. Small private airfields I have mixed feelings.

But these barely-maintained, not-quite-abandoned, invisible-from-any-road dirt patches in the sticks that we're deciding should get Area Places, should they really display long specific names too? I'm frankly bewildered that these locations have aroused such staunch defense. But if we're going to put them on the Waze display for every Wazer in the region to see, as if they were important, I think the display name needs to convey that they are not really that important. Being short and sweet would help do that. "Private Airstrip" or "Private Airstrip (XYZ1)" would work fine for me.

Please read my previous post again, specifically the part about how a place named "Private Airstrip" is completely, 100% useless as a search result, and "Private Airstrip (XYZ1)" isn't much better.

Even with the alt name of whatever the actual name of the place is (let's call it "Bob Young Field"), searching "Bob Young Field" and being presented with the result "Private Airstrip (XYZ1)" is ridiculous.

Then please elucidate me on what kind of "long names" small airstrips around you apparently have.

As I alluded to in my previous post, "Private Airstrip" is not appreciably shorter than most typical small-airport names. In my experience, they're usually just something like "[one or two word name] Airstrip". Maybe I should have been more clear on this. Small airports just don't have long names. You will not find more than maybe a handful of grass strips with names longer than 2 or 3 words total (maybe there's a "Bob and Cindy Gaines Airfield" out there somewhere).

I am absolutely baffled that you are apparently so concerned with using two-word names instead of three-word names that you would render the search result for such places completely inert.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:35 pm

We're currently in the midst of a problem with two proposed solutions. One such solution, to map all airports the same regardless of status, has the support of most of the people posting in this thread. The other solution, to map most airports as areas but some subset of private airports as points, has the support of maybe 2 or 3 people here, but one of those people happens to have, I will guess, the plurality of both posts and words in this thread, such that their opinion appears to be more common than it actually is.

DwarfLord wrote:Let's look again at the airstrip I referred to on the "Lost Coast" of California. This airfield is several miles from any road; as I said, it is used to my knowledge only by a few members of a family that inherited a private inholding among public lands. Nobody else is welcome to use it. Driving Wazers, or even those previewing a route, will never see it, and even if they happen to scroll by it at a zoom level where it will appear, it will mean nothing to them for orientation that the Pacific Ocean(!) does not already provide.

I don't think even the most contorted argument can be made that mapping this private airstrip as an Area Place somehow benefits drivers. So why do we want to display it? What is our "second mandate" besides helping drivers? Saying that "it doesn't hurt drivers, so why not" does not answer that question. Why do we want it on the display in the first place?

Your entire argument has been that mapping private airstrips creates undue distraction to all the drivers who become so fixated at place names on the map that they crash off the side of a mountain into an 18-wheeler that was on the road below (as an exaggerated version of your actual argument, this is called "hyperbole," but feel free to call it a straw man argument again if you want, I don't care). Now you're arguing that mapping private airstrips is pointless because no driver will ever see them. Which is it? Talk about the "most contorted argument."

You are asking the wrong question. It doesn't hurt drivers, so why not map these airports the same way that we map all other airports? Why are we bending backwards through hoops to make sure that some airports get different treatment if we can't actually make a case that all this effort isn't for naught?

There is a point (which we have long passed) where this argument became nothing more than a value judgment on what "should" be done, and all of the actual, constructive conversation fell to the wayside. So forget the nonsense. Let's boil it down.

Everyone agrees that most airports (big ones, medium-sized ones, most small ones, anything open to the public, anything visible from the road and possibly used for orientation) should be mapped as an area place.

Everyone with half a lick of sense agrees that all airports should be mapped with their actual name as the name of the place (more on this later).

What's hanging in the balance? Small private airstrips that are not visible or identifiable from any road.

What is actually the proportion of these, in number and in land area, relative to airports as a whole? I'd wager it's pretty small.

I think—I hope—we can all agree that, where possible, it is generally preferable to have uniform guidance that applies uniformly to all examples of a particular situation (e.g., place type). This uniformity leads to a better in-app experience. The user builds up expectations based on their experience, and those expectations color their experience. They see one school on the map (i.e., as an area place), they expect to see other schools on the map.

It also, secondarily, helps editors, who only have to learn one set of rules. Yes, this is primarily a benefit to editors. But making things easier for editors makes things better for users too, because the less time an editor has to spend referring back to guidance and trudging through Street View to determine whether or not a hangar or a Cessna is visible and obvious from the road, the more time that editor gets to spend doing other things that also improve the experience for the driver.

So given that so little hangs in the balance, and we have two warring factions that can't seem to agree on a value judgment with no "Right" answer, err on the side of uniformity, and move on to productive discussion.

DwarfLord wrote:But that was a few years ago, and times change. So is Waze now an airstrip app? A campground app? A hydrography app? What is our new "second mandate" beyond helping drivers?

If we as a community are deciding that we now have an additional mandate beyond helping drivers, I think that needs to be very clear, because a lot of people still think that helping drivers get where they need to go as quickly as possible and with the least amount of confusion is our one and only mission.

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines "straw man" as "an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument."

This is a straw man argument is, friend. Because, you see, no one is suggesting that we remove all editors from their mission of editing roads and send them all out on a mandate to map every airport (or campground or river) in the world. That's not what the wiki does. Wiki articles like the one for airports tell editors what to do when they come across a situation and want to know what to do with it. How editors prioritize their time is up to them and their mentors, and I don't think you're going to see a wave of mentors telling their mentees to go forth and map every airstrip.

It is a false dichotomy to suggest that Wazers can either do something that helps drivers or do something else. It is only with an extremely narrow definition of "helps drivers" that one can claim this. I struggle to think of a single thing we do (besides simply making bad edits) that doesn't help drivers in some way. Mapping rivers that aren't immediately visible from the road can help drivers orient themselves when looking at an overview of their route (ever the more important now that there's a one-tap way to do this) because that's how every other map they've ever seen of that area looks. It only helps. Who's it distracting if it's not visible from the road? And again, we're not sending out our editors to do this kind of thing in lieu of something else. Maybe a handful of editors out there really enjoy mapping waterways or railroads, might not bother to open WME otherwise, and end up fixing a few roads and places along the way. The map is better off for it.

Your extremely narrow definition of "helps drivers" just doesn't work. You frankly cannot presume to know how many drivers you're helping in many situations. Okay, removing a closure on a freeway or adding a place for a Taco Bell is probably going to help a lot of people. But there are many edits where you can't know how much help you are or aren't doing. How many dead-end roads in rural backwoods nowheres have we added that no Wazer will ever drive down, but even if they did, they wouldn't have phone service on? How many HNs have we added in residential areas for houses that belong to people who aren't, and whose families and friends don't contain, Wazers? For reclusive types who keep to themselves, stay home, don't order pizza, don't get visitors? We don't have these answers, so we do it all the same. We don't know who we are or aren't helping. So we err on the side that has the potential to help at least someone, someday. Because it doesn't hurt, it can only help.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:10 pm

Except that "benefit[ting] drivers" vs. "making decisions more automatic, and thus easier, for editors" is a false dichotomy.

Everything we do benefits drivers in some way, however remotely. "Making decisions more automatic, and thus easier, for editors" gives editors more time to do more things on the map which themselves "benefit drivers" more directly.

This is the principle behind Place Name Harmonization, speaking of your region's leadership.

Does it "benefit drivers" to establish and maintain a monstrously large Google Sheet with every chain under the American sun with more than a handful of locations? To program a Tampermonkey extension to integrate this data into Waze places, one by one? Neither of these benefits drivers directly, but in centralizing some of the work of harmonizing place names and details, they together serve dual purposes of making the in-app experience more consistent and making the editor's job easier (and faster). And making the editor's job easier gives the editor more time to do other things—to harmonize more places in less time, say.

And so does the time saved by the editor who comes across some private airport somewhere, who knows they can simply add it the same way they add any other small airport (perhaps even assisted by WMEPH!), and can thus simply get it done and move on.

The alternative, with the proposal with all the limitations and restrictions about visibility and recognizability from the road, sounds all well and good on the face but in reality results in editor time being directed toward Street View to trundle around trying to determine what is and isn't visible from the road, and spending brain juice on whether or not buildings are easily recognizable as hangars.

That sounds, to me, like a monumental waste of time to avoid something that has no significant negative effects on drivers. That's time which would be much better spent getting it over with and moving on to the next thing.

So I do not believe that it is fair to consider "benefitting drivers" and "making decisions more automatic for editors" as mutually exclusive principles. In cases such as this where the latter results in no significant negative effects for drivers, the latter necessarily begets the former.

I further do not believe it is fair to consider the effects similar guidance might have on other places. Despite what you "believe is the proposed policy," we're here to talk airports. The proposed policy is to use area places for all airports. That's it. No more, no less. The principles stated here work well for the category of airports, and discussion here need focus only on airports. If we are satisfied that airports are well served with the proposed guidance for airports, we can move on to details.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:32 pm

ottonomy wrote:Of course, there's a functional reason why Alaska has an extraordinary number of air strips, but as uncommon as this concentration may be in the rest of the USA, I'm not going to sit here in Los Angeles and proclaim that there is never such a density of spurious "airports" that no exceptions should be made for mapping them as areas.

Whatever language we ultimately adopt for this guidance, it should have some flexibility. An area place next to an open highway displaying an airstrip of questionable map value may indeed be an item which adds richness to the user experience there. But where these backyard "airports" hit the density we see in this part of Alaska, areas for each one would amount to pollution of the visual experience as well as of search results.

Perhaps, then, the best answer is to make an exception for Alaska. Not a cop-out, it genuinely seems like Alaska is an exceptional place with airport density, so if mapping all these airstrips with areas is somehow problematic, then by all means. I'm not really sure what problem it creates, though.

MacroNav wrote:In my opinion, creating places that aren't useful to 99.99% of users is a problem, in this scenario:

I'm an infrequent traveler, or I'm in a strange place. I'm running late to catch my flight, so I use Waze to get there as soon as possible. I type in "airport" into search, because who the heck knows which person it's named for, what municipality it's located in, or what indecipherable code letters it uses. Even though there is only one airport with scheduled flights within 100 miles, I see airports scattered all over the map and get pages of results from search within 50 miles. Maybe I select the right one, maybe not. Maybe I miss my flight, maybe not.

I do not believe this scenario to be at all realistic.

Your suggestion was to use the Airport type only for "airports with businesses that provide services to the public". But this includes general aviation airports as well as airports with scheduled commercial service. Your hypothetical moron traveler would not be helped even in a "one-airport town" like New Orleans, which has one commercial airport with a name that starts with "Louis Armstrong" and one large GA airport with a name that starts with "New Orleans". Now imagine they go to a place like Houston with two airports with regular commercial service and several GA airports around town.

Shame on the traveler who can't even be bothered to remember what airport they're going to. God forbid they ever travel to New York, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Houston...

Airport is just not a good use of category search.

If we are concerned nationally about noobs using GIS-L and slapping airports down wherever GIS-L says there is one, well, that's fine. As with any place, editors should make sure the place is actually there before adding it to the map. This is the same for other place types mentioned in GIS-L. GIS-L post offices are sometimes in the wrong place (I know, because I mapped every post office in my state a few months ago). It's incumbent on the editor to do it right... This should be obvious, but, I guess you can't always count on common sense.

If we feel that GIS-L "creates" the problem for airports (and cemeteries), then we can put a special note next to the entry for Airport and Cemetery saying "don't map shit that ain't there just because a script told you it was". If you can't even figure out where it is in WME, don't map it. That is true of any place.

If we/NWR/Alaska feels that mapping the identifiable ones still creates some sort of problem, then Alaska can have its own rule. I don't really believe that having area places for many of those airports (viz., the ones identifiable in WME) is actually a "problem," but yes, there sure are a lot of them, so if NWR agrees an exception for Alaska is warranted, I understand. But I don't think it should affect the way airports are mapped in the other 49, and I don't think there is any compelling reason to put any sort of "lower limit" on airports that verifiably exist. And I am certain that category search is not a compelling reason for any of it.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:55 am

Here is something that you might want to consider adding.

Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) has the different Arrival and Departure Terminals. BUT the difference is there is not one common road that accesses them. Basically three ways in and each splits so a common pin location is not adequate. (Found this out the hard way when sister had a first out flight after a funeral)

Even coming in from the two main ways - northbound and southbound Cicero Ave - the split is at the ramps and never common.

Yes I understand this is not the common experience but probably one of the harder ones to map correctly.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:23 am

Overall looks good.

I would add an example of a rental car company that has two companies at the same location to for completeness

Ex Dollar and Thrifty Car Rental at Providence Airport (Warwick, RI).

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:07 pm

There needs to be some clarification of the four letter vs three letter designation of airports. Specifically IATA (3 letter) ICAO (4 letter).

The normal three letter designation that most people use [DCA - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, LAX - Los Angeles International Airport, JFK - John F Kennedy International Airport] are publically known ones.

But each has a four letter designation in the ICOA. KDCA, KLAX, and KJFK.

So should it be map as an area if there is a three letter IATA code? Most but not all US airports have ICAO codes that are the IATA with a K in front.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Mon May 08, 2017 10:56 pm

I agree that this is long overdue. Great job overall, and I appreciate you mentioning military facilities being handled separately!

Thanks for putting this together


Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Tue May 09, 2017 11:43 pm

Is it possible that airport wipe-out might have been form a galaxy far, far away, and might not be a factor anymore?

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Tue May 09, 2017 11:44 pm

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