[New Page] Places/Airport

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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:05 pm

juliansean wrote:9X1 had it's stop point on SH-99 W. Because there was an AP, I was able to see on the app that I was not heading to where the airport was. I had to figure out how to get to the airport. With no AP, I would have had to go home, get on google earth or something, and find where the actual entrance was. The AP allowed me to make it to my destination. Obviously, that night I fixed the stop point.

It's great you found your way despite the incorrect stop point and consequently busted routing, but I don't think the benefit of belt-and-suspenders mapping is by itself adequate justification for an Area Place. Otherwise we'd mark all sorts of things as Area Places just in case the stop point was wrong.

What I believe is adequate justification for an Area Place is just a vast open clearing with buildings and aircraft that screams "airport" to passing drivers. The two examples you gave are completely consistent with that and I'm perfectly OK with them getting Area Places.

But what about the example the OP gave, that I'm trying to talk about here. There is nothing formally recognizable as an airport. It is a suburban neighborhood where several properties happen to abut an airstrip along their back fence. Here is my proposal to address the OP's concern:

Proposed guidance wrote:Do not map as "Airport" or use Area Places for fly-in communities where all the normal trappings of an airport are kept on individual residential properties and the only thing shared is an airstrip whose surrounding open space is largely or completely invisible to passing traffic.


Does anyone have a problem with that specific language? Why? And, what would be better for that specific case and why?
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:19 pm

dfw_gis wrote:...any public facilities included in the area place without encompassing the private residences and their wide and tall garages.

My proposed guidance not to map with Area Places is only for fly-in communities with no public facilities at all ("...fly-in communities where all the normal trappings of an airport are kept on individual residential properties...").

If a fly-in community does have "public facilities" then I imagine it should have an Area Place. What to include and what not to include in that area place is a good question -- and your suggested answer sounds good to me. It's a separate question from MacroNav's concern about using Area Places for isolated airstrips with no public or shared property beyond the airstrip itself.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:03 am

dfw_gis wrote:To the extent of the area vs point, if I had to vote on the topic I would keep them all as AP however define the extent better (property for large airports, fence for small airports, aircraft movement area for the residential/private strips). [...] Keeping them as an AP but having a clearer definition of the boundary would keep the standard simple.

I agree that airstrips with any sort of facilities shared among the users are worthwhile to map as APs, and in the lower 48 that will probably be most of them. So to the extent there's a debate it is coming down to what in the lower 48 will be a very small number of airstrips.

Focusing on that specific case...

Here is a fly-in community within Anza-Borrego Desert State park called Borrego Air Ranch. There appear to be no shared or public facilities -- checking their website didn't turn up any suggestion of such, though I only scanned it and could have missed something.

Waze has apparently had an Airport Area Place for this community since the basemap import (when it was probably an "Arprt"). The current layout of the Area Place follows the general idea of mapping the runways. I think dfw_gis' proposal would be to map the taxiways as well.

This AP satisfies my proposal's requirements for an AP, because the "surrounding open space" is NOT "largely or completely invisible to passing traffic". HOWEVER I think it shows how quirky it is to map an AP for such a facility where all the actual airport trappings except the runways themselves are on private residential property AND -- this is the big one I think -- the "Runway" road type fails to display.

To my eyes this is a fairly unsatisfying AP. Without the runway displaying, it looks like a small residential community that has a weirdly-shaped AP on top of it. If the airstrip for this runway was not out where drivers could see it, but rather hidden behind the back fences of residential properties, I think it would be even more unsatisfying. In that latter case -- what MacroNav brought up -- I'd agree that such an AP would not be a win for drivers.

What we really want for these locations may be to have runways display :mrgreen:

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Borrego Air Ranch
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:07 am

This needs to be said in big bold letters: Large Area Places are NOT primarily for the benefit of people routing to them!

We do NOT put parks on the map to benefit nature lovers, lakes on the map to benefit sailors, or schools on the map to benefit students. They may benefit those people of course. But that is a secondary benefit, NOT their primary purpose.

If it WERE their primary purpose, then we would be using large Area Places for sprawling office complexes, famous neighborhoods, and expansive private estates. We don't, even though Waze is for the people who go to those places too.

The primary purpose of large Area Places is to serve as orientation for drivers passing near them.

The question being discussed is NOT about whether pilots are worthy of keeping "their" Area Places. I have a world of respect for pilots and the astonishing level of dedication and skill piloting requires, but that is neither here nor there.

The question is whether a handful of practically nonexistent, minimally maintained, invisible-from-nearby-roads, backyard airstrips with no facilities whatsoever, surrounded by personal residential properties and/or wilderness, serve as orientation for drivers passing nearby.

By that standard, I believe the specific Alaska airstrips linked by MacroNav fail, and I continue to propose my guidance addition as follows.

Proposed guidance wrote:Do not map as "Airport" or use Area Places for fly-in communities where all the normal trappings of an airport are kept on individual residential properties and the only thing shared is an airstrip whose surrounding open space is largely or completely invisible to passing traffic.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:26 pm

I'm up with this proposal, some modifications suggested below.

Kartographer proposed scope with DL proposed changes wrote:[...]Private-use airports should only be mapped as Area Places if they a large clearing and/or easily-recognizable aviation-related structures are visually obvious from public roads, or could reasonably serve as a destination for drivers the airport offers services to the general public such as flying lessons or demonstrations. For how to distinguish between public-use and private-use airports, see Names.

===Category===
The airport category should only be used on either for facilities that qualify for airport area places and or on point places for airline terminals. For other airport-associated business places, such as charter services or air freight forwarders, use a different category.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:43 pm

I'm uncomfortable adding "or satellite view". Unless Waze starts supporting navigation for aircraft or spacecraft, the fact that something is visible from air or space isn't relevant to the question of whether it is mapped as an Area Place. We use aerial imagery to help us decide how to draw an Area Place, but whether to draw it depends on visibility to drivers on nearby roads.

Plus, if a usable, maintained airstrip exists, that by definition will manifest as a large clearing visible from above. And of course the runway itself should be visible from above if it has any kind of maintenance. If we accept "visible from above" as a sufficient criterion then are we not back at square one and the entire proposal is invalidated?
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:16 am

jm6087 wrote:I guess I am really confused on what the real desire to not map a visually obvious airstrip/airport is.

There is a desire to create Area Places for airstrip/airport places that are visually obvious!

But "visually obvious" from 1000' up is a dramatically different criterion from "visually obvious" from the ground. Wouldn't you agree?

If being visually obvious from 1000' up is sufficient for an airstrip to have an Area Place then this whole discussion has been a waste, because even the most minimally-used airstrips will satisfy that criterion.

The background theme of large Area Places requiring visibility from the road has been present in discussions of Area Places for at least five years, maybe more. It is the critical criterion in the Landmark provision of the global wiki, which became part of the US wiki when the latter came into being.

It's true that, in the interests of simplicity, the community has effectively stipulated that certain large Area Places are so likely to be useful for orientation that they get an automatic "pass". Parks and schools are among these. The question of whether any particular park or school is visible from the road never comes up, not because it isn't an important question, but because it's a very good assumption.

Airports historically were considered to be in the same category with Parks and Schools -- large, obvious, public-facing orientation cues -- so they got the same treatment. What we are discussing here are a handful of small, hidden, non-public-facing airstrips. I am sure the framers of the original Place guidance were not thinking of these when the "Airport" category was discussed as automatically getting an Area Place.

jm6087 wrote:I guess my biggest issue is that it is being decided to pick and choose what type of airports/airstrips should be mapped. To me, this is not much different than picking and choosing which restaurants or small businesses should be mapped.

I hope there isn't a misunderstanding on this point. I don't believe anyone is saying we shouldn't map them. The question under discussion is whether they deserve an Area Place so that they will display on every Wazer's app as they pass through, even though passing Wazers are very unlikely to be familiar with them or to catch a glimpse of them.

I for one would be completely fine with pretty much anything people want getting a Point Place unless it's permanently closed. We can map the heck out of these backyard semi-abandoned airstrips using Point Places and I won't make a peep, honest!

[EDITS: Fix a typo. And another.]
Last edited by DwarfLord on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:23 am

whathappened15 wrote:I realize I'm late to the party here, but reading back one I notice other advantage of the Airport AP in the app (in addition to basic orientation) that hasn't been mentioned. Seeing an AP for "XYZ Airport" can help users understand the low flying aircraft they may observe over the roadway, even (especially) when airport facilities are not directly visible to the user. I would suggest adding a clause to the proposed Scope paragraph for airports whose approach or departure routes immediately cross over roadways.

This is an excellent point that hadn't occurred to me, thanks.

My two concerns would be (1) that for the tiny handful of little-used airstrips that would not get Area Places under the proposed guidance (before the satellite imagery aspect was added), there would be so little air traffic that this aspect would seldom arise; and (2) that it would be very difficult for editors to assess how often planes actually use one of these backyard strips as part of the threshold for an Area Place.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:05 pm

Kartografer wrote:The original post that started this discussion was actually about not mapping private airports at all, even with point places...

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I misunderstood this. I do suspect, however, you meant to say "not mapping barely-used, lacking-any-services, invisible-from-the-road, non-public-facing private airports at all" because unless I've misunderstood (again) the OP was primarily concerned about certain remote Alaska airstrips that basically amount to a dirt road behind a few residences where the extent of "services" is that Old Butch comes out with his chainsaw and cuts a few trees every Spring.

jm6087 wrote:...what are the drawbacks from them being an Area Place? Is it just because someone will see it in the app? Is it because someone will see it in the app and want to drive to it?

The question "what's wrong with adding an Area Place" has been wildly contentious for all the years I've been involved with Waze and I don't have enough beer on hand to see me through another such discussion :mrgreen: But personally, I see no orientation or emergency value in making unknown, invisible, barely-maintained, backyard airstrips part of every Wazer's display experience.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby DwarfLord » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:43 pm

dfw_gis wrote:And we can always clarify the search results with a specific description for those private fields in the naming convention akin to what was mentioned earlier - "Private Airfield - Anderson Lake 0AK1" or
"Private - Anderson Lake Airstrip 0AK1".

I like where this is going for Point Places. For Area Places, however, I'd be concerned that very long primary names would display awkwardly. Perhaps we can come up with graded nomenclature, for example:

Point Place for backyard locations -- "Private Airstrip (OAK1)", with alt names as necessary to ensure lookup and mirroring the convention for public airports;

Area Place for private locations that have visibility and/or public-facing services -- "Private Airfield (OAK1)", again with alt names as necessary, and also mirroring the public-airport convention, but minimizing text on the display; and of course

Area Place for public locations "Oakland International Airport (OAK)"

This suggestion uses the terms "private airstrip", "private airfield", and "airport" in the primary name to help distinguish the different grades, even though they might all get the "Airport" category. That's intuitive to me, but it might not be to everybody? Just a suggestion.
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