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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:35 am

jm6087 wrote:Since Area Places are no longer an issue with rendering in the app, the Area Places in question would be generally small in size anyway and we are talking about areas of the map where map clutter is not a concern, I still don't see an issue with them being an Area Place.

I didn't mean to mischaracterize your position, and if I did so I am sorry. My understanding is that you feel any airstrip that can be recognized as such from aerial imagery should get an Area Place, regardless of any other factors (including visibility to Wazers on the ground). Is that not correct?

So, when it comes to Area Places, every time I've found myself in this discussion the conversation always seems to wind up with two perspectives that cannot be reconciled.

Perspective #1 places the burden of proof on those who do want the Area Place. They are asked to prove why it is useful.

Perspective #2 places the burden of proof on those who don't want the Area Place. They are asked to prove why it is a problem.

I adhere to Perspective #1, as a matter of principle, because:
  • Waze has a long history as a "spare" app with minimalist instructions and display;
  • the Waze app display is poor at communicating relative significance of display objects;
  • The more information is on the display, the more likely some driver somewhere will suffer some level of cognitive or visual impairment while inspecting it;
  • Area Place polygons and their primary names become part of the display experience of all Wazers in the vicinity, not just those interested in the Area Place.
Because I put the burden of proof on adding the Area Place, I need to be convinced that displaying an Area Place for an unknown, minimally-used, non-public-facing private airstrip with no facilities that is invisible from the ground is a benefit to Wazers. That hasn't happened so far.

But if one places the burden of proof on removing the Area Place, then one needs to be convinced that that specific Area Place somehow harms the Wazer experience. For these bottom-end private airstrips we're discussing, I agree that is difficult, maybe even impossible to show.

Unless we can agree on who has the burden of proof, I don't see that we can agree on a policy.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:12 pm

jm6087 wrote:...I don't think Waze has a "Simpler is better" philosophy (especially when it comes to mapping area places). If they did then we wouldn't have PLAs showing everywhere on the map.

Ain't THAT the the truth!

Since Waze squeezed out those baneful gray polygons everywhere like ten thousand mice in the cellar after getting into the grain, then appeared to move on to other things saying "our work here is done", I've begun to suspect they don't have any human-factors philosophy at all.

I too appreciate very much that everyone's been thoughtful and cordial. That's a win right there :D

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:33 pm

sketch wrote:...what does it matter "the airport offers services to the general public such as flying lessons or demonstrations" if we're allegedly not doing this for people navigating to the airport?

Thanks for the thoughtful and carefully-considered perspective. I will think about this for awhile, but I did want to respond to the above question.

The reason I wanted to add "offers services to the public" as a criterion was to assure some level of name recognition. My thinking was that even the tiniest airstrip with no shared or public-facing facilities that is far removed from any through road could still get an Area Place if it has a recognizable name because of public-facing activities or events. So this is not just to support people going there, but because people can orient themselves relative to a known location. I agree there might be a better way to formulate this provision.

I also agree that hard-and-fast binary rules are much, much easier to follow and verify than subjective rules. There is room in the Waze community, I would hope, for each editor to exercise judgment, so subjective rules don't bother me as much. But even if allowing for editor judgment doesn't bother me, I do recognize value in binary rules.

And, there is a strong regional difference in perspective here. Coming as I do from a densely-populated area where points of reference are abundant on the Waze map, I never, ever look at the display and wish there were more there to look at! But I can understand how folks from other regions might feel differently.

I still adhere to what I called Perspective #1 -- that the burden of proof is those advocating an Area Place to demonstrate benefit, rather than on those opposed to the Area Place to demonstrate harm. But if take off my "principle" hat for a moment and just be pragmatic, there are so few airstrips in the country that the proposal applies to that I'm just not sure it's worth further discussion. I've already agreed that even the tiniest, most minimally-maintained airstrip should be mapped as an Area Place if it has any shared facilities or can be seen from a through road. So all this Sturm und Drang is about a handful of rinky-dink airstrips in the boonies that virtually nobody knows about and virtually nobody would miss.

I don't think mapping these things as Area Places benefits Wazing drivers. But I can't show (and don't really think) that, by themselves, they cause much that harm either because they'll typically be so far away from anything important anyway.

Perhaps we should set aside the discussion of Area Places and focus instead on naming?

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:54 pm

My main concern with long Area Place names is that they become a pile of text floating around the display. Even if one doesn't care about that by itself :cry:, the long place names will appear to be more significant than the short ones. That can be a faulty impression. For example, if the following three things appear on the screen...

Girdwood Station Mall
Anderson Lake Airstrip (OAK1) (private)

...the third item will display more text than the other two put together, despite the fact that the overwhelming number of drivers will be more interested in the other two.

If we can find a way to shorten the primary names of private airstrips and airfields I think that would be a service to average Waze users.
Last edited by DwarfLord on Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:43 pm

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.

This seems analogous to how the community decided to call railroads just "Railroad" (before they displayed looking like a railroad and it was necessary to remind drivers that they weren't drivable roads). Yes, that meant not displaying interesting information that might be useful to railfans, but the community was OK with that.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:51 am

It's simply because I am focused on the display appearance for what I regard as completely unimportant display objects of no value to drivers.

Unfortunately, Waze's design forces us to use the same primary name for searches as will be displayed for Area Place rendering. This means we can't optimize for both search and display at the same time. What I am hearing is that we should prioritize for search and what everyone sees on the display is a secondary concern. That's OK for San Francisco International Airport, but is it also OK for private property, unknown except to a tiny few, invisible from any road, where nobody from the public is ever invited?

Here is an example of an airstrip that folks appear to be saying should be mapped as an Area Place and have a name displayed on the app.

I have been to this location on foot. Nobody can drive there, there are no roads; it is miles away from the nearest "civilization". However, it is active and maintained and recognizable from space, so it satisfies what I am hearing should be the only criteria for an airstrip Area Place (the runway itself was included in the original basemap, I cleaned it up a couple of years ago). To my knowledge the airstrip is used only by a few members of a single family to reach a private inholding.

This is the only flavor of airstrip I'm talking about. The app can display gray polygons and full names for all the others and that's fine. I don't understand why it is so vital that airstrips like this get the same display treatment as international airports.

Now, if we can agree that below some threshold, airstrips like this one can be Point Places, all my concerns are satisfied and we can name them any way we want. We were almost there and got hung up over whether they were visible to drivers.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:28 am

Yes, that comes back to the unsolvable aesthetic dilemma between "when in doubt leave it out" and "if it's not a sin leave it in". Folks holding those opposing perspectives will be incapable of agreeing on an aesthetic policy.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:28 pm

juliansean wrote:...if a person searches for an airport in the middle of nowhere are they really expecting a Chicago ORD some 300 miles away, or are they expecting a general aviation airport? I would venture they are expecting a general aviation airport.

Since MacroNav's post about the unknown backyard airstrips in Alaska, this thread has not been about general aviation airports. There's no disagreement about how to map those.

juliansean wrote: So, while I agree that a purely private strip, made by Joe Bob for his Ag-Cat is not a benefit to the general public, most other airports are in fact useful. And, I think airports should be area [...]

Right, the question originally raised by MacroNav was explicitly confined to the question of private airports that are (1) invisible from the road, (2) most likely unknown to all but a handful of people, and therefore (3) serve no orientation function for drivers. At least, no orientation function that could not also be equally or better served by Waze displaying latitude and longitude lines.

juliansean wrote:If I'm following correctly, this really boils down to how our RC/ARC feel about AP's. In one area, having a little more depth to the app is our new marching orders.

What exactly does "a little more depth to the app" mean?

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?

To ask this question again in a different way...

Our USA Wazeopedia says that the "Campground/RV Park" category may be mapped as an Area Place. Well, what if I know a family that owns a remote campground. It is in the mountains two days' ride from the nearest trailhead. It is private and only for use by family and friends. It goes without saying that it's almost completely unknown, even to locals, and is invisible from any road. But it is visible from space, due to some structures, picnic tables, and a big meadow with ample grazing. Are we saying the campground in this hypothetical example should be mapped as an Area Place?

Again, there can't be any argument that doing so benefits drivers. There can only be an argument that it doesn't hurt them, but again, that's besides the point. Why do we want to add it?

Is it time for us to start mapping as Area Places all the creeks and ponds throughout the US that are invisible from roads? I have seen people who wanted to do that in Europe discouraged by leading editors there, because doing so didn't help drivers and Waze was not a hydrography app.

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.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:29 pm

Thanks, this is well discussed and I agree with much of what you say. There are four things I'd like to expand on.

First, you're combining my points here to some extent with those I made in the Exit Numbers thread. My perspective there was that Exit Number Area Places are a "net negative". I'm not saying they don't have some potential positive value. And, although you've repeatedly suggested this, I'm not saying their negative value is massive. It just means, in my perspective, that the positive value is slight, and although the negative value is also slight, on the whole the balance leans negative. In any event I believe that's a different discussion.

Second, you're pointing out that I have little support in this thread despite talking an awful lot. Believe me, if I felt my perspective was out of line with the Waze editing "zeitgeist" in which I learned to edit, or with my understanding of my regional leadership's perspectives, I would not be so feisty. Please -- and I mean this seriously -- feel welcome to contact my regional (SWR) leadership privately and ask them to inform me that I am on the wrong track. I respect my leadership enormously, I want to support them in this, and if it turns out I'm not doing so I will gladly stand down.

Third, yes, my examples regarding personal campgrounds and hydrography were strawmen in the sense that nobody, at least not in this thread, has explicitly proposed mapping them. However they were not strawmen in the context of what I believe is the proposed policy, i.e., any category listed as eligible for an Area Place in the Great Table may be mapped as an Area Place, complete with a unique and usefully-searchable primary name, if it is exists and is visible in aerial imagery, regardless of all other factors. Indeed, the questions of personal campgrounds and hydrography are commonsense examples of exactly how that policy would manifest were it applied to other Area Place categories besides Airport. Is that not correct?

Fourth, and most important, what I want most of all is to understand the background principles driving this discussion. What I am hearing is that we have additional goals besides benefiting drivers (or, if you wish, we are choosing to define "benefit drivers" so broadly as to include those additional goals). Making decisions more automatic, and thus easier, for editors is a principle that you articulated above. "Having a little more depth to the map" is one another editor articulated earlier.

Please know that I won't -- and can't! -- stand in the way of the community's adoption of broader editing principles beyond helping drivers. I just want those principles stated explicitly because we can't possibly agree on policies if we haven't acknowledged and agreed on the principles behind them.
Last edited by DwarfLord on Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Wed May 17, 2017 10:00 pm

kentsmith9 wrote:I forgot we already have guidance in the doc for adding additional point places for different terminals including separate arrivals and departures. I think I missed it since the examples did not propose their use. I propose we update with this new table.

I agree.
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