Routes through JBER

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Routes through JBER

Postby neylitalo » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:04 am

I'm still getting map editing figured out, and slowly reading the wiki, but there are a lot of pages, so I hope I haven't missed something obvious.

I've noticed that there are a LOT of reports from people unable to drive through JBER. I've started taking a few steps that will hopefully help out - marking the Govt Hill gate entrance lane as a Private Road, for example, and changing the city on all of the main roads through the base to say Elmendorf AFB or JBER, depending.

The problem is that I can't tell if these changes are making any difference. When I do a test route from Govt Hill to Muldoon Target, in response to a specific report, it offers a route through the base, but it's third in the list, below the more helpful routes via 6th and Muldoon. Is this good behavior, or is the ideal behavior that the routes through base not show up at all?
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Re: Routes through JBER

Postby DwarfLord » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:38 pm

Congratulations on your first post! Good questions.

I have AM responsibilities up in Prudhoe but not in Anchorage, so I can't help edit town myself except for areas around the airport :lol: I do know Anchorage somewhat though and can maybe offer some suggestions.

First and foremost, let me recommend the Private Installations wiki article. It goes into great detail on the various options for managing a private installation. Before you choose how to fix JBER please do spend a fair bit of time with that article.

Some random points:

1. Regarding use of the City field: we resist using the "city" field for something that isn't an incorporated city or a census-designated place (usually with a post office), but there are cases when large private installations may get their own city field. The Private Installations wiki covers this. My guess is that JBER might be big enough actually to qualify for it's own Waze "city" but it should be spelled out, not an acronym: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. That's how the base provides its own destination address, so we should respect that.

2. Are there parts of Elmendorf that are completely separate from JBER? I thought the two bases were completely unified from the general perception of those who worked there and those in surrounding neighborhoods. It might be awkward to have some segments marked "Elmendorf AFB" and others "Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson" unless there really is a distinct and widely-known separation.

3. The Private Installations article offers a number of ways to control access. In JBER's case, since it is so big, it is probably best to use the method of normal streets/parking-lot roads/etc. INSIDE the base, but setting up two one-way segments at each gate with the inbound segment set as a Private Road. Details are in the article. You can further adjust time-based restrictions on those two segments so that they are only open when that gate is open. How cool is that :)

4. Regarding routing, first of all I assume you're waiting for a tile update before you test routing. Also, you might be better off testing on your phone than on Live Map, since Live Map sometimes lags terribly behind the edited map in areas with few Wazers (though I'm not sure what Live Map does when it has very old display data but the routing server has more recent data). Up in Prudhoe, Live Map takes months to update :cry: Anyway, if the tiles haven't updated at all then of course your edits won't reflect.

5. The routes Waze offers are usually (a) the fastest route, (b) a substantially different route nearly as fast, and (c) a very slow route. It should never route through Private Roads and Parking-Lot Roads to ordinary streets on the other side unless there simply is no other way to get there. Does that answer your question?

Hope this helps.
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Re: Routes through JBER

Postby DwarfLord » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:35 pm

Oh, almost forgot to put in a plug for the Incorrect Edits wiki article. I'm not aware you've made any incorrect edits! But you may find it useful anyway. Even if you are already aware of the issues it covers, it is a handy link to send to other editors in your area.
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Re: Routes through JBER

Postby neylitalo » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:34 am

Thanks for going into such detail! I have read that wiki page, and found it very helpful when I was editing the gates and streets. I used it as a side-by-side reference while I was editing, so I think I was able to follow the principles within pretty well.

1: The post office does give JBER its own ZIP codes (two, actually - 99506 for the Elmendorf side and 99505 for the Richardson side), but I don't think it's a census-designated place. A quick scan of the Census Bureau's website suggests that it is not. How does one go about giving the base its own Waze city?

2: Any part of Elmendorf AFB is also on JBER. They are completely unified, and when somebody wants to reference the Army side or the Air Force side, they say "JBER-Richardson" or "JBER-Elmendorf", respectively. I used different names because when I showed cities on the map editor, I saw that it was split down the middle into "Elmendorf AFB" and "JBER", and those were the auto-fill options for those particular streets' cities. Should I just type in "Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson" manually?

3. That is the technique in use at all of the gates - it was previously in use at all gates except one, and I changed that one.

4. Good tips. Thank you.

5. That answers my question very well. Thank you.
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Re: Routes through JBER

Postby DwarfLord » Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:45 pm

"Cities" in Waze are done in manner that, to me anyway, is unintuitive, so your confusion on the topic is well justified. (You have probably discovered the "Cities" layer in the WME already, but if not, you can access it by selecting in the drop-down menu or simply by toggling Shift-C.)

The simple version: to give a location its own city, all you need to do is set the City field on all the segments within the appropriate boundaries. Put another way, the only reason the Cities Layer exists is because of the names assigned to segments in the Road Layer. The Cities layer is a byproduct of the data in the Roads layer. The ONLY reason "Elmendorf AFB" and "JBER" were auto-fill options is that, once upon a time, some editor put them in the "City" field of nearby road segments (or possibly they were embedded in the road segments at the time of original base-map import, though I think that unlikely especially in the case of JBER).

It's a bit more complicated than that, unfortunately, but I don't think you need to worry about it in this case. The early origins of the Cities layer are complex and it seems that some city boundaries respond to changes in road-segment "City" fields while others are fixed. I don't know why. In other words, if you go through all the segments in a wrongly-identified "city" and change their City names, the Cities layer is supposed to change, but sometimes it doesn't. In that case a report has to be sent to Waze for manual intervention. We'll leave that topic for if/when it happens.

There is also the dreaded "Smudged City" phenomenon, where even a single road segment with a misidentified "City" field can create a new town that isn't supposed to be there. If the town is one that already exists elsewhere, Waze will drawn the town boundaries to include the new segment. For example, if you mark even a single segment in Girdwood as belonging to Anchorage, Waze will think Anchorage spans the Chugach mountains. And again, once this happens, it may require manual intervention on Waze's part to undo.

So to get the Cities Layer working right here, you'll need to review a LOT of segments. That's going to be a pain. Enter the WME Toolbox extension. This browser extension has a "Select segments" tool that can be amazingly helpful in rooting out bad City fields and correcting them.

Hope this helps. Cheers!
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Re: Routes through JBER

Postby neylitalo » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:06 am

Do you have to be higher than a Level 1 editor to be able to add new cities? I tried to change a few roads to "Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson", but it gave me an error, saying "you cannot add new cities to this country" or something similar.

Another, probably easier, approach would be to just use the already-in-the-system city of "JBER" - the state accepted it for my daughter's birth certificate, and the mail makes it through. And anybody who spends any significant amount of time in Anchorage probably knows JBER just as well as "Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson."
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Re: Routes through JBER

Postby DwarfLord » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:16 pm

neylitalo wrote:Do you have to be higher than a Level 1 editor to be able to add new cities?

Ooops! :oops: :oops: :oops: My bad. Waze implemented that restriction some months ago. Maybe they got tired of so many smudged-city-removal requests :lol:

Your questions are so good that I have filed a post regarding "guidance I could not find". I will also alert the regional coordinator for the US Northwest region, which includes Alaska. Let's see what comes up!
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Routes through JBER

Postby DwarfLord » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:27 am

Well, I checked the USPS zip code lookup. USPS says the preferred city for 99505 is JBER, AK (alternate cities being Anchorage and Fort Richardson); the preferred city for 99506 is JBER, AK (alternate cities being Anchorage and Elmendorf AFB).

Based on the USPS preferred city name I would now support your suggestion of sticking with JBER throughout the joint base. It would be good to wait a few days in case the RC wants to add anything to this discussion though.

(Edit: to be clear, I have no particular authority regarding the map in Anchorage! Just helping out, as there are so few editors in AK and only two Area Managers AFAIK.)


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Re: Routes through JBER

Postby dakster3628 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:07 am

The question I have, is what if you have access to the base and want to get routed through the base?

I am also trying to fix some roads that Waze has incorrect on the base too. Some roads are way off and others exist but are not on waze. These are also wrong on my various car GPSs as well - so it isn't limited to just waze. At least here I can fix it.

Just getting the hang of map editing.
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Re: Routes through JBER

Postby DwarfLord » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:45 pm

Waze can't know your level of access. So, the idea is to assume that your level of access is barely sufficient for where have asked to go, and no more.

If you are outside the base, and you want to go somewhere else outside the base, Waze assumes you do not have access to the base and routes you around it.

If you are inside the base, but there is a facility within the base to which you don't have access, again, Waze will assume you don't have access to that facility unless you ask specifically to go there. (Note that very small installations/neighborhoods are often modeled with all private roads rather than with gates, and nested levels of access are not possible with that approach.)

I have never used the "add a stop" feature in the Waze app, but I think that's the only way you could accomplish your goal. You'd tell Waze you want to make a stop at the base on your way somewhere else outside the base. Waze would route you to your stop, then onward.
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