Interstate Exits as Area Places

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Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby HBiede » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:25 am

Regional Standard Proposal Seeking Opinions:

In some states, including my home state of Nebraska, interstate exits are marked as area places. While these are not used as destinations in navigations in all but the rarest of rare use cases, they provide users with a subtle but useful display of upcoming exits as well as a way to see approximately where they are relative to mile markers. While this is not as useful in more cramped urban areas, it is a nice addition in more rural expanses. Examples of the display in-app are attached below:

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And while not as visible, it is still useful in smaller, urban areas as well (I don't have an in-app view here, so I fell back on a WME screenshot):

[ img ]

The standard used for these area places are:
Street: I-XX
Category: Junction/Intersection
Lock Level: Equal to the Attached Freeway Segment

I propose that this practice be expanded beyond a few select states to a more wide reaching availability for the sake of consistency from a UX perspective. Speaking from personal experience, I find them very useful and a nice addition to the map as a whole. I welcome dissenting opinions, other anecdotes in favor, and possible standards, minimum area sizes, etc.

Wazeopedia Entry Draft:
https://wazeopedia.waze.com/wiki/USA/Us ... _Exit_Area

Examples of in place area places:
https://www.waze.com/en-US/editor?env=usa&lon=-98.26309&lat=40.82233&zoom=4&venues=171508120.1715343346.341378
https://www.waze.com/en-US/editor?env=usa&lon=-96.75563&lat=40.81750&zoom=4&venues=172491160.1725173746.341437
https://www.waze.com/en-US/editor?env=usa&lon=-96.71420&lat=40.86122&zoom=4&venues=172556697.1725435894.341462
Last edited by HBiede on Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:07 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby SkyviewGuru » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:42 am

I can see the value in this. It's a good, viable workaround until Waze integrates proper labeling within the app for exits, if/when they ever plan to do that (presumably soon­­™), to help orient drivers.

In Idaho, I would not see much value in adding nuance to whether/not to map interchanges. I'd probably just map them all if this takes off. However, I would think Washington and Oregon may have pretty complicated interchanges where adding something else could possibly be seen as clutter. I wouldn't think the remaining states would have that issue but I don't know.

Something else to consider is whether this discussion should expand into expressways and/or US Highways with freeway-style interchanges and not just freeway/interstates as well.

I agree on the aforementioned standards of the street being the interstate name, category of Junction/Interchange, and locks matching the Freeway road type locking standard.

On standard/simple interchanges, it would be my preference that the place area only contain the inside of the interchange, not the ramps themselves. This would minimize mistakenly clicking the place instead of the ramp segment. However, more complex interchanges would probably need to be fully enclosed, or at least all but the most outer ramps.

Those are the thoughts I have at the moment. Looking forward to hearing others' thoughts.
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Re: Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby HBiede » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:58 am

The manner of drawing the places in Nebraska and other states in the area that have implemented a version of this idea has been to encapsulate the ramps, but placing them just inside the outer most ramps would convey the same shape while also allowing a portion of the segment available to editor’s mice. After all, in clover leaf interchanges, the inner ramps will be covered regardless.

As far as other non-interstate freeway exits, I would also be in favor of their mapping if they also have exit/mile marker numbering systems in place
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Re: Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby MacroNav » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:53 am

I'm in favor of doing this as well. I agree having a visual label on the app is useful, and I don't foresee any harm. Yes, urban areas and complicated interchanges with multiple exit numbers would need discretion of whether/how to map them. But for the vast majority of our region, that won't be an issue, and I agree as an AM I would be comfortable drawing them in on all exits in my area.

Some further development / testing would need to be considered for Alaska's numberless exits. I do hope that we can come up with a solution for them as well, since I find I need the label for them even more.

Oh yes, what is the standard for the place name?

Has it been pretty well hashed out to only be "Exit 123" or have you included "123A"? Descriptive names on exit signs like "First St"?
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Re: Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby ply8808 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:11 pm

Thank you HBiede for the topic post, and I look forward to the discussion.
A few items I would like to see as the discussion progresses and adoption of standards are considered:
A regional test wazeopedia page of the standards
Any references to other relevant discussions that may have happened
A discussion at the national level to widen the thoughts/concerns on the topic

Note that state, regional standards can be, and should be adopted, but variance from national standards must be recognized and justified.
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Re: Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby HBiede » Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:05 pm

I’m regards to the naming structure, they are almost always as simple as “Exit 423” for example, however, there have been some more complex ones such as “Exit 401A-D” or “I-80 Exit 440/I-680 Exit 1” in more urban areas. Those edge cases are not as common and probably can be left to the discretion of SMs. I don't believe "Exit 449 - 72nd Street" is unnecessary since the ramp naming structure will usually give that information in navigation
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Re: Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby HBiede » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:10 pm

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Re: Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby ply8808 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:37 pm

It might be beneficial to list a few permalinks in this topic to allow others to visualize existing interchange areas for reference.
If HBiede is willing, you can send him the PL links and he can add them to the OP, or you can send them to me and I will do the same.
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Re: Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby herrchin » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:52 pm

From a plains Wazer who has had these in my app ever since I started with Waze, and who then misses them when Wazing elsewhere, I can attest to their value. They're a great workaround until Waze has something more native available.
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Re: Interstate Exits as Area Places

Postby kentsmith9 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:05 pm

I support the idea. A few initial thoughts.

1. On the current Wiki page, the two example images seem to have their text and images reversed. Specifically, the left red box and the text makes sense, but the image inside seems to belong in the box on the right. And the image on the right seems to belong in the red box on the left. I would also recommend after fixing the box/image coordination that the green box be on the left to start with the correct recommended drawing and put the incorrect one on the right.

2. I know there are many exits in California that have not yet had their BGS updated to reflect the assigned exit numbers yet. We went through most of the freeways to update the exit names to include the assigned exit numbers in preparation for the sign change so we didn't have to try to track updates, but in cases where the exit number is not on any BGS this proposal for only using the exit number might lead to some confusion. Maybe in that case, add the crossing street name to the area.

3. Some states use the A/B references in the exit number to identify the direction from the freeway (east vs west or north vs south). For those states, I think it is fine to exclude the A/B in the exit name here or allow it with "Exit 403A/B". However, some states use the A/B/C/D to differentiate separate interchanges which are within one mile of each other. In those cases you would need the A/B/C/D reference to be included. Maybe that is the intent of the current description, but I could see how it could be misinterpreted.
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