Indian reservation roads

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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby nnote » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:12 am

As I thought, many roads would be considered private.... But how to figure which ones would be difficult..
Another point that another wazer asked me about is what is dirt road and what is street, which you see a lot in reservation area. I advised that person that in my opinion, in those type of areas a dirt road to them is a street, and a main route of transportation, and should be marked that way.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby vectorspace » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:53 pm

My intent was to start a new draft Wiki page on Indian Reservation Roads where we could store information we learn from various locations. I need to get back to DOI-BIA to do this and will schedule something soon. I can get the BIA engineer to go over the wiki page to make sure it is reasonable. The Engineer had said they would introduce us to the Navajo Nation road GIS people so we could see what made sense for informing Waze editors. The Navajo Nation has the largest set of roads of all reservations -- a lot in Arizona.

nnote wrote:As I thought, many roads would be considered private.... But how to figure which ones would be difficult..


From my experience going through various reservations while driving, it's quite clear which roads are public and which are private. Most are public. Making that clear to the editor is something I had hoped to do by getting Indian Nation data. We already know that all BIA roads are public, so that comes at it from the other direction. An example of a road set that is private somewhat local to me is Acoma Pueblo, Sky City, where they don't let you drive up into Sky City.

nnote wrote:Another point that another wazer asked me about is what is dirt road and what is street, which you see a lot in reservation area. I advised that person that in my opinion, in those type of areas a dirt road to them is a street, and a main route of transportation, and should be marked that way.


I think this is a whole Southwest Regional (and sometimes rural) issue that I recall being discussed at the last meetup. Those editors and Champs that are mostly experience with the eastern megalopolis areas only, tend to think any dirt road should be marked as such. In fact, many dirt roads are well maintained and packed and serve as streets. Because it is the southwest, such roads rarely erode because it rains infrequently.

I could even see value in marking some dirt roads as primary streets, but that gets to the point where I would worry about the value to the local community and the broader functional classification of the whole map, so would not want to do that.

I agree with you, some dirt roads, particularly in the southwest, must be marked as streets. Many or most are already that way on the base map.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby vectorspace » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:35 pm

OK, I started a draft page for Indian Reservation Roads. I'll start to add more validated content once I can organize it...

https://www.waze.com/wiki/Indian_Reservation_Roads
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby vectorspace » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:48 pm

Working on other things, I have been on a hiatus from this subject, but have some renewed information.

I went to visit with the principle road engineering for Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) roads and talked to him for quite a while about the Wiki page. Couple points...

(1) Seems really good. He was good with most of the naming convention.

(2) Got clarity on Indian Road Inventory, IRR items, etc. I will adjust page.

(3) A better common road name might avoid the word "Indian" and use "Native." I had suggested "Indian Tribal Route" ITR-xxx as a standard, but NTR "Native Tribal Route" will be better. I will adjust TTS discussion on that. TR would be best, but it is being used as "Township Road."

(4) New activity around a universal tribal GIS system that currently handles 100 tribes. I am invited to a meeting of this on the 7th here in Albuquerque where I can talk about Waze and get some advice. Their website is here: http://tribalgis.com/
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby vectorspace » Thu May 08, 2014 4:07 am

Today I attended a Regional Tribal GIS Meeting (tribalgis.com) in Albuquerque at SIPI (Southwest Indian Polytechnic Center) as a means to understand the value of this organization to helping specify how Waze should map Indian Reservation Roads.

Attendance was sparse, much less than the apparent 50 that attend in other Tribal locations like the Great Lakes area. Representatives of the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations were there as well as the representative from BIA that I visit with periodically. Two talks occured, one on use of GIS for archaeological issues and another on the way that the Navajo Nation is working on an addressing scheme for their people. Addressing does not always exist and is needed to enable 911 services. The Navajo Nation is about the size of West Virginia.

The National Tribal GIS Conference is at this same location 3-7 November 2014.

I had a chance to explain Waze, the app, the mapping, and our intent to have guidance that will help editors know how to best map and not map items on Native American lands.

Some things I learned and considered:

(1) Tribal GIS is a 501c3 that is trying to have some unification of process for the various tribes.

(2) There is an extreme distrust and privacy issue with some Native American Tribes in sharing their GIS data. Some have been burned. For example, sharing GIS information about archaeological information may lead to people coming on their lands to take historical information and disturb sacred grounds. There have been conflicts with Google Inc. trying to obtain simple GIS information. For instance, if Tribal Medical Centers are mapped, which seems reasonable, the Tribes have experienced influx of non-Tribal people that come to those sites seeking care. They are not set up to do this and it causes inconvenience to the tribe deemed more damaging than the value of having the sites mapped.

(3) The impression I developed here is that privacy is the number one concern above making information available. This may not be accurate, biased by those with whom I talked. More reasonably, this likely varies from tribe to tribe. It was mentioned that some tribes share freely, but that was conveyed to me as a naive approach.

(4) There is clearly lack of close coordination between tribes or the tribes and BIA. One person I talked with suggested that when their roads are entered into the BIA system, they could still be considered private land. I have assurance from BIA that this cannot be the case, that anything entered into their system has complete public access.

I am going to have to ponder some other detailed thought and notes to update the Indian Reservation Roads Wiki page, and will do so when I have time. Some attendance by Waze-knowledgeable editors at the national conference may be of use to survey the different tribe's interest. I would advise caution in approach though.
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