Indian reservation roads

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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby vectorspace » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:07 pm

daknife wrote:Just a note on this topic I did just update the road currently being paved to act as an alternate to the section of US-89 that is closed south of Page AZ. The basemap import name was Indian Route 20, but all news reports and the AZDOT page about the repair project have been calling it Navajo Route 20 or NR-20. I have a couple sections set to dirt but just renamed the entire length as NR-20 with US-89 Alt as an alternate name.

Once the paving is complete I'll probably move the US-89 Alt designation to primary and change the road type to Minor hwy until the main road is repaired, but I will keep the NR-20 as an alternate and will switch it back when mainline 89 is reopened.


Thanks for this information. Yes--There is a continued practice to call this Navajo Route in some areas. I think this is because of lack of standardization and just something easy to do -- we can do better with the Waze map. I am looking toward BIA to help me creating a US standard like US-xxx. The BIA representative has offered to set up a meeting with me at the Navajo Nation representatives. I am still working on this in the background as setting up meetings is slow.

We cannot use TR-XXX because, as mapcat pointed out, this is being put up in TTS for township road. I would rather not see every reservation have their own designation. And, if that particular NR-xxx road you mentioned has been listed as a BIA route, then to me it should really be BIA-xxx. I am seeking the databases that would let us know.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby RED_ZMAN » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:30 pm

The few GIS contacts I've tried to make with the local reservations haven't been very helpful, or interested in standards at all. For example, I've made maps and sent them with my office Field Manager for meetings, and they ask what something is on the map, and why we are using the colors we are using.

I direct them to the legend and send them a copy of the federal standards for Federal Ownership colors (ensures a map looks uniform across the federal offices, golden for BLM, Pink for DOD, blue for State), and they promptly ignore it and do their own thing. Worse off is each GIS person, if they even have one, has different preferences. Some of the arguments that could be limited with the standards being followed are countless.

I've seen abbreviations in many ways, but perhaps we should be looking at the Tiger data to see what the TIGER (Tiger Uppercut!) team and the Census Bureau are recording them as? Or the E911 roads data (I've got this dataset for the entire state if anyone is interested)?

Let me check real quick.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby RED_ZMAN » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:40 pm

Okay, here's what I got.

I opened up my base map and looked at the 2006 Tiger Roads data and the E911 data from last March.

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Note the selected roads (the orange color is tribal, this particular area is the Acoma and Alamo tribal areas of the Navajo Nation in Socorro County NM)

If TR isn't able to be used, perhaps...

NTR - Native Tribal Road?
IRR - Indian Reservation Road?
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby vectorspace » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:10 am

Very cool RED_ZMAN...

Perhaps you can help me get the Indian Reservation roads thing back on track. I've just been kind of busy. There seems to be two sources of information, BIA and the various tribal governments. My POC at BIA has said that he would introduce me to the Navajo Nation GIS people. I thought that would be a bold first start because they have the largest reservation system in the southwest. I go to the BIA on 12th Street in ABQ. Perhaps we can brainstorm something.

I have seen a lot of past standard basemap names, one common choice is "Indian Service Route," or I guess we could use ISR. I think the governments would prefer the use of "tribal" in the name, so I like your idea of NTR. I also think another option is ITR for "Indian Tribal Route." Perhaps the POC at BIA can help choose. We would always use BIA-xxx for the BIA roads, then default to the other one.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby Daknife » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:45 am

Just a thought on our previous posts you said
vectorspace wrote: And, if that particular NR-xxx road you mentioned has been listed as a BIA route, then to me it should really be BIA-xxx.


But if the BGS and smaller Hwy signs along the road all say NR-XX should that not be what we use? In dealing with US Highways "US-89" works well vs "US Hwy 89" because both are seen on the same stretch of road. More verbose signs will say US Highway 89, and the smaller Logo signs say US-89, so picking one of the two standard terms works. Similar for SR instead of State Hwy or State Route as when you get down to the Logo signs they are the State symbol and a Number. Now the NR-20 signs I see have an arrow-head and the numeral 20, if the BIA designation is also 20 then BIA-20 works, but if the only place you find the BIA designation is in some obscure federal reference that NOBODY looks at and is found nowhere on any signage then NR-XX should be the name used. Additionally it is more correct in my opinion to go with the Individual tribal designations rather than BIA because the tribes are Sovereign Nations and what they designate their roads is what the Tribes say, not what some bureaucrats in DC say. Or are we going to just designate a universal standard without any regard to sovereign nations. Are European Wazers forcing all of the EU to use one standard rather than following/aalowing what the various nations use within those nations?

Just thoughts, I don't have a real strong opinion on this, I don't travel through reservations very often, it's just something that occurred to me the last time I was looking at the AZDOT page about the 89 rebuild project and saw a picture of a NR-20 sign. We are constantly advised to follow the BGS, if the road is marked In real life with an NR-XX designation it will only cause confusion if we insist in using some BIA designation that isn't used anywhere else. And I dare say many larger reservations will have a Route 20 on them.

I think what you propose is a grand idea but I'm beginning to question it's feasibility and wisdom. The Tribes are not the BIA, the BIA is how the Feds provide the funding but that doesn't mean the Tribes will appreciate their roads being called BIA-XXX.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby RED_ZMAN » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:18 am

I think staying with the basics, even if they conflict with other road names elsewhere is the way to go personally. We have to look at the end user I think.

BLM roads, while rare in my area, are BLM roads, that's the name of them. Forest Service Roads are also theirs.

Good conversation, I'm going to need to process this all and then read it again.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby vectorspace » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:01 pm

daknife wrote:I think what you propose is a grand idea but I'm beginning to question it's feasibility and wisdom. The Tribes are not the BIA, the BIA is how the Feds provide the funding but that doesn't mean the Tribes will appreciate their roads being called BIA-XXX.


It's amazing how many people question my wisdom, especially my teenage sons...

I agree that the best designation to put in Waze is what is on the road signage. If the various designations somewhat coincide in some way, like NR-xxx and BIA-xxx have the same number, then the confusion isn't that great. The hard part is that we don't always have feet on the ground or imagery that works well.

I think the reason that there is some chaos here is that the tribes are like independent nations and there is not a lot of consistency. From my discussions/visits to BIA, I am learning that there is not complete coordination. The going is slow trying to get connected to the Navajo Nation, but still working on it.

My objective is that if I can stay connected to BIA and talk with the people in the Navajo Nation highway/roads program, especially their GIS people, then we might set a standard for Waze that provides some consistency.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby nnote » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:06 am

My only thought on the BIA roads, is that it would be nice to know, if any authority fiqure would answer you.....
There's a number of areas and BIA roads that well plainly said is it's probably not a good idea to be driving through there unless you belong there. Would be a good idea to mark those as private roads.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby txemt » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:20 am

But are they truly private?
Just wazeting my time to help you waze your route smoothly.
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Re: Indian reservation roads

Postby vectorspace » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:18 am

Getting back to this topic...

I visited with Dept of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, west office here in Albuquerque. I talked to the road engineer responsible for all of this. I posted this on some other forums, perhaps in the US Champs area. This road engineer is willing to talk and get data, but very busy. He said he would introduce me to the GIS people in the tribes, which RED_ZMAN seems to have already accomplished to some extent. I could go over to see him with RED_ZMAN on another visit if we restore energy on this. I think both RED_ZMAN and I can walk right into BIA without escort from what I have learned because of other access we have.

What I learned through a number of conversations with this BIA Road Engineer is that BIA roads system is a funding mechanism whereby various tribes designate their roads as BIA roads. This is a trade for funding and maintenance paid by BIA, and then a promise and commitment from the tribe to keep this road open and accessible (in other words, not block it somehow). These roads are designated with a BIA-XXX number. This commitment does not always work because the tribes are their own governmental entities and they can pretty much do what they want.

So... BIA-XXX roads are by definition public. Tribal roads are usually public, but tribes do not want "outsiders" going everywhere on their road system. Local signage should take care of that. Knowing what to mark "Private" on Waze roads would be through GIS data from the tribes. The other option would be to drive these roads and survey this information ourselves. I am not willing to do that unless I have another purpose for the trip.

My interest in the Southwest Region was that there are a bunch of roads in the Navajo Nation and many roads around AZ, NM, UT, OK, that are tribal. It would be nice to have some standard guidance in the Wiki.

I guess I can contact BIA again and see if we can get started on finding this data, which we would make available to all the editors.
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