Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable roads

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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:30 pm

I like the idea of including the table with a small disclaimer HavanaDay. Perhaps the "state highway business / alt routes" column should be removed.

Anyway, I did the table up in Wiki markup. The idea is to transclude it or whatever into the main article somewhere, possibly in its own section after the introductory text but before most of the text. Perhaps it would be best to move the caution box from "highways" into that section too. https://wiki.waze.com/wiki/User:Sketch/Road_Types/Chart
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:02 pm

The text I have in my Excel spreadsheet for the column headings is "Highway systems"; for the row headings, "Functional classes".

I planned on doing this but once I read the Wikipedia information on table formatting, I saw that the only way to do 90° rotated text on Wikipedia is to make an image, so I chickened out. Maybe MediaWiki is different, but you'd know better than me.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:19 am

Sort of wish I could use a different page as a sample, since the entire main page is set to the "smaller" font size ;)

I reverted the draft page to the default size with the exception of the caution box. The box was really difficult to follow in the default font size.

I wonder why Monobook is the default. I really don't know why all the text in it is so big. I've switched to Vector (which is what Wikipedia looks like) and I find the Wiki is a lot easier to read now.

The problem, of course, is that we have to design the Wiki for the default, and if I'm going to be doing any sort of format editing in the Wiki, I'm going to have to suck it up and use the Monobook theme. The combination of large text and large margins makes it quite cramped.

I didn't see that previous discussion of the Wiki's layout. Is there any reason we default to Monobook?
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:34 am

Give it a whirl if you like.

That vertical header is fine. I prefer it to rotated text if the rotated text has to be an image.

I understand narrower can be better, I just cannot fathom what the need is for the large font size. Monobook margins with the font size used by all the other ones would be perfect for that. Conversely, Monobook's font size on a wide page such as Vector would be tolerable. But the combination of huge letters and tiny margins makes Monobook a huge pain for me. I'm glad you let me know about the custom styles, because the Wiki is a lot easier on the eyes with them.

Wikipedia has defaulted to Vector for a while, I'm pretty sure. I only log into Wikipedia when I want to edit something, which isn't often; it kicks you out after 30 days. It's always in Vector when I look at it, regardless.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:08 am

Sure, 2 points might just seem like a bigger difference to me. My main display is a 13" laptop (effectively 1280x800) and the secondary I use at home is a 19" at 1280x1024 — both with problems, albeit different. On the laptop, the small effective resolution combined with the larger text and wide margins means I can't fit a whole lot on the screen at once; on the display, the low pixel density means everything's bigger generally, so bigger fonts look bigger still.

You can see the difference here:

[ img ]

[ img ]

Maybe I'm just used to reading Wikipedia in the Vector style. Monobook isn't a big deal with text, but when you start using infoboxes and trying to fit charts in there, it gets real cramped.
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Re: traffic data only

Postby sketch » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:02 pm

dbraughlr wrote:Among highways, it would be nice to have Waze calculate something like between Rapid City and Billings whether to follow I-90 or US-212. While most drivers might find I-90 faster, an individual driver who wants to go no more than 65 mph anyway might find that US-212 is faster. But it seems that Waze doesn't offer this fairly direct route. By Waze's calculations, using US-212 saves 44 miles but adds 4 minutes to the trip. In reality, someone who drives this route will average a higher speed across most segments because local traffic drags down the average speeds. Regardless, saving 44 miles can be worth 4 minutes.

I don't believe that combined traffic data on individual segments can solve a problem like this.

I'd be there on 212. Lower speeds and 44 fewer miles can save me a couple gallons of gas, and I'd imagine the scenery would be better anyway.

It looks like much, but not all, of 212 was upgraded to Major by banished last year. There's a Minor portion in the middle of it which I will upgrade now. The live map isn't giving me a route along 212 even as an alternate -- it gives me I-90 and two alternate Interstate routes which add at least 150 miles each, and I don't appreciate that.
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Re: traffic data only

Postby sketch » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:27 pm

dbraughlr wrote:I did not see why it isn't the first alternate. It is a good route - an example of a route that Waze should not avoid. It is mostly straight highway. (I am not suggesting that 212 mH should be upgraded - only that Waze should consider it based on traffic data.)

It's not given as an alternate because it's not Major. I believe the cutoff for using minor highway for long routes is around 200 miles, or maybe 250 km. Most of it was already Major anyway, less one or two dozen miles around the MT-WY border, and it would be Major under this standard regardless.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:01 am

Thortok2000 wrote:dbraughlr, the setting is 'fastest', not 'fastest unless we think there's a better way.' So 4 minutes makes the difference. =/ That's just kind of a limitation in the system.

That doesn't explain why the three routes given* are
  • I-90 - 372 mi - 5 h 17 m
  • I-94 - 532 mi - 7 h 45 m
  • I-25 - 535 mi - 8 h 4 m
Of course the first alternate should be US-212 - 328 mi - 5 h 21 m (est), but it's not available because of the mH bit in the middle. Instead because of the lack of other MH+ routes we are given two entirely non-viable alternates.

* (for Billings to Rapid City. From Rapid City to Billings, the primary and third routes are the same; the second is replaced with I-90 plus US-16 - 463 mi - 7 h 34 m. Still not really viable.)

I'd be curious to know how these are classified by the state DOTs. If it isn't Principal Arterial, then this is exactly the kind of situation where the dual system shines. The AASHTO designates it as a US Highway for a reason.

BTW, classification of roads based on traffic data is precisely what functional classification is. Except it's done by the state DOTs, not by Waze -- so it considers all traffic, not just traffic with smartphones; it considers traffic in areas without cell phone coverage; and it allows the DOT some leeway within those traffic levels to consider the physical characteristics of the road. Anyone with beta editor access has seen how inconsistent Waze's traffic data can be (via traffic locks).
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:37 am

In response to daknife's post (a few posts up):

Number of lanes doesn't say much of anything about the function of a road, especially not in rural areas. US-31 in Michigan is the only way up and down the western side of the Lower Peninsula, and it's a two-lane highway for much of its length. Don't make it a Major and it won't be used, instead favoring hours-longer and much further routes using I-75. (A thread about it is what inspired me to put this new standard together.)

Yes, a US highway number means you get federal funding. But why are those roads chosen to get federal funding? Because they are considered by the federal government to be deserving of federal funding, because they are the non-freeway routes used for interstate travel.

The physical characteristics of a road tells you very little about its function. A two-lane road is sufficient to carry traffic for very long distances if it's in a rural area. The biggest difference between Major and Minor, especially in rural areas, is that Major can be used for routes longer than (200 mi? 250 km? something like that).

daknife wrote:Take a look at this location what is the functional difference between the two roads? They are both built identically, one is part of a US hwy stretching from Canada to Mexico, the other is a State Hwy.

The functional difference is that the US highway can bring you from Canada to Mexico. Routes longer than (200 mi? 250 km? some rather-long value) will only use freeways and major highways.
(I also admit to a slight dislike for the Major type because the color used in the App is too close to the heavy traffic color occasionally making it hard to tell at a glance whether that's a Major hwy ahead or a major traffic jam that I need to avoid.)

I've said it before, the Map Editors scheme should never be used to consider the general user experience. Only map editors have any reason to use it. I stopped using it over a year ago because it's not indicative of the general user experience.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:47 am

I'm not sure when it changed or if it changed, and the info I have gotten is nebulous at best, but it's surely something. It may be longer than 200 mi. Look at the MT/SD example about 8-10 posts up. The couple dozen miles of Minor Highway in the middle of US-212 led to that route's pruning even as an alternative route.


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