[New Page] Places/Airport

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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby MacroNav » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:29 am

juliansean wrote: If I am a private pilot and I search for an airport I want to go to a place where I can go see planes. Should I be removed from using Waze because I don't just search for our regional airports?

Sean


Sean, although I'm not a pilot, I am an enthusiast, and have spent a lot of time in the right-hand seat of Cessnas flying throughout Alaska. If it is any place that you can go to see aircraft, I'm all for it being mapped. What I'm against mapping is places that you cannot go to, because they are somebody's yard and/or farm, do not allow transient parking, and are used infrequently.

Yes, in some cases this may be a judgement call, perhaps indicated by the apparent level of use of the field, number of hangars and aircraft visible, if there are no other indicators such as google businesses. We could potentially do searches of the FAA database through airnav.com for private unattended fields with no services and no or few aircraft based at the field.

To address one of my concerns, perhaps we could have a naming standard so that private fields that are mapped have a distinct and uniform name, not including "airport" in the name. So when scrolling through the list of results, at least it's easier to identify true public airports.

"Private Airfield - Anderson Lake 0AK1"
"Private - Anderson Lake Airstrip 0AK1"
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby MacroNav » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:57 am

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful consideration. I think DL has well understood and summarized my position.

I think Perspective #1 fits best with Waze's "Simpler is better" philosophy. Although sometimes I do find myself arguing for a type of area place, I recognize that the burden is on me to justify why an area is appropriate.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby MacroNav » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:14 pm

sketch wrote:The proposed policy is to use area places for all airports. That's it. No more, no less. The principles stated here work well for the category of airports, and discussion here need focus only on airports. If we are satisfied that airports are well served with the proposed guidance for airports, we can move on to details.


My main request is to set limits to the definition of "Airport." If it is a public or private facility that has an improved runway, provides services, transient parking, leased hangers, etc. - sounds like an airport to me. A backyard or farm airstrip that is mowed once a year for use only by the property owner doesn't, and fills the app with spurious data.

To me it's similar to how we don't generally go through sat view mapping every track across private property as a Street. We have a separate type for PR, and we only add these if they go to a residence. We don't map inside most industrial facilities, mines, etc. We don't allow Place Points for "Mom's House" - we have RPP's instead. These types distinguish between what is useful to the public and what is useful only for the property owner/resident. I suggest we apply similar discrimination to airfields, and follow a naming standard so there is distinction in the app between those welcoming the public and those that aren't.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby MacroNav » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:41 pm

In my opinion, creating places that aren't useful to 99.99% of users is a problem, in this scenario:

I'm an infrequent traveler, or I'm in a strange place. I'm running late to catch my flight, so I use Waze to get there as soon as possible. I type in "airport" into search, because who the heck knows which person it's named for, what municipality it's located in, or what indecipherable code letters it uses. Even though there is only one airport with scheduled flights within 100 miles, I see airports scattered all over the map and get pages of results from search within 50 miles. Maybe I select the right one, maybe not. Maybe I miss my flight, maybe not.

BTW, if all the airports in the FAA database were added to Waze, I'd have 136 airports in this view.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby MacroNav » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:49 pm

I would ask you to please use civil and non-derogatory language.

I have been a frequent flier, and have been in the scenario I described, though I used Google Maps at the time instead of Waze. I have flown into Houston several times, and I do not know whether it was to IAH or HOU - they both sound like big airports, and off the top of my head I'm not sure which is which. In the FAA database, there are 102 private and public airports within 50 miles of where I was working in the Woodlands. Google Maps has rankings to display the highest-rated and most visited places first, but we know Waze sorts by distance, and HOU isn't even in the closest 50.

I would like Waze to display useful airports so I can recognize the one I'm looking for using a list and map. With the noise of every private landing strip displayed the same as a public airport, it is much less likely that I'll find the useful entries.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby ottonomy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:12 am

There are a lot of things in this thread to which I feel I must respond, and some of them are from a few pages back. Please forgive me for starting with old stuff first.

First, regarding floating names above area places, be they long or short...

sketch in response to DwarfLord wrote:Generally, cute examples, but you can play that any way you want...

TA TravelCenters of America
The Shoppes at River Crossing
Slaughter Airpark (LS77)

You don't usually get into the "Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)" until you're in the realm of big commercial airports anyway.


sketch wrote:Then please elucidate me on what kind of "long names" small airstrips around you apparently have.

As I alluded to in my previous post, "Private Airstrip" is not appreciably shorter than most typical small-airport names. In my experience, they're usually just something like "[one or two word name] Airstrip". Maybe I should have been more clear on this. Small airports just don't have long names. You will not find more than maybe a handful of grass strips with names longer than 2 or 3 words total (maybe there's a "Bob and Cindy Gaines Airfield" out there somewhere).


sketch wrote:Everyone agrees that most airports (big ones, medium-sized ones, most small ones, anything open to the public, anything visible from the road and possibly used for orientation) should be mapped as an area place.

Everyone with half a lick of sense agrees that all airports should be mapped with their actual name as the name of the place (more on this later).

What's hanging in the balance? Small private airstrips that are not visible or identifiable from any road.

What is actually the proportion of these, in number and in land area, relative to airports as a whole? I'd wager it's pretty small.


Did anyone here actually follow MacroNav's instructions in his second post in this thread?

MacroNav wrote:Here's a couple "airports". Zoom out to 1 and pan around the map with GIS-L airports on. Have a look. Do you think all those dots should be airport area places?

https://www.waze.com/editor/?env=usa&lo ... 31.3875866


Granted, I use a very high screen resolution, so Zoom 1 shows considerably more map than what's visible on a typical laptop WME window, but these are the airport names which I could see in that single permalink when zoomed out to 1:

Kalmbach Airport (43AK)
Jolly Field Airport (AK79)
Shawn Field Airport (AK47)
Wasilla Airport (YS, PAWS)
Wicker Airport (42AK),
Fairview West Airport (AK58)
Bluff Park Farm Airport (71AK)
Jack Fish Landing Airport (7AK4)
St John Homestead Airport (4AK2)
McDonald Ridge Airport (65AK)
Anderson Lake Airport (0AK1)
Gattis Strip Airport (16AK)
Green’s Strip Airport (AK65)
Fairview East Airport (58AK)
Yukunis Airport (23AK)
Stro’s Airport (AK54)
Four Corners Airport (14AK)
B & B Boys Ranch Airport (3AK6)
Gilmore Strip Airport (39AK)
Colberg Airport (5AK6)
Sky Ranch at Pioneer Peak Airport (AK50)
Grandview Subdivision Airport (5AK9)

When I zoom out to 0, I can count 69 "airports" on screen. It looks like this:

(lower half of image is the same zoom over Los Angeles, for reference to the size of the area containing 69 air strips in AK - there are 12 in that portion of the LA area).

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Of course, there's a functional reason why Alaska has an extraordinary number of air strips, but as uncommon as this concentration may be in the rest of the USA, I'm not going to sit here in Los Angeles and proclaim that there is never such a density of spurious "airports" that no exceptions should be made for mapping them as areas.

Whatever language we ultimately adopt for this guidance, it should have some flexibility. An area place next to an open highway displaying an airstrip of questionable map value may indeed be an item which adds richness to the user experience there. But where these backyard "airports" hit the density we see in this part of Alaska, areas for each one would amount to pollution of the visual experience as well as of search results.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby sketch » Mon May 08, 2017 9:35 pm

Very good.

I would change the alternate names initial text to "To aid users in searching, add the following as alternate names:"

Further, I would add a bullet point to the beginning of that list, "The IATA code, if present." While it is present in the primary name already, having it first (or alone) in an alt name can help Instant results, in my experience.

Further, I would broaden the last bullet point in the same section, not limiting it only to recent renames, because many locals/old-timers may still call it by an older name even if it was changed over a decade ago. For example, for "Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)", I have added "New Orleans International Airport", which was its name until 2001, and "Moisant Field", its original name from the 1940s.

Regarding car rental facilities, I would suggest a couple things. First, either changing the name or adding an alt name for "[code] Rental Car Return" – in my experience, this is usually how it's signed, and it's what I search for. Also, the text is good, but the "on-premises" and "off-premises" labels are a bit confusing. If there is an airport-owned single facility that is physically separate from the airport grounds, it should still be handled like a unified facility onsite (I think Vegas is like this). If there are separate spots for each rental company that are still on airport grounds, they should get their own Places (e.g., Detroit). One thing I'd add: even where there are separate rental car buildings, sometimes they are all on the same street or in the same general area, and a general "[code] Rental Car Return" Place can be helpful in those cases (e.g., Detroit, where each company has a separate building and lot, but all are on the same street).

As this is a draft, I will make the changes in the page.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby sketch » Wed May 17, 2017 7:18 pm

kentsmith9 wrote:
initial proposal wrote:Place Point = IAH Car Rental Center - National / Payless / Avis / Hertz


This works well if there are only 4 or less car rental companies in that center. So in the case of more than 4, is there a reason we would not also consider creating a separate point place for each car rental company? I have seen many of the larger centers with separate return lot entrances, so you could then associate the point with the specific entrance, if different.

proposed when over 4 companies wrote:
  • IAH Car Rental Center - National
  • IAH Car Rental Center - Payless
  • IAH Car Rental Center - Avis
  • IAH Car Rental Center - Hertz
  • IAH Car Rental Center - Budget
  • IAH Car Rental Center - Firefly

In a separate discussion, we were talking about terminal names including airlines so they could be searched for larger airports with multiple terminals. We were thinking we could add the airline name as an alternate name for each associated terminal. Then we realized the Alt name list is limited to 4 (interesting coincidence).

So we could use this same logic above. Terminals with 4 or less (major) airlines could get added as alt names, but if more than 4 exists we create individual place points that can be specifically located at the gate entrances.

This. I hate hate hate the idea of having 2 separate place points for the same thing, just for the sake of Google links. Really bad usability. Using a separate place for each company is a much more sensible way to go.

I would make two alterations. First, I would still include a generic "MSY Rental Car Return" place that is linked to any Google place that might exist for the facility itself.

Second, I would consider naming each company with the company name first, and I'm not sure we need more than just the airport name in them. Probably "Hertz - MSY", though "Hertz - Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport" could work too.

As for the terminal, I think this is a fine approach as well.


kentsmith9 wrote:What do we say about setting the point for departures vs arrivals? Sometimes they are on separate levels above and below each other. If there are separate navigation roads to the separate departure/arrival entrances, do we need separate points for those at each terminal? If we didn't include the airlines, I would think we at least need something like "SFO Terminal 1 - Arrivals" and "SFO Terminal 1 - Departures".

I think this is sort of implied in the guidance but not explicit. I do think this is helpful, and it's how we've done it at MSY (granted, we have only one terminal!).
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby sketch » Mon May 22, 2017 3:11 pm

For a single rental car facility, always create a place for that facility. Then, if there are more than three or four companies, also create a point for each company with appropriate names and Google external links. If there are fewer than three or four (depending on whether one of the four spaces is needed for a Google external link to the rental car facility itself), then add alt names and external links as appropriate for each company in there, and also probably something to the description.

Although for simplicity's sake it may be best to simply include a separate place for each company regardless of how many there are.
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Re: [New Page] Places/Airport

Postby sketch » Wed May 24, 2017 3:22 pm

kentsmith9 wrote:Are we placing the individual PPs at the respective rental car return entrance? That makes sense to me since that is the only destination you need for that company. If true, should the PP be labeled "Hertz car return - MSY" instead ?

I don't think so, I mean, it will depend on the configuration of the facility at any rate. Sometimes different companies have different return entrances. However, the place really represents the business itself, with phone numbers and such, and you might still navigate there even if you are not returning a car (e.g., you need to rent a van for a weekend and the airport is the only game in town/nearest to you/cheaper than the neighborhood rental spot)—even if you won't actually drive into there in your personal car, you might still navigate there and fend for yourself in the last mile (or use the Waze parking feature!). Navigating to a Hertz instead of the rental car facility or airport itself might give you a better clue as to where to walk once you here there, especially now that we can set point place stop points in WME (and double-especially once the client can display both stop point and place location).
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