[USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby txemt » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:55 am

I have to admit, I'm down for this list to be applied in San Antonio. I've sent it out to the AMs in the city and if they all agree, I think we'll implement this list in San Antonio.

I do have to disagree about the bridges and tunnels being landmarked. I understand some bridges (Golden Gate) are huge tourist attractions, but do we really need to landmark them?
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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby txemt » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:42 am

jasonh300 wrote:
pjlasl wrote:I wish there was a more universal acceptance to editing. This is a good start if accepted by more peeps

My pet peeve is editors marking all drive ways in neighborhoods. Or every parking lot road possible in a lot ...


Please report editors who do that sort of thing. Compliance with the Wiki guidelines is not optional.


I think a LOT of these are imported from the base map. I've deleted a TON of them that have "Admin" as the last editor with an edit date of 2009, meaning they've been imported from the basemap.
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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby txemt » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:44 am

ncc1701v wrote:
txemt wrote:I do have to disagree about the bridges and tunnels being landmarked. I understand some bridges (Golden Gate) are huge tourist attractions, but do we really need to landmark them?

I'm guessing it's so you can tell you are approaching the bridge or tunnel on the map.


What does that have to do with anything? If I'm approaching a bridge, I'll probably see it from 5 miles out. I understand tunnels sometimes sneak up on you as you drive, but I could care less if I see it on the app. As long as I'm getting to my destination, I'm happy.
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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby txemt » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:30 pm

[quote="vectorspace"
5.6 University / College / Academy - Mapped at the fence line, including associated parking lot(s) (if attached) in one landmark. Do not use landmarks to map individual buildings (even if they could qualify as another landmark type), parking lots, or other campus features. This is due to the way landmarks are displayed in the client.

I very much disagree with this and I see some discrepancy to this one and the military site item. Both could be of similar size. I experimented and mapped individual buildings at a university. Why? Because you need it! You cannot do a POI search because there are no roads! You have to walk. I walked on the campus with the buildings mapped and found it essential to see where each building was located. I got a university map and mapped the major buildings, many of which are large. With this reference we add A LOT of value to Waze. I do not want to see a huge landmark over the whole campus of a university because it is of no use to me. I am going there to find a specific building in a maze of chaos. Waze should really help people find such locations, not avoid such detail, in my opinion.[/quote]

I have to disagree with this part of your argument for this reason. A lot of universities put their parking lots away from the other buildings on campus, thus forcing the student to walk or catch a shuttle. Since Waze is used for driving purposes, I would assume the Wazer turns Waze off (or stops using it) once they get to the parking lot to park their car, thus they have no need to use Waze to get to their building for class. If they do, then they are now giving false traffic data as well as creating ARs by walking down a "The roads are too far apart from each other and most likely a road is missing in between" so "Draw a new road connecting the two disconnected roads." I'd rather just landmark the entire school and not worry about the individual buildings.

On top of this, a lot of universities have their own apps with a map of the campus. I know I used the map on the app several times to help other students or parents who were lost on campus which was better than anything else I could give them, or tell them (except physically going with them).

There's some other points your brought up that I disagree with, but I didn't want to pick it all apart right now. With that being said, I'm pretty sure that there's going to be disagreement and agreement among all of us here.
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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby txemt » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:37 am

vectorspace wrote:
I guess I might be a different type of user then, because I have kept Waze on when walking around the University and other locations when I have needed to navigate in a dense area that required foot traffic. I don't know if that is important, but wanted to share my experience.


You're giving false traffic data by doing that.
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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby vectorspace » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:00 pm

First of all, thanks Champs for working on this. I may have a different perspective on a number of things, so offer up a long list of comments below as input to your considerations. I agree with a lot of what you've put into a simple terse list of ideas, something needed to be operational and effective. So to counter that, I provide the following long set of ideas… sorry it is so long.

I have a perspective on landmarks that is different than a recent post. While I think they can be enduring, there is also rapid change in landmarks across generations and the utility of Waze should not be stymied by holding to a pre-Internet-social-media norm. One power of Waze is apparently the social community editing capability that allows some dynamic nature. I think landmarks are those things useful in navigating while driving in your car from one location to the other, whether it is in your neighborhood or cross-country.

I guess I would like to see a bit more background in whatever Wiki document you make, something that gives rationale and objective that will make clear the remainder of the items you list. You’re trying to communicate to a vast dynamic bunch of editors, a small number that may endure for their own reasons. Giving them the background and some history, as I have seen in other parts of the Wiki is always nice. One can skip it

A general comment I would make is that a lot of the rationale to not map a landmark is given as it will be taken care of in POI Search. I think this is a mistake in some cases. The POI search is not the whole reason one uses this app. I would say that the visual content is critical to many in giving a driver a place in their own mental map of the place they are navigating. In addition, not having landmarks seems to create a very bland map that is not as rich in content as it could be to make the app more useful to some. Waze could provide a feature to turn off some of these landmarks as is done is so many of the stand-alone GPS devices… you can pick what you want to see.

An important set of things that are visually important to some are those items that block their travels or are used a mental reference as to where they are navigating… so rivers, lakes, golf courses, and the like are important to see on the map in my opinion.

I think people like to see their local landmarks like the Walmart, a favorite long-established restraint, the McDonald's, etc. because the POI Search is not always used and once you get closer in a search, the spatial reference provided by the map is of use in other ways. I really worry that the POI Search is being used to limit the value of Waze, when it should add to it. On the other hand, I agree, we should not put every single

Another general comment is that I worry that the items you listed are being too analytic and not inclusive of another important feature of Waze, the ability of localities and communities to add what is important to them. This may vary by geographic location city, maybe even neighborhood. If you are too strict in some of these things, you’re eliminating another great value Waze could add to being popular in all these locations.

I also think that you could offend segments of users (or editors) in saying what is major or important when you are not part of that community. There was a comment in the wording about which religious sites are relevant or not. I would not want to go to any Church member, Synagogue, or Mosque and tell them their religious site is not important.

Some of the things I think you got very right is providing guidance on where the landmark boundaries should be. This is the kind of thing that such as standard would be of value. In experimenting with landmarks, I see that making them small is of no use. It is better often to have them as the outline of the property including parking lots, so they show up well. Outlining buildings makes no sense unless the item is large, like a mall – which is not even consistent with one of your items.

Here are a set of more specific comments to some things in your list. If I didn’t comment on it, I agree.

1.3 Terminal - Not used at this time. Not defined at this time.

What is a Terminal? I think some general types would be useful. For instance, I think one thing that should be included on Waze are rest areas as landmarks. I know one might be very comforting when I have an urgent need running down the highway. I looked around the USA and saw that these were of various types because there is no “rest area” type. In a way they are a terminal on the highway.

1.7 Sea Port - Not Mapped.

Why? I have never mapped a Sea Port, because we don’t have many in New Mexico. :-) I wonder if they would be of use in some locations. I could see utility in some cases.

1.12 Subway station - Not Mapped

Why? I could see some utility here in some instances. Having ridden on them for years, I know that the DC Metro stations often include substantial real-estate in parking lots and drop off lanes. I would like to see these used for such items, not avoided. POI Search is not the end-all.

1.14 Car Rental - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I don’t agree and think this would be a mistake. POI Search is not the end-all as I have mentioned. This is one of the primary values Waze can provide because it is used by travelers who really need GPS apps. A visual / spatial reference would be very useful in finding out where the rental location was, and even perhaps, where AVIS is versus Hertz.

1.15 Garage - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

What is a Garage? Parking? Repair?

2.1 Park - Mapped at the fence line, including parking lot(s) in one landmark. Further definition in the works, but Private Golf Courses are not included.

I am somewhat concerned about Golf Courses here. I really like to see them on the map because they are a visual reference for navigation and impediment to travel in that you must route around them. I have marked some of the Golf Courses of type “park” because it makes them green. I would really like to see golf courses on the map.

2.3 Mall/Shopping Center - Major Malls/Shopping Centers Mapped at the fence line, including parking lot(s) in one landmark. A "Major" Mall/Shopping Center is typically defined by those having 45 or more individual stores in the complex. Please see local Wiki Pages / local Area Managers for information on what is considered "Major" and mapped for this category in your area. Please note that strip malls & grocery store plazas typically do NOT meet this definition.

I agree we should not map every strip mall, primarily because people don’t often go to “Sequoia Plaza,” they go to the anchor stores in that strip mall. If those stores are a key landmark in a community that many travel or reference navigation from, then I think just that store should be seen (like a Walmart or major grocery store)

2.4 Convenience Store / Kiosk - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I agree with this only because they are small.

2.5 Restaurant / Bar / Coffee Shop - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I don’t agree overall, but generally agree we should not map every restaurant. I do think that we should map community-relevant locations, important McDonalds or other fast-food places that are important to travelers. The POI Search is not used by everyone and is not the end-all as I have mentioned. Visual reference is valuable.

2.7 Hotel / Motel / Guest Room - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I don’t agree on this one as it is an important visual navigation reference for travelers and locals. I would map them to the property line like other items. Not all have to be mapped, but why create a bland map for Waze that is not as interesting? Why impose on a local community to not map such things. I sure like to see some of these when I am traveling. Again, POI Search is not used by everyone all the time and even when it is, a spatial reference is valuable on the map.

2.10 Camp site / RV Park - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I think some of these would be nice to see on the map. They are important to travelers who use Waze. Why would you eliminate this added value? POI Search is not the only way to find things.

2.11 Casino - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I don’t agree. These are often major landmarks in a community and for travelers. I would map them to include parking lots. Many of them include concert venues that exceed your requirements for concert halls. POI Search is not the end-all.

2.12 Marina - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I don’t know because of the lack of water in New Mexico, but wonder if some in costal areas would want this as a visual reference to find the place they are hauling their boat.

2.13 Promenade / Boardwalk - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I don’t agree that this should be excluded. The spatial reference on the map will be useful for people to have a reference of where they are with regard to the location. POI search brings you to some random place that does not embody the full size of some of these locations. You really need a visual reference.

2.14 Store/stall - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I agree we should not map every store. I do think we should map major stores that become community landmarks… such as Walmart, Target, whatever is important to the local community.

3.2 Sea/Lake/Levee - Not Mapped. Handled by Waze Water Layer. Waze is currently working on issues with the water layer. Once this work is complete, this guideline will be reevaluated to determine if bodies of water not included on the water layer should be mapped.

I really do not agree with this one. I think that all these are critical at understanding your location with respect to the water feature. I really want to see this on the map when I am driving as it gives me a spatial refernce to where I am and where I am going. To not see it is a distraction and disadvantage. Furthermore, the water layer in Waze is inaccurate and always missing something. There are places where water is shown on the Waze water layer that have no water. Big mistake to not include this.

3.3 River/Stream - Not Mapped. Handled by Waze Water Layer. Waze is currently working on issues with the water layer. Once this work is complete, this guideline will be reevaluated to determine if bodies of water not included on the water layer should be mapped.

Same as lake/levee… This is critical to include. You should see these things and Waze does not include them on their water layer. One thing that I have added in some places is the Arroyo system. Arroyos are dry ditches to cement waterways that are dry until they are suddenly full of deadly water rushing by. These are impediments to travel and references to your location that are visually valuable. Why eliminate value from Waze?

4.1 Religious Site - Major religious sites are Mapped at the fence line, including associated parking lot(s) (if attached) in one landmark. "Major" is typically defined as a site which someone would make a pilgrimage to/visit similar to a tourist attraction. Please see local Wiki Pages / local Area Managers for information on what is considered 'Major' and mapped for this category in your area.

As I mentioned before, the big issue is making a value judgment on what is important. Let’s not get into such politics and religious debate. I would let a community map what they see as valuable. To me, a local community worship location is good enough to be on the map because it is a community landmark.

4.3 Office Building - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

Agree somewhat, but I think certain office buildings are critical to map, especially the visitor center or HR location of larger corporations, which are destinations that many people might search and would find valuable a visual reference. POI Search is not the end all in finding a location. You need a visual.

4.8 Pharmacy - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

I disagree. I think pharmacies are critical community landmarks that have value in being on the map visually.

4.9 Supermarket/Market - Not Mapped. Handled by POI Search.

Agree somewhat, but think some are are critical community landmarks that have value in being on the map visually.

5.1 Hospital/Clinic - Hospitals Mapped at the fence line, including associated parking lot(s) (if attached) in one landmark.
5.2 Correction Facility / Prison - Mapped at the fence line, including parking lot(s) in one landmark.

I included these here for contrast. Why would you map a correction facility but not a pharmacy or supermarket? So you can lock your doors when driving by and not pick up hitch hikers? If you map these, you should map other community-important landmarks, in my opinion.

5.3 Military Site - Mapped at the fence line, including parking lot(s) in one landmark. This landmark is used for smaller facilities like Armories and National Guard Training Facilities. Larger facilities such as Naval Submarine Base New London is NOT landmarked, but given it's own City name.

This is interesting because many military bases are mapped to the fence line. This would be a big change. I can see benefits and detrrments in doing this. Are you sure? Huge landmarks over a whole base are somewhat distracting, given I have driven on many. I have noticed that park landmarks and some other things still show through this landmark type.

5.6 University / College / Academy - Mapped at the fence line, including associated parking lot(s) (if attached) in one landmark. Do not use landmarks to map individual buildings (even if they could qualify as another landmark type), parking lots, or other campus features. This is due to the way landmarks are displayed in the client.

I very much disagree with this and I see some discrepancy to this one and the military site item. Both could be of similar size. I experimented and mapped individual buildings at a university. Why? Because you need it! You cannot do a POI search because there are no roads! You have to walk. I walked on the campus with the buildings mapped and found it essential to see where each building was located. I got a university map and mapped the major buildings, many of which are large. With this reference we add A LOT of value to Waze. I do not want to see a huge landmark over the whole campus of a university because it is of no use to me. I am going there to find a specific building in a maze of chaos. Waze should really help people find such locations, not avoid such detail, in my opinion.

5.8 Cemetery - Typically not mapped and handled by POI Search. HOWEVER, those cemeteries with historical significance or a significant tourist draw can be mapped using this type. Internal roads, if needed, are mapped using the Parking Lot Road Type whether or not the landmark is used. Please see local Wiki Pages / local Area Managers for information on which, if any, cemeteries are mapped for this category in your area.

This is a big change from the base map, that had a lot of cemeteries all over the place. I think these are community landmarks and sometimes barriers to travel. I would like to see them mapped to the fence line at the discretion of the community editors.

5.10 Post Office - Mapped at the fence line, including associated parking lot(s) (if attached) in one landmark. ALL landmarks are named "Post Office" - do not use abbreviation "USPS".

I include this for contrast. If you include this one, why not a Pharmacy that is just important to people in a community?

6.1 Other - Not used at this time. Not defined at this time.

Isn’t it good to have a general catch all category that is useful to community editors and their population?

Some things I did not see covered in the list above include rest areas… I really think you should address some guidelines about those since they are transportation-important.

I also forgot to mention that you want to map a train station but not a subway station. I think there is some confusion there and inconsistency. What is a train station? What is a subway station? Both use trains, usually.

If I think of more, I'll post another item.

Again, thanks for your work in this. It will be valuable.
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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby vectorspace » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:25 am

txemt wrote:I have to disagree with this part of your argument for this reason. A lot of universities put their parking lots away from the other buildings on campus, thus forcing the student to walk or catch a shuttle. Since Waze is used for driving purposes, I would assume the Wazer turns Waze off (or stops using it) once they get to the parking lot to park their car, thus they have no need to use Waze to get to their building for class.


I guess I might be a different type of user then, because I have kept Waze on when walking around the University and other locations when I have needed to navigate in a dense area that required foot traffic. I don't know if that is important, but wanted to share my experience.

txemt wrote:There's some other points your brought up that I disagree with, but I didn't want to pick it all apart right now. With that being said, I'm pretty sure that there's going to be disagreement and agreement among all of us here.


That's cool... pick apart, I am not offended and enjoy the discourse. I just wanted to offer an alternative perspective for the consideration of the Champs. All my comments were intended with respect and understand that there will be different views. I didn't see a lot of discussion on the points. Whatever the eventual policy is, I'll certainly try to follow it!
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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby vectorspace » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:32 am

jasonh300 wrote:Well, I can knock out a portion of vectorspace's objections in one easy sentence: Private businesses are not to be mapped because Waze's business model is to sell advertising to businesses that want to be mapped.

This is not a matter for debate.

This eliminates Walmarts, private golf courses, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, hotels, motels, private campsites and RV parks, pharmacies, etc.


Hi Jason300 -- Yea--this is one point I wanted to put into my comment, but forgot. I realize that Waze has a business model to advertise. I have seen Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, etc. I wonder though if it is so black and white. Has there been policy provided by Waze on this topic? The very fact that they include "store" and related types in their landmarks seems to contradict this. Please point me to that policy statement from Waze because placing businesses such as the ones I mentioned on Waze is not may life goal or my most enjoyable time editing. I got together with some local editors in my region and discussed what was important. We tried this to see if it helped.

I thought that the Champs asked for debate, or at least discussion. I'm not here to argue the point, just offer honest and open comments.

With regard to Waze's business model, I did think about that. I saw that the labeled pin marks for paying businesses were significantly different than flat landmarks which are only seen when up close. The Waze product of the business pins can be seen much easier and further distant, so value is still offered. So, I thought it was not competing, but this is Waze's product so knowing what to do and not do is a good thing. Problem is that the many many editors they seek don't care as much about it as we do and will do what they want.
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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby vectorspace » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:39 am

Oh yea... here is another landmark item that I think might have value in the Wiki and plolicy around landmarks.

When I started editing, I noticed a lot of the base map items, like a cemetery or a golf course (they were already in there) had boundaries that went directly to roads. That is, the edge of the landmark was aligned with a road exactly.

I wondered why until I tried to make a landmark like that for a whole city block (I think a fairground or something like that) and realized that the landmarks snap to roads at a certain level or distance from your cursor to a road. I guessed this was causing it when some early map titans were making the universe.

At the time I was perusing the forums and found that some people were really into how meticulous their edits were both in roads and landmarks. Some people were amazingly AR in how well things looked and had nodes on landmarks that could have zoomed into the inch-level for accuracy. This seemed kind of a waste of time and bytes in a Waze database when everything was going to be rendered to an iPhone screen or something a bit larger.

In any case, I decided I didn't like the way that landmarks that snapped to roads looked on the client (somewhat confusing without a gap), and would purposefully set the landmark a short distance from the road so it was not on the road.

It would be great if the Champs would address this editing approach in whatever they write up.

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Re: [USA] Landmark Guidelines - Request for Comments

Postby vectorspace » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:42 am

txemt wrote:
vectorspace wrote:
I guess I might be a different type of user then, because I have kept Waze on when walking around the University and other locations when I have needed to navigate in a dense area that required foot traffic. I don't know if that is important, but wanted to share my experience.


You're giving false traffic data by doing that.


Me and how many others? (I really don't do it that much.) I have seen GPS traces all over campus and other areas without roads. I think we either have to accept that will occur or have Wazer police or get Waze to insert algorithms for this.

If this is really an issue, then why are there "walking trails" and "pedestrian boardwalks" as road types in Waze now? I have some new editors people that purposefully edit these into the map because they like to use Waze for biking and walking. Just wondering...
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