Australian City Names

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The Problem With Some Australian City Names

Some Australian suburb (City) names are not unique inside Australia. For example, there is a Newport in New South Wales, Queensland, and in Victoria. Likewise there is a Newtown in three states as well.

How Waze Currently Deals With Australian Cities

Non-unique City names can create problems with Waze placing suburb name labels in the wrong place, as well as potentially offering a route that goes to another state instead of to the right street in a nearby City. The boundary of a City might stretch over three or more states. As of this time (10 March 2013), Waze seems to treat each country as a separate State in the Waze World Server, as compared with the USA Waze Server the State is the actual state name in the USA. The effect of this is that there is no separate field for the state in which a City resides so as to differentiate it from the same City in another state in Australia.

If you are editing the map in WME, and have the City layer turned on, you might see a city polygon extending somewhere off the edge of the map instead of being a nice contained region. This can be due to mislabelling of Streets or Landmarks, or it can be due to a non-unique City across Australian states.

Naming Australian Cities

Each City field for streets and landmarks must be named in the following way:

"<City>", where <City> is the name of the city or suburb, and should be in lower case, except for the first letter of each word which should be in upper case. Do not put the suburb name in quotes, just the characters that will be used in the suburb label. The official designation of a suburb should be used, but if a suburb or part of a suburb is known by a different local name, this can be placed as an Alternate name for that street/landmark.
Examples:
Sydney
Parramatta
Newport Beach
Brighton-Le-Sands

Each non-unique City must be named in the following way:

"<City>, <State>", where <City> is the name of the city or suburb, and <State> is the two or three letter shortened form of the state's name in capital letters: one of {ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA}. The name of the city or suburb should be in lower case, except for the first letter of each word which should be in upper case. Again, do not put the suburb name in quotes, just type the characters that will be used in the suburb label.
Appending a comma, a space, then the state to the end of the City name makes the suburb unique within Australia and remove some of the problems outlined above.
Examples:
Newport, NSW
Newport, QLD
Newport, VIC

If you want to know whether a suburb name is unique within Australia, you can use the following online resources:

A City must have all Streets and Landmarks labelled consistently, so there aren't Newport and Newport, NSW labels both showing on the client screen simultaneously.

The Waze Australia Support Forum is the place to discuss where the issue of whether suburbs should have the state always appended, or just for non-unique suburbs. It is likely that Waze will make changes to their database in the near future so this discussion becomes moot. Currently there is no standard, and it is up to the individual editor's decision, subject to the requirement that a suburb be internally consistent in naming.

"The highlighted road is too far from the city it was added to." message when saving in WME

The current version of WME prevents the naming of a Street or Landmark that is considered 'too far' away from an established City (it's not clear how far 'too far' is). This is a good thing, as it prevents trans-state suburbs and thus prevents 'Smudged Cities'. The problem with this is that WME might not allow you to name widely separated parts of a new suburb. The solution to this is to name and save major roads or highways first, and then name and save the roads that join to these streets so that the suburb is extended gradually instead of trying to label the edges of a suburb first.

A good indication that you may be 'too far' away from the existing suburb is that the suburb name doesn't automatically appear in WME when naming a street as a pop-up option when you type the first couple of letters of the name of the suburb in the City field.

"Smudged" Australian Cities

Occasionally you might see a label of an Australian city in an inappropriate place, far from the place where it is meant to be. This can occur both in the Client (Android, iOS) and in the browser while editing.

These incorrect labels may be the result of an incorrect filled-in City field that has extended that City well beyond of where it should be (a "Smudged" city), or it might be a Zombie City. Zombie cities are shown on the map, but you can't locate a Street or a Landmark that has this City and sufficient time has elapsed for the old City name to have been flushed in a tile update. Make sure that you check Railroad street segments as well, as they don't seem to be picked out in WME Color Highlights as belonging to a particular City.

The main Wiki has a page specifically written to identify city names in inappropriate places - "smudged" cities at: Smudge Cities Link

Occasionally, even if you have fixed up all the City fields, there may remain a city label that remains for no good reason. If you do find such a label, raise it as an issue in the Waze Australian Support Forums, and this might have to be escalated as an issue to the Australia Waze Community Manager - currently Yonatan (user 'jonypony') - if nobody else can fix the issue.