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Difference between revisions of "Editing restrictions"

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(Manual locks)
(See also)
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* [ Forum discussion about traffic locks].
* [ Forum discussion about traffic locks].
* [[Editing ranks|Editor ranks]]

Revision as of 17:03, 9 February 2014

There are three types of restrictions that can affect an editor's ability to change the map:

  • Traffic locks
  • Manual locks
  • Driving / editable areas

If any of the three restrictions apply for that editor to a particular part of the map, he or she will be unable to edit that part.

Traffic locks and manual locks work very similarly. They apply to individual road segments, and are there to protect "important" roads from accidental damage or any road vandalism.

Editable areas exist to make sure that an editor only edits areas where he or she has some familiarity with the roads, having driven there recently. It is not limited to the roads the editor has actually been on, but to the surrounding area as well.

Restriction types

Traffic locks

Traffic locks are automatically applied editing locks for certain road segment. They are applied by the Waze servers to road segments that have a high volume of traffic that traversing them. There are six levels of locks, corresponding to the editor rank system (every editor have 1 to 6 traffic cones, based on editing experience and decisions by Waze and senior editors).

Roads with low volumes of traffic will have a rank 1 lock, which is equivalent to no lock at all, since the lowest editor rank is also 1. Roads with somewhat more traffic will be locked at rank 2.

The busiest roads -- generally, the top 10% traveled roads in an area -- will be locked at Rank 5, so that only rank 5 or 6 editors can edit them.

Generally, rank 3 or 4 should be able to edit about 90% of the roads in their areas, unless manually locked by a senior editor (see below).

Users with 5 and 6 cones can edit 100% of the roads.

Manual locks

Manual locks are another form of locked segments of road. When an editor locks a segment, it controls:

  1. Segment editing ability
  2. Automatic adjustments

In the past, many segments were locked for other reasons that no longer exist, but the segments do not get changed unless they are edited again and the editor changes the lock.

Segment editing ability

A locked segment may not be changed by an editor of a rank lower than the rank to which is was set either by a previous editor or a traffic lock.

An editor may edit segments based on Editable area and editing rank. When a segment is locked, only a user with the same or higher rank can edit the segment again. When any segment forming a junction is locked, turn restrictions are locked for all segments at that junction.

Unlocking segments above your rank

There are many cases where a segment (or connected junction) may need to be edited by a lower rank editor. For that reason there are two methods to unlock segments (and junctions).

  • Send a private message to the last editor of the locked segment explaining why you need to unlock and change the segment. Most higher ranked editors will help you with the problem.
  • Alternately you can post a forum message in the appropriate unlock request forum for your country. Be sure to have the location of the segment listed in the title of the message. Also include a permalink with all desired segments highlighted to make it fast and easy for the higher ranked editor monitoring that forum to make the change.

In both cases be sure to explain the reason for the desired unlock request. Many segments were locked in the past for reasons that are no longer present. However, high traffic areas are locked to prevent less experienced editors from making changes that would cause problems or do not follow the generally agreed mapping procedures.

Staff locks

There are times when a Waze staff member may have locked a segment over time. In many cases it may not be required any more, so if you have a reason to need to edit it, please review this support link to request it to be unlocked. This link is only for staff level locks.

Automatic adjustments

A locked segment is not changed by GPS tracks both in terms of geometry and directionality. In the past the Waze server was altering road directionality based on a few GPS inputs. So editors were locking segments to stop those automated changes. Now the Waze server requires much more GPS tracking to prevent false readings, so most editors no longer lock segments for this reason.

Locked junctions

A junction is considered to be locked when any segment which is connected to that junction is locked. A locked junction cannot have its restrictions or allowances edited. See above for information on unlock requests for segments (which control junctions).

Violation cameras editing ability

The person who approves a violation camera is basically locking it to their rank. A user with a lower rank may not be able to change / delete the camera, unless they are the owner of the camera or if it is in their area of management.

Area Managers

An Area Manager (AM) may edit any unlocked objects within their defined area. An AM cannot edit anything locked to a higher rank than their own. When necessary the AM can private message the last editor to ask them to unlock it or post a permalink to the unlock request forum (discussed above).

Editable areas (driving areas)

Under construction

Combined locking scheme

The first two are both locking systems that apply to specific segments for the 6 editor ranks. The third is based primarily on geography (areas surrounding the editor's recorded drives are open to the editor if there is no manual or traffic lock, other areas are restricted for the editor, even if there is no traffic lock and no manual lock).

For the two locking systems, the effect is combined by choosing the more restrictive of the two locks present on a segment.

Here is the combined effect of the three restrictions:

  1. Editors may edit only in their areas. Even if a road is otherwise not locked at all, an editor can't edit the area unless Waze knows the driver was in the area within the last month or so.
  2. Traffic locks further restrict roads. Segments are always "locked" at least to the traffic lock rank, meaning that editors below the traffic lock rank can't edit that segment of road, even within their driving areas.
  3. There is also a second, manual locking system, separate from traffic locks. If an editor has locked a segment to a rank, Waze will look at both the manual lock and the automatic traffic lock, and use the stronger of the two. Editors cannot lock the road higher than their own rank, meaning, they can't lock themselves out of a segment. However, it is possible to lock a segment to be less restrictive (a rank 4 user can lock to rank 3, so that only rank 1 and rank 2 are restricted form editing)
  4. There is no way to manually unlock a traffic lock. If it is locked at rank 4, then even a senior editor will be unable to grant editing rights to editors who are rank 1, 2, or 3.
  5. It is possible for a higher-ranked editor to remove a manual lock, or to reduce its rank. However, that is only effective when the automatic traffic lock is at or below the newly-lowered manual rank, or if the traffic lock is later automatically removed due to reduced traffic volume over time.


  • In a new development, the city is laying out new streets. A driver "plows" a new road, Lockrank Street. Initially, there is very little traffic, so there is no traffic lock. It has never been manually locked. So, by default the traffic lock is 1, and by default the manual lock is 1. The combined lock is 1, so anyone can edit it,
  • Lockrank Street gets vandalized a number of times by brand new users (rank 1), so the Area Manager applies a rank 2 lock to it. There is still no traffic lock (i.e., traffic lock is 1). It is now effectively locked to the manual lock, rank 2. New editors (rank 1) can't edit it, and can't edit the junctions at either end of it. Editors ranked 2-6 can edit it and its junctions.
  • A new editor notices that the road name has changed to Newlock Road. She tries to edit it, but discovers that is is locked at rank 3, while she is rank 1. She goes to the unlock request forum, and requests the change. The Area Manager reduces the manual lock rank to 1. Since there is still no traffic lock, the lock is effectively removed. The new editor makes the change. The Area Manager changes the manual lock back to rank 2 to continue protecting from vandalism.
  • A new cross street, Junction Lane, is added to the street grid, and another driver plows it through. He is a rank 2 editor. He goes into the editor to name it and connect it to Newlock Road. He is able to, because he is a rank 2 editor.
  • Drivers find Newlock Road is a good way to get across the city, s it starts receiving a lot of traffic. Waze applies a traffic lock of 3. Even though the manual lock is 2, the traffic lock is stronger in this case, and the road is effectively locked to the traffic lock. It can now only be edited by rank 3 editors and above.
  • Another cross street, Development Way, is added to the grid. The rank 2 editor goes to add it, and finds he is unable to create the junction onto Newlock Road. He goes to the unlock forum to ask for the lock to be lowered to 2, so he can fix the map. The Area Manager tells him that the lock can't be lowered, because the traffic lock overrides it. The Area Manager makes the change on behalf of the driver instead.
  • Myles Opia is a rank 1 editor. He misreads some sign information, and changes the name of Development Way to Developer Way. It gets flipped back and forth a number of times. However, traffic has been building on it, and it gets a traffic lock of rank 2. Stopping Myles Opia form further incorrect changes.
  • Myles Opia has edited enough roads to attain rank 2. He starts changing it again. The Area Manager locks it to rank 3. Since this is higher than the traffic lock of 2, it overrides the traffic lock, and the road can't be edited by rank 1 or 2 editors.

Current applicability

Traffic locks are only implemented in some countries at this time. The list below is not complete.


The system is ready for traffic locks, but they are not yet implemented due to some problems being worked on. Details are being worked out. The primary problems preventing it form being tiurned are:

  • No segment should be automatically locked to rank 6. Rank 5 should be the maximum, because of the limited rank 6 resources, and the generally accepted level of trust in rank 5 editors.
  • Area Managers need immunity from traffic locks within their managed area, or they won't be effective in managing them. This will unnecessarily increase the burden on higher ranked editors, who have assigned the Area Managers based on their trust level within the area.

See also