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User:Herrchin/Parking Lot Roads

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Parking Lots

Mapping a parking lot road serves three purposes:

  • it allows Waze to provide door-to-door directions within the lot;
  • it allows the Waze client to get off the main road, avoiding erroneous traffic reports.
  • it prevents the Waze client from routing thru-traffic along the parking lot segments.

NOTE: Most parking lots should not be designated as a Waze "place," and especially not an Area Place (previously known as Landmarks). Landmark-worthy parking must be something of a destination in itself, either having a well-known and documented name, or serving multiple destinations. For information pertaining to using the Parking Lot Place please see: Places/Parking lot.

Shopping Centers

When mapping a large parking lot (e.g., at a shopping center) consider mapping only the following:

  • Main entrances from the roads outside the parking lot
  • Lanes that run along storefronts
  • Lanes that run along main roads outside the parking area (to prevent cars in the parking area from snapping to the main roads and sending incorrect speed information)
  • Primary lanes that serve to get people from one area of the lot to another

Remember, the goals here are usability and simplicity. When in doubt, imagine yourself in a car in the lot at various points, and ask yourself what the most efficient way would be to get to a store at the other end of the lot, or to exit the lot and get back on a main road, with as few convolutions as possible. The lanes that are used the most in this thought experiment should be mapped, with the rest being omitted. You can turn on the GPS points layer (Shortcut key Shift-G) to see where traffic has been most recently to help determine what might be the best section to map.
ParkingLotRoad ShoppingCenter.png

In particular, do not map every single lane, and especially not every single parking space (it has been done!). This serves no purpose but to clutter the map, confuse directions, and put an unnecessary burden on both the client and server hardware. Remember usability and simplicity are #1. Your editing time and expertise can be better used elsewhere in the map.

Small Parking Lots

Parking lots that serve a small number of businesses should be minimal: enough to give the driver correct directions into and out of the lot, and navigate to a particular business. Very small lots with a single entrance/exit could even be represented by a single segment running diagonally across the parking area (lots with entrances on both sides) or a single, flattened curve (lots that only have entrances/exits along a single road, such as for strip malls).

Beware of Parking Lot exits that have a restricted turn (typically no left turn allowed across a median). Due to the way that Waze routing works in regards to penalties, if there is only one way out of a Parking Lot Waze may route you to take that restricted left turn. In these cases it would be better to provide another path out of the lot via an unrestricted turn.

Drive-Through Lots

Because these lots can be narrow and congested, with one-way sections, the simplest way to represent them may be as just a one-way drive-through loop. Caveat: because both ends of a segment cannot connect to the same junction, if the lot has only one entrance/exit, it is necessary to build the loop using three segments.

Use of the Parking Lot Road Type

The Parking Lot Road type exists to allow the mapping of parking lots, while discouraging the routing server from using them for navigation vs. the road network. As of June 2012, Waze applies a transition penalty when transitioning from a Parking Lot Road to another road type. This penalty decreases the chance that Waze will route through a parking lot as a shortcut but allows better navigation in and out of a parking lot. Every segment that is used to map a parking lot should be of the Parking Lot segment type. It is advised not to mix road types within a parking lot.

Parking Lot RoadService road.png

Parking lots, along with other publicly accessible roads such as alleys that should not be used for traffic routing unless directly at the start or end point of a route.
This section was updated as of January 14, 2015 (2015-01-14) to clarify when to use  PLR  vs  Private Roads .
  • Use  Parking Lot Road  type for all necessary segments in the Parking Lot.
  •  Parking Lot Road  type should be used inside Apartment Complexes, Trailer Parks, Schools, and Universities unless it meets the criteria for Private Road found in the next section below.
  •  Parking Lot Roads  have a transition penalty when exiting the Parking Lot road segment. This should prevent Waze from routing you through a Parking Lot or an alley as a shortcut.
  •  Parking Lot Roads  can be used to avoid "missing road" automated Map Problem reports.
  •  Parking Lot Roads  can be used to prevent Waze from assuming drivers driving slowly or parked in the parking lot are in a traffic jam on the main road -- draw in the drivable portions of the parking lot that are near outside roadways.
  • Waze will not highlight slow speeds (automatically detected traffic jams) on  Parking Lot Roads 
Additional information on this topic can be reviewed in the forums.

Information on mapping a parking lot landmark "place" is covered here.