Instruction Manual: Labeling waypoints

 

Labeling Waypoints

  • The following list shows the preferred waypoint type in order. Choose the first type that applies.
  • Desired waypoints.
    1. Border points. These points often begin and end files. If a required intersection coincides with a border point, use a border point and skip the intersection point. The only border points in use are international boundaries (all countries) and subdivisional boundaries (for only countries we subdivide in this project).
    2. Exit numbers - if the highway has interchanges with exit numbers for itself. We don't use exit numbers on the US highways.
    3. Visibly numbered cross road designation. US 42, A17, I-40 Business Loop, etc.
    4. Truncated, visible cross road name. Magothy Bridge Road, etc.
  • Waypoints for inadequate highway data or other rare situations. Use these only when you are unable to properly label the waypoint according to the above options.
    1. Truncated junction name - for freeways/expressways with official destination-based named junctions (e.g., some European countries use these).
    2. Trailblazer label - the type ToA5, if the cross road immediately serves a more major highway like A5.
    3. Truncated, nearby town name - for a town immediately served by the unnamed cross road. If a localized national park or tourist attraction is immediately served by the cross road, a truncated version of its name could also suffice.
    4. Truncated, distant town name - a more distant location that either the cross road serves or that is mentioned on guide signs at the junction. You couldn't find anything near the intersection and now you're grabbing for just about anything to use to identify the waypoint.
  • Waypoint labels should avoid secret highway designations, i.e., designations travelers will not know about by driving and reading signs.
  • Waypoint labels never have spaces.
  • Waypoint labels may never use international characters. Instead, use the closest latin character without a diacritical mark.
  • Suffixes such as _W always refer to English direction words such as "west" and never to direction words in other languages, i.e., don't use _O for "oeste."

Border Points

File:
Waypoint
Description
USA/CAN International borders use the 3-letter country codes with a slash in between. Put them in the order that matches the waypoint order. USA/CAN is the first waypoint for a Canadian highway beginning at the USA border, or the last waypoint for a USA highway ending at the CAN border.
AL/MS Subdivision (state/province/oblast etc.) borders are included only for countries that we subdivide. As an exception, these subdivision border labels can also be used on the USA/CAN and USA/MEX borders instead of using the countries in the label.
CHIH/SON In subdivided countries whose region codes have the country code prepended, skip the country code. MEX-CHIH/MEX-SON becomes CHIH/SON.
Yor/Lan In the rare case of a highway ending at a county or other border, use the first three letters of the subdivision name for each side.
HarLim In the rare case of a highway ending at city limits and the city is part of the surronding area rather than considered separate from it, truncate the city name like a named highway (see below) and add "Lim".


Interchanges on exit-numbered highwways

File:
Waypoint
Description
PA581:
4
16
18
21
If the highway is a freeway and has a unique exit numbering system based on its own designation without the exit numbers restarting, use the exit numbers as waypoint labels.
4 Exits 4 & 5 in one interchange. For a single interchange with ramps given different exit numbers, use the lower number.
4B Exits 4B & 4C in one interchange. Use the lower (toward A) letter.
4 or 4A Exits 4A & 4B in one interchange. Usually drop the letter if the lower letter is A. If there is another interchange with the same number and different letters, optionally keep the A.
6
6A
Two separate interchanges numbered 6. Distinguish them by picking the next available letter suffix for the second interchange. Number the first interchange normally.

I-80:
56
87(75)
89(75)
63

In multiplexes where the concurrency uses exit numbers from the other highway, put the highway number in parentheses. Drop the letter prefix of the concurrent highway if it is more than one character long: I-75 becomes (75). A5 can stay as (A5).

I-80:
56
87(Gar)
89(Gar)
63

If the concurrent highway uses exit numbers but has a name instead of a number, use the truncated first word: Garden State Parkway is truncated as GarStaPkwy, and use the first part that is not the generic highway type: (Gar) for Garden State Parkway, (Bol) for Tangenziale di Bologna.
A5:
56
57
1(A)
4(A)
17(A)
If there is more than one exit number sequence for a highway and no concurrent route to explain it, ask me what parenthetical distinction should be used. All exit numbers in a sequence get the same parenthetical suffix.

Intersections with visibly numbered highways

File:
Waypoint
Description
I-80
US42
MI67
Generally use the number designation instead of a highway name.
CHIH7
UT65
NL420
USA & MEX state and CAN provincial numbered highways begin with their abbreviation regardless of a local convention (Michigan State Highway 43 is MI43, not M-43).
I-80
A-73
USA Interstates and Quebec Autoroutes retain hyphens.
I49
A5
CR576
CRDD
SR7100
All other numbered designations drop their hyphens (Spain AP-7 becomes AP7) and slashes (Czech I/49 becomes I49).
M22-1 Hyphens between numbers can be kept. This example is Serbian M22-1, a branch of M22.
US73:
US40Bus
I-585BS
US20Alt

Add banners after the number.

For the US Highways, local conventions of using suffixes instead of banners are ignored. Use banners here. NY US 20A is US20Alt here.

US40:
US40BusWhi

US73:
US40BusWhi
US40BusTho

A3:
A3Zur

Distinguish two different same-bannered same-numbered routes as needed with the 3-letter city abbreviations. Also use the city abbreviation for bannerless same-designation spurs or branches, such as the Zurich A3 spur intersecting the main A3.

Intersections with named highways

File:
Waypoint
Description
FaiRd
PapMillRd

MarKingBlvd MLKingBlvd

Abbreviate the generic road type (Rd for Road, Blvd for Boulevard, etc.) if it's one of the very common types. Otherwise, use the first three letters: Uli for Ulica. Skip the final period.

For up to two other (specifying) words, truncate the word as follows:
1-4 letters - use whole word
5+ letters - use the first 3 letters. Don't use a made-up abbreviation. Fairchild Road becomes FaiRd, not FrchldRd or FchRd or anything else.

If the cross road name has more than 3 words, use one of two options:
1. Pick out the two most important words besides the road type and use only those: Martin Luther King Boulevard becomes MarKingBlvd. Three words in total are included in shortened form.
2. Pick out one important word besides the road type and use it and the initials of the other words: Martin Luther King Boulevard becomes MLKingBlvd. Two words in total are included in shortened form along with initials of the rest.

BlvdAll
RuePeu
Ignore any prepositions ("of", "de", "del", etc.), articles ("the", "a", "des", etc.), and conjunctions ("and", etc.) in any language. Boulevard of the Allies becomes BlvdAll. Rue de Peu becomes RuePeu. Titles of people (Dr., Jr., etc.) can also be omitted.
Exception: If the word is foreign (e.g., Spanish in the USA) and is an essential part of a place name, keep the word. Los Angeles Avenue becomes LosAngAve.
6thSt
33rdAve
SeeLn
Ignore any non-essential direction specifier. N. 6th St becomes 6thSt. 33rd Avenue SW becomes 33rdAve. W. Seedy Lane becomes SeeLn.
NorPkwy
SouBlvd
But keep directions that are the main part of the road name, such as NorPkwy for Northern Parkway or SouBlvd for Southeast Boulevard.

Highway ends at non-intersections, non-borders, and other rare cases

File:
Waypoint
Description
RayWinSP
GreSmoNP
For ends at a park or other non-commercial endpoint, abbreviate the park name as if it were a named highway (see rules above). Use NP for national park, PP for provincial park, SP for state park.
PapMillRd For sudden ends at no particular intersection or landmark, the name of the continuing highway can be used if it begins where the highway in question ends, i.e., is not concurrent. Note that this case does not apply to adding extra waypoints to ramps of the final interchange of a highway, since the waypoint for the center of the interchange is understood to include the end.
End
NEnd
WEnd
In the rare case of having nothing but a pavement change, barricade, railroad tracks, or a bridge to end a highway (no intersection, park, airport, border, etc.), simply use End. In the rarer case of this situation applying to both ends of a highway, put a direction letter at the front of End, such as NEnd, to distinguish the two points.
BigBlueBri
SusRiv
For a highway ending at a bridge and not at an intersection, End can be the label. If the bridge's name is official and signed, the name of the bridge can be used, truncated like a highway name. If there is no official bridge name but the bridge traverses only a river with an official name, use the river name.

A3:
A3_U

A3:
A3_U1
A3_U2

Use a _U suffix for interchanges that are nothing more than a U-turn ramp. If more than one is needed for the same highway, use _U1, _U2, etc.
   

 

Putting two highways in a waypoint label

File:
Waypoint
Description

US80/42
A5/A6
I-5/6
I-80/90
I-80/6

Two numbered highways may appear in a waypoint. You can use two designations if the cross road has 2+ numbered designations or if 2+ numbered highways are cross roads at the same point.


Put the primary highway first, followed by a slash, followed by the second highway. Drop the prefix of the second highway if it is more than one character long. A5/A6 becomes A5/A6. I-5/I-6 becomes I-5/6. I-25/US50 becomes I-25/50.

If both numbered designations are of the same type, it's probably useful to mention both. If the 2nd highway is a lesser type, the 2nd highway can be skipped or mentioned. I-80/I-90 should be I-80/90. I-80/US 6 can be I-80 or I-80/6, whichever is deemed more useful. US 422/PA 271 can be either US422 or US422/271.

If one of the two highways is already long as a label (e.g., a bannered route like US42BusKin), consider skipping the city abbrev. or even skipping the whole second route.

Never may three or more designations appear in a single waypoint. If the cross road has 3+ designations, use the main one or two designations.

I-95 If you encounter the need for using both a named and numbered designation in the waypoint label, or the need for two named designations, pick only one of the two for brevity. I-95/New Jersey Turnpike becomes I-95.
US50/60

Avoid extra distinguishing suffixes on labels with 2 numbered designations unless necessary.
US50/60_W
US50/60_E
Only in the case of two identical two-designation waypoints should the suffixes be added for distinction. Prefer the single-letter suffixes in this case.

Waypoint labels for multiplexes:

File:
Waypoint
Description

US90:
LA76
I-49(45)
I-49(47)
I-49(52)
US40

For non-exit-numbered routes concurrent with a numbered, exit-numbered route, use the concurrent highway designation with the exit numbers in parentheses.
US90:
LA76
Gar(45)
Gar(47)
Gar(52)
US40
For non-exit-numbered routes concurrent with a named, exit-numbered route, use the first part of the truncated name followed by the exit numbers in parentheses.
US25:
US80_W
US80_E
For non-exit-numbered routes concurrent with another non-exit-numbered route, use normal waypoint labels for the intermediate points.

For the multiplex splits, add a suffix: an underscore followed by a direction letter. The direction letter should match the signed direction the concurrent route is splitting toward. US80_W in the US25 file means that US 80 heads west from US 25 at that point but is concurrent to the east.

E40:
A5/A13

If the highway jumps from one numbered multiplex to another, the most useful waypoint label would include both routes without any suffixes.
US25:
US90_W
US80_W
US80/90
At splits where two concurrent routes leave, usually no suffix is needed. So if US 90 joins US 25, then US 80 joins, and then US 80/US 90 splits off together, the US80/90 point needs no suffix.

Distinguishing otherwise identical waypoints (not for exit numbers)

File:
Waypoint
Description

US25:
I-80
GarStaPkwy

If a highway is a cross road only once, no suffix should appear.

US25:
I-80(173)
I-80(256)
I-80/90
Gar(53)
Gar(56)

If an exit numbered highway is a cross road twice, exit numbers in parentheses can be used to distinguish them. Avoid using two designations and a parenthetical suffix in the same label.
US25:
US90_S
US90_N
If a non-exit-numbered highway is a cross road twice, add an underscored suffix. The direction letter refers to the relative position of the intersection along the route whose file is being made. US90_S is the southern of the two US 90 junctions along US 25, which runs S-N.
US25:
US90_S
US90
US90_N
If a non-exit-numbered highway is a cross road a third time, a suffixless label is an option.
N6thSt
S6thSt
If non-essential directions were omitted and they are different, they can be put back in. N. 6th St. and S. 6th St. would both be labeled 6thSt, so include the initial N and S for distinction.

US25:
US90_A
US90_B
US90_C

US95:
NV57_Ren
NV57_Tah
NV88_PitS
NV88_PitN

If more than two points for the same non-exit-numbered cross road are needed, there are two options which can be used in combination with or ignoring the previous options for pairs of identical labels.
1. Use alphabetical suffixes _A, _B, _C, etc.
2. Choose 3-letter suffixes for a nearby towns if they are fairly close. The 3-letter suffix should be the first 3 letters of the town name. Add a suffix with an underscore and those 3 letters. If you need the same town twice, add a 4th letter that is a direction letter (_PitS and _PitN for southern and northern junctions near Pittston). If the town suffixes are not useful, are confusing, or require further elaboration (3+ junctions with same town), use the alphabetical suffixes instead.
MilPkwy
MilfPkwy
If two named cross roads have different names but would have identical labels (Milford Parkway & Millville Parkway both would be MilPkwy), either add a 4th letter to a 3-letter part of one of the labels, or choose 3 different letters for that label.

A10:
1
...
A11

Loop roads need one point to appear as both the first and last waypoints. If the loop is exit-numbered, the first point is usually the lowest exit number. The second point can be the cross road name. Here Exit 1 of A10 is where A11 intersects.
A10:
A8_W
...
A8_E
If the loop road is not exit-numbered, use the cross road twice, each with a direction suffix (underscore + one letter) representing the direction to the adjacent waypoint. If the second waypoint is west of the first point, append _W to the first point and _E to the last point.

Waypoints for ends of auxiliary routes (bannered routes and the suffixed equivalents)

File:
Waypoint
Description
US15BusGet:
US15_S
...
US15_N
For auxiliary routes connecting to the parent route at both ends, mention only the parent route (even if it is concurrent with other routes) and add direction suffixes.
US61SprLit:
US61
...
AR549
For spurs that connect only once to the parent route, simply mention the parent route for that end and ignore any concurrent routes.
  These two rules override other directions.

Waypoints for roads that no longer have a name or no longer exist as a road

File:
Waypoint
Description
MainSt If the old highway has a posted name or number, use that name or number (don't make one up), and label the waypoint according to the usual rules.
If US 30/Main Street becomes Main Street, then the label is MainSt, not something like OldUS30.
OldUS40 If the old highway has a posted name that mentions the old designation, then applying the above rule will result in a label like OldUS40 for "Old Route 40" if the route was formerly US 40.
OldLeeHwy
OldRedRd
If the old road still exists but has no name or number, or the road was closed so it can't have a name or number, then make up a name using the former name or number along with the native language word for "Old" prepended or appended according to the grammar rules for that language. Then follow the usual rules for shortening that name into a label, being sure that the word for "Old" is included in the label. In English, this means prepending "Old" to the former name.
If the road was formerly Lee Highway and now has no name or number, then the label is OldLeeHwy. If the road was formerly Red Hill Road and was closed, then the new label is OldRedRd, not OldRedHill or RedHillRd, so that "Old" and "Rd" are included.
OldUS11 If the old highway had multiple numbered designations and you need to make up a label according to the previous instruction, use only the primary route number.
For example, if you need a label for the now-nameless highway formerly designated US 11/US 15, then the label should include only US 11: OldUS11.
OldUS63
OldRt15
For numbered (alphanumeric) designations like US63, use the former designation type, like US in US 63, in a label like OldUS63, if that designation type is known. If it is not known, use a generic word like Route (Rt) or Highway (Hwy) in English or an analogous word in another language.

 

If some of your waypoint labels don't match any of the types above, look again for the best match. If you have found a case not yet covered, let me know and I'll add a solution.

 

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