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Road Waypoint Keywords Reference
    Date first written: 2013.01.25     Last Review: 2013.01.25

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Rules for combining Keywords
4. Bridges
5. Gates
6. Info Points (Kilometer Points)
7. Label_Here Keyword
8. Road Number Icons
10. Fixture
11. Segment_End
12. General Footnotes

1. Introduction
This document has a complete list of all "keywords" that can be used in road waypoints, and shows the icons that result. There is an entry for every distinct keyword. This document is part of the Road Editors Manual. Read it to get an overview of how it all works. See Road Editor's Manual. To see the waypoints on an actual map, see Test Road with bridges and gates and look at the GMap for it. Then use the update link to see the corresponding keywords.

2. Rules for combining Keywords
Note: You cannot combine two keywords on the same line. Instead you must duplicate the waypoint lat-longs. Below is an example:

The following needs to be split:

51.598914,-117.287131=Road_block, CHANGE_ROAD_CLASS:Spur3

Below are the lines.

51.598914,-117.287131=ROAD_BLOCK  This is a barricade

Also, you cannot have any other text on the CHANGE_ROAD_CLASS:Spur3 line. It confuses the Spur type, and makes it show up black. However you can have additional description on the ROAD_BLOCK.

Also, it is useful to always put the keywords as capitals. eg: ROAD_BLOCK, not Road_Block.

  • Note
     When you put two in a row, there is a problem because the brown "info" icon overwrites the Road Block Icon.


    1. <img src=Icons_Active/Road_Block.png> Road_Block
    The ROAD_BLOCK keyword is a general purpose keyword for things like washouts, tank traps, rock slides. The ROAD_BLOCK keyword shares the same icon as Bridge_Out. (the red "X")

    4. Bridges
    Raw_HTML The special bridge keywords are used for all "important" bridges. As a road is digitized, the idea is to put in one of the bridge icons every time you see a bridge. In the old days, many waypoints were just labelled "bridge". These should be converted to one of the specific icons, or to Bridge_Unknown.

    1. <img src=Icons_Active/Bridge_Out.png> BRIDGE_OUT
       An important bridge that is no longer crossable. Can be either a road bridge or a trail bridge. BRIDGE_OUT on a road means a vehicle cannot cross it. (If you can still cross on foot, use ROADBRIDGE_FOOTONLY). If you put BRIDGE_OUT on a trail, it means a normal hiker cannot cross it. Eg: There was an important bridge over a raging stream, but it is no longer crossable. Do not use "BRIDGE_OUT" in places where you can ford the creek. The red X is meant to tell someone when they glance at the map that the normal driver or hiker can't get beyond a certain point, and it would cause you to change your plans. (The road is blocked). Fords can be marked as a "Ford" with a KP mark.

    2. <img src=Icons_Active/RoadBridge_FootOnly.png> ROADBRIDGE_FOOTONLY
       A road bridge that is in such bad shape that you can't drive a vehicle across it, but you can walk across it. The reason we use an X is to make it as simple as possible to scan a map and see that you can't drive certain roads. Any "X" icon means you can't drive, however a green X means you can still walk.

    3. <img src=Icons_Active/Bridge_In.png> BRIDGE_IN
       An important bridge that is in good shape. Can be either a road bridge or a trail bridge.

    4. <img src=Icons_Active/Bridge_Unknown.png> BRIDGE_UNKNOWN
       These are important bridges for which we don't know the status. Mostly on roads. Yellow means caution.

    5. Ford (KP)
       A "ford" is a place where you can ford a creek, especially a hiking trail. In some cases, there may have been a bridge there but now you ford the creek. Such places should not be marked as "Bridge_Out" (which shows up as a big red "X" because it would not stop you. Start the waypoint description with "KP" which means "kilometer point". The "KP" causes a brown square icon to show up on the map with a mileage, such that the map reader can click on the brown square and read the waypoint description.


    1. Only important bridges
       The main emphasis is to specifically mark important bridges, not culverts or fords. One reason is because the km distance tends to clutter things. Bridges on trails don't need to be noted, unless it is a really critical bridge that would stop a hiker. Eg: We wouldn't bother with the bridges on the trail across Vargas island that just cross some swampy little stream. Parks might show them as "bridge_out" but we would not show the bridge at all because it's not a stopper.

    2. Make Satellite Assumptions
       When digitizing on a satellite, if you can clearly see the bridge is OK, and it is an important bridge, use Bridge_In. If you can see the bridge is clearly gone, use Bridge_Out. If you can't see clearly, then Bridge_Unknown.

    3. Why Bridge_Unknown instead of just "bridge"
       The difference is that "unknown" means someone has taken a look on the satellite, and can't figure it out, but it is important. The word "bridge" can be used for all sorts of unimportant bridges such as "bridge over unnamed creek".

    5. Gates

    1. <img src=Icons_Active/Gate_Locked.png> GATE_LOCKED
       A red "G" against a black background meands Gate is normally locked. Includes both gates permanently locked and also gates for which you can obtain the key. If there is somewhere to get the key, put a short note in the waypoint, so people know when they hover over the gate on the map. Eg;
        Gate_Locked - Get key from fisheries @400m

    2. <img src=Icons_Active/Gate_Open.png> GATE_OPEN
       Gate is normally open.

    3. <img src=Icons_Active/Gate_variable.png> GATE_VARIABLE
       A gate you know to exist, but which has been seen to be open or locked on various random occasions. So it's status is variable, and will be displayed as yellow (meaning caution).

    6. Info Points (Kilometer Points)
    Raw_HTML An Info_Point is a point on the road where there is a significant feature such as a trailhead, fork, or junction, or the start of thick alders, and for which we want to display the mileage. At one time, all "info points" had to be marked with a special keyword called "KP" which means "Kilometer Point". But then the map display program was enhanced to recognize certain "natural" keywords like "fork", and "Jct". When the program sees these words, it automatically assumes that that point is an info point, so you don't need the "KP" keyword. All types of info points show up with a brown square and a mileage.

    1. <img src=Icons_Active/InfoPointIcon.png> KP
    2. <img src=Icons_Active/InfoPointIcon.png> Fork
    3. <img src=Icons_Active/InfoPointIcon.png> Jct
    4. <img src=Icons_Active/InfoPointIcon.png> Rdx


    1. Don't mark the start of a road as a Jct, label it with non-active words like "Turn off" or "Start". The reason is because we are assuming that that turnoff will be marked on the source road, and thus there will be a mileage. For example, if "Road A" turned off highway 99 at km 6.7, you would put "Jct with Road A" on the Highway 99 waypoint, but the first waypoint on Road A would simply say "Turn off highway 99".

    2. Digitized Forks
       Junctions where the branch road is also in bivouac should always be marked with "Jct" or "Fork". In many cases, non-digitized forks are also noted, and thus marked.

    3. Undigitized Forks
       There are many forks that lead nowhere, and our general policy is not to bother putting in road records for them. However, the fork may still be mentioned in a waypoint description, which makes the waypoint list on the road page more useful. The elevation should be included.

     Here's my latest idea of when to use the "KP" keyword.

    1. Trailheads
       Trailheads for digitized trails should be noted in the waypoint description, and often marked with KP. (although I suppose they are obvious on the map when you see the trail. The advantage of marking them is the exact number is visible - you don't have to hover over km title markers and interpolate.

    2. Switchbacks
       Don't label switchbacks with a "KP" keyword. The logic is that the reader can see well enough it is a switchback. And also if somebody really wants to refer to that switchback, they can interpolate the distance, or refer to it by height, or by sequence, such as "the second switchback". It doesn't make the map more useful for the person to be able to hover over the switchback and see it is a switchback. However, it is OK to label them with a description, and a height. Eg:

      50.123,0-123.567=switchback @600m

    3. Stream Crossings
       Similar to switchbacks, it is useful to note the crossing of any named creek, and often other creeks. On a level road, elevation is not as useful, so mileage is good.

    7. Label_Here Keyword

    You can also directly cause one to appear with the Label_Here keyword. Notice that the road title icons have numbers in them from 0-9. These are so you can distinguish between two different roads. (most of the time). I refer to the number as the "local" road number. The local number is just the last digit of the full ID number for the road. For example, supposing a given road is road #3 and then comes to a fork. You can see that the fork is #5 whereas the #3 continues on the same. You can hover over the title icon and see the name of the road.

    Please see the example in Test Road with bridges and gates.

    Title Icons can be caused either by the LABEL_HERE keyword, or more often generated automatically roughly on km boundaries by the road display program. The LABEL_HERE keyword is only used in special cases, such as when there is a really short road segment.

    8. Road Number Icons
    Raw_HTML GMap puts "road number" icons roughly every km along the road. Eg: Road number 3. The number is just the last digit of the RoadId. Since there are only 10 numbers, it is possible that two roads on a given map will have the same number, but hopefully not side by side.

    Below is a crude sketch, where the orange line represents a logging road and the number icons distinguish the two roads.

    ------<img src=Icons_Active/NumIcon1.png> -------<img src=Icons_Active/NumIcon1.png> ------<img src=Icons_Active/NumIcon1.png>----- This is road #1 on this map

    -----<img src=Icons_Active/NumIcon5.png> -------<img src=Icons_Active/NumIcon5.png> --------<img src=Icons_Active/NumIcon5.png>----This is road #5 on this map

    The number icon is just the last digit of the RoadxId. Ideally the icons would be perfectly spaced at the exact whole number of km. However that isn't possible, because there is not necessarily a waypoint at that exact point. Or the waypoint corresponds to something like a bridge, so we don't want the title icon.

    As you may know, the color of a line indicates the general condition of the road. The road class can be changed in mid-road often after a significant washout or bridge removed. For example the following keyword would be placed after a permanent bridge washout:

    This would cause the color to change in the middle of the road.

    This is a keyword that does not have a corresponding icon. When you put this keyword into a waypoint, it changes the line appearance from that point on.

    The road class can be changed in mid-road often after a significant washout or bridge removed. For example the following keyword would be placed after a permanent bridge washout:

    52.12345,-123.59653=Big washout, CHANGE_ROAD_CLASS:Spur3
    This would cause the color to change in the middle of the road. Note: Don't put any text behind the road type. (You can't put an elevation tag. Currently the way the program works is to look for the string "CHANGE_ROAD_CLASS" and if it finds that string, anywhere in the description, it then splits the description on the colon, and expects whatever is to the right of the colon is exactly the new road type. Eg; Spur3.


    1. Easiest rule to remember is: Don't put any other text on same line

    2. Permanent washouts
       If a bridge is permanently pulled, or out and not expected to be repaired within 6 months, then Bridge_Out, and also CHANGE_ROAD_CLASS to Spur3 which means walk only. Unlike gates, we don't care if the road surface is perfectly good, it is still classed as undrivable. This is practical because there is usually no way to determine if the road has deteriorated beyond the washout anyway.

    3. Gates
       Should the road class be changed to "Spur3" if there is a permanent gate? Eg: Slesse Road? Answer: The gate must be marked with Gate_Locked, but the road will be classed as drivable. Note this is different than bridges.

    10. Fixture
    The "Fixture" keyword is being phased out. It's purpose was to cause a km distance to appear, without any icon. This was to support a mechanism we used to have called "Fixtures" which had separate database records for Fixtures, much like Features.

    11. Segment_End

  • <img src=Icons_Active/Segment_End.png>Segment_End

    This special icon is used on multi segment highways, where you want to see where one segment stops and the next one starts.

    12. General Footnotes

    1. Not always pairs
       In some cases, there are two keywords that can cause the same icon. Eg: ROAD_BLOCK and Bridge_Out both display a big red X. The reason is to have as few different icon types as possible. If the user wants to see WHY there is a red "X", he can click on the icon.

    2. Case insensitive
       The program that spots the keywords is case insensitive, so both LABEL_HERE and "Label_Here" should work. However by convention, I've lately been using the lower case. Except for CHANGE_ROAD_CLASS.


    4. Can't have two keywords in same description
       Because of the way the waypoint processing works, it is a giant if - else statement. So you can't put two keywords on the same line, because it sees the first one, puts out that icon and continues to the next point. Eg: I tried to put both ROAD_BLOCK and CHANGE_ROAD_CLASS on one line, and it missed the CHANGE_ROAD_CLASS.

    5. Keywords are always joined by underscores. Eg: Road_Block not RoadBLock.