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Road Editor's Manual #41
    Date first written: 2000.01.01   Review Date:2018.06.14

Table of Contents
1. Preface
2. Editing Information Fields
3. Road Plans
4. Editing Road Names
5. Use Junction Codes
6. Waypoint Keywords
7. Digitizing from GMap
8. Digitizing from GPS Track Log
9. Ouote Distance and LatLong in Road Bulletins
10. Highway Plans
11. Avoid Long Waypoint Comments

1. Preface
This document is the starting point for editors who want to work on the road infrastructure. It is a subsection of the general Editor's Manual. The chapters are in the order of level of expertise. So it starts with notes about editing the information fields such as "Condition" and "How to Find". Then we move to editing the title of the road, and then how to edit individual road waypoints, and finally, some discussion of digitizing new roads and trails from GMap or GPS Track logs. See also Road Waypoints Syntax Quick Reference which is a quick reference to support the waypoints field help link. See also under road plans the documents such as Road Naming Standards.

2. Editing Information Fields
The "information fields" are the ones like "Condition", "How To Find", as opposed to the Waypoints field. For any given field, go to the update form, then hover your mouse over the field label (or click on it). This displays the "Field Help" which has the definition. Periodically review the help notes, they are often updated.

Here are the fields to check:

  General Route
  How to Find

3. Road Plans
I maintain a "road plan" for most groups of roads. It discusses how a group of roads will be organized and named. This is especially important for groups of logging roads, where the names of the spurs may not be easily available. If a road is part of a road plan, there will be a link to the plan at the top of the road page. See the road page for Ashlu Main and find the link to it's road plan.

There are several types of "road plan" -
  (1) Spur Naming Plans
  (2) highways
  (3) Trail networks

  1. Spur Naming Plans
     See Spur Names in Bivouac.

  2. Trail Networks
     Trail networks usually don't follow a "branch topology", so the "Road Plan" for groups of trails does not use any sort of distance based naming. For example the trails around Tetrahedron Plateau are named according to their destinations, etc. See Tetrahedron Plateau - Trail Naming Plan.

  3. Highway Routes
     Highways are a special problem because a given segment of road may be shared by two or more highway routes. For example, the section of the upper levels highway in Vancouver is part of both Highway 1 and Highway 99. The purpose of the Highway plans in Bivouac is just to put all the segments of a given route in order, so it is easy to check that the whole highway is done. A given Roadx record can be part of multiple plans. See the next chapter for these.

Here is a list of all the different road plans in the system Road Plan Lister.

4. Editing Road Names
If you want to edit the name of a road, be sure to look at the road plan.
 However, certain naming principles are common to all road plans. I call these "Road Plan Standards" These are documented in Road Naming Standards and Cases.

5. Use Junction Codes
When digitizing roads, the standard is now to mark all junctions with a "Jct" keyword in the waypoint description. Eg: Jct 26. The junction code is made up of the 2nd decimal plase of the latitude and longitude. Eg: 49.123-100.456 becomes Jct 25. The "Jct" keyword causes a brown rectangle to appear on GMap, along with the mileage from the start of the road. See Junction Codes. The little brown rectangles make it easier to revise the waypoints between certain junctions. They also sometimes provide a convenient way to refer to a given junction.

Once you put in the "Jct" keyword into a road waypoint, it causes the GMap to display the km distance on the map. These are also handy for anybody writing bulletins - the author can just read the numbers off the map.

In addition to the junction code, you may want the name of the road forking off. Or something like "Jct 71 branch goes down to bridge"

6. Waypoint Keywords
As you know, each waypoint in the waypoints field can contain a description. In some cases these descriptions contain special "keywords" that cause the system to display certain icons on the maps. For example, "BRIDGE_OUT" causes a large red "X" to appear on the map.

There are several groups of keywords such as BRIDGE_IN, BRIDGE_OUT, GATE_LOCKED, KP, etc. These should be updated by a road editor according to information in bulletins. For example, if you see that somebody has put in a bulletin that the bridge at km 14.3 is washed out, you can go into the waypoints field, and change BRIDGE_IN to BRIDGE_OUT. Or put in "BRIDGE_OUT" for the first time on an existing unlabelled waypoint.

This chapter is only an introduction to waypoint keywords, to see a complete list of the keywords and icons, see Road Waypoint Keywords Reference. Also see Test Road with bridges and gates and push the "GMap" link to see all the icons on an actual road.

Now we can discuss general guidelines. Our main concern is to end up with good looking maps, that do not have multiple icons overlapping. It is useful to tell you a bit about how the road display program works. The road display program opens each road record, then loops through the waypoints, looking for certain keywords. For example, when it sees Bridge_Out, it tells GMap to put out a bridge_Out icon, and it labels it with the km distance from the beginning of the road. Thus the reader can refer to "the bridge at +5.6. km".

Not all icons are directly caused by keywords. In particular, the green "road title" markers are program generated. The program keeps internal distance counters and tries to put out a title marker every km. It tries to put them out on the first free waypoint in each new km.

7. Digitizing from GMap
One of the most common methods to get road waypoints is to digitize from satellite photos in GMap. The general idea is to display GMap, change to satellite view, choose "Draw and Save" from the menu, then "" the points. When you are done, right click on any one of the points, click on "Bivouac Waypoints" and copy and paste them to the Road record.

In some cases, you can digitize from other base maps in Gmap such as OSM or the "t4" Caltopo maps.

For details, see GMap Draw and Save.

  1. How many Points?
     Roads visible on satellite should have enough waypoints so that the resulting line is within 20 meters of the road. The 20 meters is called the "tolerance". You want the minimum number of points, because excess points cause performance problems in both GMap and the polygon operations.

    A line with a 20m tolerance will usually be within 2% of the actual distance and only change by 1% by putting in more points. In other words, a fork at 10 km should only change to something like 9.8 km no matter how many points you put in. I've found that the 1:50 map is often off by more than 20m. And I've found that my GPS track logs are often off by 20m when I come back down the same road. So 20m is as good as you can get.

  2. Waypoint Change Record
     Once you have saved the new Roadx record, go to the new road page, and put in a "Waypoint Changes Record". (The insert link is below the bulletins). These can often just be 3 or for words such as "Digitized from satellite". The main thing is to have a permanent record of where the waypoints came from and when they were changed. So a typical road might have one waypoint change record on the date it was created, which says that the waypoints were created from Gmap satellite, and then two years later, another change record that says part of it was redigitized from GPS.
     If you have actually been to the road, you should also put in a road bulletin. The road bulletin discusses the condition of the road, as opposed to digitizing issues. Don't be afraid to duplicate the description of the road that you put into the road record itself, because later some other editor might overwrite your original description in the road record, but it will still be preserved in your bulletin.

8. Digitizing from GPS Track Log
If you have a GPS track log of a road or trail, here is how to get Bivouac waypoints. The basic idea is to upload your gpx file to Bivouac using the gpx link on the front page. You can then see it on GMap and digitize as in previous chapter.

9. Ouote Distance and LatLong in Road Bulletins
As has been mentioned, road waypoints can use special keywords such as "Jct" or "KP" to cause a brown square to appear on the map at the waypoint, with the distance beside the line. Similarly Bridge_In, Gate_Locked, etc. a That makes it easy for members to read the mileage on the GMap and use it in bulletins.

Road bulletins should quote the km distance, but should also quote the lat-long in brackets. Eg: km 24 (50.123,123.444)

Here is an example: The road is smooth for approximately the first 19 km (49.7348,-121.6228) and then the road becomes rougher and has a few rocky sections where low clearance vehicles would suffer. Eventually you get to the fork at Km 24 (49.7391,-121.6873). At this fork, the left fork is the Spuzzum Southside rd. The right fork is the continuation of the Spuzzum road, but it is deactivated beyond that.

10. Highway Plans
Highway plans are a type of "Road Plan" which link together all the segments of a given highway. (as opposed to linking a cluster of trails into a plan). Eg: BC-16 Highway Plan. The purpose of the highway plan is to manage all the segments of the highway, such that you can see them listed in order from start to finish. Each "segment" of the highway has a start and end point. Eg: "Prince Rupert to Terrace". By inspecting the highway plan you can make sure there are no missing pieces. You can also inspect the accuracy field for each segment. As of 2016 November, most BC and Alberta highway segments are now digitized to an accuracy of within 100m.

Organizing highways has typically been done by R Tivy and is somewhat of a specialized job. It can be quite tricky because several highway routes can overlap the same segment of road. See Highway Plans

11. Avoid Long Waypoint Comments
Waypoint comments should just be short names for the points, not multiline descriptions. The limit should be 80 characters. If you want more complete descriptions of waypoints, write a chronological description of the road in the main description field, and include the special "point of interest" paragraph at the proper place, along with it's LatLong. The paragraph should refer to the feature by a name which the reader can find in the actual waypoints.

 - to make it easier to redigitize
 - make computer waypoint list more concise and readable
 - make GPS display more readable

Early in Bivouac history, editor Mike Cleven experimented with extensive paragraphs for some waypoints. Some of them were "tour guide" type comments, pointing out every little driveway. Occasionally he'd have a useful comment. But all these comments make it very difficult to redigitize the waypoints. To preserve the descriptions, a few of these paragraphs have been moved to the main description.

See Hayward Lake Railway Trail