[Talk-transit] Town names in bus stop names

Peter J Stoner stonerpj at mytraveline.info
Tue Dec 21 14:14:24 GMT 2010

In message on 21 Dec 2010,  Michal Borsuk  wrote:

> On 21 December 2010 02:23, <michael at vonglasow.com> wrote:

>> Hello list,
>> While mapping bus (and other) routes all over Europe, I have frequently
>> encountered bus lines linking two (or more) towns, with multiple stops in
>> each town. For example, a bus route might include the following stops (free
>> adaptation of commonly encountered situation):
>> Greenmond, Station
>> Greenmond, Doe Square
>> Greenmond, Church
>> Greenmond, Roe Street
>> Greenmond, New Market Mall
>> Whitepool, Primary School
>> Whitepool, Church
>> What should we put in the name= tags for these stops? Where should we best
>> put the name of the town?
>> To complicate matters, let us look at the following conditions:
>> - The name on the pole itself does not include the name on the town. So the
>> pole at the station in Greenmond would just read "Station".

> I take the name from the pole, unless it's not descriptive enought, then
> from the timetable. Here I'd clearly take "Greenmond, Station" (or
> "Greenmond Station", but preferably not "Station, Greenmond")

>> - There is also a bus line operating only within Greenmond, which shares
>> some of the above stops. However, timetables and line sketches for this
>> second line omit the town name in the bus stops (i.e. Station, Doe Square,
>> New Market Mall).

> In such cases I'd still use town name. It has happened to me that I wondered
> out of nowhere to find a bus stop without a locality name.

> I do it this way: only large towns and cities (let's say over 15 thousand
> inhabitants, or with a sensible number of bus stops) have those stops
> *without* locality name.

In the UK the NaPTAN system of stop naming will usually allocate 
locality names to suburbs within the larger towns. Every bus stop in 
the UK has been allocated to a locality.

By keeping the locality and common names separately it enables the 
appropriate level of naming to be used, depending on the context.

> - When rendered on a map, it is also advisable to omit the town name - thus
>> names are shorter, the map is less cluttered and the town name can usually
>> be derived from the on the map.

> Cf. the earlier point - if the town is small, the map is not cluttered.
> Besides, rendering is not much of our concern.

In automated systems this would always require knowing the size of the 
town in order to know how the stop was constructed.

>> - Line sketches and timetables for the above line list stop names along
>> with the towns they are in. There are different ways of dong this:[...]
>> Or (since Greenmond is a big city of a million residents or more), town
>> names are given only for stops outside of Greenmond.

> I'd keep that.

>> However, the more I think about it, the more correct it seems to me to put
>> the town name in a separate tag.

> IMHO No. This is a map, and it's the bus stop's location which tells where
> the bus stop is. It does contradict what I wrote earlier - why then use town
> names at all? Because some suburbs overlap in a strange way, and with
> smaller places it isn't always clear.

In UK we put some effort into trying to ensure that the 
locality+commonname+indicator combination is unique.  So it is good to 
be aware of the town name when selecting the common name even if it is 
not always appropriate to display it.

Best wishes

Peter J Stoner
UK Coordinator         www.travelinedata.org.uk

Traveline Information Ltd company number 3826797
Drury House, 34-43 Russell Street, LONDON WC2B 5HA

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