[Talk-transit] Naming concepts

Jo winfixit at gmail.com
Sun Oct 30 22:39:26 UTC 2016

2016-10-30 21:27 GMT+01:00 Greg Troxel <gdt at lexort.com>:

> Felix Delattre <felix-lists at delattre.de> writes:
> > There are different concepts of routes in OpenStreetMap and GTFS.
> > Sometimes they are not existent or ambiguous.
> I am a native speaker of en_US.
> > 1. A general public transport service (e.g. No. 38):
> > In OSM: "route_master" in GTFS: "route"
> I find route_master to be an odd term, and very much computer jargon vs
> human language.

For me that is a line. It has a line number. (which sometimes is not simply
numeric, so it's more of a symbol, but OK)

> > 2. A theoretical tour a bus takes, but without schedule information, it
> > represents one each for different direction, but also if one is shorter
> > than the other
> > In OSM: "route"; in GTFS: /not existent/
> I would call this a bus route.  Around me, it would have a number, and a
> set of stops.   Then there would be a schedule for the bus route that
> says what time the bus starts from each end and the time for at least
> some of the intermediate stops.   So I find the use of the word route in
> OSM natural.  It also parallels the use of route for a road, which is a
> sequence of ways, but without timing.

I would call those itinerary. If OSM had started out with that term, we
wouldn't have the ambiguity today. But route is used for foot/bicycle/horse
and PT itineraries. For PT I resorted to call them route variations, but
they are 'represented' by route relations in OSM.

> > 3. An actual tour a bus takes, on a certain time
> > In OSM" not existen; in GTFS: "trip"
> It makes sense to use "trip" in GTFS, and it makes sense that this is
> not in OSM because we don't represent that level of information.

Indeed. If we could figure out a way to represent it anyway, I think it
would be a plus. But I won't be holding my breath.

> > Route: Is used for different concepts (I guess because of British and
> > American English)
> I don't think it's en_GB vs en_US.  I've recently driven in Scotland and
> about 10 years ago in Ireland, and didn't find route to mean something
> significantly differently.  In the US, we use it as part of the name of
> a numbered highway, e.g. "Route 2" is a state highway that goes for
> about 200 miles.  It is signed the whole way and you change road name
> often, but you follow that sequence of roads to get from Boston to the
> New York border, more or less.  Perhaps that isn't used that way in the
> UK, but the notion of "bus route" seemed similar to me.
> > Routemaster:  Is a very technical term. I thinks, it's not
> > understandable when looking at it naively (isn't this the bus driver?)
> Agreed.  This is a defined term that doesn't mean anything to native
> speakers without reading the definition.
> Absent a definition, I wouldn't expect it to mean the driver.   I would
> expect it to mean the official at the transit organization or bus
> company that has the authority to decide what streets that route will go
> on (and can change the set of stops).

I'm sure whoever came up with the term wanted to make sure it had route in
the name, as it's grouping a bunch of route relations. For me this is the
'line'. Service line definitely doesn't sound very English to me. (But I'm
not a native speaker either). PT line, maybe?

> > It call them 1: Service Line; 2. Route Variant 3: Trip
> >
> > English native speakers, please help: Does this make sense to you? Would
> > you suggest other terms for the concepts to be even more understandable?
> Service line and variant don't give me the right idea.  But on really
> thinking I can see where you are coming from.
> My basic thoughts are to give the right impression and to align with
> Your #1 I am not 100% sure what it is.  If it's essentially the string
> "Route 38" and doesn't contain information about where, then I would
> call it "route name".
> Your #2: I would use route to represent the set of stops and the choice
> of roads, and would expect this to be a pair for the two directions
> (usually; a route could be circular and not bidirectional).  I find it
> funny that GTFS doesn't have this, as the theory of putting databases in
> normal form would lead to representing the set of stops and then having
> sets of times.  However, I can see that this wouldn't quite work.  There
> are train routes near me where some trains skip some of the smaller
> stops.  So here I would expect the "route" to be a set of stops that
> might be made, and the "trip" to sometimes omit some stops.
> I do find "trip" to be pretty close to intuitive, although there is
> ambiguity about whether it is a scheduled trip that repeats on multiple
> days, or an actual single trip that happened.   That is not bothersome
> though.
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