[Talk-us] Scrubbing route relations

Minh Nguyen mxn at 1ec5.org
Sun Oct 21 13:28:08 BST 2012

On 2012-10-20 4:00 PM, Michal Migurski wrote:
> 	- Normalizing network names for all county routes with the ":CR" infix

I'm not enthusiastic about sticking `:CR` in all the county route 
relations. I favor `US:[state]:[county]`, at least for the relations in 
Ohio, for the same reason we have `US:[state]` rather than 
`US:SR:[state]`. It doesn't look like you touched any Ohio county 
routes, but that's probably because you didn't realize that's what they 
are. :-)

Ohio county route relations' `network`s conform to a simple pattern: 
`US:OH:[ABC]`, where [ABC] is the county's three-letter, all-caps ODOT 
code. Obviously, the codes aren't used as commonly as USPS state 
abbreviations, but many counties use them on signage, and they're quite 
handy for this purpose.

Having the extra `:CR` component might make sense in states like New 
Jersey and California that have consistent, statewide county route 
standards. But in Ohio, most counties that signpost their routes do it 
in different ways, in violation of the state MUTCD. There are so many 
variations that entire websites [1] are devoted to documenting them. 
(And as you'd imagine, some townships have their own unique route 
shields, too.)

You mentioned that using `:CR` makes it possible to "correctly 
interpret" county routes without knowing the county names. I guess that 
depends on what we expect the relations to be used for. To a developer 
generating shields for display on a map, `:CR` would suggest 
standardizing on, say, the blue and gold pentagonal shield, when in fact 
that would be misleading in maybe three-quarters of the state. And I'd 
say the shields are the /only/ interesting thing about Ohio county routes.

By the way, if anyone's interested in rendering these shields, I've 
started a collection of SVG templates at Wikimedia Commons [2]. One 
thing I learned while making these templates is that some counties 
include the township name in their county route shields. Presumably, a 
route that crosses township lines would have more than one shield 
variant. Should we have subrelations with the township name in `modifier`?

[1] http://www.angelfire.com/oh5/countysigns/

Minh Nguyen <mxn at 1ec5.org>
Jabber: mxn at 1ec5.org; Blog: http://notes.1ec5.org/

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