Author Topic: usaak (Alaska State Highways)  (Read 1188 times)

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Online oscar

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usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« on: December 03, 2016, 07:51:01 pm »
This topic was started in our temporary home on the AARoads forum, when usaak was an in-development system (it now is in preview). The thread there is http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=16714.0 That includes several of my posts with background on the draft system, and si404's peer review of my initial draft.

After I've finished another draft completely working in Si's comments (my life got pretty busy since then with other projects), and also checking in with the state DOT about a possible route truncation, I'll put the system out for a second round of peer review, before activation. There are some unusual issues that could use additional input from the team.

Please post any comments, etc. here, rather than on the Travel Mapping board on the AARoads forum (we are trying not to add new material there, now that we have our own forum).
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 06:10:10 am by oscar »

Online yakra

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 01:45:19 pm »
Quote
Quote
I can have a look at the Alaska shapefiles you linked. If their X,Y coords are stored as floating-point long,lat pairs, then I can use GISplunge, or get coords from QGIS. If not, then I can still get coords from QGIS. Probably. It's a wee bit difficult, but can be done.

Thanks. I'm not sure I need coordinates for any routes, I mentioned the shapefiles mainly as an alternate online form of documentation for what I already have based on largely offline resources. The AK 6 part of the Steese Highway is where my mapping is sketchiest, since I clinched it in 1994 and didn't feel like going back there armed with a GPS receiver in 2012 (by that point, I was way behind schedule on what turned into a two-and-a-half-month road trip). Ditto the McCarthy Road part of AK 10, which I drove but didn't use my GPS receiver east of Chitina. So if you want to try out an Alaska shapefile or two, I suggest those.

Alaska DOT&PF normally organizes its highway data by named highway (such as Steese Highway) and 6-digit internal inventory number (152000 for the Steese, 198000 for the Edgerton Hwy/McCarthy Rd.), rather than by posted route number, so a data search for the posted number will likely get you nowhere.

Good news:
I downloaded the shapefiles you linked in this post, and set up a QGIS project enabling on-the-fly Coordinate Reference System transformation -- meaning, I can grab coords from QGIS.

Bad news:
The coordinate data are not stored as floating-point, so GISplunge is useless with these shapefiles.

Good news:
Again, I can still grab coords from QGIS, at least. Just position the mouse pointer, copy the Long/Lat format from the Coordinate box, and paste.
The new QGIS 2.8 is much, MUCH faster than previous versions, and getting point coords from QGIS itself is no longer such a ponderous chore.

Bad news:
No point of reference a lot of the time. Looks like just the state roads are included. So if CDS_NUM 152035 (AK6 FaiCrkRd) is included, OK, line up the mouse pointer and away we go. For local roads not included in the shapefiles, or for shaping points, bad luck.

Rambling:
I've thought about the concept of writing a utility to convert shapefiles from various CRS/projections to long/lat format, or adding functionality to make such conversions to GISplunge. Only thought about it, though. The steep initial learning curve involved has put me off the task; I'm regarding it as more time & effort than it's worth. (That, and writing code to handle each projection -- Mercator, Transverse Mercator, Polyconic, Fuller/Dymaxion (LOLJK), etc. etc. etc. -- how far down does that rabbit hole go?) GISplunge in Canada, with the GeoBase files, is good enough for me.
A faster and simpler solution might be to adapt my old WPT2SHP code, and write a util to make point shapefiles out of WPTs, which could then be loaded into QGIS. From there, I could eyeball the distance to the nearest point on the roadway arc shapes, position the mouse pointer, and yadda yadda. This would provide good results for shaping points, but local road junctions could still end up being off by a bit.
I'm not too keen on doing this either though; first I would want to fix GISplunge's dislike for missing terminal linefeeds, as that code applies here. And that's a very low priority for me.
OK, so this may not all be terribly relevant to usaak... :)

Edit: It does look like OSM's mapping has improved considerably along the Steese Highway (I didn't look at McCarthy Road), so it looks like you could do another pass thru & use OSM to improve point locations if you wanted.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 01:48:25 pm by yakra »

Offline bhemphill

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2016, 12:37:21 am »
On AK2, waypoint 145 (SuzAve) doesn't seem to intersect with a road currently.  Would a point at the pipeline overlook be prudent with as many people as only go that far north on the highway?  The shape point at 146 could probably be moved to accomplish the goal without adding an actual point.

Online yakra

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 02:28:25 pm »
No need to write my own utility; I can just use QGIS to save a layer in floating-point format.
With a couple other recent tweaks to the GISplunge code, ripping records from Alaska is now possible.
In case you're interested: https://github.com/yakra/HighwayData/tree/SegDump/hwy_data/AK/SegDump
I can produce more if you'd like.
Plenty of points here; you can load it up in WPTedit, switch to OSM, Google, satellite, or whatever view, and cherry-pick points to your heart's content.
The only real drawback is too much of a good thing -- with 29869 waypoints in one file & 18659 in the other, it can be a bit much for WPTedit to handle at once. You may want to load in a few hundred or thousand points at a time, whatever your computer can handle.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 02:48:55 pm by yakra »

Online oscar

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2017, 08:13:12 pm »
I looked at the files you cranked out, in a web browser and a text editor. I have no clue on how to use them, and in particular I didn't see anything resembling coordinates. What am I missing?

I'm not sure I'll need to use those coordinates, even though they're for the two routes with the worst mapping where I didn't supplement that with handheld GPS reads (AK 6, and AK 10 east of Chitina), since I think I was able to draft adequate route files with what was available from Mapnik.

When I return to usaak, to incorporate the peer review already completed and work in other updates, I might have some specific coordinate/route segment requests. That will probably happen early in the new year, once I'm finished getting usaca ready for peer review. I'm down to about three dozen usaca routes in need of updates, though some of the remaining urban routes may have issues about what to do with relinquishments.

Online yakra

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2017, 01:13:08 pm »
The coordinates are definitely there, openstreetmap URLs as always. They might just be harder to make out amidst all the perfectly-justified text and noisy, auto-generated numeric waypoint "labels".

Not going to ask that you use this data, by any means. I had tried unsuccessfully to extract it back in February. After a few modifications to GISplunge over the last few days, it finally worked. I am terribly pleased with myself, and have been spamming up the internet accordingly. :D

Online oscar

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 09:34:58 pm »
I've been updating usaak's route files, and those for the concurrent unsigned Interstate routes which are already active. In the process, I'm also addressing si404's comments long ago on the first draft, which were posted long ago in our temporary home on the aaroads forum before we set up this forum. My updates are completed and online, except for two long routes (AK 1, and I-A1) I'm still working on.

One issue not raised previously is for a file I've already updated, ak.ak010cor (the isolated Cordova segment of AK 10). Part of the route (east of a point marked in the route file as TempEnd) has been cut off to most vehicle traffic since a pair of bridge failures in the Copper River delta in 2011, much to the consternation of Cordova officials since the highway served the historic "Million Dollar Bridge", a popular tourist attraction which I visited twice pre-closures. Soon thereafter the state DOT worked up some plans to reopen the river crossings, but decided not to proceed at that time due to lack of funds. Funding availability is not imminent, and might depend on increases in oil prices and/or production on the North Slope to refill the state's coffers.

The closures are indefinite, but not necessarily permanent. As of August 2015 (long after the decision to indefinitely postpone bridge repairs), the DOT was still counting the entire route in its mileage totals for the state highway system, rather than just the miles between Cordova and the closed bridges. Moreover, much of the highway east of the closures is still being used for vehicle traffic. In particular, a tour operator is using a jetboat to ferry travelers around the closed bridges, then using a van parked on the other side of the river to take them to and from the Million Dollar Bridge.

I would not truncate AK 10 (Cordova), especially with all the trouble I went through to clinch it (including one attempted visit to Cordova foiled by a jet engine failure). We handled a bridge demolition in the middle of IN 912 in Gary, Indiana differently, but I think that proved in retrospect to have been overly hasty. At the time CHM's webmaster decided to split the route, it looked like that bridge closure was permanent. But several years later that state's DOT started construction on a new bridge to reconnect the IN 912 segments.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 08:28:22 am by oscar »

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 11:19:54 am »
While procrastinating on Christmas shopping (but at least doing so in a productive manner), I've finished my updating of the usaak route files, as well as the concurrent Interstate route files. That included recentering and other point moves where Mapnik improved its mapping of some routes; some renames of points not known to be in use (maddening inconsistency among online maps, especially on AK 1 in the Kenai Peninsula south of Soldotna); streamlining point removals; and removing unused alt labels in the Interstate files.

There are no Datacheck errors except for unavoidable visible distance and one sharp angle error, which I'll mark as FPs before activation. There also are no remaining NMPs in Alaska, except those between ParkRd (usanp route in Denali National Park) and AK 3/I-A4, which I'll fix tonight with a tweak to the ParkRd route file. Otherwise, I think all the route files are in synch with each other and with connecting routes in Canada.

si404 did a peer review some time ago. However, I think the system would benefit from at least a brief second look before activation. In particular, I would welcome comments on whether to truncate AK 10's Cordova segment, in light of the long-term bridge closures discussed in the preceding post; keeping two unsigned segments of otherwise signed routes (as explained in the thread on TM's temporary forum on the AARoads forum, before we set up this forum); and other notes in that thread.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 05:00:03 am by oscar »

Online yakra

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 02:11:37 pm »
Quote
except for unavoidable visible distance and one sharp angle error, which I'll mark as FPs before activation
I see that you said "FPs", plural -- just making sure you know that only the sharp angle needs to be flagged; visible distance errors are no longer reported for active systems.

Offline CharlotteAllisonCDTG

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 04:07:25 pm »
Should the Interstate highways (A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4) be included, since they are unsigned?  Most other unsigned highways in this "Travel Mapping" project are not included.  This would bleed over to the unsigned Puerto Rico ones (PR-1, PR-2, and PR-3), too.

Offline Jim

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 04:57:37 pm »
Should the Interstate highways (A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4) be included, since they are unsigned?  Most other unsigned highways in this "Travel Mapping" project are not included.  This would bleed over to the unsigned Puerto Rico ones (PR-1, PR-2, and PR-3), too.

For better or for worse, TM's predecessor project CHM specifically included unsigned routes for the U.S. Interstates only.  Another example is Maryland's unsigned I-595.  TM adopted and has stuck with that rule.

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 08:39:23 pm »
Thank you for clearing that up.  I'm a U.S. Roads editor on Wikipedia, and we have articles on unsigned highways there, but here, most unsigned highways are not included.  That's a good rule, including Interstate highways.  What about U.S. highways?

Online yakra

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2017, 02:23:40 am »
TM's predecessor project CHM specifically included unsigned routes for the U.S. Interstates only.
Quebec Autoroutes too, yes?

What about U.S. highways?
This was less cut & dry in the early days, but we've moved toward excluding unsigned ones.
For example, there was originally a US 34 Business (Glenwood, IA).
IIRC, it's still in the AASHTO route logs; Iowa never put in an application to remove it.
Nonetheless; it's not signed, and hung around a while before eventually getting deleted.

Online oscar

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2017, 04:54:48 am »
TM's predecessor project CHM specifically included unsigned routes for the U.S. Interstates only.
Quebec Autoroutes too, yes?

All of Quebec's Autoroutes are signed. One supposed three-digit Autoroute west of Montreal was left in CHM's original Quebec Freeways system, even though it was unsigned. We later determined that the highway officially wasn't an Autoroute at all, so we removed it from that system. It is signed as a regular provincial route, and recently added back to our Highway Browser on a "preview" basis as part of the newly-drafted Quebec provincial highways system.

What about U.S. highways?
This was less cut & dry in the early days, but we've moved toward excluding unsigned ones.
For example, there was originally a US 34 Business (Glenwood, IA).
IIRC, it's still in the AASHTO route logs; Iowa never put in an application to remove it.
Nonetheless; it's not signed, and hung around a while before eventually getting deleted.

Business U.S. (and Interstate) routes are a different animal than the mainline routes. They sometimes are quietly decommissioned once the affected communities have gotten over being bypassed by a new freeway, without any official notice (even to AASHTO) other than the removal of their business route signage. In states with sloppy record-keeping of their active business routes, sometimes signage is the only indication, other than a stale AASHTO listing, that the route still officially exists.

I'm not sure there are any unsigned mainline U.S. routes, but certainly there have been unsigned U.S. and Interstate business routes, which we normally remove even if they're still technically on AASHTO's books.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 01:53:42 pm by oscar »

Offline mapmikey

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Re: usaak (Alaska State Highways)
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 08:28:00 pm »

I'm not sure there are any unsigned mainline U.S. routes, but certainly there have been unsigned U.S. and Interstate business routes, which we normally remove even if they're still technically on AASHTO's books.

I assume you mean US routes non-concurrent with interstates in places that don't post concurrencies well or at all....

US 163 had a long unsigned portion on paper until relatively recently.

Virginia has US routes whose posting stops before their official endpoint - US 58, (I would argue) US 60, US 250, (likely) US 258.  South Carolina has this with US 52 (US 78 is finally posted at its endpoint though) and maybe US 21 now for quite a distance.  Tennessee does this with US 76 and US 127 and since Tennessee does post concurrencies it could be argued US 74 fits here as well.  North Carolina may have US 74's east end unsigned now for a distance, in addition to US 70.
Clinched:
I: 4 12 16 17 20 26 27 30 59 64 66 68 72 73 ew74 77 78 79 82 83 ew84 85 ew86 e88 97 99
US: 4 6N 9W 11E 11W 13 15 19W 21 44 46 48 58 72 92 113 117 123 130 158 163 176 178 192 206 209 211 219 220 221 222 258 264 276 290 311 319 322 340 360 378 401 ew422 501 521 522 601 701
PriSystems: VA, DE