Targeted Editing – Tailgate Mania

When parking lots become celebration destinations…

Welcome to our Targeted Editing series where today you can cheer on your favorite sports team, or make OpenStreetMap data supreme! (Both take about the same amount of time.)

Here in San Francisco, Super Bowl City is attracting football fans from far and wide. Firing up a barbecue grill in a stadium parking lot as part of a tailgate party is an American pastime. Whether you are here in the Bay Area for the game, or you have plans to attend games at other stadiums this year, you are going to appreciate being able to find the parking areas on a map!

In North America, there are well over 3,000 stadiums in the OpenStreetMap data. Nearly half of them have parking areas nearby, but there are still lots of opportunities to add parking aisles and connect them to the road network. Access points for parking areas add a lot of value, too.

Read on for some basic uses for parking features, and where you can check to see if you can use your local knowlege to add some of these features where they are needed.

How are parking areas, parking aisles, and access points used?

  1. Help with search. Finding parking is often a big part of trip planning.

  2. Help with routing. While your final destination may be a point of interest, you are likely driving to that location’s associated parking area. When parking areas also have an access point, it can be a great place to set as a destination because drivers know what to do once they arrive at a parking lot. In the absence of access points, parking aisles connected to the road network can be used for similar purposes.

  3. Help with map display. Parking lots are valuable features that drivers rely on, and parking aisles look beautiful on a map. They provide helpful visual cues that are part of the wayfinding process.

We are missing some parking features here!

Check out this table of some metro areas that have hosted Super Bowl games over the years:

Sort the columns by clicking the headers. The count of stadiums includes all stadiums greater than 2,000 square meters so we can expand our evaluation beyond football, and the stadiums are checked for parking areas and parking aisles within 100 meters.

Most of the stadiums in the Florida cities had parking areas nearby! The numbers start to drop off a bit when we start checking for parking aisles. It may seem like the OpenStreetMap data for parking areas and parking aisles near stadiums is lacking quite a bit in some important markets, but there is more to consider. The search tolerance of 100 meters will be too small in some areas. Additionally, the lack of parking aisles in parking areas tagged as parking garages is not uncommon.

The data comes from our metro extracts and some of the extracts are very large. For instance, the metro extract for Detroit extends north beyond Flint, and west beyond Ann Arbor! The Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay metro extracts are equally enormous. Bounding boxes can be used to trim down the analysis, but when so many stadiums are just outside of their namesake city limits, larger areas are a welcome option.

How you can help improve stadium parking:

Here is a map highlighting stadiums. Hover over one of the bright blue highlighted stadium icons or a parking area to bring up an info bubble with links to editing tools that can be used to add features. We have made the existing parking areas a light purple on the map so it is easier to see where parking aisles might be missing. Remember, some of the parking areas might be parking structures.

This map is interactive! Open full screen ➹
(While you pan and zoom to your neighborhood, note that
parking areas only show up once you zoom in to level 15.)

See the wiki pages for amenity=parking, service=parking_aisle, oneway, and access=customers.

  • oneway=yes can be added to parking aisles when the flow of traffic is restricted to one direction. The direction will be the direction in which the parking aisle is digitized.

  • For existing parking aisles, if the direction is incorrect, use the “reverse way” tool in iD to reverse the direction of the line to match the flow of oneway traffic. This may also require adding additional nodes to the way to ensure that tags are applied to the appropriate segments.

  • Make sure parking aisles are connected to the road network in the appropriate locations. To be connected, two roads (or a road and a parking aisle) must share a node.

  • If you know where the parking entrance is located, add a node at that location, make sure it is also connected to the road network, and tag it with access=customers.

  • Last but not least, including your sources with the source key is incredibly helpful. This includes the imagery you used to trace features, and any authoritative websites as long as they allow their use for this purpose.

  • Not familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area? Search or pan over to your home town to contribute your local knowledge to the map. You will see your changes right away in OpenStreetMap. You will also be able to see them in all versions of the Mapzen Vector Tiles within an hour, including the map right here on this page!

Need instructions on how to edit with iD? Here are some links to outstanding tutorials from LearnOSM, the OpenStreetMap wiki, and the United States Department of State’s Humanitarian Information Unit:

Are you a mapping wiz and interested in a more advanced editor? Try out JOSM with excellent documentation from Mapbox.

Thanks, and please check out all the posts in the Targeted Editing series!