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Introducing the AARoads Wiki

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Scott5114:
Hey everyone,
As I've mentioned here and there on the forum, Wikipedia policies have been gradually tightening more and more as time goes on. This has led to an annoying group of people questioning whether highways are "notable" or not, and thus whether they should be deleted from the site. Although there's been a back and forth, these people seem likely to win the debate in the long term. Of course, Wikipedia's road content is an invaluable resource for our community, and it would be a big loss were it to be destroyed. Thus, Alex has graciously agreed to host this content on a brand-new wiki that's all about roads–the AARoads Wiki!

The team making up the core of the US Roads WikiProject on Wikipedia has moved over to the new wiki and has done a lot of really fantastic work getting everything set up. Right now, the content is mostly identical to what you can find on Wikipedia. Over time, though, this wiki will evolve from being a small part of a bigger encyclopedia, into a roads gazetteer that covers pretty much anything a roadgeek might need as reference. The wiki covers the United States and Canada for the time being, but we're open to expanding to other countries if anyone is interested in writing about them. (And we have the Wikipedia versions of these articles backed up, too, so even if they're deleted from Wikipedia you won't be starting from scratch.) Also, even if something isn't a traditional article, if it's road related (and isn't fictional), we'd like to have it in our Annex section! It's the perfect place for things like a list of the shortest highway in each state, for instance.

One of the really cool features of the new wiki are the interactive maps, which you can pan and zoom. They currently appear on a subset of articles, but we plan to roll them out across the whole site. These maps are based on the OpenStreetMap Americana project (that means they have actual shields!), and use a custom map legend made just for AARoads that is intended to more closely resemble the legends used on traditional American maps, like state DOT maps. (And yes, it includes county lines! Although we don't have the county names working just yet...) We plan to have a big, easily browsable version of this map available soon, for when you just want to explore the world using an easy-to-read, roadgeek-friendly map.

Interested in pitching in? We'd love to have you on board! Like all wikis, this one is a work in progress, so there's plenty to do. There's a banner at the top of the page that will take you to a list of tasks you can get your feet wet with. And if you've been put off by the bureaucracy of editing Wikipedia, don't worry. Our goal is to cut down on the number of rules, to let you focus on writing the best road content you can. If you need help, we have a Discord server full of experienced roadgeeks that will be happy to help you out (or if you just want to talk about Limon or I-238 or whatever, that's cool too).

We hope you'll make the AARoads Wiki your first stop when you just need to know something about roads. And if you have any suggestions or comments, we would love to hear them–this wiki is a part of your community, so we want to do whatever we can to make it as useful as possible to everyone in the hobby. We hope to see you there!

Max Rockatansky:
While I’m kind of busy with my own projects on GN I would encourage anyone wanting to write something for California highways to rip the public documents they need from our page.  I purposely embed hyperlinks and add scans for pretty much everything in the public domain.  The way I see it, reference materials should be easy and free for everyone to use:

https://www.gribblenation.org/p/golden-state-highways-version-30.html?m=1

bulldog1979:

--- Quote from: Max Rockatansky on September 07, 2023, 09:34:46 PM ---While I’m kind of busy with my own projects on GN I would encourage anyone wanting to write something for California highways to rip the public documents they need from our page.  I purposely embed hyperlinks and add scans for pretty much everything in the public domain.  The way I see it, reference materials should be easy and free for everyone to use:

https://www.gribblenation.org/p/golden-state-highways-version-30.html?m=1

--- End quote ---

I've been working on uploading scans of public domain documents to Wikimedia Commons and then transcribing them to Wikisource. Many of the AASHO/AASHTO minutes have been done on there, making them friendlier to read. I've also transcribed various federal highway reports to Wikisource. Those efforts have been warmly welcomed, so that will continue.

Max Rockatansky:

--- Quote from: bulldog1979 on September 07, 2023, 11:55:32 PM ---
--- Quote from: Max Rockatansky on September 07, 2023, 09:34:46 PM ---While I’m kind of busy with my own projects on GN I would encourage anyone wanting to write something for California highways to rip the public documents they need from our page.  I purposely embed hyperlinks and add scans for pretty much everything in the public domain.  The way I see it, reference materials should be easy and free for everyone to use:

https://www.gribblenation.org/p/golden-state-highways-version-30.html?m=1

--- End quote ---

I've been working on uploading scans of public domain documents to Wikimedia Commons and then transcribing them to Wikisource. Many of the AASHO/AASHTO minutes have been done on there, making them friendlier to read. I've also transcribed various federal highway reports to Wikisource. Those efforts have been warmly welcomed, so that will continue.

--- End quote ---

With California specifically it probably has the largest source of state highway magazine publications and other public domain documents.  The California Highway Bulletin ran circa 1912-1916 which was followed by the California Highways & Public Works 1924-67.  Both publications have been scanned on archive.org but they are purely chronological.  David Rumsey has the 1918-2005 state highway map scans and the 1935 Division of Highways county survey maps scanned.

The Arizona Memory Project scanned all the Arizona Highways volumes.  The modern stuff isn’t really road oriented anymore but the early volumes very much were.  Archive.org has a bunch of Florida Highways magazine scans but I haven’t quite deep dived into those like I have with California and Arizona.

Scott5114:
Thanks for the pointers to the reference materials! I'm sure that they'll come in handy. Would you happen to know of anything like that for Nevada? I'm wanting to dive into the history of the road system there (especially US 91, since there's currently not even an article on it, it just redirects to I-15), but I'm not even sure where to start.

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