Contribution Rules and Guidelines

This page covers the basic Contribution Rules and Guidelines which are used if you wish to contribute to this site (and we hope you will).

In a nutshell,

  • You agree not to abuse the rights of other parties and / or copyrights, and
  • In posting any content, you assert you are willing to allow this site to use your materials to develop MAP / SPAT guidance in any way it sees fit, including but not limited to having SAE develop guide documents (J2945/10 and/or J2945/11) from those submissions), and
  • That you have the rights to post those materials.

SAE Copyrighted Content

This effort makes use of content taken from various published standards of the SAE including J2735, and J2945/x.  The SAE maintains the right to such materials and their use here falls under the US fair use doctrine.  This means short excerpts, not the bulk of the document, and used in the context of teaching how something is to be used.   Further suitable Text to be provided, DCK to work with SAE on this. 

It is anticipated that in time much of the content developed here will become part of two SAE documents: J2945/10 Recommended Practices for MAP/SPaT Message Development  and  J2945/11 Recommended Practices for Signal Preemption Message Development

Google Maps

One of the primary reasons this content was developed as a set of open web pages (rather than as a printed paper draft with color images) was the desire to use Google maps to capture various real world roadway details.  Google is understandably protective of their map and image resources and we need to follow their rules in order to use these images. Google also has additional restrictions on the use of its map images in printed documents such as the typical SAE recommended practice.

These rules are available for review at the following links:

The essential take-away details for those wishing to post any images of their favorite intersections are as follows:

  • The Google Map image must include the Attribution line visible at the very bottom with the Google copyright (and other firms who provided the source data).
  • The map itself must not be obscured with artwork of your own.  There are some exceptions to this if you used a Google API toolkit to draw lines / arrow / pinpoints on the final map.  The rules with other tools are less clear.
  • Hint:  This means some of the very early documentation work where the intersection was shown as a highlighted cross with the nearby shopping center parking lots obscured will need to be revised.

In order to support the common production needs of the site we place these additional rules and requests on any Google map content you may post:

Additional Requests for any Google Map content submissions

  1. Please follow a 4×3 framing when you can.
    (That is, a map image which is ~400 pixels across should be ~300 pixels high.)
  2. Send us the map fragment (preferably as a PNG or JPG) and also the URL that created the map image.
    This allows re-creation as the maps get updated  (e.g. this image is of the intersection at the cross streets of 6th and Pine in Rolla, Missouri.)
  3. Let us know (if the supporting content does not) what the map or image is to represent
    (e.g. this shows the use of a “Dog house” style signal head to convey the left turn signals)
  4. In short, make it possible for others to recreate your image when there is a need.

Similar rules are likely to apply to other GIS map sources (e.g. Esri, Bentley, or Global Mapper) and/or products which may also be submitted. Please do not submit GIS data products and/or imagery until you understand what the rule for its use might be on a site like this or in a printed document such as an SAE recommended practice, an information report, or a standard.  Non exclusive rights to most unattributed base map images used on this site are either public domain or are owned by SCSC as a consequence of various GIS tool licenses it holds.

Private Content

Is Solicited, heavily. As the site gets going a bit further, a general style of short articles on common topics will begin to appear.  If you can see yourself writing one of these, please give it a try.  Send a note to: [support[at] for now ] if you have any interest in this effort, and we may make you an editor.

In essence, if you send it in here it will be posted and it might be used by others.  This site will provide attribution for your efforts.  Please be aware that if and when your submission is considered by the SAE DSRC TC there is no agreement that the resulting outcome (if any) will meet with your approval.

On Your Own Pictures and other Images

We actively solicit member photos, drawing, recommendations, advice, and other artifacts that reflect the real world problems you are seeing as you use the MAP-SPAT messages.  Please send such materials in as the opportunity allows.   Field details such as curbs and other lane details are sought for this.   Please use your cell phone as opportunities allow to help us gather a repository of various lane level attributes.  In essence, if you send it in here it might be used by others, but this site and SAE will provide attribution for your efforts.  By doing this you grant a nonexclusive right to use such materials to others.

On Your Own ASN.1 DSRC or MAP / SPAT encoding

Please post such files as you see fit.  Looking at each other detail encoding is a basic step to developing common best practices.  In time, this site may host a repository of such work, but for now just post your files.  It is  recommended that the actual ASN (in whatever encoder you may use (DER, UPER, XML, etc.) and any collateral files present, be placed into a .ZIP or .rar file before being uploaded.

If the provided ASN.1 production does not follow the precise format of the published standard (e.g. it has regional extensions added), then please also provide the ASN.1 specification against which it was built.  We anticipate that a repository of such ASN.1 specifications may be required in order to support exchanging map and spat fragments.

Please be aware that these files will be shared by other outside of this web site.  In essence, if you send it in here it might be used by others.

On Your Own Tools, SW and Derivative works

The right(s) to any software or various tools you create and seek to share with others by way of this site, remain yours.  The right(s) to any graphical images or similar work products you create and seek to share with others by way of this site, remain yours.  This site, nor SAE by way of this site, nor any other party (e.g. FHWA) makes any claims to such work. Please, feel free to show the world how wonderful your new tool is by these means.  We all know the lack of good MAP-SPAT tools is a current impediment to greater deployment.

On Commercial Advertising

To be tolerated within reason. While the primary purpose of this site is not commercial opportunity, some mention of a project and the various parties engaged in the effort to deploy there always contains facts of this nature.

On the Copyright Fair Use Doctrine

The goal of this site is to educate and and inform and to exchange information with other corroborators.  This site was created by those members of the SAE committee who sought to fill a need.  The excerpts of the SAE J2735 and J2945/x and of other key documents (with copyrights owned by other parties respectively) are used within the doctrine of fair use.   These two excerpts seem to sum up a complex topic rather nicely for those that need it:

Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Section 107 of the Copyright Act provides the statutory framework for determining whether something is a fair use and identifies certain types of uses—such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research—as examples of activities that may qualify as fair use.  Section 107 calls for consideration of the following four factors in evaluating a question of fair use:


In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an infringement.


On Copyright and Service marks

All copyrights belong to their respective owners.  Images and text owned by other copyright holders are used here under the guidelines of the Fair Use provisions of United States Copyright Law.  If an owner or alleged owner of a copyright © or a trademark ™  or a registered mark ® is made known to the site, we will append suitable service marks as required on the site content.

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