It’s been a great year for Waze. We’ve grown faster and in more places than we ever could have imagined, and we’re constantly in awe of the amazing community of drivers we have and their commitment to fighting traffic, together!
BUT this growth would have been impossible without the hard work of the incredible map editing community, without which Waze (and the map) would be obsolete.
So we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some map editing highlights from 2012, as a precursor for an even better 2013!
Sleek New Map Editor
Plans to overhaul the Waze world map editor began as early as last January, when our attempts to create a more intuitive user interface began. After releasing a revamped version, we published a full video to get new map editors acquainted.
In October, we revealed that our map editing community is growing quite fast, with a 40% month-over-month increase in new editors. The increase was likely attributed to the new and improved map editor, a higher growth rate in drivers using Waze and increased efforts on our part to make map-editing a more user-friendly experience.
In November, the older map editor (affectionately known as the “Cartouche”) was officially retired. The now-official map editor was rolled out in its place, newly designed for new map editors to be able to “jump in” and edit, with features such as “play mode.”
Meetups, Meetups, Meetups Everywhere
Meetups were all the rage, and if there is one thing we love more than our map editors meeting online, it’s when they meet in real life. These gatherings produce great ideas, are a chance for the local/regional communities to summarize their objectives, and give the ordinary folk from Waze HQ a chance to meet the extraordinary map editors they work with in person.
2 ‘superuser’ meetups, one in Paris and one in Palo Alto, set the stage for a meetup-filled year, which included gatherings in:
Czech and Slovak: The community there met first in January, and then again in June, when they launched a DIY bumper-sticker guerrilla campaign. At their last meetup in Bratislava, Waze Co-Founders Ehud Shabtai and Amir Shinar paid a visit and were awed by the great level of engagement and involvement they saw.
Hungary: The Hungarian map editing community produced a spirited Waze musical tribute! If that wasn’t impressive enough, the community there also revealed a telemetry car, used to fine-tune map editing while on the road, during a Budapest meetup in June.
Meetups were also held in The Netherlands, Italy, Brazil, and more.
Finding Cheap Gas and Avoiding Toll Roads
After launching our gas station feature in the United States, we gave editors the ability to add gas stations to the map editor worldwide in July. With the ability to add gas stations in their country, map editors could expedite the release of Waze’s cheap fuel locator in their respective countries.
The initial numbers were quite impressive, with editors adding more than 50,000 gas stations on the map in the first month. Today, thanks to the map editing community, the real-time gas price feature is active in more than 20 countries and counting.
Similarily, after adding the ability to add toll roads to the map editor, map editors marked more than 50,000 toll roads worldwide, expediting the release of the the ‘avoid toll roads’ feature in countries such as Australia, Belgium and Canada.
Solving Map Problems at Record Speed
New data revealed in December showed that map editors are resolving map problems at an astounding pace, with nearly 70% of system-detected map problems solved by the map editing community over a 30-day period and nearly all user-reported map problems resolved within one week.
Map Editing Rockstars
In August, we learned who some of our record-holders in map editing were, with the inaugural “Waze World Records.” Revealed were the top 10 Record Holders in Solving System-Generated Map Problems, The Record Holders in Solving User-Reported Map Problems, and the Wazers That Have Logged The Most Map Edits.
Needless to say, it was a whirlwind year. We’re humbled by this community’s achievements and are so thankful we’ve all come this far. Huge thanks to our amazing map editing community for all their hard work and making Waze all that it is. Cheers!