Earlier this month, a group of new and veteran map editors convened in Palo Alto to do what they do best — discuss how to create the best and most efficient community mapping initiative possible.
In attendance were special guests from Waze HQ: Co-Founder Ehud Shabtai and Community, Support and Product team members Shirli, Jonathan and Ohad.
The agenda featured wide-ranging talks that were mostly technical in nature. Everything from modifications to gas stations, turn restrictions, intersections, service roads and more map editor features and tweaks were discussed.
Highlights included a talk by CEO Noam Bardin and presentations by top map editors ‘skbun,’ ‘bgodette’ and ‘AndyPoms.’
We’ve told you all about the latest version of our map editor, now we want to open your eyes to some useful map editing tools.
When looking for the best tools to enhance map editing, look no further than the resources developed by members of the Waze map editing community itself. The resourceful bunch have coded and patched a crop of add-ons that make map editing on the world map editor a far more seamless experience.
Just last month, US-based editor mike-bronner released a Safari extension, a web toolbar, for the Waze map editor. The toolbar optimizes map editing by allowing editors to add segments, make edits, zoom, logout and as well as make other modifications to the map.
It also incorporates a tool developed by UK editor timbones (“WME Color Highlights”), which allows users to adds colors to road segments to show their status, and to landmarks to show their type. Highlighting segments can be useful to map editors aiming to see locked and un-named roads. (Forum)
By increasing the ease of map editing, these add-ons, and others, are making editing a quicker and more enjoyable activity.
Other community plugins, extensions and tools include:
The simplified “original” tool for map-editing, this extension provides a table documenting the country, state, city and street names present in each screen you edit.
Street to River, a script designed to hep to easily create river and railroad landmarks in the WME. If you’re using Firefox, you’ll need the Greasemonkey add-on. (Forum)
The Livemap Navigationaddon, which allows for a a list of navigation instructions to be shown on the left-hand side while searching for directions via the Waze Livemap. This is particularly useful in helping editors debug routes, although it is useful to drivers as well. It also requires the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox users. (Forum)
Are there any other add-ons you use, or would like to see developed, while map editing?
In the weeks since we enabled the ability to mark toll roads in the Waze Map Editor, the map editing community has already added more than 50,000 road segments detailing toll roads across the world. As a result, the ‘avoid toll roads’ feature has already been released in countries such as Australia, Belgium and Canada and will soon be available in many others.
Leading the local efforts to map toll roads are the United States, with 8,500 segments added and Italy, a close number two with 8,400 segments added.
Following the two nations are Spain with 5,500 segments, France with 5,100 and Portugal with 3,200 toll roads recorded.
Once we have 90% coverage of the toll-road data in a specific country – we will enable the ‘avoid toll-roads’ feature in the app for that specific country.
An upcoming version of Waze will let you both avoid toll roads as well as display in “alternate routes” whether a route will include a toll road or not. Future versions will allow for more customizable preferences for when to take you via a toll road or not.
So far, more than 40,400 miles of toll roads (65,000 kilometers) have been mapped by the Waze map editing community worldwide.
The power of a community app like Waze means its up to our brilliant map editing community to help chart out where these toll roads are: country-by-country, city-by-city, town-by-town.
Below you can see the list where the feature is currently available, with the United States joining the ranks this week.
If your country’s not on the list, and you want to be able to avoid toll-roads, do your part and add a toll-road segment on the Waze Map Editor.
Countries With the Avoid Toll Roads Feature
Toll Road Segments Added By Country
United States – 8500
Italy – 8400
Spain – 5410
France – 5100
Portugal – 3120
Japan – 3020
Austria – 1385
Czech Republic – 1155
Slovakia – 1010
Mexico – 1000
Chile – 1000
Hungary – 840
China – 740
Thailand – 645
Malaysia – 500
Philippines – 480
Brazil – 440
Canada – 375
Poland – 230
South Africa – 230
Croatia – 205
Serbia – 125
Luckily for us, our users love reporting problems. Missing turns, new roads, incorrect junctions — our maps keep improving because our community of drivers report these map issues in the app as they see them.
But reporting the issue is only half the challenge. On the mapping side, our community of map editors are working steadily to resolve these user-reported problems with speed and accuracy.
In this edition of the Waze World Records, we’re taking a look at the 10 map editors that hold the records in solving the most user-reported map problems.
Read more about the top 3 editors in this category below.
The Record Holder
Our current undisputed record holder, Dave (aka mapcat) has solved more than 30,000 user-reported issues in our map editor. He also happens to be our record holder for all-time map edits. Learn more about Dave in our previous post here.
The Runner Up
Our number 2 in this category, Mark (aka HavanaDay), has been a Waze map editor since September 2010.
An accountant living in the Charlotte, North Carolina region, Mark is an area manager. He was drawn to editing from his of love problem solving. For Mark, solving user-reported problems (or ‘update requests’) is akin to giving “a virtual pat on the back” to the millions of users doing their part.
On Why He Started Editing:
“Always loved GPS technology. Garmin/Navteq got very frustrating when you drove mainly the same routes on a consistent basis and the same errors are there. With Waze I am able to change that aspect of it in a timely manner. I also love solving problems. I think a good editor is a problem solver.”
The Third Place Winner
Andreas West (aka a4xrbj1), comes in third – but only by a little over a hundred errors! The Kuala Lumpur native began editing in August, 2010. West, a Senior VP at a telecom provider, is a country manager that does his editing from home. He’s rallied the Malaysia community of mappers, opening a special Facebook page in order to expedite editing tasks such as unlocking roads.
On Why He Started Editing:
“Couldn’t find my street at all in Kuala Lumpur, not even my district. I didn’t really understand the concept of Waze back then, and like so many others, was wondering why the map wasn’t complete. Then I started reading more about it and figured out it was up to guys like me to build the map. It actually turned out to be relaxing for my stressful day-to-day job, since then I edit to calm down.”
Want to try your hand at map-editing? Get started after watching this clip:
The momentum is rising! More than 1,300 gas stations have been added to our maps in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of user-generated gas stations to nearly 10,000. The number of gas stations added has actually more-than-doubled since we released our stats last week.
Adding gas stations in our map editor has gotten even easier, with the availability of gas station brands in several countries added to the editor yesterday.
The more gas stations editors add, the faster the feature will be made available in each country. So keep adding gas stations, and if you have brand lists or other relevant data – send them on over!