Area Manager: 101
Area Managers - the complete how to guide
From the Waze Area_Manager_101.doc
Note: the information below is in the process of being updated to reflect the current Waze Map Editor interface. The principals are the same though.
Introduction and Thank You
Thank you for becoming a Waze Area Manager. Because of people just like you, Waze will only get better and better. You are a critical success factor for Waze. We really appreciate your help.
Please read all the information in this wiki Area Manager FAQ section, view the videos, add your questions and comments to the Forum as well. If you cannot find your answers there, feel free to send private messages to other registered area or country managers in your city by using the private message system or use the Support system.
But, we have one big request for you. Please be patient. Rome wasn’t built, or mapped, in a day. It will take time to get this done. Time to build the maps, detect the errors, fix the errors and also build the critical mass of wazers so that real time reporting from the highways provides important early warning data.
As an area manager, we know it will sometimes be frustrating for you, and we ask you also be patient with us. At times, it may take a few days to see your map corrections in the cell phone client, but they will appear. So keep making those corrections. We are growing fast, struggling with the growth, but we are looking forward to a bright future, all thanks to you.
P.S. You do not have to be an area manager to update the map, but to go beyond the bounds of your current driven area, being an area manager is very helpful. Review the information on becoming an area manager to learn more.
P.P.S. Be sure to check out our new 2 hour map editing webinars, too.
What is an update request?
This is the main tool to interact with your community! Update requests are a direct tool to mediate between wazers in your area and you. This enables each wazer to report map errors and updates without having to figure out how to solve them, which is where you can come in as the area manager. Anyone can report map problems, either from the livemap or directly from the phone client. For most of them it's click 'n go, for you these are precious pieces of data.
Update requests are requests that the waze users added to the live map or from the client application. This enables the user to report problems such as: incorrect road name, missing street, turn not allowed, and any other map issues. Users have the option to also add a text description, but this is not mandatory when submitting an update request.
When an update request has been sent, it will be shown on the edit map as a balloon, where each color represents a different status. Detailed information on managing Update Requests is covered here.
The Area Manager's Role in Update Requests
The wazers use this tool to inform you about problems in the map of your area. As an area manager you are the one who has permissions and knowledge to add or change the information in the map.
The Update Requests tool allows the community to let you know about these problems and therefore you can keep track of their requests. While driving, the wazers will sometimes encounter a problem like a turn that should be restricted, wrong street name and direction etc. Because they do not have the permissions to edit and fix the map, or they are not familiar with the map editor interface yet, they will turn to you.
They will open the update request option while driving or when they will visit the site. Sometimes they will add information regarding this problem, sometimes they will not. When you go over the update requests make sure you read and understand what the user meant when he opened the request. Sometimes it will not be clear what the user meant to say, and sometimes there won't be enough information to solve the problem. If you can't understand what the user meant, select the option "not identified" with the hope the user can report more information next time.
What is the best way to track my area update requests?
You have two ways to keep track of the update requests in your area: One is to have a feed to your RSS reader, such as the Google reader - click here to find the Waze RSS feed of the Update Requests in your area. The other way is to scroll the map of your area to see if there are any new or unresolved requests.
Community - the Forum
This Forum tool helps you stay in touch with your community. The other wazers can share their knowledge and their acquaintance with your city to help you with mapping and developing the map in your area. The bigger the area you have under your management, the more you will need the other wazers to help you.
It is important to work with other wazers your community – they are the ones who best know the area they live in, and like you, they will benefit from the improvement of the map. You can read about wazers' requests, help them map and solve problems, and even assign wazers to map different parts of your area.
How to use the Forum?
First of all, check the Forum in the waze site – click on the community label and then click on the “go to forums” option.
- check the “country (languages) forums”.
- Find your relevant country.
- You can add a new topic (it is recommended to add a new topic with your region or city's name in order to provide a forum which serves you and your community. (for example: UK forum – London forum – Eastend forum).
I can't find any relevant forum for my region / country, what should I do?
Have no worries. Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a request to add a new country, language or region and we will add the topic to the forum.
I have a forum of my area. What now?
Good question! Now your community has a place to discuss with each other, and let you know about problems they have and ask for your assistance and guidance. If you've noticed other wazers are editing roads in / around your area, invite them with a Private Message (PM) to come join your forum and discuss further mapping there, so it will be available for any other wazers who join in the future.
Is there a simple way to keep track of the forum?
Of course! you can now subscribe for specific forums that interest you, or remain with the current feed that holds all the posts on the forum. To subscribe to a specific feed, you will need the forum id which appears as part of the URL when you open the forum.
For example, the MAP forum is #8 as seen from its URL: viewforum.php?f=8 Subscribing to a forum will also subscribe you to all of its sub-forums.
In order to get the RSS for the MAP forum only, use this url:http://www.waze.com/WAS/forum_feeds?ids=8
To add another forum, for example, the Norwegian forum (id = 54) just add the number following a comma (no spaces): http://www.waze.com/WAS/forum_feeds?ids=8,54
By default, the feed will contain the last 10 posts, but you can extend up to 100 posts by adding &limit=xxx to the end of the RSS feed URL: http://www.waze.com/WAS/forum_feeds?ids=8,54&limit=100
What should I do with this forum feed?
You will need to Subscribe to a site that can provide you a way to gather all the feeds from the forums you have chosen. There are a number of sites that provide this service, such as netvibes.com, igoogle, bing etc.
System generated map problem alerts
The Waze navigation system is constantly monitoring the GPS signals from the client apps and matching it to what it has in the maps. When Wazers consistently make turns that are not allowed in the map or they drive on roads that are not present, the system will generate a problem report that can be seen when you enable the Problem layer.
They appear on the map like the user reported problems, but these balloons do not have the smiley face attached to them.
If there is a major problem that is left unsolved, waze will not be able to route in the specific area where the problem exists. It is vital, as an area manager, to check the map in your area and see whether these problems can affect the navigation of users in your community and if so, fix them.
This is the crown jewel
As an area manager you have permissions not only to create new roads according to your routes, but create roads according to the GPS points made by any other wazer in your area.
When mapping a map from scratch, meaning that there are hardly any roads recorded by users, it is your duty to make the map alive by mapping the area yourself.
Sounds great! Where do I start?
Work your way by the importance of the roads. Start mapping the freeways, ramps, major and minor highways and then move to the main streets etc. However if you are in an area that already has very well established roads, be careful not to change what is already there simply because you "think" it is wrong.
If you are in a new area with no prior area manager, start from the highways that connect the cities to enable basic navigation around the city and its surroundings. Then create ramps, then major roads in the city itself, in order to make the navigation simple and quick. When you're done mapping the main roads create the smaller streets.
As soon as the main grid is up and live, it'll be easy for other wazers to join in. As more wazers navigate in your area, there will be more data, helping you build the map faster and easier. The better the map is, the more users will join you by mapping their own streets.
Anything tricky about this map editing stuff?
Unfortunately, yes. What you see, is not always what your get - Turn restrictions and connectivity
As a new Area Manager, before you go off and start making lots of changes to your map area, let's stop a minute and be sure you understand how to truly 'see' what waze sees in your map. New area managers often think they just need to open the roads by setting the direction and modify a road segments geometry to match the aerial map. Sometimes that is enough but to really get your map right, you need to use some viewing tools to look deeper.
Be sure to be completely familiar with all the content of these key guides:
Area managers in the same city can use our wiki to collaborate and divide the work. The To Do lists page can be edited so you and other area managers can mark the Highways/Roads you want to fix. Scroll down to see the list of cities.
If your city isn't listed, you can add it by copying a city line in the wiki page source code. Sounds scary but it's easy. Other Area Manager's have already started defining what needs to be 'done' to get a highway right. Here's an example of an active to-do list for Minneapolis.
OK, but how do we discover each other and form a team?
Good question. You can start by turning on the Area Managers Layer in the Layers panel in Waze Map Editor and see usernames of the current area managers in your town. Also, you can ask Wazers in your area with the largest points to join you. Check the bottom toolbar in Waze on your phone. Tap the arrowhead. Tap scoreboard. You'll see wazers in your town by point totals, with highest on top.
To make contact, log into the forum and send them a private message. Often regular users don't know how to sign up by sending an email to email@example.com with their Waze username, their email address, and a Permalink of the area they want to fix. But, please don't be pushy. Some wazers just need to cruise.