Map Editing Quick-start Guide Discussion View history

This article includes helpful tips on editing the maps. Be sure to review all the points in the article.

Logging in

Be sure to select the appropriate server based on the part of the world you are editing. For the USA (and Canada) select the North America only setting from the setting tab on the left of the screen. The URL in the browser should look similar to:

If prompted to login, use the same username and password as you do on the Waze client app and the rest of the Waze website.

Common functions

All of the following sections use terms that are defined in the glossary for your clarification.


Show and hide the various layers (visual overlays) on the map by clicking on the icon at the top right side of the displayed map.

For more details on the available layers, see the map editor interface and control section on layers.

Creating a road

  1. Hover the mouse over the button in the toolbar at the top of the page and click Road.
  2. Click the mouse on the map at the point where you want to start the road segment.
  3. Move the mouse cursor along the path of the road and click the mouse to add a geometry node for each point that changes direction along the road.
  4. When finished, double-click (or shift-click) the last point to end the segment.
  • Pressing ESC will abort the road segment creation.
  • Be sure the road or roundabout actually exists before creating it.
  • Each segment that is added must minimally have the Country, State, City, and Street information added to it. A segment which is missing any one of these will be outlined in red to show it is unfinished. If there is no City and/or Street then the "None" box(es) must be selected

For more detail on creating road segments, see Creating and editing road segments.

Removing a road

  1. Click on a segment with the mouse
  2. Click the Trash Can icon in the toolbar or hit the Delete key on the keyboard

You can select and delete multiple segments at one time, but the keyboard Delete key will not work for that. You have to use the Trash Can icon and then confirm you want to delete those segments.

Connecting roads

When drawing new segments, or moving segments around, the editor will auto-junction roads.

  1. For new roads, if you start and/or end the drawing on an existing segment, a junction is created
  2. For existing roads, if you move the end of a segment onto an existing segment, a junction is created
  3. If you move a junction to an existing segment, that junction is now part of that segment and any roads connected to that segment previously are all now joined together

Be sure to check the turn restrictions for your newly created junctions.

Deleting a junction

A junction is a small white circle with a black outline, which connects two or more segments. Junctions with only two segments might seem unnecessary but may actually have a purpose. Before deleting any two-segment junction be sure the junction is not present for one of these reasons:

If you are certain the junction is not fulfilling one of the above purposes, then you can remove it in one of two ways:

  1. Click on the junction, and it will change to a blue dot with a white outline; then click the trash can icon, or use keyboard shortcut Delete or Del key (not backspace). This converts the junction into a geometry node and merges the two segments. Only two segments must be connected at a junction before you can delete it.
  2. Select segments on either side of the junction, and click the Bridge icon which appears over the junction. Note that this will also increase the level of the segments by 1, so this method is best used only when replacing an inadvertent junction with an overpass.

Remember that all elements of the road name, city, state (where applicable) and country must match for either of these two options to work.

You will also find additional information related specifically to Overpasses, Underpasses and Bridges in that section.

Loop roads

When drawing a road which connects to the same segment at both ends, be sure to check that there are three segments in the loop you are creating. To create the proper loop:

  1. Draw your road starting from one side of the loop
  2. Follow the road to an intuitive junction point
  3. Draw a new segment starting at the finish point of the first
  4. Connect the second segment to the finish point of the original road segment
  5. Count the segments in your loop, you need a minimum of three.

Additional Note: When a segment is drawn, it cannot create two nodes on the same segment at the same time. The 'A' end of the segment will appear to be connected to the segment, but it will not be connected, and this node will need to be dragged over to the existing segment to be connected, which will cut it again. A way around this is to draw the road as two successive segments. An example of this is shown to the right.

For more information on this topic see the article Loops in the Junction Style Guide.

Junction arrows

Note: Previously, "Junction Arrows" were called Turn Restrictions, abbreviated by TRs. However, the term has been replaced because of the disambiguation process.

See the Partial restrictions page for details of how to set up time-based turn or time-based segment restrictions.

Helpful turn restriction tips are covered below.

Be sure to review the information on soft and hard turn restrictions before reviewing the information below.

Standard turns

Set by selecting a segment which will allow you to see the connectivity arrows and modify these allowed turns at each end of the segment.

In General:

  • A green arrow means Allowed
  • A yellow arrow with a clock means scheduled or vehicle-type based
  • A red arrow with the circle-slash icon means Restricted
  • Clicking an arrow toggles between Allowed and Restricted (or, if partial restrictions are in effect, between Partial and Full Restricted). Each arrow must be set correctly for Waze to route correctly.
The slashed-circle icon for Restricted and clock icon for Partial turn restrictions were put in place to allow editors who have various forms of color blindness to be able to differentiate between the three different types of turn arrows.

Turn related icons
Icon Description
A green arrow indicates that travel is allowed from the selected segment in the direction of the arrow.
When you hover the mouse over an allowed turn arrow, a small clock icon appears, which, when clicked on, allows you to set scheduled turn restrictions and vehicle type restrictions (collectively, "partial restrictions").
A red arrow with the slashed-circle icon indicates that travel is not allowed (is restricted) from the selected segment in the direction of the arrow.
A yellow arrow with a clock icon indicates the presence of scheduled (time-based) turn restrictions or vehicle-type based restrictions.
When you hover the mouse over a yellow arrow, a 2nd small clock icon appears bordered in blue, which, when clicked on, allows you to modify the turn's partial restrictions.
The Purple question mark shows that all the turns at that end of the segment have not been locked (confirmed) by an editor. Click any turn arrow to lock them. A purple question mark at the end of a segment is also referred to as a Soft Turn. Locking it, removing the purple question mark, makes it a Hard Turn.
A curved green arrow indicates that a u-turn is allowed in the manner and direction indicated by the arrow at that end of the segment.
When you hover the mouse over an allowed u-turn arrow, a small clock icon appears, which, when clicked on, allowed you to set scheduled u-turn restrictions, as well as vehicle type restrictions on the U-turn.
A curved red arrow with the slashed-circle icon indicates that a u-turn is not allowed (is restricted) in the manner and direction indicated by the arrow at that end of the segment.
A curved yellow arrow with a clock icon indicates the presence of scheduled (time-based) turn restrictions for the direction indicated by the arrow at that end of the segment.

Segment highlights on partial segment restrictions
Icon Description
Yellow dots on selected segments indicate a 2-way segment with a Scheduled Restriction (does not indicate what type or how many)
Yellow triangles on selected segments indicate a 1-way segment with a Partial Restriction

Where the arrows appear depends on the road. One-way roads will only have arrows at the end, and roads with unknown directionality will have no connectivity arrows at all.

1-way to 1-way example
1-way to 2-way example


Two-way segments will also show the small U-turn arrow icon at both ends of the segment. This is used, as its name suggests, to prevent/enable Waze to use a segment end node as a U-turn, in case of necessity. When setting the U-turn arrow to green, make sure that U-turn is possible AND LEGAL in real life. In any other case, set the arrow to red for drivers' security. Just as with other turn restrictions, allowed U-turns must be set on a per-segment-per-end-node basis.

As of March 2015, Waze is able to provide U-turns in a route where the U-turn arrow is enabled, or where the turn angle is greater than 170°, and will give a "make a U-turn" instruction. If the current U-turn arrow setting on the segment could prevent Waze from giving the best route, or if it causes instructions to make an illegal turn, it should be fixed.

Some examples where allowing a U-turn can allow Waze to find a better route for a Wazer include:
  • When the drive begins with the car headed the wrong way for the best route, and when a Wazer has made an incorrect turn during a drive.
  • When reversing course is quicker than taking a long detour, allowing the U-turn enables Waze to find a better route.

U-turn laws are sometimes different in different parts of a country. Always check the local laws before changing U-turns. Check all local wiki pages or talk to a Country Manager, or State Manager. Local knowledge may be needed to be sure whether a specific U-turn is safe and legal.

U-turns at the end of dead-end-streets

As of July 2014, U-turns at dead ends or cul-de-sacs, no longer need to be adjusted in a particular way. WME no longer provides a link to adjust it.

Junction arrow tips

  • Press s to separate overlapping arrows.
  • Press a to toggle connection arrows transparent or opaque so you can see beneath them and click items under them

If an intersection should not have any restricted turns, you can easily enable all turns. Initial junction arrows on roads are set automatically by the Waze routing engine. Automatically set arrows can be altered by the routing engine, but manually set arrows cannot. Unfortunately, both automatic and manually set restricted turns are represented by red arrows and cannot be distinguished. Currently, when you use the option to enable all turns, it will not fully change the routing from automatic to manual for the turns. To clear the automatic routing for an intersection, start by selecting the junction with the mouse. Then you can choose between mouse clicks or keyboard shortcuts. With the mouse, in the properties toolbox, click the link to "Disallow all connections" and then "Allow all connections". Alternately you can use the keyboard shortcuts by pressing the letter 'q' to disallow all connections followed by 'w' to allow all connections (see keyboard shortcuts).

To see all currently restricted turns for all intersections on the map press 'Shift+z', which will toggle between the junction arrows for one selected segment, and the turn restrictions for all intersections.

See the section set allowed turns for more information.

Selecting multiple segments

Some edits require that you select two or more segments of road. Other times, you want to apply the same change to multiple segments. In the default select mode, you must use the modifier key below:

  • Windows: ctrl+click
  • Mac: Command+click
  • Linux: ctrl+click

When in multi-select mode (keyboard shortcut m), you do not have to use the modifier key.

This feature is useful for changing one particular element of multiple segments, or when using the permalink feature.

Selecting segments between two segments

To select segments between two segments, follow this procedure

  1. Select a segment at one end of the desired range
  2. Use the modifier alt+click to select a second segment at the other end of the range

WME will select all the segments in between the first segment and the second segment.

  • The route followed between the two segments is the route with the shortest number of segments.
  • The route is limited to 25 or fewer segments.

This feature is helpful for applying closures or changing attributes for several segments.

Selecting segments in a box

To select all segments within a box, use this sequence to define the area desired.

  1. ctrl+ Shift+click (MAC users: Command+ Shift+click) and then drag the cursor while holding the mouse button to form a box
  2. When the box includes the desired segments, release the mouse button and all the segments in the box are selected.

Use ctrl+click to select any missing segments or to remove any undesired segments.

Selecting entire street

  1. Select a segment
  2. In the tabs area, click the Select entire street button, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A
  • The selection can be edited as a group.
  • The selection will include any segments with same primary road name (including city and state) as the initially selected segment and does not require them to be connected.
  • Road types do not need to match.
  • Select entire street will not work with unnamed segments.

Creating a roundabout

See the article Creating and editing a roundabout for more details on this topic.

Use these steps to create a roundabout:

  1. Hover over the at the right side of the toolbar click on Roundabout.
  2. Click the map at the center of the roundabout.
  3. Move the mouse outward to the correct size of the roundabout.
  4. Click to finish.


  • There must be roads that touch the roundabout when you click to finish, otherwise no roundabout will be created.
  • Roundabout drawing is circular by default. Ellipse drawing can be enabled by holding down the Shift key while adjusting the roundabout size.
  • Roundabouts can be created over existing junctions and segments. Any roads within the shape of the roundabout will be truncated, and any junctions within the roundabout shape are deleted.
  • To delete a roundabout, you must delete ALL segments of the roundabout. You cannot save your work without deleting all segments of the roundabout. When saved, the roundabout node will also be deleted.
  • Roundabouts cannot be created over a maximum of 100 m (328 feet) in diameter.

Creating a Place (landmark)

WME is undergoing changes. These instructions might not be completely correct. Please see Draw Places Menu
  1. First, read the Places page to determine whether you should create an Area or Point Place
  2. Hover over the at the right side of the toolbar click on Place (area) or Place (point)
  3. For a Point Place, click directly on the location which should be the stop-point for navigation
  4. For an Area Place:
    1. Click a point of the map on the edge of the area
    2. Move the cursor along the path and click to add a geometry node to define the shape
    3. Shift+click (or double click) at the last point to stop drawing and complete the shape
  5. Select the new landmark (if it isn't already) and define the category and all other information including multiple categories, and FULL ADDRESS. Full details are in the Places wiki page.

Bridge junction

  1. Select two adjacent segments which will be bridged together
  2. Click the icon over the junction
  • The properties of the segments to be bridged must be identical or you will not see the bridge icon
  • Bridging automatically increases the level of the new merged segment by 1 more than the highest level of the two segments. You can change it, of course, if it needs to be a different level.

Generally, if two segments can be joined, if you select the junction you can press the trash can icon to have them join as well. If the trash can icon does not appear, the segments are different in some way and that might be the reason there is a junction in the first place.

Overlapping road junction

Two roads set to the same level which cross each other can be joined by an intersection easily. This is useful if you draw several new roads for a neighborhood by drawing segments from end-to-end and allowing new segments to cross each other. Once drawn, you can junction them using this method.

Both roads must be set to the same level. You can often use this method with unconfirmed (red) roads, but sometimes the editor will refuse to do this process until the roads are confirmed. Additionally, changing zoom level sometimes helps to get the sometimes-stubborn junction creator icon to appear.

  1. Select both segments
  2. Click the which should appear above the intersection
    Note: The sign won't appear if the roads cross each other multiple times
  3. A junction is added

Cutting a segment

To add a junction somewhere in the middle of an existing segment, create a new segment that intersects the existing segment. Begin the new segment on the existing segment at the desired point. Now simply end the new segment somewhere nearby without connecting to any other segment. With the newly drawn segment still highlighted, delete the new segment. The new junction in the existing segment will remain.

Joining junctions

When joining or removing a junction, there are a few considerations that should be taken into account. Please review the more detailed article on junction removal.

Disconnecting a road

Select the segment. Drag the end you want to disconnect away from the junction.

Solve map problems

Map Problems in Waze Map Editor

Keyboard shortcuts

When using Waze Map Editor, there are a number of keyboard shortcuts available to make editing the map a bit easier if you prefer the keyboard over the mouse. Below are the default keyboard shortcuts. You can customize some keyboard shortcuts by bringing up the keyboard shortcuts help window (with the ? key), select a shortcut, and then press the single key you want to use instead of the default key. This affects the current browser and computer only. This shortcut information is not stored on the server, so you would have to repeat this for each computer and browser you use.

Shortcut Description
F move the cursor to the search box
shows the keyboard shortcuts
save edits
Delete delete the single selected object (segment, junction, landmark). To delete multiple objects, you must click the trash can icon and confirm the multiple delete.
Esc deselect all objects
Alt+ Shift+R
Opt+ Shift+R
reload all layers (refreshes map without using a permalink; preserves the chat window)
I draw (insert) a new Road/Segment (equivalent to clicking Road under the draw road icon)
O draw a new Roundabout (equivalent to clicking Roundabout under the draw road icon)
Editing Segments
D delete a geometry node from a road segment while hovering the cursor over it during road geometry editing
E when one or more segments are selected, activates Edit mode (shortcut for clicking the Edit button)
H when a segment is selected, activates House Number mode (shortcut for clicking the Edit House Numbers button)
M toggle multi-select mode. Default behavior is that to select multiple segments, you must use the modifier key to multi-select. When toggled active, multi-select mode lets you select multiple segments without using the modifier key.
R toggle segment direction between 1-way (A->B), 1-way (B->A), and 2-way while updating road details. See road direction for more information.
T when one or more segments are selected, activates Restrictions mode (shortcut for clicking the Add/Edit Restrictions button) - mnemonic Time-restrict
select Entire Street - mnemonic Select All
Alt+Click select segments between two segments
Ctrl+ Shift+click
Command+ Shift+click
drag select all objects in a box
Ctrl+ Shift+Y
Cmd+ Shift+Y
Ctrl+ Shift+Z
Cmd+ Shift+Z
increase elevation of selected segments (if all elevations are the same)
decrease elevation of selected segments (if all elevations are the same)
Junctions and arrows

toggle connection arrows between transparent or opaque so you can see beneath them and click items under them. Often times editors will hit the A key by mistake and then wonder why turn arrows cannot be selected.

Q disable all connections for the selected junction which makes the turn arrows all red for that selected junction.

toggles separation of connection arrows so they do not overlap to ease clicking on either.

W allow all connections for the selected junction which makes the turn arrows all green for that selected junction. Note that this key will only enable all turns that had not previously been automatically enabled by the Waze routing server, called soft allowed turns. The soft allowed turns have a higher penalty than turns enabled by the editor. Therefore since soft and editor allowed turns have the same color green, if it is known that all turns are enabled at a particular intersection, it is better to first force all turns to disabled with the Q key and then press the W key to force them all to editor enabled.

toggles display of disallowed connections (turns) for every segment/node in the view. When active, no green arrows are shown.

Display and layers
Shift+A toggles Area Managers layer
Shift+C toggles Cities layer
Shift+D toggles No Name segment highlighting
Shift+E toggles Editable areas layer
Shift+F toggles Full Screen mode
Shift+G toggles GPS points layer
Shift+I toggles Satellite Imagery layer
Shift+L toggles Landmarks layer
Shift+V toggles Live users layer
Shift+P toggles (map) Problems layer
Shift+R toggles Roads layer
Shift+S toggles (speed) Cameras layer
Shift+U toggles Update requests layer
Alt+C toggles Chat window
Alt+ Shift+R reloads layers
Shift+ zooms the map in one level
Shift+ zooms the map out one level
pan the map in all four directions
Shift +click
re-centers the map on at the clicked location and zooms in one level
Shift +click + drag mouse draws a temporary rectangle and zooms into that portion of the map

Red Cmd keys are for Apple Mac systems