Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

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Re: Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby fvwazing » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:43 pm

rlpl wrote:Waze is a commercial company so complaining about not enough money is a complaining about their own business. As I already pointed, either this quality of the service is satisfying for them bringing enough money and they will not change anything or they will collapse and bankrupt eventually.

Talking about banks: do you mean that the banks and other big web services have better IT staff than waze?


Well, maybe they calculated their businessmodel with assumptions for the needed processingpower that really were a bit on the optimistic side. That is NOT a verdict over the quality of their staff; these are uncharted waters, after all (pun intended). Meaning that it has never been done before, that it never worked on a scale like that, that noone ever got this far and came back to tell about it.

Shit happens. But if it is clear that a path taken does not bring you where you want to go, it is time to reroute. And that is where the staff can shine: taking us boldly where no man has gone before. (I am so sorry that all my metaphores are somehow mapping-related!)
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Re: Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby gettingthere » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:53 pm

Great letter, AlanOfTheBerg. Please let us know if Waze responds directly to you. Glad to see that I am not the only one harping about the Waze infrastructure.

And yes, it is obvious that Waze is primarily concerned about the number of user accounts in their system. They see that as their way to attract funding since this is likely what the investors are looking at. Hopefully these investors are also asking about the abandon rate and number of active users.

Also, surely this lines up with Wazes' business plan. They need users to generate traffic data (even if 50% of the traffic data is invalid with Wazers in the drive through at McDonalds) so that they have better traffic data than the competition and can sell it to generate income. We'll have to wait and see if this is viable and the cost of getting this data not higher than the income that can be generated from this data.

But as AlanOfTheBerg so nicely stated, if people don't stick with Waze due to all of the problems, Waze is going to have a difficult time reaching their goals.

I am very disappointed on the number of active Wazers in the San Diego area. This is 8th largest city in the United States. Population of 1.3 million. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0763098.html

We have several very active AM's here so the maps in a lot of the city and surrounding areas is in good shape. But I have yet to see more than 90 or so Active Wazers per the new function in Waze 3 that shows the number of Wazers around you. And this is from the very center of San Diego, during rush hour. It's such a pity.

Good news is I see a lot of new baby Wazers this morning. Maybe new recruits due to being featured in the Apple App Store. But are they going to continue to use Waze or jump ship like everyone else when they have bad routing or are unable to set a route...
Last edited by gettingthere on Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby gettingthere » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:22 pm

p_no wrote:let's hope that there will be a response ...
I'm wazing just for a few months now, but from what I see: general usability of app is becoming worse day by day, instead of improvements we have new problems.
I think that patience of many wazers is on the limit, mine is for sure.


From what I read here in the forums, the ROTW infrastructure has been much less reliable than the US/Canada infrastructure the last few months. All after there was a lightening storm near the Amazon Web Services (AWS) data center in Ireland. Waze is using that facility. Lightening knocked out the power and the backup up power systems in the data center were also knocked out. ALL of the servers in the data center crashed and Waze took several days to 'restore/rebuild' just to get core routing restored. It took much more time to restore other services. It is still questionable where everything is working properly now since there are still delays in processing points, building livemaps, the editor is not working as it should, etc.
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Re: Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby gettingthere » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:25 pm

Laakkus wrote:One more thing I've criticised is it's totally unorganised reply/request system. When emailing support about some problem, I usually get multiple answers to the same question even weeks AFTER it has already been solved. Or a follow up question asking for more information about it...
A place for some sort of case management system, perhaps?!


Yes, doesn't appear that they have a service request system managing their incoming support emails. Hopefully they also have an internal bug tracking database. They surely need to get a system like Track-It!, Right Now, etc to help to organize the support requests. And they should consider a system that allow for trouble ticket entry via web vs. only email.
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Re: Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby gettingthere » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:39 pm

I had posted something similar to this in another thread yesterday. I think that Waze should consider some other drastic steps to help get the infrastructure stabilized.

I would personally support Waze turning off a lot of the bling/non-critical features if that would help to stabilize the environment for avoiding traffic, navigating, and map editing. Such as:

* Road goodies, contests, etc
* Points
* Ranks
* Dashboard
* Scoreboard
* Route history (this is a tough one since it can help with editing and adding roads where satellite imagery is poor - still need a way to view some type of driven gps points in the map editor)
* Editing permissions where you have driven. Switch to a simplier model.

I know this would not be popular. And I personally really enjoy the competition with points and ranks. But if this stuff is always breaking and worse, causing other problems - that is not good.

It seems that things would possibly be drastically improved if Waze didn't have to run all of these processes to analyze routes, give points, etc.

In addition, Waze should consider extending their support team into their Silicon Valley office. This would help to provide closer to 24 hour coverage for support. In addition, they need some type of flexible schedule to have staffed coverage on weekends.
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Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby gettingthere » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:22 am

Yes. Per the post by the Fej seems that Waze has received your 'letter' and is taking action. Excellent.

They don't need to be blaming this surge in users for all if their woes We know better. But I am sure the current user surge is not helping the situation.

WAZE -

Please post some a message on the scoreboard and dashboard (not a link somewhere but a message) stating that point calculations are suspended so that we don't get a bunch of forum posts and Waze support does not get a bunch of emails complaining about point, ranks, etc not updating.
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Re: Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby gettingthere » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:50 am

mapcat wrote:Taken one way, this could mean that any editing we do may not show up on the client for a few weeks. I hope that's not the way it's supposed to be taken, since it's important to be able to respond to update requests with "the changes you requested will show up on your phone in a few days."


I read it the same. No updates to the live map and client map tiles. Translated - maps that we use for navigation are not going to update until they have the redesign complete.

Seems that the Update Request emails will need to include something like this:

'Waze is currently re-working some of their infrastructure to improve the reliability of Waze so these map fixes may not show up in your Waze Application until this process is complete. The current estimate is a few weeks.'
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Re: Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby gettingthere » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:52 am

The good side of this is that if the map and client tile creation process is causing the map editors to have the issues we have been seeing (slow saves and slow road layer refresh), maybe we will be able to crank through the editing without issues. Then when Waze re-works these processes all of the updates will go live and our editing points will skyrocket.

Can you say - 'Mapcat - congrats on 2 million points?'
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Re: Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby ircphoenix » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:03 am

AlanOfTheBerg wrote:Yeah, I read the whole thing. I want them to succeed.


I think we all do. But they're doing their best to alienate those that help them the most.
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Re: Open letter to Waze on infrastructure

Postby Laakkus » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:15 pm

Good letter Alan.
I know more users that have jumped to another nav-app than I know users that have sticked with waze.

I myself tried it and left immediately after trying it one year ago when got my first android phone. Then for some unexplained reason I tried it again end of july and got really addicted to it, especially map editing :)
Past week I've been working on finnish wiki..

But the mentioned issues are really hurting whole Waze and I too have written couple emails criticising waze's ability to organize it's troops to better handle and eliminate the reoccurring problems.

One more thing I've criticised is it's totally unorganised reply/request system. When emailing support about some problem, I usually get multiple answers to the same question even weeks AFTER it has already been solved. Or a follow up question asking for more information about it...
A place for some sort of case management system, perhaps?!
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