US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

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US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:21 pm

Here are notes from the US Meetup. I posted my notes and go some others to provide more info, but there still may be some things missing. However, the majority of things we can share are here.

Waze 2013 US Meetup Recap


2012 Summary
  • Ended with 35 million users and 6 billion miles driven
  • US drivers are driving approximately 30MPH faster than in 2012. One Wazer in attendance reported the average speed calculated by his car has increased since using Waze.
  • 65,000 editors with 500 million edits

2012 Accomplishments
  • Daily map updates (applause) which updates approximately 20% of the US map tiles
  • Tile versioning allows rollbacks when issues are discovered
  • Auto-scaling of processing power at Amazon when tile updates or routing requests require it. This required significant changes to code allowing dynamic spinning up of new cores and gracefully shutting them down.
  • In-app geographic advertising as a part of monetization

Looking at 2013
  • Increasing personalization with features like preferred routes
  • Integrating with Events (such as facebook events to start with)
  • Changes in the editor and routing engine (see WME section below)

Community recap from Shirli
  • Quick review of Waze milestones since 2009
  • Graphical overview of community activity in the forums, editor

Ohad on WME
  • Working on features to improve client (Wazer) and editor communication
  • Want to get more people to enjoy editing maps without sacrificing quality
  • Connecting less complex issues (problems) with newer editors so they can work on simple things first (how? not shared)
  • Restrictions/closures will be available in the editor which do not require tile builds to take effect (requires linking the editor with the real-time routing servers)
  • Time-based turn restrictions coming soon. Screenshots showed interface with ability to specify multiple-day of week and time restrictions with start/end dates.
  • Reversible roadways also on the roadmap after time-based turn restrictions.
  • Plans slated for map-based comments layer as well as notes available for objects
  • List of (nearby?) problems and URs. Possibility of reinstating RSS feeds.
  • Editor-editor communication/chat on future roadmap with live view of editors, live chat and offline chat.
  • Segment-rank-based locks are still coming, but the actual lock level still needs some adjusting and approval by beta editors.

Noam High-level Thoughts (Noam’s Roams)
  • Working with the US government during Sandy emergency
  • Finds it interesting there are multiple corporations competitively mapping the world. Is there room for future cooperation?
  • Future vehicle integration: looks like MirrorLink could be big with up to 20% of US vehicles using it to integrate smartphones with the vehicle.
  • Waze currently has 105 employees.
  • "Luckily we still have a lot more to do. It's not going to get boring."

Community Presentations
  • skbun showed examples of poor routing, where it seems the ratio of the as-the-crow-flies distance to driven-distance is causing Waze routing to fail completely.
  • bgodette gave examples of the Waze car position jumping north and south off of east-west running roads onto parallel roads even though the system GPS location shows the position never wavering from the main road.
  • bgodette showed examples of the "first leg bug" where Waze's route overview initial dialog shows a route distance which ignores all segments up to the first turn instruction.
  • AndyPoms gave a very thorough presentation of functional road classification
    • multiple "translations" from DOT classifications to Waze road types
    • examples from Connecticut on how this affects the road network
    • the lingering question (for Alan) was: "If Waze fixes their routing algorithm to stop favoring roads based on type and switches to more heavily weighting actual speed, does functional classification matter?"

Decisions Made
  • Remove US Service Road type: routes the same as street and its use is confusing and redundant. Plan is for Waze to identify these segments, prepare the code to do the mass change and get approval from Champs to proceed. To be removed from WME at the same time.
  • Rename US "Dirt/4x4" road type to "Unpaved" for clarity.
  • Create new US "4x4/Offroad" road type as Waze wants all paths of vehicle traffic, no matter how remote or how its used, to be mapped.

Requests Made
  • Continue to improve consistent and reliable communications. All known issues should be immediately posted to status.waze.com and twitter @waze_status.US will move to self-management, which means that all Area Manager approvals will, at a date to be determined, be decided by US Country Managers and/or Champs. This process and how it is administered exactly needs to be determined as well.
  • There was a proposal that Area Managers be re-granted full editing rights in their defined area except for user-rank locks. Segment-rank locks would not prevent an AM from updating.
  • Waze will get back to the Champs by 02 April 2013 on a decision regarding a bug/request tracking tool which can be available to the "public" to add/update/review.
  • Requested the "Missing Road" Map Problem to either be fixed or be turned off.
  • Requested ability to add/update/delete primary street shield type and data ASAP.

Other Items
  • The POI database will become part of waze (instead of using bing)
  • Ehud said “don’t make map changes to work around bugs”.
  • Ehud said he wanted to include all driveable surfaces and annotate all parking lots, no matter how small. He said this would allow waze to tell someone where to park (based on the parking history of folks going to the same destination).
  • Anyone can place ads on waze by going to http://biz.waze.com

Group Photo
Nearly everyone made it into the picture. Fej is not in the photo. The photo is cropped on the right by the forum. The missing person to the right is a Waze employee.

[ img ]

Click the photo for an enlarged version. Also available is the HUGE version.
Last edited by AlanOfTheBerg on Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Added picture
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby MisterMooCow » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:35 am

ohiostmusicman wrote:This brings me back to my original question - should we be trying now to put in something for every single small lot? If not, then there will be plenty of times where users get routed incorrectly. What good is a GPS service if it routes users incorrectly?


Waze eventually wants parking lots indicated. However, until the editor and app are changed to make parking lot roads be less prominent, the general guidance is "don't pave small/simple parking lots".

There are times when it's necessary to deviate from the guidance in order to ensure proper routing (e.g., to deal with limited-access roadways), but those are rare.

For new editors, just assume that you shouldn't pave small/simple parking lots; if you think you've encountered a situation that you believe requires a small/simple parking lot to be paved, please ask for advice-- either contact your RC or post in your state's forum to attract the attention of a local experienced person to offer advice.
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:04 pm

ohiostmusicman wrote:As an aside, I wonder, now that we can edit gas station info in the US, if the address info put in will be used to provide routing. If not, what's the point of putting it in there if it won't be used?

Unsure. The desirable behavior would be to set the endpoint at the center of the landmark.
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby OhioStMusicMan » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:54 pm

kentsmith9 wrote:
ohiostmusicman wrote:This is the issue I have. The most recent encounter I had was here. I was on my way to Clark for gas and someone had put in a parking lot road at the Wendy's just to the NW. Even though the address in Waze via gas lookup was correct, the location pin was closer to the Wendy's parking lot road than Apollo Dr and it wanted me to enter the Wendy's parking lot to finish my trip. I know the area enough to know that wouldn't work (insert hilarious joke about Wendy's food and gas here). I deleted the Wendy's road because of this.

I believe the problem you experienced was the current Lat/Long address information for the station from Bing was closer to Wendy's. Once Waze is using the internal address information that problem could be solved without deleting roads. :shock:


Except the gas station info was Waze's...now, of course we (or just I maybe) don't know exactly where it came from, but that is not something that can be fixed with Bing. I've done my share of fixing locations with Bing when the location is wrong. As far as I know, going to Bing to fix it wouldn't fix problems with Waze's gas lookup. The only reason I took out the road in Wendy's is that it was resulting in incorrect routing and would every time. Personally, I would have it route me (and others) to the correct location at the expense of having a road for a drive-thru. The only other fix would be to try and map the gas station in some way.

This brings me back to my original question - should we be trying now to put in something for every single small lot? If not, then there will be plenty of times where users get routed incorrectly. What good is a GPS service if it routes users incorrectly?

As an aside, I wonder, now that we can edit gas station info in the US, if the address info put in will be used to provide routing. If not, what's the point of putting it in there if it won't be used?
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby kentsmith9 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:08 pm

ohiostmusicman wrote:This is the issue I have. The most recent encounter I had was here. I was on my way to Clark for gas and someone had put in a parking lot road at the Wendy's just to the NW. Even though the address in Waze via gas lookup was correct, the location pin was closer to the Wendy's parking lot road than Apollo Dr and it wanted me to enter the Wendy's parking lot to finish my trip. I know the area enough to know that wouldn't work (insert hilarious joke about Wendy's food and gas here). I deleted the Wendy's road because of this.

I believe the problem you experienced was the current Lat/Long address information for the station from Bing was closer to Wendy's. Once Waze is using the internal address information that problem could be solved without deleting roads. :shock:
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby OhioStMusicMan » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:44 pm

jhfrontz wrote:
razor2k wrote:
ohiostmusicman wrote:Part of the reason I ask is because when it comes to routing to a specific point, Waze will route you to the road closest to the point. Sometimes, those parking lot roads for a specific fast food place are closer so it tries to route you using them even though you cannot reach the actual location through a fast food restaurant drive-thru...


Waze should not be routing through parking lot or private roads to get you to your destination.


Right, it won't route through (meaning "into and back out from") the parking lot/private roads. However, if the parking lot or private road ends up being closer to the destination's pin than the actual entrance/access to the destination, the driver will be routed into the parking lot to get the driver closer to the apparent location of the adjacent business (or apartment).


This is the issue I have. The most recent encounter I had was here. I was on my way to Clark for gas and someone had put in a parking lot road at the Wendy's just to the NW. Even though the address in Waze via gas lookup was correct, the location pin was closer to the Wendy's parking lot road than Apollo Dr and it wanted me to enter the Wendy's parking lot to finish my trip. I know the area enough to know that wouldn't work (insert hilarious joke about Wendy's food and gas here). I deleted the Wendy's road because of this.

This goes back to my original question of should we be putting in these roads for, say, every fast food place, small parking lot, etc.? I know I've seen tons of error pins because cars go in and out and there's no road there. I've been inclined not put any road in specifically of issues such as this. However, if the goal is to map every drivable path, then this could cause an issue.
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby MisterMooCow » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:35 am

razor2k wrote:
ohiostmusicman wrote:Part of the reason I ask is because when it comes to routing to a specific point, Waze will route you to the road closest to the point. Sometimes, those parking lot roads for a specific fast food place are closer so it tries to route you using them even though you cannot reach the actual location through a fast food restaurant drive-thru...


Waze should not be routing through parking lot or private roads to get you to your destination.


Right, it won't route through (meaning "into and back out from") the parking lot/private roads. However, if the parking lot or private road ends up being closer to the destination's pin than the actual entrance/access to the destination, the driver will be routed into the parking lot to get the driver closer to the apparent location of the adjacent business (or apartment).

In Ohio, we've seen examples where the pin for a destination is quite far away from the actual destination's access/entrance and consequently the driver is routed to a private road that -- while closer to the pin -- is far away from the actual destination. We've used this same property to provide better routing when the pin is closer to a limited-access road than to the road providing access to the destination (in which case we'll put in a parking lot road from the access road and get the PL road to be closer to the destination pin than the limited access road).

This affect on routing (as well as the "clutter" factor) is why I discourage folks from putting in smaller parking lot roads unless they're truly required for providing correct routing to access a destination -- once you start putting in the smaller parking lot roads (especially in dense urban areas), you really need to do it everywhere to minimize the misrouting and (until the parking lot/private roads are obscured in the client and WME) doing it everywhere will make things a mess.
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby harling » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:24 am

razor2k wrote:Waze should not be routing through parking lot or private roads to get you to your destination. Maybe Bing location pins are erroneously in a parking lot rather than the correct location. Since waze thinks that's where you're going it leads you there.

In the case of shopping malls (or any large parking lot that serves multiple destinations), that is the desired behavior.
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby razor2k » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:38 am

ohiostmusicman wrote:So, what about things like where a fast food place is (esp. with a drive-thru). I've seen a lot of errors because people go in, around, and out. Should I map every lot that involves a drive-thru?

Part of the reason I ask is because when it comes to routing to a specific point, Waze will route you to the road closest to the point. Sometimes, those parking lot roads for a specific fast food place are closer so it tries to route you using them even though you cannot reach the actual location through a fast food restaurant drive-thru...


Waze should not be routing through parking lot or private roads to get you to your destination. Maybe Bing location pins are erroneously in a parking lot rather than the correct location. Since waze thinks that's where you're going it leads you there.

No fault of waze, but on third party providers.

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby OhioStMusicMan » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:14 am

So, what about things like where a fast food place is (esp. with a drive-thru). I've seen a lot of errors because people go in, around, and out. Should I map every lot that involves a drive-thru?

Part of the reason I ask is because when it comes to routing to a specific point, Waze will route you to the road closest to the point. Sometimes, those parking lot roads for a specific fast food place are closer so it tries to route you using them even though you cannot reach the actual location through a fast food restaurant drive-thru...
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