When I started with Waze last year, I tried using it for commuting to work in London and for a holiday to Wales. It didn't work
. It was only able to give me 1 useful route to/from work and was nearly useless in the rural areas of Wales. Had I been just a driver, I would have given up on Waze straight away and gone elsewhere.
I didn't. Instead I have dedicated thousands of hours to editing the maps and engaging with the Waze community (something which, incidentally, has supplied far more social interaction than I have ever had before - I am
That work means that a large portion of London is now completely navigable with Waze. It means that 30 or more major urban areas and many small villages are now able to be properly navigated with Waze. It means (I hope) that hundreds of people who might formerly have tried & abandoned Waze have instead found that it is worth using.
I have 1 million points and 300K edits, I am in the top 10 all-time for my country and top 100 all-time for the ROTW - and I am extremely
proud of that. Given that I get nothing else from Waze except
those points and the support of the community, it's hard to explain why I bother to do this. I probably wouldn't do it if my effort to create
the maps was buried by those using
I do not
want to minimize the effort of those drivers who simply use
Waze. Even making no reports, they still contribute the speed data that allows Waze to provide something the basic satnavs can't. However, that speed data is useless if an incorrect map means that Waze can't select available routes.
As for reporting, the problem has always been people gaming the system. If we make reporting more valuable, there are people who will simply report for points - making reports useless. It would, perhaps, make more sense to give points for reports based on thanks from other users, rather than on the report itself.
This has made me think about the whole issue and I feel there is one situation that is
unfair to the drivers: User Requests. As a user, you can report an issue with the map - this places a user request on the map which an editor has to deal with. It's absolutely right that the editor should be rewarded for fixing the problem - after all, that work will provide benefit to every future user of the map. However
we would not have known about that problem without your
report. I would be happy to see quite a large points bonus go to the user who accurately reports a problem that can be identified and fixed
. To avoid gaming the system, you would probably have to make it so that you can't give yourself a bonus based on your own reports.
I would also quite like to see a separate "top drivers" scoreboard, based on miles driven (which contributes to the Waze data), map problems reported (resulting in an improvement to the map) and thanked "live" reports.
Finally, I want to say this: the primary model of Waze is to provide routing based on current user driving experience. Without drivers using Waze, it would be useless. However, without the massive effort the editors put in (for free) we would have practically no drivers at all because the maps would be so poor nobody would keep using Waze.
[EDIT] Corrected a mistake - I didn't mean to say "hundreds thousands of hours"
But it is thousands!