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.

Image

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 AlanOfTheBerg » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:05 pm

HavanaDay wrote:So are we suppose to draw all parking lots as landmarks now? And what did you infer he meant by driveable surfaces? Does that include all parking lot roads or still just the major roads in and out as per usual.

There was discussion about POI vs. landmark where POI is a point, not a shaded area like we have now. I am not clear whether Waze is say we should be mapping all business, etc. as landmarks or whether a different feature for POI will be coming. Someone who was paying more attention than me will need to chime in.

Every drivable surface does mean parking lots, but there was a lot of discussion around that topic and how Waze wants parking lots done. On one hand they seemed to say map the lots as roads, then they said just entrance/exit stubs and landmarks otherwise. Pretty unclear IMO. The "all drivable surfaces" comment came out of the question, "Does Waze want us to map all the forest roads, the 4-ft wide off-road, no cell-service roads used by quads and hunters, etc?" And Ehud basically said, "yes." This is why we are rearranging the road types a bit.
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:51 pm

CBenson wrote:Reversible roadways could be handled with just segment time based speed data and thus could be done before time based turn restrictions. However, we can map reversible roadways with time based turn restrictions.

I don't disagree. However, do make it more accessible to more editors, the interface needs to be around "road direction" and not about "restricted turns." They very well may have these set up similarly, with time-based turn restrictions, though. Not sure how this will be rendered in the app as right now, tile builds are required for road directionality visibility, but these time-based features will be set up in WME but operate on functions within the routing server.
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:41 pm

olestas wrote:Will you do the same for INTL server?
Will you also change the way waze navigates through these types of roads?
Will you add option to avoid 4x4/Offroad type and/or Unpaved type separately?

We only discussed this for the US. World Champs can decide the same or not. The "avoid dirt roads" will be changed to "avoid unpaved roads" in the app. I believe that "avoid 4x4/offroad" should also be added, but changes to the routing server need to be made for that. Longer-term.
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:28 pm

Kuhlkatz wrote:Not sure if it was discussed to this level, but taking non-paved road classification into consideration for other areas, would the 'Unpaved' not be better expressed as a flag to indicate a non-paved surface, similar to the toll flag, instead of yet another non-flexible and useless road type?
This way the existing road classification could still be maintained, and "4x4 only" routes can still be expressed as-is.

That's a good question, and one which I think was touched on, but not discussed widely. I think this has a lot to do with how the current 4x4/dirt road is used right now, which is more often than not, for a gravel or dirt surface which is easily driveable by your standard consumer vehicles. Therefore, to make the easiest transition to something which is more in line with how the Waze map is defined in the US/Canada, it made more sense to rename the current.

Now, for the "4x4/Offroad": does it make more sense to have a new type or have this as a checkbox like Toll?

I can understand how perhaps "Unpaved" should be a checkbox and "4x4/Offroad" is more of a road type. It would be more work to update our roadways, but that may just make more sense in the long run. I have an unpaved minor (state) highway in my state of Oregon. I could then leave it as Minor Highway and mark it unpaved.

I think perhaps we need to discuss this more. Thanks for the ideas!
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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 CBenson » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:58 pm

Thank you much for the recap. Sounds like much progress is being made.

One issue that baffles me:
AlanOfTheBerg wrote:[*]Time-based turn restrictions coming soon. Screenshots showed interface with ability to specify multiple-day of week and time restrictions with start/end dates.

Glad to here we're still slowing getting to time based turn restrictions.
AlanOfTheBerg wrote:[*]Reversible roadways also on the roadmap after time-based turn restrictions.

This makes no sense to me. Reversible roadways could be handled with just segment time based speed data and thus could be done before time based turn restrictions. However, we can map reversible roadways with time based turn restrictions. Once we have time based turn restrictions why won't we just use the turn restrictions to map the reversible roadways? What would be left to do to implement reversible roadways?

One issue I don't see on the list. Was there any discussion of where waze is heading with the information sought here. In particular any discussion of HOV lanes?
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby daknife » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:17 am

AlanOfTheBerg wrote:
Kuhlkatz wrote:Not sure if it was discussed to this level, but taking non-paved road classification into consideration for other areas, would the 'Unpaved' not be better expressed as a flag to indicate a non-paved surface, similar to the toll flag, instead of yet another non-flexible and useless road type?
This way the existing road classification could still be maintained, and "4x4 only" routes can still be expressed as-is.

That's a good question, and one which I think was touched on, but not discussed widely. I think this has a lot to do with how the current 4x4/dirt road is used right now, which is more often than not, for a gravel or dirt surface which is easily driveable by your standard consumer vehicles. Therefore, to make the easiest transition to something which is more in line with how the Waze map is defined in the US/Canada, it made more sense to rename the current.

Now, for the "4x4/Offroad": does it make more sense to have a new type or have this as a checkbox like Toll?

I can understand how perhaps "Unpaved" should be a checkbox and "4x4/Offroad" is more of a road type. It would be more work to update our roadways, but that may just make more sense in the long run. I have an unpaved minor (state) highway in my state of Oregon. I could then leave it as Minor Highway and mark it unpaved.

I think perhaps we need to discuss this more. Thanks for the ideas!


I think the unpaved flag is the best option. There have been many discussions in the past about how to do this and the flag option seems to be the most popular, around the world. I know I've seen editors from around the world comment about how they have roads which they want to mark as unpaved but based on use really qualify more as minor hwy's or primary routes.
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby DonJ2 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:20 pm

Alan, Thanks a million for the recap, lots of good information.
It makes me very happy to see how far Waze has come, and how far they still wish to go. :D
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Re: US 2013 Waze Meetup Recap

Postby harling » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:29 pm

CBenson wrote:
AlanOfTheBerg wrote:
  • Reversible roadways also on the roadmap after time-based turn restrictions.
This makes no sense to me. Reversible roadways could be handled with just segment time based speed data and thus could be done before time based turn restrictions. However, we can map reversible roadways with time based turn restrictions. Once we have time based turn restrictions why won't we just use the turn restrictions to map the reversible roadways? What would be left to do to implement reversible roadways?

Restricting turns onto a two-way segment effectively makes it one-way for through-routing. But you would also have to restrict turns off of the segment, in case someone begins navigating in the middle of the segment. It can be done, but it would mean coordinating maybe a half-dozen independent timed turn restrictions.

You could likewise do away with all one-way roads by managing turn restrictions in this way--but the concept of directionality is a lot simpler.
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