This page provides the basics to start editing the Waze Map. Most of the paragraphs include links to pages with elaborate information, in case you want to know more. Because Waze is a navigation tool and not a topographic map, some things are drawn differently than expected. Our advice is, after reading this page, to choose one type of edit and first familiarize yourself with all aspects of that edit. Otherwise, you might as well get overfed with information. Your Community is happy to help you make your edits work. A definition of the used terms can be found in the glossary.
How to get to the Waze Map Editor (WME)
The Waze data is saved on different servers.
- Log in to www.waze.com. If prompted to login, use the same username and password as you do in the Waze client app and the rest of the Waze website. If you cannot login, register first with a password.
- Click 'live map'
- Search for your location
- Click 'edit the map' at the bottom left
You can also go directly to your location by choosing the right server:
- US and Canada: www.waze.com/editor/?env=usa
- Israel: www.waze.com/editor/?env=il
- Rest of the World: www.waze.com/editor/?env=row
After logging in, you will see the following page:
If you want to learn more about the controls and functions of WME (Waze Map Editor), you can find more details on the WME Interface and Controls page.
Start in Practice Mode
Before editing the map for real, you may first want to practice editing. Go to the WME server and choose Practice Mode. If you are already logged into WME, log out first to be able to enter Practice Mode.
The Waze Map Editor has a Practice mode in which you can perform nearly every action available when logged into the Editor, except that you cannot save any changes. In order to save changes, you must log in. Practice mode is helpful to new and existing editors and should be used to try out new or complicated edits before executing them.
More information can be found on [wazeopedia.waze.com/wiki/Global/Waze_Map_Editor#Practice_Mode Practice Mode].
Editing the map
Most starting editors at first try to match the map of Waze perfectly to the satellite image. They split roads, add bicycle paths and walking trails, make the roads very fluently and draw detailed places. However, Waze is NOT a topografical map, but a navigation system that routes you to your destination in the best/fastest way. Therefore, keep the Waze map [wazeopedia.waze.com/wiki/Global/Best_map_editing_practice simple]: The lesser the detail, the clearer the map, lesser data use, faster calculations, and easier maintainance. With that in mind, let's start edit the map!
Create a Road
- Hover the mouse over the button on the toolbar at the top of the page and click "Road" (Shortcut key: i; [#Create_a_roundabout Roundabouts] are explained in another section)
- Click the mouse on the map at the point where you want to start the new road segment.
- Move the mouse cursor along the path of the road and click the mouse to add a [#Geometry_nodes geometry node] for each point that changes direction along the road.
- When finished, double-click (or shift-click) the last point to end the segment.
- Select the segment again, and fill in the details of the segment in the menu pane on the left.
- Each segment that is added must have a Country, City, and Street name. Click the pencil in the menu left. If there is no City and/or Street name available, then the None box(es) must be checked, or the segment will not be used in navigation. In the editor, you will see a red outline around the segment. Click Apply when finished.
- Be sure the road actually exists before creating it.
- View the following step-by-step video on how to add a road from an existing intersection. Note that this video is made with a previous version of WME, therefore, the layout looks different.
For more detail on creating road segments, see Creating and editing road segments.
Create a Place
Hover over this button to show Place categories. Choose one and click on the map to add it. This will add a point place. Use the pane to change it to an area and to change other information about the place. For an area place, use geometry nodes of the place to change its shape.
Changing elements on the map
To change existing roads or Places, select the object you want to change. Now you can change the shape or appearance by adjusting the road geometry.
When two or more roads connect, there is a node at the junction too. It appears as a small black circle. A junction node can be selected and then turns bigger into blue. When you drag a junction node, alle connected roads will shift along.
TIP: Under the Layer icon at the top right of the Map Editor Tool Bar, you can turn off the road layer, to have a better view on the road structure and Satellite Image.
TIP: Press "Del" to delete a selected segment, Place, or junction´´
For more information, see Editing existing roads.
When drawing new segments, or moving segments around, the editor will automatically make junctions.
- For new roads, if you start and/or end the new segment on an existing segment, a junction is created at the location were you start/end the new segment
- For existing roads, if you move the start or the end of a segment onto an existing segment, a junction is created
- If you move a junction to an existing segment or junction, all roads connected will be part of 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, you can also select the junction and 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. This might be the reason there is a junction in the first place. For more detail, see Underpasses and Bridges Overpasses, Underpasses and Bridges.
When two roads cross each other at the same elevation level, they can be joined together 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.
- Select both segments
- Click the which should appear above the intersection
- A junction is added
The sign won't appear if the roads cross each other multiple times, or when elevation levels differ. 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. For further information, see road junctions.
Be sure to check the turn restrictions for your newly created junctions.
When you select a segment, you can set the turns by clicking the arrows at the junction(s) with other segments.
- A green arrow means Allowed
- A yellow arrow with a clock means it is Partially Restricted (time or vehicle-type based)
- A red arrow with the circle-slash icon means Restricted
- Clicking an arrow toggles between Allowed and Restricted (or, between Partially and Fully Restricted).
NOTE: The slashed-circle icon for Restricted and clock icon for Partial turn restrictions are put in place to allow editors with various forms of color blindness differentiate between the three different types of turn arrows.
Each arrow must be set correctly for Waze to route correctly. Initial turn restrictions on roads that are imported by Waze, are set automatically by the Waze routing engine. At the moment these are called Soft turns. They are not yet confirmed manually by an editor and you can recognize them at the little question mark next to it. The soft turns can be altered by the routing engine, based on the driving activity. Manually set turns will never be altered by the routing engine.
See the section set allowed turns for more information.
Keyboard Shortcuts for junction arrows
- Press s to separate overlapping arrows.
- Press a to make arrows transparent or opaque, so you can see beneath them or click items under them
- Press q to disallow all turns
- Press w to allow all turns
- Press ⇧ Shift+z to toggle between seeing the turns for one segement, or seeing all restricted turns (red arrows) for all junctions in your screen. Don't forget to toggle back if actually setting the junction arrows on a segment.
For an overview of all keyboard shortcuts, see this global page.
Create a roundabout
- Draw single road segments that will lead to the roundabout and ensure they extend into the center of the roundabout area. Use the visual map or gps points to align the roads.
- Hover the mouse over the button on the toolbar at the top of the page and click "Roundabout" (Shortcut key: o).
- Click the mouse on the map at the center of the roundabout area.
- Move the mouse cursor outside, up to the middle of where the roundabout road should be, and single-click.
- Roundabouts should not get a Streetname to enable proper routing. Enter the City name in the "Edit" menu left. Check the "None" box of the Streetname.
Roundabouts in WME will yield specific routing instructions to drivers, such as "at the roundabout, take the third exit". If those routing instructions could confuse drivers, the Roundabout tool should not be used.
Roundabouts should never be used for cul-de-sacs or other dead end streets, regardless of how round they are. A single road segment leading to a cul-de-sac should be drawn as a dead end (see the picture on the right). With very large roads it might be advisable to create a loop, but not a roundabout.
Traffic circles without roundabout signs neither should be drawn as a roundabout. In some cases, a roundabout is not used even if there is a roundabout sign, to create the best possible instructions for the situation.
Create a loop road
When drawing a road which connects to the same segment at both ends, only one junction is created. To create the other junction:
- Move the end of the new segment away from where it is
- Drop it
- Move it back to where you want the junction to be
When the start and end of a road segment ends at the same junction, the above may not work. Cut the looping segment somewhere, following the instructions in Cutting a segment. Then join the remaining segment end to the common junction and apply normal [#Junction_Arrows|junction arrows]].
Please note, this form of loop road should only be sparsely used with care. For more information, see the article on Loops.
Cutting a segment
You can cut a segment into two new segments. You can do this by adding a new segment from some random point nearby, to the point of the segment where you want to cut it. A new junction will be added. Delete the new segment just created. The newly created junction will remain and you made two new segments out of one. If you need to actually separate the road segments at that point, just relocate the end point of one of the two new segments.
Walking Trails / Pedestrian Boardwalks
Non-drivable roads should rather NOT be added to the map. They are often not necessary to use, because Waze is solely meant for drivers. They should only be added when it improves navigation for the driver:
General exceptions for drawing non-drivable roads
- If navigation is unclear without them
- If there aren't alternative ways leading to the destination (then use Walking trail)
The way some road types are used differ in various countries. When you have any doubt on using one of these segment types, just ask your Community.
Parking Lots are sparsely drawn, to prevent cluttering the map. The most important thing is that people can be routed to and from a parking lot. For small Parking Lots, a single road segment often suffices. For large Parking Lots (for example at an event center) consider mapping only the following:
- Main entrances from the roads outside the parking lot
- Lanes that run along entrances of buildings
- Lanes that run along main roads outside the parking area (to separate different speed tracks)
- Large parking lot lanes that serve to get people from one area of the lot to another
Parking Lot Roads need to be defined as such in the menu pane left. They generate a large penalty to prevent thru-traffic in the navigation. For large Parking Lots that are distinctive and significant, and for general purpose and public use, a Parking Lot Place can be drawn.
Since november 2014 it is possible to search for housenumbers in the Waze database. To support this functionality, Waze imported housenumber data from external sources, in multiple countries.
When searching for an address in the Waze app or Livemap, Waze will use the following order to present the results:
- Places that contain an address with housenumber
- Manually created housenumbers
- Google Maps database
- Imported housenumber data
Imported housenumbers can be recognized for there is no editor linked to the housenumber in the housenumber screen. For the best working of Waze you may follow this guideline: if you notice a wrongly positioned address/housenumber in the app or livemap, add the housenumber or correct the housenumber in the Waze Map Editor. If the housenumber looks correct, but there is no editor linked to it yet, just give it a nudge and Save. Now you should see your name linked to the housenumber when you select it.
Note: Be aware that, in the app, old search records should be removed to get an updated result.
More information on housenumbers and the possible errors that you can encounter are on this page.
Solve Map Problems (MP's) and Update Requests (UR's)
Solving MP's and UR's needs attention and often quite some knowledge. Unless you are sure about the problem (e.g., you are local and checked the situation), it is not advised to do this when you are a starter to WME. More information can be read in Update Requests and Problems in Waze Map Editor Map Problems.
How to make a permalink
The permalink icon at the right bottom of your screen has two functions -- to refresh the browser window and to create Permalinks to share and communicate with other editors. A permalink is a URL used to take you or someone else directly to a specific map location. It contains latitude, longitude, zoom level, visible layers, and optionally a junction or a place or one or more segments.
To refresh the browser and "remember" the current editing window information, simply click on the permalink icon. Any unsaved edits will be lost, and the chat window will be cleared. The current map permalink will be copied to the address bar, and may be copied for sharing with other editors.
To create a permalink without refreshing the browser, zoom and pan the map to show what you want to show. Next, hover the mouse over the permalink icon on the right side of the bottom bar until a message pops up. Then use Ctrl+C to copy the permalink. You can paste this link anywhere you need it.
To include a single place, junction, or segment in the permalink, click on it before using the permalink icon. To include several segments and/or objects, use ctrl+click (for MAC:⌘ Command+click).
Take the next step
- The sequel to this Quick-Start Guide can be found at the global editing manual
- Helpfull tips and often encountered problems when starting editing are described in User:Moweez/Improve_your_skills
- Don't forget to join your fellow Wazers in your location, who will be happy to meet you!