Waze on Google's Crowdsourcing of Traffic

When we use the term crowdsourcing it implies active participation by humans with smart phones. Regarding Google’s recent news, this is a very important difference from their use of the term crowd-sourcing which engages a phone to provide data about humans.

We launched our crowdsourced daily driving app (traffic, turn by turn navigation and live reports) because current traffic and map technologies are flawed. We want to disrupt the entire method of collection and open it up to people as a free service. Since then, lots of folks are adopting this approach. This is incredibly validating. It will be a race.

At waze, we believe that the strength of the "crowd" is more than just as a passive source for  data collection.

We are dedicated to engaging the community for the good of all its members.  Wazers are helping build our service from the ground up, by editing the map, reporting events, adding pictures and text, sharing their GPS points, validating traffic, testing new releases, giving us feedback, helping each other on the forum and a variety of other community actions.  With this vibrant community, we aim to build a better service than just colors on a display map.

So...  as we work hard on our next release that will be full of the community's suggestions, comments and needs - we would like to thank our wazer's for their participation and assure you that, to us, you are more than a cheap data point.  We are doing our best to incorporate your feedback into the upcoming release and look forward to building, together, a superior service.


  1. I am confused and have some questions:

    Questions 1 and 2 contrast the apparent anonymity of waze with twitter where, even if the source is masked by a pseudonym, there is still an identity whose credibility, relevance, and/or relationships with recipients are key to why the tweeter/tweet-recipient association even exists.

    1) What is the incentive for reporting incidents? In the case of twitter, I hold that the incentive is gratuitous, egoistic self-expression -- even if achieved with a pseudonym. Here, if association between identity and report is erased, as suggested by the article, there is no incentive that I can see.

    2) Similarly, what is the disincentive for false incident reports? With twitter identity, even if under a pseudonym, is the basis for relationships to recipients, and so tweeting disinformation would be discouraged by loss of influence and credibility. Here, I don't see a similar curb. Also, as a consumer of information, if reports are not associated with users, I can't discriminate based on perceived credibility.

    3) On "area managers": how can community members be promoted to area manager on any kind of merit based on past contribution, if waze is "quickly dropping identifiable data and not storing history" ?

    4) How realistic and meaningful is "area manager" dependence? Are "area managers" envisioned to be people like emergency services workers, traffic police, or news reporters who are likely to be able to confirm incident reports regularly due to the nature of their activity? Would it be realistic to expect such people to divide their attention between work and voluntary collaboration while on the job, in the field? Also, how meaningful is 'area manager' corroboration if opportunities for corroboration are patchy and sparse in time and/or space?

    These questions reference, in particular, this article: http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/08/waze-make-your-own-maps-in-rea.html

  2. When will Waze be available in Germany?

  3. Waze is doing great for us. Every day when I hop in my car I turn it on. I look forward to when it uses a little bit less of my phones memory so my music and other apps can run a bit faster but this will all come in time. Thank you waze and thank you the community for making waze what it is. This is only going to get better over time so stick with the project and soon we will have a very powerful tool to use.