The Sky’s No Longer the Limit

Here at Waze, we are on the cutting edge of mapping and technology. Even still, it came as a surprise when we were approached by a leading extraterrestrial exploratory organization to build a more thorough and informative map of the fourth rock from the sun.

Global Champs go galactic 
There's no doubt that the Waze Map Editing Community knows how to build a map. So, when we were brought the project, we wanted to get our leading map editors, known as Waze Global Champs, on board from the start. Naturally (or should we say supernaturally?), we reached out to Champs from countries that know a thing or two about space exploration and masterful design.

Without skipping a beat, leading map editors from USA, Russia, and Italy jumped at the chance to partake in this interplanetary adventure.

When asked what they thought of the mission, Asterix06 – a Global Champ from Italy – said, “I edit in several continents on the Earth, so I believe a ‘new world’ could be a good challenge.” Russian Champ Vladi has a straightforward take on the project: “Evolution. Waze was destined to grow beyond Earth someday, and I feel pleased we've passed this major milestone.”

Longtime United States Global Champ, OrbitC (with a name like that, who else could we ask?), said, “As an industry leader, Waze pioneered what it means to be the best navigation app. I think it's only fitting that Waze took the next step to be the best-and-only app to be leading this project. As space travel is becoming a more normal thing, Waze will be there to guide those who can make the travel.” 

Well, we couldn’t agree more. But, we’re quickly realizing that the term Global Champ won’t fit our map editing community for much longer…

A Map Like No Other 
For now, we’ve opened a special space-focused server on the web-based Waze Map Editor platform to this small group. The process of mapping Mars is already underway, with what’s sure to be an exciting slate of unexpected challenges around every corner.

They’ve been hard at work readying our terrestrial editing software for more extrinsic uses. So far, landing sites are simply marked as Places, dust storms/volcano activity are Major Traffic Events, and broken-down Rovers as potential road hazards.

When asked if they’ve noticed anything “weird” when mapping in this special environment, the Champs were pretty quiet….some might say suspiciously so.


To Infinity, and Beyond? 
The Waze Map Editing Community does incredible things from their computers, mapping entire continents with the help of satellite footage and research. However, due to the quality of street view from the rovers, we’re in preliminary discussions about sending some of our top editors on a very special mission.

We know that the Waze Community loves to travel, and our Community Meetup schedule is packed with trips during which our editors meet face-to-face and discuss the maps of their respective communities. However, when we approached them about the possibility of going through the rigorous training required to don a spacesuit, we didn’t know how they’d react. They also have jobs, families, and (of course) their countries’ maps to worry about.

However, the response from this first round of editors has been incredible. OrbitC said his biggest concerns are “gravity and a bulky space suit. Not to mention the slow internet (connection) speed.” 

Vladi, our Russian explorer, is fearless in the face of adventure. When asked about the challenges of mapping in a “hostile” environment, he said, “Nothing! I feel adventurous, and there's nothing I could not possibly live without – only to have a chance to experience whatever is in store for me out there.”

Asterix06 is also game for a new challenge and already imagining the lack of wind in his hair... “You can imagine the feeling, the emotion to be the first in the Universe to test our job. Here on the Earth, it’s too easy.”

One small step for Waze, one giant step for Waze-kind.

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