Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Category: Navigation

(Free, requires live Internet connect to operate) - Waze is a turn-by-turn navigation system. 

A compelling aspect of Waze is that it is "community-based." That is, it uses information gathered from Waze users to create a picture of the current traffic conditions. It even uses users to create maps. If you drive on a road on which no Waze user has ever driven, you may actually "create" new map data (you'll be rewarded with a Pac-Man-like animation as you "munch" new territory. Waze aggregates this data to create their map database, along with other sources. 

Waze also lets users report traffic problems and even chat with other Waze users (though I'm not sure why). Like Google, Waze also (anonymously) analyzes the speeds of all of its users to identify traffic flow patterns.

Waze rewards user-contributed input - including simply using the system - with a points system. 

Until the new Google Maps with turn-by-turn navigation released in December of 2012, Waze was the best free turn-by-turn solution for users of iOS devices too old to run Apple's Maps app. Even with the release of the new Google Maps, Waze's user-feedback system makes it an interesting option.  


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