Waze Service Now Available Globally

Posted by at 12:33 pm on November 12, 2009

Waze, the first free provider of driver-generated maps and real-time road information, today announced the availability of its platform for community crowdsourcing of maps, worldwide. Already, drivers have organically formed their own groups and have started using waze to build local maps in over 20 countries around the globe, including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Thailand, Kazakhstan, and Trinidad Tobago. Due to driver demand, waze can now be used to generate real-time maps anywhere in the world, quickly and accurately, by simply driving around with waze’s free mobile app installed on your phone.

Through a community-based approach, waze harnesses driver-generated data in order to build navigable road maps. The waze application runs on users’ smartphones, while automatically and anonymously sending back GPS points as they drive. This data is then used to build and continuously update the road grid itself, road changes, and more. All of this information is collected passively, but drivers can also take a more active role, by joining the map editing arm of the community online at world.waze.com.

Demand from the international community spurred waze to open its platform worldwide, after its successful launch in Israel and the US. With waze’s technology, users can now build maps from scratch – literally paving the roads they drive on the map. Patented technology enables the map building process to happen very quickly, for example, in Singapore the highway grid was mapped in just a few days by a handful of active users. Once the map is created, the mobile app automatically provides free turn-by-turn navigation, as well as real-time traffic and community-generated road reports to all wazer’s in the region.

“Even without specific country support, we were amazed to see wazers on our live map in clusters all over the world self organizing,” said Noam Bardin, CEO of waze. “We are committed to fostering this community of users and supporting them with the new infrastructure launched today. I would like to thank these motivated wazers from all over the world for helping us bring better maps, free navigation and an improved daily commute to their regions.”

Waze launched its first mobile application in Israel, where it has been downloaded by more than 200,000 commuters. It is the fastest-growing navigation application in that market with unprecedented real-time traffic information and a navigable map built entirely from scratch by the community’s users. Waze launched in the USA over the summer and is currently available nationwide.

“Traditional map making technologies are labor intensive thus expensive,” said Mark Fitzgerald of Strategy Analytics.  “Real-time maps and crowdsourced data can provide both the functionality and the free-to-consumer cost structure to serve as the map for the mobile generation, just as Wikipedia serves as the Encyclopedia for the Internet generation.”

Waze is available for Android, iPhone, Symbian & Windows Mobile users and is actively seeking partnerships with commercial map owners worldwide that want to join their crowdsourced mapping initiative.

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