Barcelona Meetup and The Waze Cafe

The Waze yearly European meetup took place in a sunny Barcelona, bringing together top editors from all across the continent. Meanwhile a new initiative started in South America - the Waze Cafe.

And last but not least, Italy's own Maria Iole Simonetti answers our questions.

Europeans Unite 

The yearly European meetup took place in a lovely seaside hotel. About 40 champs flew or drove to attend and discuss routing, new WME features, handling cheaters and abusers and lots more.

Did he really just say "soon"?!?

Orit, our localization lead, talked about adjusting Waze for each country and promoting events, Shirli presented the community and support team and some Waze stats, Ohad talked about the editor, and Yigal, the routing master, explained and answered questions. We also had champs presenting about a new mentoring tool (Italy), sub-cities (Germany) and more.

Champs also took part in lovely meals and cocktails, and enjoyed the city's sites and beaches. It was a well balanced combination of Wazing and fun.

Waze Cafe 

And on the other end of the spectrum, there's a new, laid back way for Wazers to get together and bond. The Waze Cafe was born in South America. The Spanish community gave it it's name (which can explain the coffee issue), and it is basically a meetup that emphasises the social aspects of the community.

Waze Cafe in Panama

Unlike an official meetup, the idea here is for editors from the same area to get together and get to know each other. It's a social gathering, where users can still discuss editing or even present stuff, but in a relaxed atmosphere and with an emphasis on getting to know one another. 

If you want to set up your own Waze Cafe it's easy - just do it, and let us know if you need any help. 

Wazer Spotlight:  

Maria Iole Simonetti AKA miole67, Italian Country Administrator and Global Champ 
Maria, the navigator

What do you do when not editing maps?

I work in Rome for an Association dealing with vocational training. I am the Secretary and responsible for administration.

What car do you drive?

I have a driver's license, but I rarely drive a car... I'm my husband's navigator. 

We have only one car, a Mitsubishi ASX 1.8 Turbo-diesel (2013), that my husband uses to go to work. We use Waze every morning on the way from home to the train station (he usually takes me to the station before going to work) and while he drives, I give him information about the traffic situation on his way to work. 

How long have you been a Wazer?

I logged in to Waze the first time on August the first 2011. 

How did you get hooked on Waze?

I saw a TV report about Waze in a TV program about technology. It intrigued me and I decided to download the application. Then I tried it during the following holidays.

What's your favorite part about the community?

I like to know which of my friends is using Waze and is travelling at that moment. I also like the possibility to share routes and common goals.

... And the worst part.

Some wheels
I hate people who think of Waze as a game for smartphones. And those who constantly report about traffic or non existing road works just because they think that doing so they can earn points.

What's the funniest Waze story that happened to you?

My sister uses Waze. Once my mother and I were in our car going home and there was a lot of traffic. I turned on the app and put it in navigation mode to find the best route, and the voice began to speak.

My mom said: “What’s this program? The one speaking doesn’t understand anything, it has the same voice as the one your sister has…. And it always gives you the wrong information...."

What's your best Waze tip for newcomers?

Waze is a powerful tool, thanks to the presence of a community that constantly sends data and information. But as an experienced editor, I can tell you that many users don’t even imagine the hard and free work done by all those who dedicate their time to keep the maps updated and working ... So if you use the program, please help us, pointing out any error or problem, and help us solve them giving us information...

What do you listen to when driving your car (aside from the Waze app messages, of course)? 

When we travel we often listen to the radio or CDs of the 80s - 90s. During the last trip I brought with me some CDs of Sting, Abba and Queen. 

I am a fan of Renato Zero but I also love Fiorella Mannoia. My favorite song: “What women don’t tell” (Quello che le donne non dicono).

That's it for now! 

As always, suggestions and questions are welcome!

Stay tuned & have a great year!

Safe driving!


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