Places: Results and Next Steps

October was a great month for places - the results are in and it's a huge success, thanks to our great community.

Meanwhile the MapRaid craze is sweeping the world, with the US guys going at it like pros. Meanwhile, in South America we had two interesting meetups in Brazil and  Uruguay. Busy times.

Big Numbers 1: Places Open Strong

Places were off to a sizzling hot start: over 400K places were added to the map in October, and the trend looks extremely positive. This, of course, means a lot of work approving them.

In order to make that process as enjoyable and as easy as possible, we are now analysing the data, and considering several possible improvements to the process. Please note - these are early plans, subject to change according to the data we're looking at.

Among the planned improvements:

  • Image editing - giving editors tools to improve places images
  • Automatic tools - for example, identifying an image that's completely black and rejecting it automatically
  • UI improvements - Keyboard shortcuts and so forth
  • This is all part of a work in progress, and we'll update the community as things develop. 

Big Numbers 2: The Brazilians are Set on Growth

There were two important meetups in South America In October. We started in Brazil: The meetup itself was all champs - 16 of them. But on the evening before, the champs took the opportunity to meet local editors over beer to discuss editing and other issues.

Bigger lens next year

In the meetup itself Waze staff discussed realtime and infrastructure, shedding some light on how things work. Brazil's map was the next subject, discussing what works and what needs to be improved.

The community talked about size - how to add new editors without compromising on editing quality. The Brazilian mentoring program is one solution, and the champs have set an ambitious goal - double their number in the next year to around 30 champs.

Then we went on to a nice intimate Waze Cafe in Uruguay, discussing the community's status, and the excellent map they have over there.

Map Raiding in NY

The US community embraced the MapRaid concept: The first raid was in Binghamton, NY, and it was as orbitc (who initiated it) wrote "mentoring on speed". 

The second raid is set to take place in New York city - all five boroughs - with over 30 participating editors! And we have other champs (hey sketch) waiting for data to start their own raids in the US. Amazing. 

Wazer Spotlight:  

Steveningelbrecht, Belgian global champ and coordinator  

What do you do when not editing maps?
Steven E
I’m a general manager of a social profit organisation that supports people with mental health problems.

Which car do you drive?

As I’m over 2M tall, and have 3 kids, I like a spacey car… You can spot me on the road driving a black Citro├źn C8 with of course a ‘larger than normal’ localised Waze sticker at the back and a Waze themed sunscreens on the sides ;-)

How long have you been a Wazer?

I discovered Waze in the summer of 2012, so I’ve been a wazer for a little more than 2 years now.

How did you get hooked on Waze?

I got hooked on Waze because of a couple of things: the game and points aspect when driving the road, and the possibility to update the map yourself and have the fun of experiencing the new map on the road the very next day…

It's hard to tell what really did the trick, as I already started editing the first day I used the Waze app.

What's your favorite part about the community?

My favorite part about the community is getting to know new people and to provide them a solution… Going from a little introduction on how we think Waze works, contacting new editors, doing follow ups in the forum or coaching some editors, responding to news articles or media topics and promoting Waze, screening social media to look for people complaining that they are in traffic so I can suggest they start using Waze…

It’s all about helping each other out to make the best of it.

..And the worst part.

 A lot of people spend some of their time to contribute to the community. Be grateful, constructive and at least respond when you’re contacted. Nothing is perfect, but together we can make it as good as it gets…

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

Once upon a time there was a weekly top 3 scoreboard with a #1 golden Wazer, #2 silver Wazer, #3 … As the Belgian community was still pretty small, I was the weekly #1 getting the golden Wazer mood. We wanted to promote Waze and got some Waze stickers to give away. we organized a small competition where Wazers had to spot me on the map, as a kind of golden Wazer/duck hunt… I had the pleasure of being “the sitting duck”, driving around all day, waiting for someone to beep me in the app and contact me for a meetup. We got quite a lot of responses and had a lot of fun giving away the Waze stickers!

What's your best Waze tip for newcomers?

If you don’t have one yet, get a car holder and car charger and get used to activating Waze when getting in a car.

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

I normally don’t listen to music in the car, as I get quite a lot of phone calls, but if I do, I listen to U2, Moby, Coldplay, Faithless, Radiohead, Air, The Verve, Red Hot Chili Peppers… You get what I mean.

If I have to choose a favorite song, I'll go for Admiral Freebee - Rags 'n' Run.

That's it for now! 

As always, suggestions and questions are welcome!

Stay tuned!


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