Big Junctions are Coming to WME!

Big junctions are in Beta and will change the way you edit Waze maps. What are big junctions? Read on!

Also, a huge MapRaid is coming to LA and will kick off during a meet-up this weekend in New York, of all places. Last but certainly not least, in the spotlight, is one of Canada's champs, hmarian.

Big in Japan (and everywhere else)

After a long long time, big junctions have come to Beta! What are big junctions? A way to solve lots of "hacking" methods used to draw complicated junctions and make sure the routing algorithm knows how to handle them. The goal is to improve ETAs and routing in complicated junctions. 

This probably affects traffic as well

Big junctions are basically a hint editors can give the Waze routing services. The hint, in plain English, is “these few segments are split in a few places, but generally should be treated as a single point which switches traffic from several sources”. This hint helps the routing service get better ETA calculations and hence select better routes for Wazers.

A junction can have several inputs and several outputs. The geometry of the segments inside does not matter for ETA calculation purposes.

We hope the Beta testing will prove successful and that we'll be able to move to the practical stage ASAP. Only high level editors will be able to create big junctions. This is only the beginning - we have more tools on the way.

Raiding LA

Another newsletter, another raid. MapRaids are all the rage, and after the success in New York and in São Paulo, LA is next. This is a big one, with over 170 participants already signed up. 

It's coming! (Done by the community)

Keep in mind that raids don't have to be huge American style events. we had raids with 10 editors going on a rampage with impressive results. It's about working together, sharing experience, and concentrating on a predefined area. Any community - big or small - can do it, and benefit from it. 

You can read about the Hungarian raid here, And check out the Brazilian effort here

Wazer Spotlight:  

hmarian, Canadian Global Champ and Coordinator  
hmarian, Wazing in Canada

What do you do when not editing maps?

I’m working for a large construction company as a Business Development professional. Most of the projects I’m involved with are large scale infrastructure projects, many of them in the transportation sector. So in my capacity I’m helping to build the infrastructure so Waze users could pave new roads, bridges and tunnels.

What car do you drive?

We have two vehicles in the family and my wife and I share the use of both. The older one is a 2003 Ford Windstar, that used to be our main family car until a few years ago, but we never sized it down, although it is still the plan. The newest addition to our driveway is a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder. With 3 young kids in the house, a busy lifestyle and many activities around where we live, we enjoy the space we get in both cars we own.

How long have you been a Wazer?

Almost 5 years! I opened my profile in January 2010.

How did you get hooked on Waze?

I had been a GPS owner long before it became a commodity and was available in each electronic store. I got my first GPS device, the Magellan RoadMate 760, from my brother and it cost him over $1,000 back in 2004. I later moved to a TomTom product.

Being originally from Israel, I read an article about Waze in the Israeli media and thought it is a brilliant idea. I even had a user account on the Israeli server, but I couldn’t have any meaningful contribution to the community, since I wasn’t living there, only visited from time to time. When Waze became available in North America I was living through the double pain of the bad quality of map we had at the beginning in Canada and the fact I had to use it on my small screen Blackberry I had at that time, but even then I was all excited about it and loved it from day one and was running it side by side the TomTom GPS I had in my car.

What's your favorite part about the community?

While we are a virtual community, it is unbelievable how much satisfaction we get from the interaction we have between us and the sense of accomplishment we get upon getting things done. We are truly making a difference to the life of so many people, without them even knowing that!
The harmony that was built between Senior and Junior editors, Champs and staffers is very unique and in essence is the foundation of the entire Waze community.

..And the worst part.

First and foremost the new users who jump into editing and fixing problems before learning a single thing about proper editing guidelines.

I also don’t appreciate the random editor who would think he is smarter than the rest of us and would not cooperate with the community and act rude to fellow editors.

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

My wife wasn’t a Waze user until not too long ago, and what made her change her mind was our 12 years old daughter, who had Waze installed on her phone. She used it to tell my wife where to go to bypass traffic when they drove together up and down near our neighborhood running errands. I was amused that all the conversation and pressure I had tried to put on my wife to convince her to start using Waze wasn’t as effective as my older daughter's suggestions. That proved to her that Waze really works and saves her time. Now she can’t drive her car without it.

What's your best Waze tip for newcomers?

Read the manual before you do anything. Be active in the forums, where you will learn many things and know what is going on in the community. Seek advice from experienced editors on things you are not 100% sure about, either via the forum or PM. Be a good citizen in our community and play according to the rules.

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

My Waze sound setting is mostly set to alerts only. I turn voice prompt on only when I drive outside of my daily commute or usual places I drive to. In the 20-30 minutes I spend each way in the car to and from work I listen mostly to local radio news channels, to know what’s going on in our world.

When my girls are in the car they own the stereo and make me listen to all the repertoire young kids are listening to these days (Katy Perry, Sia, Lorde, Bruno Mars, etc.) and I like listening and singing with them.

On long trips, If I get a chance to listen to my own music, I would listen to classic rock from the70s and 80s; such as Cat Stevens, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bee Gees, Sting and others. A particular song I like to listen to in the car is Metallica’s "Nothing Else Matters".

That's it for now! 

As always, suggestions and questions are welcome!

Stay tuned!


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