The Pope Visits the Philippines, Wazers Raid LATAM

Hey guys,

This week - The Filipino community welcomes the Pope, LATAM, MapRaids gain momentum like a juggernaut and, in the Wazer spotlight, we've got Annick De Weerdt (AKA annickdw) a Belgian champ and CM.

We also have unholy's meme, and the Traffic event of the week - read on!

Closures for the Holy Father

His Holiness and his procession are causing some serious closures in Manilla, Philippines.

But fear not, drivers! The local community, led by kazmuth, has mapped all the relevant closures, making sure all Wazers get around without getting stuck in traffic.

No jams, no problem

Just one example of a strong editing community stepping up and impacting local Wazers on a huge (you might even say “heavenly”) scale.  It’s what makes the Waze community so great!

Unholy's Bi-Weekly Meme

Unholy has been getting some gentle, yet emotional, feedback about errors in the WME.

Major Traffic Events: San Francisco 

The famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, was closed between January 10 and 12. This is what the closure did to the number of active Wazers in the area:

MapRaids in LATAM

MapRaiding is the hottest trend throughout the Waze-realm, and LATAM is no exception:

Bogota, Colombia: the first raid concluded on December 31st.  The 9 participants made a huge difference (over 2000 UR's solved, more than 1700 pending places handled in Bogota!). A second raid is ongoing right now in the city of Pasto.

Santiago, Chile: 24 editors went raiding from December 1st to December 12th. This was the second MapRaid in the country, the first one took place last month.

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Began last week and still going strong with 15 participants.
Seems like 2015 is going to be full of MapRaids. Get one going, too! Sign up here.

Wazer Spotlight:  

annickdwBelgian Country Manager and Local Champ Benelux 

Kids, toddlers and Waze!
What do you do when not editing maps (meaning what is your daily job)?

I work as a medical professional in the field of preventive healthcare, more specifically with babies and toddlers, and of course their parents. We follow the infants from birth till the age of 2 and a half, whereupon the follow-up continues at school.

What car do you drive?

At this moment a Peugeot 308 SW, but I am going to switch to a Peugeot 2008: I want a car that's easy to park (small on the outside) combined with the ability to load a few things in the trunk and an easy trunk opening. And the 2008 is closely related to the 208 (my very first car was a 206, and I loved it), so I'll probably feel at home at the wheel

How long have you been a Wazer?

I downloaded Waze in March 2012. I entered the editor almost immediately, because there was still some work to do in my neighbourhood. Since my work is in a different city, I quickly had a respectable edit-area. I had roadworks in my street, and at the beginning I was struggling with correct routing at home and soon encountered some fellow editors, and one thing led to another...

How did you get hooked on Waze?

I liked the powerful idea of a community 'in the field' that is keeping the map up-to-date, and the ability to make corrections myself. Most GPS systems make mistakes In the rural area I live in, or neglect local road closures, and they rarely directed me to the fastest route.

I noticed that the routes Waze was offering me improved. Not only that, but I was shown new routes... I love it when Waze surprises me with a new route that might be faster,... to boldly go where I have never been before, leaving the known path of experience, memory and other GPS systems. For a long time I had been proud to be able to navigate to my destination myself, completely memorising my route with a map, including possible parking spots nearby. But Waze offered me multiple alternate routes, avoiding traffic jams and road closures, combined with a cosy community feeling (drivers and editors) and seeing other little Wazers in traffic - It's the best.

What's your favorite part about the community?

The amazing way we communicate with each other! People with different people, different professions, different ages, different backgrounds, different countries, different languages, all trying to improve their daily drives in the jungle that traffic often can be: reporting dangerous situations, editing map changes, puzzling with intersections and road types... it feels good to be a part of this community.

...And the worst part.

The worst part is not the community or the app. It's great to see how Waze copes with road closures and navigates me around. The worst part is finding information about this closures. Too many instances are involved (town councils, specific traffic agencies, road construction contractors, water companies). Sometimes information is hard to find, inaccurate or incomplete. And I am not talking about the unpredictability of weather conditions or setbacks. I am trying to follow up roadworks closely to implement them in the map, and I am forced to follow mails, tweets, RSS feeds, newspapers, multiple websites, and still it happens that Wazers report important roadworks where it remains hard to find information about.

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

While driving, when I approach a roundabout, sometimes Waze instructs 'at the roundabout, go straight' instead of 'at the roundabout, take the second exit'. When my mom is sitting next to me, usually she asks me if this GPS is really proposing that we drive straight on the roundabout instead of around...

Can't say no to mom

What's your best Waze tip for newcomers?

Use Waze while driving. even when you're not reporting hazards or editing the map, you are adding traffic data to the database. Don't start the app when you're in a jam, but use it every time you're driving .

Also... be aware we are all volunteers trying to improve the map the best way we can... don't fret about mistakes in the map, it might be an editor's honest mistake, a new unknown situation or a weird route caused by incomplete information about a traffic event - let us know and we'll try to adjust the map as soon as we can, and/or help you to correct it yourself!

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

My music is a mix of styles: rock, pop, beats, latin. It can be oldies and current hits.
Here's a hit (from the Netherlands) from a few years ago, and a typical car-song for me: "Ik neem je mee" from Gers Pardoel (translated: 'I'll take you with me')

That's it for now! 

As always, suggestions and questions are welcome!

Stay tuned!


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