Wazing the Storm (In the USA)

Hey Everyone,

We have a chilly post for you this week! Juno hit the US with a vengeance - causing road closures, flight cancellations and other general inconveniences. Waze and the community were, of course, there to help. In the meantime - maps were raided, meetups conducted, and champs kept champing. Also, kazmuth from the Philippines tells all.

Winter is Coming (actually, it's here) 

A huge storm hit the US and Waze - both staff and community - was on it. Waze HQ sent push
notification to millions of Wazers, and the community, being the great guys they are, reported closures and helped in any way they can.

In addition we sent winter driving tips to Europe and the US. The winter weather program aims to improve safety on the roads during winter time and extreme weather conditions by keeping Wazers informed of changing traffic conditions.

The program will be ongoing (based on winter months in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere) and includes push notifications and winter driving tips.

Raid on!

The raids don't stop: 

- 109 brave editors conducted a MapRaid on Houston, Texas, giving the map a boost.
- The first raid in Canada is going strong, with 128(!) raiders in Ottawa & Montreal.
- A small raiding party of 17 French editors is getting ready to handle the map in Marseille in the beginning of February.

Unholy's Bi-weekly Meme

Winter is here, and on Ori's mind.

Wazer spotlight: kazmuth, Global champ from the Philippines 

What do you do when not editing maps?
kazmuth. It's Wazing time

I am a Software Test and Quality Assurance Engineer, fancy title for someone who makes sure software applications run correctly. :)

What car do you drive?

For my daily drive, I have a Suzuki Swift. For long drives, and to haul people and stuff, I drive a Ford Everest. You can't miss them on the road because they have Waze stickers on the front and rear windshield.

How long have you been a Wazer?

I have been a Wazer since September 2011

How did you get hooked on Waze?

I found out about Waze from an article in Gizmodo, about a free navigation app that had real time traffic information. When I first installed Waze, I didn't think much of it. I couldn't use it to navigate from one place to another. I kept reporting issues but they were not getting fixed. There was no traffic information because there weren't that many Wazers in Manila, or the Philippines for that matter.

After a week I gave up on it and went back to using the GPS that came with the car.

Sometime after that, I saw another article about Waze. This time the article said that ordinary Wazers can edit the map and correct any issues. I logged into the map editor, which at that time was called Cartouche, found the map issues I reported and fixed them. After getting the route from my house to my office fixed, I became hooked on getting all the roads in the metro working. I guess the reason why there were not a lot of Wazers back then was because Waze didn't work properly. When the local community started fixing the roads, the number of Wazers increased. As proof, when I first used Waze there were only a handful of active users and editors. Now when I turn on Waze it says there are several thousand Wazers nearby.

What's your favorite part about the community?

The virtual Waze community is growing, not just in terms of users, but also in terms of editors. The result is an improvement of the map accuracy. The amount and frequency of information being sent by other Wazers really gives a real-time picture of the traffic situation.

I have also made new friends within the local and international Waze community. We have chatrooms where we talk about anything and everything. There is even a chatroom for Team S.E.A. or South East Asian Wazers.

...And the worst part.

Not all Wazers contribute in the right way. Some editors edit just to gain points, some users abuse the reporting functionality also to gain points, also lots of newbie editors sometimes mess up the map by not going through the available editing resources first.

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

I had a road trip with Waze on with my mother, aunt, and uncle (imagine a bunch of your old folks who only use Smartphones to call and text). They were amazed by how Waze reported traffic status, accident locations, and by the app's ability to pronounce street names and give turn instructions. I explained to them how it works and told them I was part of a group who edits the map. They said I should sell it (Waze) to Google and make millions.

What's your best Waze tip for newcomers?

I would suggest that everyone go through the Waze manual even if they are just users, or go through the Waze wiki and browse the Waze forum if they are interested in editing. A lot of issues could be addressed or avoided by just going through these resources.

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

I listen to the same radio station everyday. It plays modern and alternative rock. For long drives, I take out the old 80GB iPod which has everything from Classical to Heavy Metal. But if I had to listen to one band only, it would be Queen, and my favorite song by them is "Bohemian Rhapsody"

That's it for now! 

As always, suggestions and questions are welcome!

Stay tuned!


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