Saturday, November 19, 2011

Waze: Navigating traffic the social way

While searching for an alternative navigation program, I came across an app called Waze.  Aside from having a navigation program, the software comes with a social aspect where everyone helps with reporting traffic conditions.  When you're in the car or even just commuting, leave the program on and it automatically tracks where you are using GPS as well as your travel speed.  Other users can then see what roads are slow moving and avoid them.

Users can also post reports like police, hazards or just let people know traffic conditions using a shout out or even chat. Users can also help update the system by adding roads to the map when its not complete.  From the desktop, users edit the map by adding and editing road or correcting the traffic flow like one-way roads or insert U-turns slots.

Security-wise, the system allows users to remain anonymous and there is nothing that allows one to track anyone in particular.


Though the traffic status function is similar to the MMDA traffic reports app for Android and on the Iphone, it is not limited to just the 9 major thoroughfares.  The MMDA has their twitter account which allows people to post updates but its not as easy to just look at a map and see red line indicating slow moving or heavy traffic.  The disadvantage though is the number of users out on the streets at anytime of the day.  Now if there are more people using this, then it could make travel life easier for everyone.

The app is available for Android, the Iphone, Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile.





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