Waze

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Waze
Logo for waze.svg
Developer(s) Waze Mobile
Stable release 3.8.0 (iOS);
3.8.0 (Android);
3.7.4.5 (Windows Phone 8);
2.1.99 (Symbian);
2.0.2.304 (BlackBerry);
2.1.99.114 (Windows Mobile 6.x); / Nov 20, 2013
Operating system Android, BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry OS (beta), iOS, Windows Mobile 5–6, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1, Symbian, Maemo
Type GPS navigation software
License Software and Maps: Proprietary
Website waze.com

Waze is a GPS-based geographical navigation application program for smartphones with GPS support and display screens which provides turn-by-turn information and user-submitted travel times and route details, downloading location-dependent information over the mobile telephone network. It was developed by the Israeli start-up Waze Mobile, which was acquired by Google in 2013.

Waze won the Best Overall Mobile App award at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, beating Dropbox, Flipboard and others.[1] On June 11, 2013 Google completed the acquisition of Waze for a reported US$1.3 billion.[2][3] As part of the deal signed, each of Waze’s 100 employees will receive an average of about $1.2 million, which represents the largest payout to employees in the history of Israeli high tech.[4]

Waze supports Android, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry 10 (except Blackberry Q10),[5] Windows Phone 8 [6] and Windows Mobile from version 5.[7] In July 2013 Waze said that they were planning to support both iPhone and Android, and would consider supporting new platforms. As older platforms (Symbian, WM, Blackberry) do not support either a full native UI or other APIs they rely on, they could not support them, although existing versions would continue to work.[8]

History[edit]

Waze Ltd. was founded in 2008 in Israel by Uri Levine, software engineer Ehud Shabtai, and Amir Shinar. The company was originally called LinQmap. In December 2011 Waze employed 80 people, composed of 70 at Ra'anana, Israel and 10 in Palo Alto, California.[9][10][11][12]

In 2010, the company raised $25 million in the second round of funding.[13] In 2011, the company, which planned to monetize through location based advertising and to expand into Asia, raised an additional $30 million in financing.[14]

Takeover by Google[edit]

Facebook and other companies were interested in purchasing Waze, but did not reach an agreement.[15][16][17] In June 2013 Google bought Waze for $966M, adding a social data aspect to its mapping business.[18] In June 2013 the United States Federal Trade Commission started considering whether Google's purchase of Waze might violate competition law[19]—Waze was one of very few competitors in the mobile mapping sector. As of August 2013 no decision had been made. The UK Office of Fair Trading and the Israel Antitrust Authority are also investigating.[20][21]

Overview[edit]

The Waze app with visible users, traffic volume, and noted red-light cameras

Waze differs from traditional GPS navigation software as it is a community-driven application which gathers some complementary map data and other traffic information from users.[22] Like other GPS software it learns from users' driving times to provide routing and real-time traffic updates. It is free to download and use. People can report accidents, traffic jams, speed and police traps, and from the online map editor, can update roads, landmarks, house numbers, etc. Waze also identifies the cheapest fuel station near a user or along their route, provided Waze has enabled gas prices for that country. As of January 2012, the app had been downloaded 12 million times worldwide.[14][23] In July 2012 Waze announced that it had reached 20 million users, half of them recruited in the previous six months.[24] According to Yahoo! there were nearly 50 million Waze users as of June 2013.[25]

Waze can be used anywhere in the world but it requires a critical mass of users to have real utility; currently only 13 countries have a full base map, the others are incompletely mapped, requiring users to record roads and edit maps. As of 2013 Waze has a complete base map for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel (claimed to be the best map for that country[26]), South Africa,[27] Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Panama, but the company has plans to complete maps for other countries in Europe and elsewhere.[28][29]

In addition to turn-by-turn voice navigation, real-time traffic, and other location-specific alerts, Waze simultaneously sends anonymous information, including users' speed and location, back to its database to improve the service as a whole. This crowdsourcing allows the Waze community to report navigation and mapping errors and traffic accidents simply by running the app while driving[clarification needed]. Waze uses gaming conventions to engage users and encourage them to provide more information, allowing them to "drive over" icons of cupcakes and other things to earn points. Waze also offers points for traffic or road hazard reports, which can be used to change the user's avatar, and to increase their status in the community.[30]

In 2011 Waze Mobile updated the software to display real-time, community-curated points of interest, including local events such as street fairs and protests.[31]

In June 2012 Waze launched an update to provide real-time fuel prices. As with all Waze real-time updates, prices are submitted by users, however this feature is not available in all countries.[32]

Since November 2012, in monetizing its app, Waze offers resellers and advertisers a web interface to advertise based on locations where a small icon will appear on a given location for an interested Wazer to engage into the ads offered by them.[33] It also offers to TV news stations a web interface to broadcast current traffic reports and alerts directly from the Waze app; the service had been used by 25 TV U.S. news stations by June 2013 [34] It has also been used in Rio de Janeiro inside Centro de Operações Rio (Rio's Operations Center) since July 24, 2013,[35] as well as in New York and New Jersey since 2012.

In June 2013, Waze introduced a global localization project that will enable future road closures and real-time traffic updates during major events in a given country, for example Tour de France.[36]

Safety and security risk[edit]

Some road-safety advocates have voiced concern over the prospect of more drivers using Waze, which they say has the potential to distract them with a flurry of icons and notifications and put them at greater risk of an accident.[37]

A hacking attempt was successfully made by Israeli students from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to fake a traffic jam.[38]

Patents[edit]

  • U.S. Patent 7,936,284. System and method for parking time estimations. Issued May 3, 2011
  • U.S. Patent 8,271,057. Condition-based activation, shut-down and management of applications of mobile devices. Issued Sep 18, 2012
  • U.S. Patent 8,612,136. System and method for road map creation. Issued Dec 17, 2013, with priority date of Aug 27, 2008. This patent was mentioned in the class action suit filed in 2014.

Licensing[edit]

The Waze v2.x software was distributed under GNU General Public License v2, which did not extend to map data.[39] FreeMap[40] data published under open content licenses was available before the Waze project began, but Waze CEO Noam Bardin felt that Waze was fundamentally different from projects like OpenStreetMap and was wary of map data licensing that would restrict commercialization of the Waze service.[41] Starting with Waze v3 the program switched to a proprietary license.[42] The last open source client version for the iPhone and Android is 2.4.0.0, and for Windows Mobile 2.0.[43][44]

A class action suit was made in March 2014 by accountant Roey Gorodish against Waze, claiming intellectual property violation for the use of open-source FreeMap map and code from the open-source RoadMap software,[45] a project which Ehud Shabtai had contributed for the Windows PocketPC version in 2006.[46][47][48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hoffman, Tzahi (February 27, 2013). "Waze wins Best Mobile App award in Barcelona". Globes. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Google Maps and Waze, outsmarting traffic together". Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Chan, Edwin. "Google buys Israel’s Waze to protect mobile maps lead." Jewish Journal. 11 June 2013. 11 June 2013.
  4. ^ Teig, Amir (June 13, 2013). "Waze employees clinch most lucrative exit in Israeli history". Haaretz. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Waze FAQs". World.waze.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Waze Support, Quick Help. Type "Windows mobile" in search box. Shows "How to install Waze" with download for WM5-6 on device from https://m.waze.com. Also Symbian and old Blackberry.
  8. ^ Waze Support, Quick Help. Type "Future waze versions" in search box. Shows "Future waze versions and operating systems". States that current versions for WM, BB and Symbian will continue to be available.
  9. ^ Blum, Brian (19 December 2011). "Waze steers you clear of traffic". Israel21c. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Hoge, Patrick (18 October 2011). "Waze raises $30 million". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Company Overview of Waze Ltd.". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Singh, Sukasha (16 March 2012). "Social network paves the Waze". TechCentral. Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  13. ^ Waze revs up crowdsourced driving app with $25M. Venturebeat. December 7, 2010
  14. ^ a b Devindra Hardawar. Waze raises $30M for its crowdsourced driving app, hits 7M users. Forbes, October 18, 2011
  15. ^ Buzelan, Shira (2013-05-09). "Facebook to purchase Waze". Timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  16. ^ "Report: Facebook’s Waze acquisition talks hit the brakes". Haaretz, TheMarker. May 29, 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Teig, Amir (2013-05-24). "Report: Google may outbid Facebook for Israeli startup Waze - Business - Israel News". Haaretz. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  18. ^ Maierbrugger, Arno (12 June 2013). "Google buys map-software provider Waze for $1b". Inside Investor. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "US Federal Trade Commission probes Google Waze deal". tekinsol.com. 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  20. ^ "Google acquisition of Waze traffic app sparks OFT inquiry". The Guardian newspaper. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Israel’s antitrust panel taking a look at Google-Waze merger". JTA. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  22. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (2009-08-06). "CNET News - Waze iPhone app provides real-time, crowdsourced traffic data". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  23. ^ Gilbert, Jason (9 Feb 2012). "Waze, A Free GPS Driving App, Features Spoken Turn-By-Turn Directions And User Input". The Huffington Post. 
  24. ^ Lardinois, Frederic. July 5, 2012. "Waze Doubles Its User Base To 20 Million In 6 Months." http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/05/waze-20-million/
  25. ^ Yahoo.com, June 12, 2013 "Waze sale signals new growth for Israeli high tech" http://news.yahoo.com/waze-sale-signals-growth-israeli-high-tech-174533585.html
  26. ^ "Community car GPS navigation - WAZE - at DEMOfall09". YouTube. 2009-09-27. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  27. ^ "Waze Blog - Waze launches in South Africa". Waze.com. 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  28. ^ "Waze Blog - Waze now available internationally – put your country on the map!". Waze.com. 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  29. ^ "Waze Forum - European Maps Schedule Update". Waze.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  30. ^ Furchgott, Roy (2010-05-06). "Waze in a New York Times blog". Wheels.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  31. ^ "Waze Introduces Redesigned App for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch, Steering Drivers from Local Search to Local Discovery". Sfgate.com. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  32. ^ Ha, Anthony. June 20, 2012. "Navigation App Waze Adds Real-Time Fuel Prices." http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/20/waze-fuel/
  33. ^ "Waze Maps Out Native Ad Platform Driving app navigates direct sales, self-serve". adweek.com. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  34. ^ "What Waze Adds To Google: A View From Waze's CEO". forbes.com. 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  35. ^ "Prefeitura começa a usar Waze no Centro de Operações Rio". O Globo. 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  36. ^ "Waze Blog: How to Beat Epic Traffic Caused by Summer Events". waze.com. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  37. ^ "Did Google Just Buy a Dangerous Driving App?". 
  38. ^ "Israeli Students Spoof Waze App With Fake Traffic Jam". 
  39. ^ "Waze Terms of Use". Waze.com. 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  40. ^ Freemap.co.il at the Wayback Machine (archived April 9, 2006)
  41. ^ Brady Forrest (2009-08-14). "O'Reilly Radar - Waze: Make Your Own Maps in Realtime". Radar.oreilly.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  42. ^ "Waze вече няма да е под GPL. Затваря си сорс кода. » Корабен дневник на MiCRoPhoBIC". Tonev.net. 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  43. ^ Waze Wiki Source code at the Wayback Machine (archived March 3, 2011)
  44. ^ "Waze 2.4.0.0 iPhone Source code". Waze.com. 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  45. ^ Waze - Copyrights and licenses at the Wayback Machine (archived March 4, 2011)
  46. ^ "Accountant Sues Waze for Allegedly Stolen Code". tmcnet.com. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  47. ^ "Waze founder in 2006: Maps belong to the community". Haaretz.com. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  48. ^ "$1B exit and you don’t cut us in? No Waze Jose!". Geektime.com. 2014-03-30. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 

External links[edit]

Official website