|Stable release||3.6 (iOS and Android); 2.1 (other platforms) / February 27, 2013|
|Operating system||Android, BlackBerry OS (beta), iOS, Symbian, Maemo, Windows Mobile|
|Type||GPS navigation software|
|License||Software and Maps: Proprietary|
Waze is a free social GPS application featuring turn-by-turn navigation, developed by the Israeli start-up Waze Mobile for GPS-enabled smartphones with a data plan. Waze supports Android, iPhone, Symbian, Windows Mobile (but not Windows Phone), and J2ME (RIM).
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, 70 at Ra'anana, Israel and 10 in Palo Alto, California.
In 2010 the company raised $25 million in the second round of funding. In 2011, the company, which plans to monetize through location based advertising and to expand into Asia, raised an additional $30 million in financing.
Waze differs from traditional GPS navigation software as it is a community-driven application and learns from users' driving times to provide routing and real-time traffic updates. It is also free to download and use, as it gathers map data and other information from users who use the service. Additionally, people can report accidents, traffic jams, speed traps, police and can update roads, landmarks, house numbers, etc. Waze also helps users find the cheapest, closest gas station around them or along their route. As of January 2012[update], the app has been downloaded 12 million times worldwide. In July 2012, Waze announced that it had reached 20 million users, half of those gained over the previous six months.
Waze is available for download and use anywhere in the world, but while some countries have a full basemap, other countries still require users to record the roads and edit the maps. Currently Waze has a complete base map in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel (claimed to be the best map for that country), South Africa, Ecuador, (parts of) Argentina, Chile and Panama, but the company has plans to make it available in other countries in Europe and elsewhere.
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. Waze uses cupcakes and other gaming conventions to further engage users, allowing users to drive over icons of cupcakes and other road goodies located in certain locations to earn points. The mini-games encourage more user involvement and competition, and that means more valuable road information for the users and the database where those details are otherwise slim or lacking. In addition to mini games, Waze offers points every time a user reports traffic or road hazards. These points can be used to change the users avatar, and to "level up" one's status in the community.
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.
In June 2012, Waze launched an update to provide real-time fuel prices. As with any other Waze real-time updates, prices are submitted by their users.
According to Waze, there were 20 million users in June 2012, having doubled in 6 months. Over 3.2 billion miles had been driven by Waze users.
- US Patent 7,936,284. System and method for parking time estimations. Issued May 3, 2011.
Although the Waze v2.x software was distributed under GNU General Public License v2, this license does not extend to map data. Free map 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. Starting with Waze v3.х the program switched to a proprietary license.
- Waze FAQs
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- Devindra Hardawar. Waze raises $30M for its crowdsourced driving app, hits 7M users. Forbes, October 18, 2011
- Facebook to purchase Waze
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- "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.
- Ha, Anthony. June 20, 2012. "Navigation App Waze Adds Real-Time Fuel Prices." http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/20/waze-fuel/
- waze.com, July 5, 2012 "Waze Hits 20 Million Users!" http://www.waze.com/blog/waze-hits-20-million-users/
- Brady Forrest (2009-08-14). "O'Reilly Radar - Waze: Make Your Own Maps in Realtime". Radar.oreilly.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "Waze вече няма да е под GPL. Затваря си сорс кода. » Корабен дневник на MiCRoPhoBIC". Tonev.net. 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "Waze Wiki Source code". Waze.com. 2012-04-29. Retrieved 2012-09-25.