We’ve all heard of social media, but how about social navigation? Waze is the first self-described “social navigation” app that uses a community of users to build and confirm mapping based on U.S. government map databases. This community also reports on things like traffic jams and accidents, and the location of speed cams and police activity.
Users can confirm routes and track traffic and road-speed patterns, but like any app that needs others to provide critical information, there will be gaps in map data and other information until enough people are recruited to fill it in.
What you’ll like about Waze is that the approach to building community and getting users where they’re going is done with a healthy dose of humor rather than a just-the-facts approach.
The Waze app is almost like a videogame. Its cartoon-like icon appears when a user drives a road that’s previously uncharted by the app. The icon noms on Pac-Man like dots to earn “points,” and features “Easter eggs” that can earn users bonus points. Users can also change the mood of their driver ID to “cool,” “happy” or “mad.” If you’re all about the social aspect of this app, you can view icons of other nearby Waze users and use the app to find Facebook friends on the road.
Other cool features that come with Waze include it voice-guided turn-by-turn directions and fast route recalculations, and it has a zooming feature and can be integrated with an iPhone’s contacts.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]