Google is still actively working on Waze. Beta testers know that about every week to ten days, a new version is released. For those who are not in the beta, version 3.9 was pushed which provide for some interesting enhancements to the social based maps application.
Those updates include:
- After navigating to a destination, you can take a photo of the place, helping other Wazers identify it regardless of time or season.
- You can instantly edit and update details about businesses, residential places and more ensuring they are fresh and up to date. Every contribution counts, big or small. Missing information can always be added by other users – that’s the beauty of working together as a community!
- You can add driver-centric info, like parking options and availability.
- Easily add places straight from the ‘Report’ menu.
The biggest update in version 3.9 is a feature they call “Places”. From the Waze blog, they describe the issues as:
This version is highlighted by an exciting new feature called Places. Today, information on Places – local businesses and residential – is what maps, traffic and road data was before the Waze community: Often inaccurate, incomplete and of limited use to drivers. It’s time to bring the same magic to places everywhere by working together to provide the freshest and most accurate information!
Places is a fairly simple function added to the UI. When tapping on Report, the Place button appears. That takes you to a camera interface where the user takes a shot of where they are located at that moment. I like to think of it as real time street view. An example would be for me to take a shot of my office building. The GPS in my office district is confusing to many, but other Wazers will be able to find my building in this forest of commercial real estate provided I take a unique enough shot.
Along with other enhancements such as editing parking lot info, saving your parking location, locating good parking, and autocomplete worldwide, Google is keeping Waze an rich platform for their growing community. It’s an application that I use every day to gauge traffic and determine which route to take to work. I would like to see more of these features bundled into Maps, and slowly I am sure that it’s happening, but I am glad they are keeping Waze around as well.
What are your thoughts. Have you tried out Places yet?
From: Waze Blog