Waze’s pool of users are doing more than they realize. With just a simple report of standstill traffic, which happens a lot in Metro Manila, Wazers are helping others to avoid traffic and find ways around some of the most congested areas of the Metro.
Motorists can contribute in their own little ways, but other individuals go above and beyond the call of duty to give others the best possible experience with the app. If you didn’t know, there are what Waze calls map editors. These editors are unsung heroes behind the accuracy and the dynamism of Waze’s map. Just as the metro changes its traffic schemes, map editors also change the digital map to adapt it to a more recent version.
Map editing requires a significant amount of time, and commitment. These map editors are not paid to edit. It is out of their own personal fulfillment that they do this. It is through these editors that the map receives routing data, road closures and restrictions, so that the app can point motorists through different routes.
Alvin Magno is an editor with over five hundred thousand edits to his name. Currently at level 6 as a map editor in Waze’s system, Magno started by fixing his route to work, his house and other areas he frequents. He then escalated from there to the point where he was able to go to Thailand to represent the Philippines at the 2017 Global Conference.
Ada, another map editor, works all day and spends all night editing Waze’s map. By day she is a physician, by night her obsessive compulsive trait kicks in and spurs her to edit the map. She reported quite a few routing issues around her workplace at first, then she started editing more as time progressed.
Brian Altman, expressed his ultimate goal of keeping his area clean and organized. Reports come in every day that need to be validated to ensure that maps stay free from vandalism. Map editors also have a Facebook group where they can confer and share their love and interest for mapping and routing through this group.
Beyond the routing, map editors also lobby with waze to introduce features that are adapted to the Philippine setting such as number coding, and support for motorcycles, a feature that has been out for a while and currently being made available on Google Maps.
This is all unknown to the average Waze user, however. The map editors are making these edits out of the goodness of their own hearts, not because they are Waze’s customer service representatives.
Waze is not just helping its users circumvent traffic. It builds a community of dedicated people whose goal is to help us in our daily commutes. Waze relies heavily on the contributions made by its users and map editors, and has become a better application for it. The next time Waze is used, take a second to appreciate the time and effort put into making sure that the map and the routes are accurate.