Google is making full use of its acquisition of Waze by integrating it into its Maps service. The recently-purchased mapping app company, which was bought for $1billion according to various reports will enable Maps to offer real-time road reports. When Waze was acquired, many commentators were uncertain about what they expected Google to do with it. Waze itself informed its users of live traffic information, warning them of obstacles such as congestion, jams, construction and road blocks. The service has relied on user input to eliminate errors.
A Mutually Beneficial Relationship
Waze will be incorporated into the iOS and Android Maps Apps, whilst the Waze app will now have Street View built into its map editor. When the updated version of the Maps app is accessed, users will be able to toggle to a view that will outline any problems that are currently apparent on or near the route that they are planning to take. It’s thought that rather than using the two services to create a single app, Google will use each service to optimise the other.
A “Better-Informed” Service
Darrell Ethrington of TechCrunch said that he expected Google to use Waze as an extension of Maps. Ethrington said “(Google is) treating Waze almost like a community-sourced product development arm of the Maps project. So long as it also continues providing useful updates to the Waze app and its users, that could be a strategy that serves it very well in terms of providing better-informed Maps data for the general public.”
Fixing Missing Data
The integration of Street View will allow users to highlight any inaccuracies in Waze. Waze CEO Noam Bardin wrote a blog post, saying that one of the problems that had repeatedly surfaced in the past was the difficulty in providing feedback. “At times like these, more visual tools like Street View and aerial imagery will be invaluable to not only fix the problem, but identify what the issue was in the first place. It can also help to fill in house numbers, street names, turn restrictions, and other missing data.”