Forbes: Waze Will be the Wikipedia of All Maps and the Search Bar for the Real World

Forbes has a background article on Waze in the aftermath of the news that Google will buy the company. What Waze Adds To Google: A View From Waze's CEO

It turns out that Waze is not just a GPS app for your car on your smartphone. Waze is a community of users who will contribute to the indexing of the physical world. It aspires to be to the actual earth, what Google is to the Internet. Or something like that.

After reading the interview with the CEO of Waze, it seems to me that Waze wants to be more the user edited Wikipedia of the real world of roads and traffic. And keep in mind that the crowd-sourced quality of Wikipedia information is not always the greatest.
Bardin said the new user interface for search was the map. But how did Waze build its own maps, which are thought to be just as good, if not at times better, than the ones $410-billion-market-cap Apple produced? By crowd-sourcing GPS data, and “combining the algorithms of people.” It sounds straightforward in theory, but it involved building a hierarchical structure of passive users and editors, a self-managed community like Wikipedia. The community has country managers who oversee area managers, who then oversee the editors, with each level having a greater level of permissions to alter Waze’s maps.
And the big brag from the CEO that earned the company a bid of over $1 billion: “Whenever you’re going onto the web, you start with a search bar,” he said. “Wherever you’re going in the real world, you’re going to start with Waze.”

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