Waze is a GPS-based geographical navigation application for smartphones with GPS support. Waze Ltd. was founded in 2008 in Israel by Uri Levine, software engineer Ehud Shabtai, and Amir Shinar. In June 2013 Google bought Waze for $1.1 billion, adding a social data aspect to its mapping business. Since November 2012, in monetizing its app, Waze offers resellers and advertisers a web interface to advertise based on locations where a small icon will appear in a particular place for an interested Wazer to engage with the ads.
However, with all the data that has been collected by Waze, I think it’s such a waste that the developers are unable to utilize them fully. Waze collected the data directly from the Wazers who willingly share their data to the cloud and in return will get the latest update about the best traffic routes and their alternatives etc.
Waze has captured Terabytes or Petabytes of mapping and real-time data from many major cities around the world. Why can’t we use these data to help the city municipals plan and build better roads to prevent the horrendous traffic jams faced by the public every day? Here are some of the data that Wazers have been willingly shared:
- Traffic Jam level – moderate, heavy, or standstill
- Accident – minor or major
- Hazard – on-road, shoulder, or weather
- Camera – Speed, red light, or fake
- Map issue
- Pave new roads (if there’s non on the map) – Waze will get the latest map when new roads are paved.
- Speed of vehicle
- Location of vehicle
- Photos of the destination
I believed the city/urban planners would love to have these data to help them accurately plan the city roads in the future. The public will have a better picture of where to live and work. Housing estates will know how to price their property. Businesses will know where to strategically build their offices. In fact, there are many other benefits if we are able to use the Waze data. It’s such a waste if Google limits the Waze data for advertising only.
But there’s also an option. What if we can build a similar “Waze-like” application ourselves rather than depending on Google’s Waze? And later share these data with our developers?
REDtone IOT developed CitiAct, a crowdsourcing mobile app that collected information about the city’s issues.
About the Author
Dr. Mazlan Abbas is an IOT Evangelist, Thought Leader and CEO of REDtone IOT (2015-2017),. You can reach him on LinkedIn at https://my.linkedin.com/in/mazlan/ or Twitter at http://twitter.com/mazlan_abbas . For further details, check out http://about.me/mazlan.abbas