I was looking forward to hearing Uri Levene, the CEO of Waze, talking about Redefining Social Networks and Crowd Sourcing at the Innovate Israel event this morning.
Waze provides real time traffic information from user/contributors who have also helped them to build a road network by contributing their GPS traces from their phones as they drive. He showed some very itoWorld like animations of contributions flashing up on the map and suggested that they had good coverage in 60% of the world (which looks a bit overstated based on their wiki) and I was wondering why they had not worked out a way to use OpenStreetMap to get better coverage. Then he made the bold, if not astonishing, statement that 4 companies dominate global mapping – Google, Nokia, TomTom and Waze, somehow he missed out OpenStreetMap which has recently been adopted (at least partially) by Apple, AOL, Bing and Foursquare. Of course to be fair OpenStreetMap is not a company.
There doesn’t seem to be any route to download contributions from Waze, so I guess they see the collection of crowd sourced data as a one way street. Waze reminds me that all that is crowd sourced may not necessarily be open.