Waze to go 2

Making waves – thanks to keoshi

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.

2 thoughts on “Waze to go

  • Harry Wood

    Yes waze is a just another company getting people to contribute then hoarding the data for themselves. I wrote this sad face smiley face page about google map maker, but all the same points apply to waze.

    “all that is crowd sourced may not necessarily be open”, but I would argue that it *should* be. Obviously companies are within their rights to set up any kind of initiative to solicit contributions, and if they can sucker people in, they’re legally allowed to lock away the data as much as they like. But this is a pernicious form of exploitation which we should really be crying foul at whenever it crops up. I like this letter by Richard Fairhurst to the BBC for example.

    With waze a redeeming point is that their data collection process can be quite passive, but even so, it comes from the community. They should give the data back, and people in general should be more aware, and more unhappy with them for not doing so.

    • steven

      “With waze a redeeming point is that their data collection process can be quite passive” I think I disagree with you about the passive thing Harry, I don’t like the idea that people are probably unaware that they are contributing (unless they read the small print) to Waze’s global data set that aims to rank alongside Google, Nokia etc and which they can license or sell on.

      See their terms of service:

      “by submitting User Submissions to Waze, you hereby grant Waze and the users of the Service an irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, copy, distribute, prepare derivative works, display in public and publicly perform the Content. The license granted to Waze in and to your Submissions is not limited to personal uses, but also extends to any commercial use, at Waze’s sole and absolute discretion”

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