PETALING JAYA: Ever wondered who edits the maps for motorists’ heaven-sent navigation app Waze?
“Everybody. Everybody can play a role in designing Malaysian roads,” says Paul Kok, Waze map editor and area manager.
Paul discovered Waze only four years ago. When he started using the app, he found there were mistakes in the mapping and certain roads did not exist in Waze’s maps.
“I then began to make reports – any Waze user can do that.
“I then discovered a Facebook group called ‘Waze in Malaysia’, consisting of map editors, passive and active users,” Paul told FMT.
Paul explained there were different levels of seniority when it came to map editing. The more senior the editor, the more authority they had in mapping roads.
“I started off as an amateur editor. Other editors were guiding me and teaching me. Now, I teach and train others.
“When you retire from editing, you know that it is going to be well taken care of and more motorists will benefit.”
As a regular Waze user, one can report mistakes such as missing roads and wrong street names.
A map editor will then “check the facts” and approve or reject the report sent in by the user.
“Everybody plays a part. When there is a new café, a Waze user can take a picture of the café and state its location. An editor – such as myself – will then look at it and approve it.
“By helping to take a picture of that café, you are actually benefiting thousands.
“We’re all volunteers. Waze is a community-based app and everybody plays a part.”
Paul is also a beta tester for Waze, whereby he tests and spots mistakes every time the app has a new update.
“Basically, I test for bugs before it is released to the public.”
Waze won the “Best Overall Mobile App” award at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, beating other popular apps such as Dropbox and Flipboard.
On June 11, 2013, Google completed the acquisition of Waze for a reported US$1.3 billion (RM5.36 billion).