Map Editing Quick-start Guide

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This article includes helpful tips on editing the maps. Be sure to review all the points in the article.

Logging in

Be sure to select the appropriate server based on the part of the world you are editing.

  • US and Canada:
  • Rest of the World:

If prompted to login, use the same username and password as you do on the Waze client app and the rest of the Waze website.

Common Functions

All of the following sections use terms that are defined in the glossary for your clarification.


Show and hide the various layers (visual overlays) on the map by clicking on the Layers.png icon at the top right side of the displayed map.

For more details on the available layers, see the map editor interface and control section on layers.

Create a Road

  1. Hover the mouse over the DrawRoads.jpg button in the toolbar at the top of the page and click Road.
  2. Click the mouse on the map at the point where you want to start the road segment.
  3. Move the mouse cursor along the path of the road and click the mouse to add a geometry node for each point that changes direction along the road.
  4. When finished, double-click (or shift-click) the last point to end the segment.
  • Pressing ESC will abort the road segment creation.
  • Be sure the road or roundabout actually exists before creating it.
  • Each segment that is added must minimally have the Country, State, City, and Street information added to it or it will stay as an unfinished red line. If there is no City and/or Street then the "None" box(es) must be selected.

For more detail on creating road segments, see Creating and editing road segments.

Removing a road

  1. Click on a segment with the mouse
  2. Click the Trash Can icon in the toolbar or hit the Delete key on the keyboard

You can select and delete multiple segments at one time, but the keyboard Delete key will not work for that. You have to use the Trash Can icon and then confirm you want to delete those segments.

Connect roads

When drawing new segments, or moving segments around, the editor will auto-junction roads.

  1. For new roads, if you start and/or end the drawing on an existing segment, a junction is created
  2. For existing roads, if you move the end of a segment onto an existing segment, a junction is created
  3. If you move a junction to an existing segment, that junction is now part of that segment and any roads connected to that segment previously are all now joined together

Be sure to check the turn restrictions for your newly created junctions.

Delete a Junction

A junction is a small blue diamond which connects two or more segments. Junctions with only two segments might seem unnecessary, but may actually have a purpose. Before deleting any two-segment junction be sure the junction is not present for one of these reasons:

If you are certain the junction is not fulfilling one of the above purposes, then you can remove it in one of two ways:

  1. Click on the junction, and it will change to a blue dot with a white outline; then click the trash can icon, or use keyboard shortcut Delete or Del key (not backspace). This converts the junction into a geometry node and merges the two segments. Only two segments must be connected at a junction before you can delete it.
  2. Select segments on either side of the junction, and click the Bridge icon which appears over the junction. Note that this will also increase the level of the segments by 1, so this method is best used only when replacing an inadvertent junction with an overpass.

Remember that all elements of the road name, city, state (where applicable) and country must match for either of these two options to work.

You will also find additional information related specifically to Overpasses, Underpasses and Bridges in that section.

Loop roads

When drawing a road which connects to the same segment at both ends, only the ending junction is created. To create the starting junction:

  1. Move the end of the new segment away from where it is
  2. Drop it
  3. Move it back to where you want the junction to be

When drawing a road segment that starts and ends at the same junction, the above may not work, and if it does, turn restrictions at that junction will be wrong. Cut the looping segment somewhere along its length by following the instructions in Cutting a segment. Then join the remaining segment end to the common junction and apply normal turn restrictions.

For more information on this topic see the article Loops in the Junction Style Guide.

Junction Arrows

Note: Previously, "Junction Arrows" were called Turn Restrictions, abbreviated by TRs. However, the term has been replaced because of the disambiguation process.

See the Partial restrictions page for details of how to set up time-based turn or time-based segment restrictions.

Helpful turn restriction tips are covered below.

Be sure to review the information on soft and hard turn restrictions before reviewing the information below.
Arrow Red-2-question2.png

Standard Turns

Set by selecting a segment which will allow you to see the connectivity arrows and modify these allowed turns at each end of the segment.

Lotsa turns.jpg

In General:

  • A green arrow means Allowed
  • A yellow arrow with a clock means scheduled or vehicle-type based
  • A red arrow with the circle-slash icon means Restricted
  • Clicking an arrow toggles between Allowed and Restricted (or, if partial restrictions are in effect, between Partial and Full Restricted). Each arrow must be set correctly for Waze to route correctly.

NOTE: The slashed-circle icon for Restricted and clock icon for Partial turn restrictions were put in place to allow editors who have various forms of color blindness to be able to differentiate between the three different types of turn arrows.

Turn related icons
Icon Description
Wme turn allowed.png A green arrow indicates that travel is allowed from the selected segment in the direction of the arrow.
Wme turn allowed hover clock.png When you hover the mouse over an allowed turn arrow, a small clock icon appears, which, when clicked on, allows you to set scheduled turn restrictions and vehicle type restrictions (collectively, "partial restrictions).
Wme turn restricted.png A red arrow with the slashed-circle icon indicates that travel is not allowed (is restricted) from the selected segment in the direction of the arrow.
Wme turn scheduled.png A yellow arrow with a clock icon indicates the presence of scheduled (time-based) turn restrictions or vehicle-type based restrictions.
Wme turn scheduled hover.png When you hover the mouse over a yellow arrow, a 2nd small clock icon appears bordered in blue, which, when clicked on, allows you to modify the turn's partial restrictions.
Wme segment end unlocked turns.png The Purple question mark shows that all the turns at that end of the segment have not been locked (confirmed) by an editor. Click any turn arrow to lock them. A purple question mark at the end of a segment is also referred to as a Soft Turn. Locking it, removing the purple question mark, makes it a Hard Turn.
Wme u-turn allowed.png A curved green arrow indicates that a u-turn is allowed in the manner and direction indicated by the arrow at that end of the segment.
Wme u-turn allowed hover clock.png When you hover the mouse over an allowed u-turn arrow, a small clock icon appears, which, when clicked on, allowed you to set scheduled u-turn restrictions, as well as vehicle type restrictions on the U-turn.
Wme u-turn restricted.png A curved red arrow with the slashed-circle icon indicates that a u-turn is not allowed (is restricted) in the manner and direction indicated by the arrow at that end of the segment.
Wme u-turn scheduled.png A curved yellow arrow with a clock icon indicates the presence of scheduled (time-based) turn restrictions for the direction indicated by the arrow at that end of the segment.

Segment highlights on partial segment restrictions
Icon Description
Wme 2-way segment with restrictions.png Yellow dots on selected segments indicate a 2-way segment with a Scheduled Restriction (does not indicate what type or how many)
Wme 1-way segment with restrictions.png Yellow triangles on selected segments indicate a 1-way segment with a Partial Restriction

Where the arrows appear depends on the road. One-way roads will only have arrows at the end, and roads with unknown directionality will have no connectivity arrows at all.

1-way to 1-way example
1-way to 2-way example


Two-way segments will also show the small U-turn arrow icon at both ends of the segment. This is used, as its' name suggests, to prevent/enable Waze to use a segment end node as a U-turn, in case of necessity. When setting the U-turn arrow to green, make sure that U-turn is possible AND LEGAL in real life. In any other case, set the arrow to red for drivers security. Just as with other turn restrictions, allowed U-turns must be set on a per-segment-per-end-node basis.

As of March 2015, Waze is able to provide U-turns in a route where the U-turn arrow is enabled, or where the turn angle is greater than 170° e.g. at a bow-tie style intersection; and will give a "make a U-turn" instruction. If the current U-turn arrow setting on the segment could prevent Waze from giving the best route, or if it causes instructions to make an illegal turn, it should be fixed.

Some examples where allowing a U-turn can allow Waze to find a better route for a Wazer include: When the drive begins with the car headed the wrong way for the best route, and when a Wazer has made an incorrect turn during a drive.

When reversing course is quicker than taking a long detour, allowing the U-turn enables Waze to find a better route.

U-turn laws are sometimes different in different parts of a country. Always check the local laws before changing U-turns. Check all local wiki pages or talk to a Country Manager, or State Manager. Local knowledge may be needed to be sure whether a specific U-turn is safe and legal.

U-Turns at the end of dead-end-streets

As of July 2014, U-turns at dead ends or cul-de-sacs, no longer need to be adjusted in a particular way. WME no longer provides a link to adjust it.

Junction Arrow Tips

  • Press s to separate overlapping arrows.
  • Press a to toggle connection arrows transparent or opaque so you can see beneath them and click items under them

If an intersection should not have any restricted turns, you can easily enable all turns. Initial junction arrows on roads are set automatically by the Waze routing engine. Automatically set arrows can be altered by the routing engine, but manually set arrows cannot. Unfortunately, both automatic and manually set restricted turns are represented by red arrows and cannot be distinguished. Currently when you use the option to enable all turns, it will not fully change the routing from automatic to manual for the turns. To clear the automatic routing for an intersection, start by selecting the junction with the mouse. Then you can choose between mouse clicks or keyboard shortcuts. With the mouse, in the properties toolbox, click the link to "Disallow all connections" and then "Allow all connections". Alternately you can use the keyboard shortcuts by pressing the letter 'q' to disallow all connections followed by 'w' to allow all connections (see keyboard shortcuts).

To see all currently restricted turns for all intersections on the map press 'Shift+z', which will toggle between the junction arrows for one selected segment, and the turn restrictions for all intersections.

See the section set allowed turns for more information.

Selecting Multiple Segments

Some edits require that you select two or more segments of road. Other times, you want to apply the same change to multiple segments. In the default select mode, you must use the modifier key below:

  • Mac: Command + Click
  • Windows: Ctrl + Click
  • Linux: Ctrl + Click

When in multi-select mode (keyboard shortcut m), you do not have to use the modifier key.

This feature is useful for changing one particular element of multiple segments, or when using the permalink feature.

Create a roundabout


See the article Creating and editing a roundabout for more details on this topic.

Use these steps to create a roundabout:

  1. Hover over the DrawRoads.jpg at the right side of the toolbar click on Roundabout.
  2. Click the map at the center of the roundabout.
  3. Move the mouse outward to the correct size of the roundabout.
  4. Click to finish.


  • There must be roads that touch the roundabout when you click to finish, otherwise no roundabout will be created.
  • Roundabout drawing is circular by default. Ellipse drawing can be enabled by holding down the Shift key while adjusting the roundabout size.
  • Roundabouts can be created over existing junctions and segments. Any roads within the shape of the roundabout will be truncated, and any junctions within the roundabout shape are deleted.
  • To delete a roundabout, you must delete ALL segments of the roundabout. You cannot save your work without deleting all segments of the roundabout. When saved, the roundabout node will also be deleted.
  • Roundabouts cannot be created over a maximum of

100 m (328 feet) in diameter.

Create a Place (landmark)

WME is undergoing changes. These instructions might not be completely correct. Please see Draw Places Menu
  1. First, read the Places page to determine whether you should create an Area or Point Place
  2. Hover over the DrawPlace.jpg at the right side of the toolbar click on Place (area) or Place (point)
  3. For a Point Place, click directly on the location which should be the stop-point for navigation
  4. For an Area Place:
    1. Click a point of the map on the edge of the area
    2. Move the cursor along the path and click to add a geometry node to define the shape
    3. Shift+click (or double click) at the last point to stop drawing and complete the shape
  5. Select the new landmark (if it isn't already) and define the category and all other information including multiple categories, and FULL ADDRESS. Full details are in the Places wiki page.

Bridge junction

  1. Select two adjacent segments which will be bridged together
  2. Click the Bridge idle.png icon over the junction
  • The properties of the segments to be bridged must be identical or you will not see the bridge icon
  • Bridging automatically increases the level of the new merged segment by 1 more than the highest level of the two segments. You can change it, of course, if it needs to be a different level.

Generally if two segments can be joined, if you select the junction you can press the trash can icon to have them join as well. If the trash can icon does not appear, the segments are different in some way and that might be the reason there is a junction in the first place.

Overlapping road junction

Two roads set to the same level which cross each other can be joined by an intersection easily. This is useful if you draw several new roads for a neighborhood by drawing segments from end-to-end and allowing new segments to cross each other. Once drawn, you can junction them using this method.

Both roads must be set to the same level. You can often use this method with unconfirmed (red) roads, but sometimes the editor will refuse to do this process until the roads are confirmed. Additionally, changing zoom level sometimes helps to get the sometimes-stubborn junction creator icon to appear.

  1. Select both segments
  2. Click the Node idle.png which should appear above the intersection
    Note: The sign won't appear if the roads cross each other multiple times
  3. A junction is added

Cutting a segment

To add a junction somewhere in the middle of a segment, use new segment that intersects your road. Begin the segment somewhere nearby. End it right at the point where you wish to cut the road. Delete the new segment. The newly-created segment will remain.

Joining junctions

When joining or removing a junction, there are a few considerations that should be taken into account. Please review the more detailed article on junction removal.

Disconnecting a road

Select the segment. Drag the end you want to disconnect away from the junction.

Select entire street

  1. Select a segment
  2. In the tabs area, click the Select entire street button.
  3. Any segments connected to the first segment with the same properties will be selected and can be edited as a group.
  • If there is a gap or a street with a different name or other different property, it will not allow the selection to go beyond it. You will need to edit in multiple passes in this case.
  • Select entire street will not work with unnamed segments

Solve map problems

Map Problems in Waze Map Editor

Keyboard shortcuts

When using Waze Map Editor there are a number of keyboard shortcuts available to make editing the map a bit easier if you prefer the keyboard over the mouse. Below are the default keyboard shortcuts. You can customize some keyboard shortcuts by bringing up the keyboard shortcuts help window (with the ? key), select a shortcut, and then press the single key you want to use instead of the default key. This affects the current browser and computer only. This shortcut information is not stored on the server, so you would have to repeat this for each computer and browser you use.

Shortcut Description
F move the cursor to the search box
shows the keyboard shortcuts
save edits
Delete delete the single selected object (segment, junction, landmark). To delete multiple objects, you must click the trash can icon and confirm the multiple delete.
Esc deselect all objects
Alt+ Shift+R
Opt+ Shift+R
reload all layers (refreshes map without using a permalink; preserves the chat window)
I draw (insert) a new Road/Segment (equivalent to clicking Road under the draw road icon)
O draw a new Roundabout (equivalent to clicking Roundabout under the draw road icon)
Editing Segments
D delete a geometry node from a road segment while hovering the cursor over it during road geometry editing
E when one or more segments are selected, activates Edit mode (shortcut for clicking the Edit button)
H when a segment is selected, activates House Number mode (shortcut for clicking the Edit House Numbers button)
M toggle multi-select mode. Default behavior is that to select multiple segments, you must use the modifier key to multi-select. When toggled active, multi-select mode lets you select multiple segments without using the modifier key.
R toggle segment direction between 1-way (A->B), 1-way (B->A), and 2-way while updating road details. See road direction for more information.
T when one or more segments are selected, activates Restrictions mode (shortcut for clicking the Add/Edit Restrictions button) - mnemonic Time-restrict
Ctrl+A select Entire Street - mnemonic Select All
Ctrl+ Shift+Y
Cmd+ Shift+Y
Ctrl+ Shift+Z
Cmd+ Shift+Z
Ctrl+ increase elevation of selected segments (if all elevations are the same)
Ctrl+ decrease elevation of selected segments (if all elevations are the same)
Junctions and arrows
toggle connection arrows between transparent or opaque so you can see beneath them and click items under them. Often times editors will hit the A key by mistake and then wonder why turn arrows cannot be selected.
Q disable all connections for the selected junction which makes the turn arrows all red for that selected junction.
toggles separation of connection arrows so they do not overlap to ease clicking on either
W allow all connections for the selected junction which makes the turn arrows all green for that selected junction. Note that this key will only enable all turns that had not previously been automatically enabled by the Waze routing server, called soft allowed turns. The soft allowed turns have a higher penalty than turns enabled by the editor. Therefore since soft and editor allowed turns have the same color green, if it is known that all turns are enabled at a particular intersection, it is better to first force all turns to disabled with the Q key and then press the W key to force them all to editor enabled.
toggles display of disallowed connections (turns) for every segment/node in the view. When active, no green arrows are shown.
Display and layers
Shift+A toggles Area Managers layer
Shift+C toggles Cities layer
Shift+D toggles No Name segment highlighting
Shift+E toggles Editable areas layer
Shift+F toggles Full Screen mode
Shift+G toggles GPS points layer
Shift+I toggles (Satellite) Imagery layer
Shift+L toggles Landmarks layer
Shift+V toggles Live users layer
Shift+P toggles (map) Problems layer
Shift+R toggles Roads layer
Shift+S toggles (speed) Cameras layer
Shift+U toggles Update requests layer
Alt+C toggles Chat window
Alt+ Shift+R reloads layers
Shift+ Zooms the map in one level
Shift+ Zooms the map out one level
Pan the map in all four directions
Shift +click
re-centers the map on at the clicked location and zooms in one level
Shift +click + drag mouse draws a temporary rectangle and zooms into that portion of the map

Red Cmd keys are for Apple Mac systems

Tips and Hints

See Map Editing Tips and Hints