Waze Map Editor

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This page is the key starting point for any editor of the Waze maps. Ensure that you read through the entire page to best prepare you for the many bits of information needed to make you a good map editor. People who edit the map without fully understanding many of these elements can do more harm than good with their edits. If you cannot find an answer to your question somewhere in the Wiki, be sure to post a question in the Waze Forums where many experienced Wazers will be happy to provide an answer. Just be sure you did your best to search for the answer in the Wiki here.

The Road Maps History

The Waze map was started in many countries by importing publicly available road data. This data was fairly accurate in geometry, but could be out of date. It also did not include some details vital for a navigation system such as permitted travel direction, and distinctions between drivable roads and non-drivable ways, such as railroads and canals. The imported maps also did not indicate if a junction or bridge was present where roads crossed. Waze defaulted to a junction in all cases, and even though turn restrictions may show as being in place at these junctions, all turns are actually allowed if the segments have never been edited. This set of data was enough to get started, but definitely needed updating and maintenance.

This is where two key aspects of the Waze system come into play:

  1. The web-based map editing tools for Waze users to edit maps of their neighborhoods, cities or other places with which they are familiar.
  2. The collecting of GPS data from Waze users to modify the maps to set road direction and turning permissions at intersections.

Some countries had no data available for their road systems, so the maps for these countries must be built from the ground up by Waze users. The maps are created in the web editor using roads recorded in the Waze client and the stored GPS tracks of all Waze users superimposed over available aerial photography.

The Map Editor

Waze is currently using its second generation map editing interface (covered in this article). Known as the Waze Map Editor (or WME for short), it is the default editor for Waze since September 19, 2011. This editor interface was functionally upgraded with Update Request Conversations and Scheduled Segment and Turn Restrictions on November 3, 2013. There are currently three different server farms managing the maps of the world. Be sure to select the appropriate server when making edits to a particular part of the world. You can use the same username on all servers, but your editing points are managed separately by each server. Also the maps are not synchronized between the servers, so for example if you went to the North America server to modify parts of Europe, the different server supporting Wazers in Europe would not see your changes.

Map Editing Quick-start Guide

Learning the best map editing techniques for proper navigation and appearance takes some time and practice, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience too. You can be proud that you are improving the experience for all Waze users. The details in later sections of this page are important for you to learn, but for simple edits, there is a Map Editing Quick-start Guide to get you going quickly.

It is very important that all editors take time to read all the documentation found in the Editing Manual to ensure the Waze map remains complete, accurate, and able to fully and properly route users.

Accessing the Waze Map Editor (WME)


The Waze Map Editor editor is currently officially supported on the Chrome browser only. It may or may not work on other browsers, but there is currently no official support for issues that might arise.

You can access the map editing page directly using a single URL: http://www.waze.com/editor. Use the menu at the top-right corner of the screen to select between US & Canada, Israel, and World server infrastructures.

If you are at the Waze homepage:

  1. From the Waze homepage select the Login link at the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Click on "Live Map" in the main navigation header.
  3. Click on "EDIT THE MAP"

When have you successfully arrived at the Waze Map Editor, you are presented with a large splash screen full of information, possible actions, and a place to enter your Waze username and password.

Wme login splash screen.png

Once logged in, your screen should look something like this:

Wme sample post login.jpg

Best Map Editing Practices

When editing the Waze maps, please be sure to first review this page and also follow the best map editing practice. You should also be aware of known Waze Map Editor issues or missing features.

Additional Details

Using the WME, you can add, edit, or delete nearly any object within your editable area. If a road segment is locked by a user with a higher editing rank than you, the road, intersection, or turn permissions connected to that road segment cannot be altered unless you chose one of the following:

  • Place a request to the Update/Unlock Request forums to unlock that segment by giving them a permalink with the segment or segments highlighted and a country manager may unlock it for you.
  • Send a Private Message (PM) to the previous editor using the Forum PM functionality. As of the August 12, 2012 update, Area Managers are no longer able to override segments locked by higher-rank editors.

Be sure to check out the Map Editing Tips and Hints page for some shortcuts for logging in to the map editor and other great pieces of information to enhance your map editing.

Practice Mode

Wme practice mode sidebar.png

The Waze Map Editor has a Practice mode in which you can perform nearly every action available when logged into the Editor, except that you cannot save any changes. In order to save changes, you must log in. Practice mode is helpful to and should be used by users who are new to map editing in Waze. The editor, while in Practice mode, has icons/buttons and links on the left sidebar area shown here to the left.

There is a significant amount of information organized in the wiki. In fact, nearly every question about Waze has already been asked already, and nearly every answer is in the wiki. That's why it's been created: to answer your questions.

If you are a new editor, take time to read the editing manual and use the editor in Practice mode, practicing the functions you would if you were logged in, but without the worry of permanently messing something up.

Here's some things to test out in Practice Mode:

  • Add, delete, update segments.
  • Rename a segment, change its direction, road type.
  • Connect segments to other segments
  • Try changing turn restrictions. Restrict all turns on a junction. See how changing a segment direction affects turn arrows.
  • Build a roundabout
  • Add a park landmark
  • Build an overpass
  • Delete extra junctions
  • Add an alternate name to a segment

When you are ready to log in and try it for real, use the Log in link found on the bottom Practice Mode bar:

Wme practice mode bottom bar.png

Editable Area

In play mode (not logged in), all areas of the map are editable, though you can't save them. Once you have practiced all the functionality, go ahead and log in and try it for real.

In real edit mode (logged in), you can make changes with your Editable Area. Your editable area consists of:

  • The roads you have driven recently (see note below).
  • Areas within a certain distance of those roads. How far this distance extends depends on your editing rank.
  • Areas in which you are the Area Manager, a privilege you can request if you are at least rank 3. You can edit your assigned area, even if you have not driven a road nearby recently.

You can highlight your editable area on the map by turning on the layer for Editable Area.

Some roads within your editable area may have further restrictions. Review all the sections of the Editing restrictions page for more information.

Recent drives
Waze records your drives when it is operating with or without navigating to a destination. You can see a history of those drives in the editor. Make sure you have no roads or landmarks selected, and click the Drives link in the side panel.

Short drives are usually added to the Drives list almost immediately. Longer drives may take a day or two to appear.

After a certain period of time, these drives expire. They may still show in your drives list, but Waze will no longer remember the drive details, and the editing area will be removed, unless there is a more recent drive.

You can tell the difference between recent drives and expired drives in the Drives panel. Recent drives are a clickable link which will show the path of the drive. Expired drives show the summary (date, elapsed time, length), but you can't click them.

Drive expiration
Your prior drives will expire about 90 days after they are driven.

Map Editing Basics

The Waze Map Editor editor was designed to be used without much documentation, but this list will give the quick basics for drawing a new road, roundabout, or landmark

  1. Click the item you want to create under the big + button
    • For a road, click to start drawing, click to add a geometry node as you follow a path, and double-click (or shift-click) to end drawing
    • For a roundabout, click at the center of the roundabout and move the mouse to size it. Click to create it. Note there must be roads leading into the roundabout first.
    • For a landmark, or POI (Point of Interest), click to start the landmark and click as you follow the outline of the area. Double-click to end drawing.
  2. For each object, there are details you need to enter before saving, such as the city, street name, direction and level, or landmark type for landmarks.
  3. Click the Save button

You can also modify or delete existing map objects. You do this by selecting an object, then modifying its geometry, location or properties. What is possible with each object depends on the type of object. The Editing Manual is where you will find all the details necessary to understand all the editor functionality.


Wme permalink highlight.jpg

In the Waze Map Editor, a permalink is a URL used to take you or someone else directly to a specific map location. It stores and encodes the latitude, longitude, zoom level, visible layers, and any objects such as roads, junctions, or landmarks which are selected at the time the permalink is recorded.

To create a permalink to your current map editor view, first set the zoom level and select any road segments or junctions you want to point out to the user who will view the permalink. Use the multiple select option for your browser (CTRL-LEFT-CLICK for Windows-based systems) to select more than one segment to be highlighted in your permalink. Next right-click (for Windows-based systems) the Permalink hyperlink at the lower right corner of the browser screen (see image). That will bring up the option to copy the URL into your computer clipboard.

Alternately you can left-click the hyperlink to reload the page which updates the URL at the top of the browser window which you can highlight and copy. With this method, be sure to first save any unsaved changes because this operation of the Permalink button will reload the browser window and lose any unsaved changes.

If you notice the road layer does not match the Google aerial layer, you can press the Permalink button to regenerate the screen and clear up the misalignment. If instead you use the browser reload option the map will move to the location of the last time you pressed the Permalink button.

The last permalink is saved with your user profile. When you restart the browser and go to the Waze Map Editor, it will automatically take you to the last permalink you recorded.

When sharing a permalink be aware that what the recipient can see is limited by the recipients permissions. For example, editors cannot see update requests (URs) or map problems (MPs) outside their editable area. Thus, when posting a permalink regarding a UR or MP in the forums, be aware that only local editors, area managers for the area and country managers for the country will be able to view the UR or MP. If you wish for a broader audience to view the issue raised in a UR or MP, you will need provide the relevant information such as by posting a screen shot of the open UR or MP.

Tip: You can change the display name of a link in the forums by using the following format:


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.

- style="background:#99FF99; color:black"
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
reload all layers (refreshes map without using a permalink; preserves the chat window)
g draw a new Gas Station landmark (equivalent to clicking Gas Station under the big pencil icon)
i draw (insert) a new Road/Segment (equivalent to clicking Road under the big pencil icon)
o draw a new Roundabout (equivalent to clicking Roundabout under the big pencil icon)
p draw a new Parking Lot landmark (equivalent to clicking Parking Lot under the big pencil icon)
u draw new Area Place (equivalent to clicking Place (area) under the big pencil icon)
y add a new Point Place (equivalent to clicking Place (point) under the big pencil 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)
[Ctrl]+[a] select Entire Street
[Ctrl]+[UpArrow] increase elevation of selected segments (if all elevations are the same)
[Ctrl]+[DnArrow] decrease elevation of selected segments (if all elevations are the same)
Junctions and arrows
a toggle connection arrows between transparent or opaque so you can see beneath them and click items under them
q disable all connections for the selected junction which makes the turn arrows all red for that selected junction.
s 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.
[Shift]+[z] 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]+[UpArrow] Zooms the map in one level
[Shift]+[DownArrow] Zooms the map out one level
Arrow Keys Pan the map in all four directions
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

Map Update Timing

Edits made in the online editors do not appear on the Live Map nor client immediately. Waze has a long-term goal of 24hr update processing. With the completion of infrastructure upgrades in the 2nd half of 2012, both North America and World map updates are running weekly.

Please see the Timeline of updating process page for more detail on the various processes Waze runs and expected update timing.

Editing Manual

Style Guides

The Style Guides are important for understanding the nuances of road network design in Waze. Please take time to read, and reference them in the future when you come upon a tricky intersection.

Using External sources (such as Google Imagery)

Usage of any external copyrighted source of information, in order to add information to the Waze database or maps, is not allowed. External copyright information includes any online or printed map information that is not provided by Waze through the Waze Map Editor interface.

With the recent acquisition of Waze by Google, Inc., changes have been made to the Waze Map Editor to include updated aerial and street view images from Google. These are considered internal sources and completely acceptable to be used in creating map information for Waze. Google's terms of use restricts use of their map information to specific conditions and Waze has the proper licensing to use what you see inside the Waze Map Editor, but nothing else.

Using any source of external copyright information puts the Waze maps under danger of being forced to revert all changes done to the map in your area / country.

If any user were to do such a thing, it would taint all the work that person did on the maps and Waze would need to reverse out all those edits. There could also be other adverse effects. Waze has already had to remove all the maps for Chile, and other South American countries because the source of the map data was not properly licensed (not the result of any Waze action).

Users may negotiate with officials in their country for access to aerial images that Waze can use. The user must be careful not to give the impression that they are acting on behalf of Waze. But as an interested citizen any user can speak with local authority, in a local language, to explain the benefits to their country in making aerial images freely available as a public good.

Note that external copyright information does not include any source of information that is provided by Waze through the internal tools of the online editor or application. Also any information developed independently by a user being physically present at a site is acceptable to add to the map as long as it is provided without copyright.