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Welcome to Waze in the USA. This page is primarily about editing the Waze map in the United States. You can find information about other aspects of Waze on other pages:
- using the Waze navigation app for your mobile device _link_
- using the Livemap on the Waze website to do such things as check traffic and plan routes _link_
- Using the social networking integration features of Waze _link_
- Using the shared drive/meet me web page _link_
There is also a general overview of Waze.
You should at least be familiar with using the Waze navigation app and the general overview of Waze before you start map editing. There isn't a lot to learn -- if you've been using Waze to navigate many trips, you're almost ready to start editing, too. Resources on this page will help you get started.
Quick start to editing
Editing the map is fairly intuitive. Go to the Waze site, click on "Live Map," then choose "edit the map." You can then search for a place, and zoom in and out. But there are some important things you must know, so you don't break the map. Keep reading - we have information to help you out with that linked in this page.
Benefits of editing
Do you like driving using Waze? Great. How do you think it gets to be such a great experience? Community. That's the magic sauce of Waze. Drivers report traffic jams, road hazards, speed traps, and... 'map problems.'
When a driver taps Report > Map issue, it shows up in the map editor with a problem "bubble." Map editors respond to these problems and make fixes to the map, so the next driver won't encounter the same problem. Editors also proactively look for ways to increase the accuracy and ease of use of the map.
When you become a map editor, you add to that pool of talent. Your detailed local knowledge of the roads is an invaluable asset, and your edits pay forward the benefits you have gained from Waze back to other Wazers.
Plus, map editing can be a lot of fun! Or geeky. Or whatever makes you want to try your hand at it.
Summary of editing
Once you have the map in edit mode (as described above, or just click here), use the map search bar to locate a place that you have driven a few times in Waze.
Most simple edits, such as making a road segment better align with the satellite imagery for the road, or disallowing a turn due to a no turns sign, can be done very easily. Just click the road segment that is affected, and start dragging its "dots" (we call these geometry nodes) until it has the right shape and position, or click its arrows to switch between green (allowed to turn) and red (turn restricted).
After every few changes, you should click the save icon <<<add picture>>>
You can add additional segments by clicking the pencil icon <<<add picture>>>, but you will need to know about how to connect segments together correctly before you do that.
Six important things to know:
- You need to sign in with your Waze user ID to make permanent changes to the map. If you are not signed it, you are in "play mode." You can make all sorts of changes without restriction in play mode, but they can't be saved. Your user ID and password are the same as those used when you sign into the driving app on your mobile device.
- You can only edit in your assigned areas. That will include the roads you've driven on and the areas surrounding them.
- In the United States, the map usually gets published every day or two. Don't expect to see your changes show up right away.
- There are many sensitive roads that are locked to prevent damage by inexperienced editors. If you are unable to edit a road, or a turn restriction, or connect/disconnect road segments, one of them is probably locked. There's information late in this page about requesting lock overrides.
- Simple edits such as the ones listed earlier are easy, and almost anyone can make them in their area, if the road isn't locked. But there is an art to map editing "the Waze way," and you'll have to learn it to be an effective editor for more complex edits. That will require experience, reading documentation listed further on in this page, communicating with other editors on the "forums" and in the Waze Map Editor (WME) chat window, and possibly mentoring by an experienced editor. If you don't do at least some of the above, you're likely to do things that are counterproductive, and don't result in a better driving experience for the millions of Wazers out on the road.
- In particular, when you start editing, it is recommended that you do not work on "landmarks," "places," or points of interest, and that you don't work on private roads or parking lot roads. A lot of new editors make mistakes in these areas, because they are not familiar with our best practices for them. Doing them wrong may cause routing problems or map display problems for drivers in the area.
On that note, below are some suggested things to do to start learning to become an excellent map editor. As you advance, there is more to learn, such as rules specific to each state or territory, optimizing the mpa for the best directions in a complex road network, and more. The next section introduces you to resources to advance your skills to be able to handle complex editing. But for now, some more basic stuff:
- Watch the introductory Waze editing video
- Read the client application user manual. This linked revision is a little behind the current released version, but most of the functionality is the same.
Client app manual above shouldn't be a prereq, as long as they've been using the app. Maybe we want to encourage at least reporting issues though? -q
Should we just assume they already use the app? I already mentioned that in the lede. If so, take this one out, too. - q
If we include this link, then we need to seriously overhaul the FAQ first. There's just way too much for a beginner -q
- Familiarize yourself with the Waze forums and understand forum etiquette. Find your state forum and _link_ state Wiki page.
I combined forum/forum etiquette/state links into one bullet. Etiquette should probably get moved into a Wiki page. I'm thinking the state links should move to the next section where things get more advanced.-q
- Monitor the Status page in case the servers are down.
I don't think monitoring status is very useful. I did mention above that map edits are not immediately published -q
- Review all the Read Me First posts here.
Read me posts should be done away with. This page should be the replacement for them -q
Help improve Waze
It you are interested in working on an amazing navigation system, consider joining the hundreds of thousands of Wazers who get into the details of Waze and have fun doing it.
Editing the map
As you become more familiar with the Waze application you can start making changes to the map yourself. Just be sure to fully understand the associated documentation presented here.
- Read the Waze Map Editor manual.