Sometimes, when Google absorbs another company, it takes awhile to see some integration or results. With Waze, Google is making the impact almost immediate.
Via their Lat Long Blog, Google is announcing that Maps will now feature “real time incident reports from Waze users.” From the Google Blog:
This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the US.
The benefits aren’t one-sided, either: Waze users, or “Wazers”, will get two new functions for their favorite map and traffic app. Google Search has been integrated into Waze, giving users the full breadth of Google’s search discovery from directly inside of Waze.
Wazers will also get Google Street View and Satellite imagery baked into the app, making it “easier to correct map errors reported by the community.” The Waze blog notes that reported issues are often not detailed enough, and users who edit maps often have to dig a little deeper to find the problem. Integrating Google’s mapping technology just makes that process a bit smoother, and probably increases productivity as well.
With the acquisition of Waze, and programs such as city experts or the Maps backpack loaner program, Google is making a push for crowdsourced contextual information. After all, who knows what’s going on better than people who are making it all happen?