Google has made an official announcement of acquiring the Israeli startup Waze which offers a real-time, user-generated mapping service. It’s been heard that Google has bought this social-mapping-location-data startup for $1.3 billion.
The search giant mentions that it will run the company soon and the remaining Waze’s team consisting of 110 members will be operating as a separate entity from Israel itself. The name of the brand will remain the same for the time being.
“We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities,” said Brian McClendon, Google’s head of geolocation services, in a blog post.
Google has taken this initiative to build a strong mapping mobile business. Waze now has just 50 million users, however it offers unique features, including social capabilities that most of the mapping services don’t have. This mobile app that runs on Apple’s iOS operating system and Google’s Android software, will alert you of some potential traffic problems or even suggest other ways to reach your destination at the earliest time. It will even give you notifications regarding road work, speed traps etc by the information which you input.
For instance, Waze users can wave their hands over their mobile device while driving to find out the traffic situation of a street . They can even play social driving games, report gas prices and fully customize the app based on their taste.
Many other apps may detect the traffic conditions, but they won’t offer the user-generated data stops. Waze users will get more detailed information, for instance a warning like a police car is ahead or a notification when you are approaching an accident prone spot. Waze is a free app and generates its revenue from location-based advertising. It has a strong user community and provides the best accuracy and timeliness that you have never experienced before.
Di-Ann Eisnor, Waze’s vice president of platforms and partnerships has recently mentioned that Waze is really unique because of the “community element” that its crowd-sourced data creates. “We and Google can both have access to lots of real-time information, but we do it in such a way that’s it’s really social,” said Eisnor. “You see the other drivers, you feel like you’re not alone on the road, and that makes people use our application a lot.”
Google and Waze collaboration may let you discover more interesting mapping features in the near future.