Update Requests (URs) are to be managed in Australia per this revised policy, implemented August 2021. Failure to follow this policy, or ongoing abuse may result in a removal of privileges.
What is a UR?
A Update Request (UR) is the result of a Waze application user observing a concern while driving and wanting to bring it to the attention of Waze. App users can report "map issues” which appear as icons on the map in the Waze Map Editor (WME) for volunteer editors such as yourself to investigate and fix.
Below is a look at the icons and what they mean:
- Yellow has been open for 0-5 days.
- Orange has been open for 6-14 days.
- Red has been open for 15 days or longer.
- Green has been marked solved.
- Grey has been marked not identified.
As editors, what is our goal?
We want to thoroughly and promptly address URs in a manner that represents Waze in a positive light. We recognise that Waze drivers and UR reporters are valued members of the Waze community with insight to share and improve the map.
The percentage of red URs should be kept to a minimum, with orange URs in the process of being wrapped up.
How does this look?
As map editors, it means we need to be timely, polite, friendly, understanding, culturally sensitive, considerate, and good communicators. Where we are unable to help, we should refer reporters to other Waze support systems for help or to the suggestion box.
What should we avoid?
Being rude, disrespectful, retaliative, using jargon, and overwhelming with information. We must recognise that we are in a privileged position of having a much greater insight and understanding of how the Waze systems work, and we shouldn’t assume that of Waze drivers.
Communicating with Reporters
All engagements with reporters should be in-line with the above requirements, but there are otherwise no exact templates you are required to use. We recommend a short yet friendly message with a “call for action”, in the hopes of provoking a reply. If you need some inspiration, you can use the URComments-Enhanced (URC-E) script with the Australia configuration. There are also some old suggestions and explanations from the UK which you can adapt.
There are some minimum requirements about when you should communicate.
- An initial reply after investigating and resolving a UR or requiring more details
- When progress has been made
- When the reporter has made a reply (except when abusive or inappropriate, see below).
- Reminders for more information (as required)
- Before marking a UR as solved.
You can optionally include an email address for reporters to contact you with additional details outside the report. If you do, we recommend an address separate from your personal emails - such as <username>.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abusive or Inappropriate URs
As a volunteer, your time and contributions are incredibly valuable, and it is never acceptable that volunteers be subjected to abuse.
If you encounter such a report: stop, do not engage further - and instead contact an Australian coordinator with the permalink to the report. The coordinator will contact Waze who will block the user from reporting future URs. Afterwards, the UR will be closed by the coordinator without further reply.
As long as a report is not abusive or inappropriate, reporters expressing frustration can happen. In these cases, remind the reporter you’re a volunteer map editor, apologise for the poor experience, and if appropriate, empathise with the emotion expressed. Provide constructive suggestions to overcome their concern if possible - such as referring to a support document, report bug forms, or Waze suggestion box.
“Thanks for your report! Volunteer map editor responding here. Sorry to hear about your experience, that sounds frustrating. Help us get this added to the product by suggesting it in the Waze Suggestion Box: https://waze.uservoice.com/”
Who should work on URs?
Certainly anyone with local knowledge can help in the investigation process!
However, URs are generally targeted at level 2 editors and above, who have a more advanced understanding of routing and application behaviour. You need to be a minimum level 2 to close reports.
Responsibility for URs
The first person to investigate and reply to a UR is considered to be the “editor responsible” for the management of that UR life cycle for 7 calendar days. If there is no reply or action on the UR after this period, the UR is considered abandoned on day 8, and another editor can take over responsibility for the UR.
URs with existing conversations are still open for contribution from all editors though. If you examine the UR and feel you have something useful to contribute then, by all means, do so. But please give precedence for fixing the problem to the editor responsible.
Individual editors may provide permission to other specific editors, roles, or the whole community, to take over the “editor responsible” role on any of their URs. This is an agreement discussed between the two parties.
Area Managers are encouraged to oversee URs in their area where possible. State and Country Managers are also encouraged to oversee URs in their jurisdiction, but may also intervene and close URs at their discretion.
It is not uncommon for map editors to report a map issue as they drive to come back and fix it later. They can automatically reserve the “editor responsible” role for 14 calendar days by including their Waze username in the comment of the UR when reporting, or after the fact, reply with their username as the reporter (from the app).
UR Life Cycle
A New UR is Born
Update Requests (URs) are extracted from the user’s drive by Waze in a backend process once the drive is concluded. New URs will then be populated in WME for volunteer map editors to investigate afterwards.
URs will appear in the feed on the left hand side of WME for level 2 editors and above. Only a limited number of URs are displayed based on your recent drives and a few other factors.
An excellent tool for discovering URs and their status is the Open URs in Australia report (https://wmebr.info/ur/ur_report.php?country=Australia) produced by twice daily scans of the map on the wmebr.info tool, produced with thanks to Ronsek57 of the Indian editing community!
Examine the tools in your toolbox to discover the problem. Waze gives shows us:
- Report category e.g. turn not allowed
- Driven route (shown in green)
- Route Waze provided (shown in purple)
- Turn indicators at junctions
- Time/date of the problem.
When investigating, it can be useful to look at recent changes to the map by other editors, check for roadworks, temporary closures, new or closed businesses, new estates, and so on. You can also turn on map comment, GPS tracks, and recently closed UR layers in the layers menu to look for cues.
If you’re able to identify and fix the problem, please do. This may involve requesting a segment unlock or change by another editor, or seeking advice from a senior editor or mentor.
When the issue is resolved, advise the reporter of the outcome, validate their efforts to report, and mark the UR solved. Remember, URs cannot be opened again.
If the issue reported isn’t a map issue, please kindly refer the reporter to an applicable support document, support contact form or suggestion box.
Top tip! While investigating, if you see any other issues that need to be fixed, this is an excellent opportunity to do so.
If your thorough investigation finds nothing, you need more cues. Time to send a message to the reporter! Consider what information you have, and what information you need to complete your investigation. For example, if the UR reports an incorrect address but does not specify which address is incorrect, or the UR reports turn not allowed but follows the provided route anyway.
Obviously, messages sent to the reporter need to be in-line with the above mentioned requirements.
If the “follow conversation” box is ticked when you send your message, you’ll be notified via email and the feed if a reply is received.
If you get a reply, use the local intelligence from replies to identify and fix map errors. Please thank them and validate their efforts. We want them to have a positive experience and continue to reply to us.
Unfortunately, most URs do not return with a reply for many complex reasons. Send a friendly reminder message after 4 calendar days.
When the issue is resolved, advise the reporter of the outcome, validate their efforts to report, and mark the UR solved and click Save. Remember, URs cannot be opened again.
If there is insufficient information to address the report, and the reporter has not replied with further information after the above mentioned reminder, you may close the UR as “not identified” without further reply (Waze sends an automated email), 2 calendar days after the reminder was sent.
Life Cycle Flowchart
To simplify the life cycle, it has been produced into a flowchart below.