Map Editor Interface and Controls
|New editors, please first visit our WME Welcome page.|
This is a comprehensive reference guide to the waze map editing interface. Best Practices and tutorials for beginners are available in other articles. Waze Map Editor was introduced in September 19, 2011 to replace the Cartouche map editor, and has been continuously modified since. The Waze Map Editor is officially supported only on the Chrome browser. It may or may not work on other browsers.
Starting the Editor
Either log in or choose practice Mode.
From the splash screen, click "practice mode". You can try out most of the features of the Waze Map Editor. WME chat will not be available. You cannot respond to map Update Requests. The edit count will not go up, and you will not be able to save.
Map Editor Layout
There are five main areas of the Map Editor:
- The very top-right corner of the window has two important drop-down menus:
- Language: The language you want the editor interface to display
- Where in the World: Select whether you are editing in Israel, US & Canada, or the rest of the World
Map Editor Tool Bar
At the top of the Waze Map Editor you will see the main tool bar. It includes the primary control buttons for the editor.
In the wide search box, you can enter an address, city, state, country, landmark, point of interest, or a combination of those. After hitting Enter or clicking the Find button, you will either be taken to the only result, or be given a list of matches from which to select.
For example, entering "757 Mohawk St, Columbus, OH" will center the map and drop a search marker directly on that address.
However, searching for "main st, new york" is less specific and will therefore give you a list of matches from which to select.
or area button to add the place. Use the left pane to change information about the place. For an area place, use geometry nodes of the place to change its shape. For an area place, set the stop point using the .
Hover over this button to choose between a single segment and a roundabout.
I(a straight segment)- Road. Click on the map to start, click to add a geometry node. Double click to end.
- O (a circle)- Roundabout. Click on the map at the center of the roundabout. Drag a circle of the correct size. Click to end the roundabout.
- Camera - Click on the map where the camera is to be located. See Speed Cameras for editing instructions.
See the Editing Manual Quick Start Guide for more information.
Save ButtonShortcut key: Ctrl+S
The Save button serves two purposes: 1) it displays the current number of changes pending to be saved, and 2) when clicked, it saves all the current changes you have made.
As you make changes, the counter in the Save button increases. The number in the icon is shown to red as a warning that many unsaved changes may be difficult to save if there is a single error among the changes. (This counter is the number of changes you've made which can be undone, NOT the number of edits you get credit for.)
When the button is clicked (or the shortcut key used), the editor saves all of the current changes you have made. This process is a little more complex than this sounds, but that is what it does. In order to save properly, your browser receives messages back from the Waze server in the event of any errors. If there is an error when saving, the editor will try to give you a detailed error message and a suggestion to fix it. The map view will typically try to show the error area highlighted in a bright circle.
Once the save operation completes successfully, you cannot Undo previous changes with the Undo button.
The Undo button will undo unsaved successive previous changes with each click.
|IMPORTANT: Once the Save button is clicked and the save operation is complete, the Undo button has no affect on previous changes.|
A change can be deleting a geometry node from a segment or renaming a landmark. It can also be a change to multiple objects at once. For example, if you select 25 street segments at once and change them from one-way to 2-way, that is a single change. Therefore, one click on Undo will undo that change for all 25 segments.
Redo Button⇧ Shift+Z
The Redo button will re-apply any changes which have been recently undone with the Undo button.
The Delete (trashcan) button will delete, or trash, any currently selected objects. If you have multiple objects selected, you will be prompted to confirm the multiple deletion. The only object you can currently multi-select is segments.
Objects are not actually deleted until the Save button is clicked. Once the save button is pressed, you cannot Undo any edits or deletes.
LayersHover or click to show the layers available for display on the main map. When the box next to the layer name is checked, then that layer is active and being displayed. There is a default shortcut key defined for each layer, and to make it easy to remember, with two exceptions: The shortcut is ⇧ Shift+X (first letter of the layer name). The two exceptions are the satellite/aerial imagery, which uses the letter
Ias the shortcut key for Imagery, and Places which uses the letter L because it was previously called Landmarks.
Refresh or Reload Layers
The small curved arrow at the top right of the Layers list will reload all layers (excluding Satellite Imagery, Cities, and GPS layers) in the current view without reloading the whole page. This is a great way to see changes recently made by another editor in the area without losing the Chat history.
Waze uses aerial and satellite photography provided by Google.
City boundaries as defined by segments assigned to that city are shown in different colors. This layer is helpful in finding segments which are set to the wrong city. Until an area is heavily edited an updated, some city boundaries are likely to be overlapping or appear to be unassociated with any segments.
Changing the name of the city for a road is done through the WME interface documented in segment edit detail. If after fixing the city names you still have incorrect city boundaries, review the article on Updating the city layer.
Roads are all of the streets, alleys, highways, and freeways which make up the drivable street system in Waze. Depending on the zoom level, some street types are not displayed so that the map is not too cluttered.
This layer will show tracks from Waze users as they drive with Waze running. Waze records and plots the GPS coordinate of drivers. This layer is useful for relatively accurate placement of new or moved roads when aerial photography is not yet updated. GPS points appear in the map editor as colored arrows. The direction of travel for a GPS point determine its color, so that all drivers going the same direction will show their points in the same color. This makes it easier to determine errant GPS points, or where a road on the map doesn't follow the actual path of vehicles.
The Area Managers layer shows overlapping colored, named rectangles. These areas represent the areas those users have Area Manager permissions. This layer allows you to identify a user you may wish to send a PM in the forums about a specific issue you noticed in their area, but do not have rights to fix.
Places are also known as POIs (Points of Interest). These can really be just about anything, but tend to be things like parks, gas stations, cemeteries, transit stations, etc. There are two types of Places: Area and Point. Point Places are for most small business, shops, etc. Area Places are for large stores, malls, parks, etc.
See Places for more information on this topic.
Speed cameras, red-light cameras and dummy cameras are shown on this layer. Drivers report camera location and type, and a map editor is required to confirm the existence of the camera, precise location and direction the camera is point before it will appear on the client. Confirmed cameras will pop up a visual and audible alert in the Waze app when approaching a speed or red light camera.
See Cameras for more information.
Map ProblemsShortcut key: no default
The Waze servers are constantly analyzing driver's GPS tracks to determine when there might be a problem with the map and uses the Problems layer to alert the editors. Some types of problems tracked are missing roads, incorrect turns allowed at intersection, wrong direction of road.
You can toggle visibility of closed Map Problems by using the "Show/Hide closed" link next to the Map Problems text.
See Map problems for more information.
Update RequestsShortcut key: ⇧ Shift+U
These are user-submitted map issues while on the road or from LiveMap. This marker shows the location the user reported the issue from. The user's driven route for a distance before and after the reported location will be shown in bright green. If Waze was in navigation mode at the time of the report, the requested route for a distance before and after the reported location will be shown in purple, with markers along the route with the turn direction given to the user.
You can toggle visibility of closed Update Requests by using the "Show/Hide closed" link next to the Update Requests text.
See Update requests for more information.
Shortcut key: ⇧ Shift+P
The Place Updates layer shows Place Update Requests (PURs) submitted by drivers and beginning editors. When an untrusted driver or editor creates a new place or makes changes to an existing place, a Place Update Request is created. Editors of rank 2 or higher decide whether to accept each request. The most recent requests are a pale pink. Older requests are darker. Accepted but not-yet-saved requests are green.
See Place Updates (Moderation) for more detail.
Where you can edit is determined primarily by where you have driven. Edit rights are initially granted within a one-mile radius of where you have driven with Waze running. Your editable area is shown in lighter-colored areas surrounded by a black border. Users who are Area Managers will also see their managed areas in a colored highlighted area. See Editable area for more information.
Live Users⇧ Shift+V
The Live Users layer will display other map editors with the icon above. Editors' locations are shown in real-time.
At the left side of the window, below your username, is an area which is both informational and functional. Depending on whether an object is selected, the type of object and how many, different tabs will be available which allow you to view and edit details.
Left Pane with No object selected -- tabs
When no objects are selected on the map, the Tabs Area displays user information. The top section greets you by name and is always visible regardless of what is showing or displayed on the map. Map Problems and Update Requests are not considered map objects, so the tabs below your name will display when a Map Problem or Update Request is selected.
A Wazer with a hard hat displays if you have editing permissions. To the right of that icon will be a highlighted cone with a number. This number is your editing rank. Below those graphics is a sentence about your editing rank and permissions.
Below this information is a graphic inviting you to view the introductory editing videos provided by the Waze team.
Drives are journeys or routes that you have driven with the Waze client running. While you drive, Waze monitors your journey (recording details like location, time, speed) and transfers this information to the Servers. This data is used to validate the existing map (roads, turns, directions) and to learn average journey times. Other Waze users and Area Managers can also view the anonymous GPS tracks of many users when editing the map in the Waze Map Editor. This helps with map accuracy.
Clicking on one of the five visible entries will center the map along that route and will zoom out to try and fit your entire route on the screen. Routes over about 20 miles / 30 kilometers will usually not fit on the map display all at once due to scale limitations. Use the mouse or arrow keys to pan around on the map. Parts of the route that display in red are not currently paved roads. Consider zooming into that area to determine if a road should be added.
Select the highlighted numbers at the bottom of the tab window to select older routes in date order.
Drives are typically processed and available for viewing in the Waze Map Editor within an hour of completing the drive. For most short drives such as commutes between home and work (under about 35 miles / 50 kilometers), you will likely find them in the editor in under 15 minutes. If the servers are bogged down, or if your drive is significantly longer (over 100 miles / 150 kilometers), these drives may take up to a week to appear. If you don't see your drive after seven (7) days, open a ticket from the Support page, Quick Help box. Use the Email link and fill out the form and submit.
This shows the entire editable area -- the area in which you can perform edits. Click on your editable area. The view will be centered on the editable area. If your editable area is spread out, in several sections, it may be centered between areas you can edit.
To access user-preference settings in WME, click the "Settings" tab in the left pane. Options include:
- Draw new roads as two-way - determines whether any new road segments you draw start as two-way or one-way
- Draw new roads with all turns allowed - when new roads are drawn with a connection to a junction, the junction can have all "turns" to or from the new segment allowed or disallowed
- Select only on empty selection - affects editor behavior when you select an object (road segment, junction, or place) when there is already an object(s) selected
- If not checked, then clicking on an object will automatically deselect any other objects already selected. This may cause accidental deselection
- If checked, you are prevented from selecting a new object if there anything is already selected. Note that multi-select mode allows you to select additional segments when segment(s) are already selected; use the ctrl key for momentary multi-select, or press the M keyboard shortcut to toggle multi-select mode on/off. Also note that clicking an empty spot can still cause deselection.
- Enable fullscreen mode - when checked, more screen space is given to the map (removes the menu header from the top of the page). Keyboard shortcut ⇧ Shift+F toggles this setting.
- Units - Choose between Imperial (feet/miles) or Metric (meters/kilometers)
Left Pane with segment(s) selected
Select Entire Street
When you click the link "Select Entire Street," or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A the editor will select all segments connected to the current segment with the same primary name, city, state, and country information. It will also select some segments outside the current visible area. The "Select Entire Street" link and the multiple segment ID numbers are highlighted in yellow in the image to the right.
When you click on the Pencil button, or tap shortcut key E, the address box displays more detail information and allows you to make changes to the country, state (US only), city and segment name. Next is where you can add or remove any alternate street name information. An alternate name, technically referred to as a "linked street," can be used for address searches, while primary name is used in navigation instructions.
Be sure to review the naming convention used in your area before changing names.
If you run into an extreme case where you need to rename the city name on a large number of streets. Review the article Smudged city. The end of the article includes a link to a special form for converting a mass number of segments using the help of Waze staff in the database.
On this tab, you can modify the road type, direction, speed limits, elevation, lock, and special properties "toll road" and "tunnel". Further down past a separator line are more general details about the segment(s) which is/are selected.
Details on these tab settings can be found under Road Properties
When you click the button titled Add restrictions, or use the keyboard shortcut T, WME enters the Scheduled Restrictions editing interface
- The Add restrictions button appears when there is one or more segments selected.
- If there are restrictions which already exist on any selected segment, the button name changes to Edit restrictions.
Edit House Numbers
When you click the button titled Edit House Numbers, or use the keyboard shortcut H, WME enters the House Number editing interface.
- The Edit House Numbers button appears when there is only one segment selected.
- The Edit House Numbers button isn't available to click when there are changes which need to be saved. The message, "Save your changes to edit house numbers" appears below the button.
On this tab, senior editors can enable closures in real time. For more information, read the WME Closure Feature page.
Left Pane when a Camera is selected
Left Pane when a Place is selected
Left Pane when a Gas Station is selected
When a gas or petrol station Place is selected, the General tab is very similar to that of all Places. When Gas Station is set as the primary Category (first), then there is an additional drop-down menu to select the Brand of gas sold at this station.For the Waze application to be as useful as possible to drivers, it is important to ensure all fields of information are fully and properly completed.
Map Display Area
All the layers currently selected for display show up in the map display area. The map display areas takes up the majority of the browser window. Any object displayed is selectable and editable, depending on your editing rights in the area you are viewing. Select a street and change its geometry. Select a landmark and change its name. Add a road where one should be, or delete a road which should no longer appear.
There are six main component controls or displays in the corners of the map display area:
- Info Bar
- Zoom Control
- Street View Activator
- Chat Window
- Top bar
The top bar tells which chat room you are connected to, and allows you to choose whether you will be visible or invisible in the map display area and the editor list.
- Editor list
All visible editors in this chat room are listed with their editor rank. Click the editors' username to jump to the editor's location.
- Message box
When you are visible, type your message in the message box to participate in chat.
- For more details on this topic, see Waze Map Editor/Chat.
Just below the main toolbar, there wide area which runs the width of the map display area.
- The left side will display the current city and state (US) or city and country (world).
- The right side displays whether the editor is still loading any layers, such as road images or GPS points.
Zoom Control⇧ Shift+↑, ⇧ Shift+↓
In the upper left corner, the zoom control is one way to adjust the zoom level, or altitude, or the map display area. Clicking + will move in closer, showing more detail. Clicking - zooms out/higher and removes detail. You can also click and drag the selector in between the + and - buttons.
The other methods for controlling the current zoom level is covered below in the section on Moving around the map.
To Activate Street View, drag the blue lens icon from under the zoom control to the point where you want to see the street view.
As you drag the lens around the map, it will change colors to indicate the presence of street view images:
To spin and and zoom the image, use the pan and zoom controls in the Street view pane, or drag the pane around with the mouse and use the scroll wheel to zoom. To change the street view position, use the arrows on the street in street view, or drag the lens by its small white handle.
All editing operations are still available in the map display pane, but the space for editing is smaller. If you use the house number editor, it will cover some of the street view controls; use mouse and keyboard shortcuts.
To Close Street View, click the X at the top left-hand corner of the Street View pane, or press ⇧ Shift+W.
Show my location
Opens a new tab to the wiki map editing pages.
Opens a new tab to the Waze map editor forum
Opens a new tab to the status blog -- showing latest tile updates and any other status messages the Waze team might choose to post.
Opens a "pop-up" showing all the keyboard shortcuts that can be typed into the browser window.
|Zoom Level||Meter Scale||Foot Scale|
The values in the scale relate to the zoom level you see in the URL address of the web browser. Changing the zoom level alters the displayed scale.
In the lower-right corner is a control showing the latitude and longitude of the mouse pointer as it moves over the map.
The permalink icon can do two things. It can refresh the browser window and it can create a Permalink to share and communicate with other editors. A permalink is a URL used to take you or someone else directly to a specific map location. It contains latitude, longitude, zoom level, visible layers, and any objects that are selected. Objects that can be selected may include a junction or a place or one or more segments.
Before using the permalink icon, zoom and pan the map to show what you want to show. If you wish to, select one place or one junction or one or more segments.
To refresh the browser and "remember" the current editing window information, simply click on the permalink icon. Any unsaved edits will be lost, and the chat window will be cleared. The current map permalink will be copied to the address bar, and may be copied for sharing with other editors.
To create a permalink without refreshing the browser, hover the mouse over the permalink icon on the right side of the bottom bar until a message pops up to use ctrl-C. Then use Ctrl+C (or on a Mac ⌘ Cmd+C) to copy the permalink. Or simply right-click on the permalink icon and choose the browser menu option to copy the link address or URL.
Working with the map
Panning and Zooming
- The keyboard shortcut ⇧ Shift+F will hide the Waze top banner bar and put the editor into "Fullscreen Mode"
- There are two ways to pan the map (move around the map)
- Click and drag -- click on an empty point in the map, hold down the mouse button, and drag the map in any direction.
- Keyboard arrow keys -- ↑↓←→
- There are several ways to zoom the map:
- ⇧ Shift+↑ and ⇧ Shift+↓
- The zoom control in the map.
- Double-clicking any point on the map to zoom in one level and center the map on that point.
- Using the mouse wheel "scroll up" to zoom in and "scroll down" to zoom out.
- On Macintosh with a track pad, drag left or right.
- Hold the ⇧ Shift key down and then click and drag a rectangle on the map to zoom in to the rectangle
Working with objects
Objects are any of the things on the map that can be selected. They include point places, junctions, segments, area places, update requests, map problems, and place update requests.
Selecting single objects
A single click on any object will select it .
- Selected segments, junctions, and places are highlighted in blue. Information about these objects appears in the Left Pane.
- Selected segments will show A and B labels on their junction nodes
- Selected Update Requests or Map Problems remain 100% opaque! while all other objects of the same type become partly transparent.
- Selected Update Requests, Map Requests, and Place Update requests display information in a dialog box.
Selecting multiple segments
Several road segments may be selected at once in order to change the properties of several segments at one time. There are several ways to select multiple segments.
- One way is to select the first segment, then use ctrl+click (MAC users:⌘ Command+click) to select additional segments.
- A second way is to use multi-select mode. Use the shortcut key m to enter multi-select mode. Click each segment to add or subtract it from the current segment grouping. To exit multi-select mode, press m again.
- To select all segments between two other segments, first select a segment, then use alt+click (Linux users:ctrl+alt+click) to select a second segment. The editor will add to the selection group the segments in-between the first and second segments, based mostly on the street name, but also on simple straight lines.
- To select all segments within a box use ctrl+⇧ Shift+click (MAC users:⌘ Command+⇧ Shift+click) and then drag the cursor while holding the mouse button to form a box. When the mouse button is released, all the segments in the box are selected.
- Segments having the same naming properties can be selected using the "Select entire street" function. See the description in the Left Pane with segment(s) selected section for more information.
Segments and area places have geometry, which means shape. You change the geometry by adding, deleting, or moving geometry nodes.
- to create a new geometry node, select the object. Hover the mouse pointer over the object to show the geometry nodes in white. Between the nodes, there will be a smaller point where a new geometry node can be created. Click and drag this point to create a geometry node.
- to delete a geometry node, select the object. Hover the mouse pointer over the object to display the geometry nodes. Press and hold d and hover over the geometry node to be deleted.
- point place
- select the point place, then click and drag to the new position and save.There is a limit on how far a place may be moved before saving. To move a place farther, make several short moves.
- area place (entire area)
- select the area. Click and drag the area place move handle to move the area without changing its shape.
- segment nodes (end or geometry)
- select the segment. Hover the pointer over the segment to display the geometry node. Click and drag either end node or any of the geometry nodes to move the ends or change the shape.
- area place geometry node
- select the area. Hover over the area to display the geometry nodes. Click and drag a geometry node to change the shape of the area.
- junction node
- select just the junction where two or more segments are connected. Click and drag the junction node. Any segment junction nodes connected to the junction will remain connected to the junction. This will change the shape of the segments.
- junction node and some connected segments
- multi-select several segments that connect to the same junction node. Click and drag the junction node. Only the selected segments will be dragged with the junction node. Any unselected segments will be disconnected from the node.
When just two segments meet at one junction node, they can be joined into one segment. But only if they have identical information in the left pane. The resulting segment will have a new segment ID. There are three ways to do this:
- Select the junction node only and use the trash can icon.
- Select the two segments and bridge them. This will raise the elevation by 1.
Select a segment to see all the turns leading out of that segment, including u-turns.
- Green arrows are for allowed turns. Red arrows (with "-" sign) are for forbidden turns. Click on the arrow to switch it from allowed to forbidden.
- Unconfirmed or "soft" turns also have a small question mark. Click the arrow to confirm the turn.
- Hover over the arrow to see a clock. Click on the clock to edit time based turn restrictions
- A yellow arrow means a time based turn restriction has already been applied.
Additional map controls
- junction creator -- creates a junction where segments merely cross
- Where two segments cross each other one time at the same elevation, but are not connected to each other, select the two segments at the same time. The junction creator icon will appear. Click this icon to create a junction. The two segments will be cut into four segments, all connected to the new junction.
- bridge creator -- creates a "bridge" from a four-way intersection.
- At any junction, select two segments with identical information. The bridge creator icon will appear. Clicking the icon will join the two selected segments into a single segment, and increase the elevation of the new segment to one more than the max elevation of the two segments which were joined. If you apply the bridge creator to a 4-segment junction, it will also join the two unselected segments, if possible.
There are several types of permission. For a more detailed discussion, please see editing permissions.
- Editing area permission
- You can only edit objects within your editing area -- this includes segments, junctions, places. This also includes closing map problems and Update Requests. Your Editing area includes the area you gain by driving as well as any managed ares you have been granted as an area manager or map raid participant.
- Lock level permission
- Segments and places can be locked. You can only edit these objects if they have a lock level less than or equal to your editor rank. You can only set turn arrows is both segments involved have a lock level less than or equal to your editor rank. Even if a junction has a segment connected to it locked above your editing rank, you can add or remove any segment you can edit at that junction. You can set the lock level anywhere between 1 and your editor rank on any segment or place you can edit.
- Staff place locks
- Sometimes, Waze staff lock places, often in preparation for an ad campaign. The effect is as if the place is locked above the rank of all other wazers, but the lock is not visible in the Waze map editor.
- Trusted place editor status
- Rank 1 editors need approval from a rank 2 or higher editor even on all places, even if they are locked at level 1. After 10 place approvals, they become trusted editors and their places no longer need approvals. Rank 2 and higher editors never need approval for edits to places locked at or below their rank.
- Closures permission
- Editors receive permission to add and edit Real Time Closures in two ways.
- Rank -- upon achieving minimum RTC rank (5 in most countries), editors can add and edit Real Time Closures on any segment within their editable areas, on any segment that is not locked above their rank.
- RTC areas -- In addition, editors may be granted RTC areas. Within these areas, editors can add and edit Real Time Closures on any segments, no matter the lock level.
- Closure locking
- A segment that has a closure cannot be edited until the closure has been removed from the segment. So if a segment has lock level of 1, but a current closure, then it will require an editor with Real Time Closure permission for that segment to alter the closure so that a change can be made to the segment. In most countries, only rank 5 and higher editors can edit closures.