Aerial Photograph Requests

From Wazeopedia

A new program is being tested that links volunteer pilots with Waze volunteer map editors. The pilots submit aerial photographs of new and changing roads so that Waze users can have the most accurate and up-to-date driving navigation available.

This is a new test program and the content is subject to change. Check back often. Feel free to help update this page.

Example Aerial Photograph

Information for Requesters

In addition to the Waze Munching system for confirming new roads and display of GPS tracks in the Waze Map Editor, volunteer map editors can request aerial photographs of places that are confusing or represent changes since the last satellite images were taken. By having a recent photograph, map editors can ensure the road topology is correct, update detours, etc.

Look at the example pictures here. You can expect aerial photographs to:

  • confirm new roads and intersections
  • see ramp details
  • see direction markings on the roads (turn, one way, etc)
  • see updates to new housing developments
  • see construction detours
  • not be able to be able to see road signage

Only requests for Waze map edits will be honored. Do not request pictures of your house, business, etc, as they will be rejected. These requests should be directed to your local aerial photography business.

Format for Requests

To submit Aerial Photograph Requests, map editors should use THIS FORM. All fields are required. Do not leave unnecessary information in the Permalink (keep only Satellite Imagery and Roads). The description might highlight if the map editor needs a broad picture of an area, or just one particular intersection.

Information for Pilots

Since Waze uses a "crowd sourced" map using content from volunteer editors and drivers, pilots can help the process by providing aerial photographs of new and changing roads. When pilots are making practice flights and looking for a good excuse to go flying, they can practice finding landmarks and snapping pictures along the route that can help the volunteer editors and ultimately the driving community.

Getting Started

A list of participating pilot volunteers is here. Sign up or contact wazeflyer at gmail dott com for assistance. Showing your availability here will help Waze map editors know that there is a pilot in their area and encourage filing requests. In addition browse the request area (HERE TBD) to see if any there are any requests in your area already.

Please do not honor any requests that are not related to Waze road map improvement. Any clearly business or personal picture requests must be rejected.

General Guidelines

Guidelines for participating:

  • Be current! (current physical, BFR)
  • Be safe!
    1. if possible have a copilot take the pictures (brief them on the location before beginning the flight)
    2. clearing turns before circling an area
    3. eyes watching for traffic!
    4. watch airspeed while turning (perhaps flaps if slowing down)
  • Double check airspace requirements and TFRs. You can request time from ATC to do aerial photography over an area inside controlled airspace.
  • Fly in good wx (no point photographing a road through clouds!)

Pilots are strictly volunteering their time to support the map editors and fellow drivers. There is no compensation available from Waze for volunteers (Waze is a for-profit company).

Guidelines for taking pictures

  • use a good camera if you have access to one
  • best is to photograph straight down from above (to reduce distortion in road lengths and angles)
  • the GPS coordinates are on the web page in the requestor's map link
  • plan your path to the waypoint. Approach slightly off center (so that the subject is outside the photographer's window
  • if possible and safe select a lower altitude (eg, 1000-2000 ft AGL)
  • it may help to take multiple pictures of the area from different angles
  • make sure the flash is off, the camera is set for distance, and that it focuses on the road (not the window or wing strut!)


Example Aerial Photograph

Example Garmin Setup

Step-by-step

To store a Waze GPS coordinate on your Garmin GPSmap portable:

  • go to Menu/Setup/Location and change Location Format from hddd°mm.mmm to hddd.ddddd
  • in map view, move the cursor to the approximate area and click Enter to create a Waypoint
  • edit the name (eg 0W001, starting with 0 will keep it at beginning of list)
  • edit the Location to match the longitude/latitude coordinates from the Waze Editor
  • do "show map" to make sure it's in the right location
  • bring the GPSmap with you!
  • (delete the waypoints later when done)


Guidelines for submitting pictures

  • respond to the forum request first with an approximate time frame you expect to complete the "mission"
  • after taking the photograph, upload the picture online (a free google account will allow this). Use the highest resolution available. Best is to put all pictures of one area into an album and share the link for the album to everyone
  • respond to the forum request with an online link to the photograph(s)

Also be sure to:

  • invite fellow pilots to help during their flights
  • become a Waze map editor yourself, time permitting
  • have fun finding the roads, taking pictures, and helping fellow drivers

Uploading to Google Plus

You can create a free google+ account to upload pictures. Once you've done that, here is how to share an album:

  • from the home page, select Photos
  • drag the pictures into the box
  • after they upload, give the album a meaningful name (under Add to album), then click Add
  • on sharing screen, add Public and click Share

To get the share link:

  • from the home screen only, click on the upper left pulldown and select Photos
  • make sure the album (not the pictures) of interest is in focus
  • click the upper right pulldown (to the right of the word Share) and pick Sharing options
  • click on Share via Link
  • click on the link and hit Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard (then click Cancel)

You can now paste the screen into the Waze form/screen.

Unsolicited Contributions

In addition to fulfilling requests from volunteer Waze map editors, you can also submit pictures of new roads that you discover while flying. Use this link.

These are the things that would be of interest to map editors

  • new roads (in particular, those not on current google satellite photos of the area)
  • new housing developments
  • recent road changes due to construction (eg, rerouting lanes and detours)

These things would not be useful:

  • a new parking lot (unless part of a new shopping mall!)
  • a new driveway
  • a new home on an existing road

To help you find your locations later, you can either use the time stamp of your pictures vs. the GPS times (which you can view on Google Earth for example), or you can make an obvious jog in your flight path that will be visible later on the GPS.

Available Pilots

Username Flying Area Comments
Cpttim SE and Central PA


For help adding your name to the pilot, send message to Cpttim.

Key Links