Map Editing (new Editor)

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The Road Maps

The Waze map was started in many countries by importing publicly available road data. This data was fairly accurate in geometry, but could be dated. It also did not include some details vital for a navigation system such as permitted travel direction, and distinctions between driveable roads and non-driveable ways, such as railroads and canals. The imported maps also did not indicate if a junction or bridge was present where roads crossed. Waze defaulted to a junction in all cases, and even though turn restrictions may show as being in place at these junctions, all turns are actually allowed if the segments have never been edited. This set of data was enough to get started, but definitely needed updating and maintenance.

This is where two key aspects of the Waze system come into play:

  1. The web-based map editing tools for Waze users to edit maps of their neighborhoods, cities or other places with which they are familiar.
  2. The collecting of GPS data from Waze users to modify the maps to set road direction and turning permissions at intersections.

Some countries had no data available for their road systems, the maps for these countries must be built from the ground up by Waze users. The maps are created in the web editor using roads recorded in the Waze client and the stored GPS tracks of all Waze users superimposed over available aerial photography.

The Map Editors

  • Waze currently uses two different map editing interfaces:
    • Waze Map Editor is the default editor for Waze since September 19, 2011. This editor interface is internally code-named "Papyrus", and was functionality upgraded on April 9, 2012. It is located at https://(world/www)
    • Cartouche is the original editor and was the main editor prior to Waze Map Editor. It is still available until all necessary functions are replicated in Waze Map Editor. The Cartouche editor is sometimes referred to as "old Cartouche," and is located at https://(world/www)
  • When editing the Waze maps, please follow the best map editing practice. You should also be aware of known Waze Map Editor issues or missing features and bugs and quirks with Cartouche.
  • With the web-based editor, you can add, edit, or delete nearly any object within your Editable Area. Your editable area consists of:
    • A 1-mile radius of any location you have driven with Waze running in the past 3 to 4 months.
    • Areas which you have requested to be an Area Manager of.

Map Editing Quick-start Guide

Learning the best map editing techniques for proper navigation and appearance takes some time and practice, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience too. You can be proud that you are improving the experience for all Waze users. The details in later sections of this page are important for you to learn, but for simple edits, there is a Map Editing Quick-start Guide to get you going quickly.

Accessing the Waze Map Editor (WME)

  • The default Waze Map Editor editor is currently supported on the Chrome browser only. It may work on other browsers, but it is not currently supported
  • Log in to your account from the Waze homepage using the Login link at the top-right corner of the homepage:
    • For North American editors (USA and Canada), login from
    • For the rest of the world, login from
  • Select "Live Map" in the main navigation header.
  • Select "Update Map" located just above the map viewer.

Once logged in, your screen should look something like this:

Papyrus sample post login.png

Map Editing Basics

The Waze Map Editor editor was designed to be used without much documentation, but this list will give the quick basics for drawing a new road, roundabout, or landmark

  1. Click the item you want to create under the big + button
    • For a road, click to start drawing, click to add a geometry node as you follow a path, and double-click (or shift-click) to end drawing
    • For a roundabout, click at the center of the roundabout and move the mouse to size it. Click to create it
    • For a landmark, or POI (Point of Interest), click to start the landmark and click as you follow the outline of the area. Double-click to end drawing.
  2. For each object, there are details you need to enter before saving, such as the city, street name, direction and level, or landmark type for landmarks.
  3. Click the Save button

You can also modify or delete existing map objects. You do this by selecting an object, then modifying its geometry, location or properties. What is possible with each object depends on the type of object. The Editing Manual is where you will find all the details necessary to understand all the editor functionality.


  • In the Waze map editor, a permalink is a URL used to take you or someone else directly to a specific map location. It stores and encodes the latitude, longitude and zoom level, visible layers, and any objects such as roads, junctions, or landmarks which should be highlighted and selected.
  • A permalink to your current map editor view, whether you are in Waze Map Editor or Cartouche, is generated and placed in the address bar of your browser by clicking the "Permalink" hyperlink at the bottom-right corner of the map. To copy or share your URL, you can right-click the Permalink directly and copy the link or cut and paste it from the browser address bar.
  • Please note that the permalink is generated every time you change the display of the editor, so if you recover a browser session of the editor, it will revert to the last map location for which you generated a permalink.

Keyboard Shortcuts

For simplicity and accuracy, all keyboard shortcuts are now kept in a single location in the Map Editing-quick Start Guide.

Map Update Timing

Edits made in the online editors do not appear on the LiveMap nor client immediately. Waze has a long-term goal of 24hr update processing, but that isn't happening yet. Please see the Timeline of updating process page for more detail on the various processes Waze runs and expected update timing.

Editing Manual

Google aerial images cannot be used

This section needs to become its own page. Google's terms of use means that Waze cannot use their aerial images.

Those terms of use also apply to you. You cannot use Google's aerial images to edit Waze's maps. In some jurisdictions you may be able to use them as a reference (like looking at a map in a mapbook), but not as an overlay as with the Greasemonkey script Googze.

If you were to do such a thing, it would taint all the work you did and Waze would need to reverse out all your edits. There could be other adverse effects. Waze has already had to remove all the maps for Chile, and other South American countries because the source of the map data was not properly licensed (not Waze's fault).

So do not use Googze as a way of applying Google's aerial images as a replacement for Waze's licensed images when doing map editing.

You may negotiate with officials in your country for access to aerial images that Waze can use. Just be careful not to give the impression that you are acting on behalf of Waze. But as an interested citizen you can speak with local authority, in a local language, to explain the benefits to your country in making aerial images freely available as a public good.