Area Manager: 101
Area Managers - the complete how to guide
From the Waze Area_Manager_101.doc
Introduction and Thank You
Thank you for becoming a Waze Area Manager. Because of people just like you, Waze will only get better and better. You are a critical success factor for Waze. We really appreciate your help.
Please read all the information in this wiki Area Manager FAQ section, view the videos, add your questions and comments to the Forum. Feel free to send private messages to other registered area managers in your city by using the websiteor email us. Or, update the wiki with things you have learned.
But, we have one big request for you. Please be patient. Rome wasn’t built, or mapped, in a day. It will take time to get this done. Time to build the maps, detect the errors, fix the errors and also build the critical mass of wazers so that real time reporting from the highways provides important early warning data.
As an area manager, we know it will sometimes be frustrating for you, and we ask you also be patient with us. At times, it may take a few days to see your map corrections in the cell phone client, but they will appear. So keep making those corrections. We are growing fast, struggling with the growth, but we are looking forward to a bright future, all thanks to you.
P.S. In case you would like to be an area manager, all you need to do is send us an email at email@example.com with your Waze username, your email address, and a Super Permalink on the update map screen of the area you want to help fix.
P.P.S. Be sure to check out our new 2 hour map editing webinars, too.
What is an update request?
This is the main tool to interact with your community! Update requests are a direct tool to mediate between wazers in your area and you. This enables each wazer to report map errors and updates without having to figure out how to solve it, which is where you can come in as the area manager. Anyone can report map problems, either from the livemap or directly from the phone client. For most of them it's click 'n go, for you these are precious pieces of data.
Update requests are requests that the waze users added to the live map in certain places. When choosing a road on the live map, a user has the option to Report a problem.
Using this enables the user to report problems such as: update name, a street is missing , road fix, missing junctions and other issues. Users have the option to also add a text description, but this is not a must when submitting an update request, and some of them will have no description. Another option to report a problem is using a mobile phone with waze. Users can report problems by entering the 'update map' interface from the waze client.
This tool provides you not only the means to see the map and navigation problems from the users in your area, but it also lets you teach and lead the wazers in your community, by explaining to them how they can fix the problems on their own.
When an update request has been sent, it will be shown on the edit map as a circle, where each color represents a different status:
- Red – open problem : the problem is new or hasn't been checked yet. As time passes the problem will grow more circles around it.
- Yellow – field trip needed : a solution for the problem is not possible because there is not enough information to solve the problem. It's necessary to drive in that area in order the map it better.
- Blue – missing data : not enough information to understand and solve the problem.
How do I solve these update requests?
When selecting the update request icon, the edit panel will show:
Clicking on Save changes will update the request and send an e-mail automatically to the user who opened the update request. Currently, the email will be sent from the waze support email (so your private email will not be shared), but we are working on adding an interface that will allow direct communication between wazers.
OK, I understand. But what's my part in this?
Glad you asked. The wazers use this tool to inform you about problems in the map of your area. As an area manager you are the one who has permissions to add or change the information in the map.
The Update Requests tool allows the community to let you know about these problems and therefore you can keep track of their requests. While driving, the wazers will sometimes encounter a problem like a turn that should be restricted, wrong street name and direction etc. Because they do not have the permissions to edit and fix the map, or they are not familiar with the map editor interface yet, they will turn to you.
They will open the update request option while driving or when they will visit the site. Sometimes they will add information regarding this problem, sometimes they will not. When you go over the update requests make sure you read and understand what the user meant when he opened the request. Sometimes it will not be clear what the user meant to say, and sometimes there won't be enough information to solve the problem. If you can't understand what the user meant, write them back that you need more information in order to solve the problem.
If a street is missing, you can either check for existing GPS points and create the road, or mark the update request as 'field trip needed' which basically means someone will have to drive this missing street before it is mapped.
Remember to always be polite when answering the users, and write in a simple and understandable manner. Remember the old saying "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" - teach your community how to solve the problems by themselves, it will take the load off you.
What is the best way to track my area update requests?
You have two ways to keep track of the update requests in your area: One is to have a feed to your RSS reader, such as the Google reader - click here to find the Waze RSS feed of the Update Requests in your area. The other way is to scroll the map of your area to see if there are any new or unresolved requests.
Note: make sure you turn on the Update Requests Layer in the Layer Panel on the cartouche.
Got it. Is there any way to help me answer the users in a simple way?
Sure thing. Just use these already written answers, it can help you sometimes by «copy & paste» to the answer field on the update request box. You can use a list of templates available here.
Community - the Forum - How to be available for other members in your area
This Forum tool helps you stay in touch with your community. The other wazers can share their knowledge and their acquaintance with your city to help you with mapping and developing the map in your area. The bigger the area you have under your management, the more you will need the other wazers to help you.
It is important to work with other wazers your community – they are the ones who best know the area they live in, and like you, they will benefit from the improvement of the map. You can read about wazers' requests, help them map and solve problems, and even assign wazers to map different parts of your area.
How to use the Forum?
First of all, check the Forum in the waze site – click on the community label and then click on the “go to forums” option.
- check the “country (languages) forums”.
- Find your relevant country.
- You can add a new topic (it is recommended to add a new topic with your region or city's name in order to provide a forum which serves you and your community. (for example: UK forum – London forum – Eastend forum).
I can't find any relevant forum for my region / country, what should I do?
Have no worries. Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a request to add a new country, language or region and we will add the topic to the forum.
I have a forum of my area. What now?
Good question! Now your community has a place to discuss with each other, and let you know about problems they have and ask for your assistance and guidance. If you've noticed other wazers are editing roads in / around your area, invite them with a Private Message (PM) to come join your forum and discuss further mapping there, so it will be available for any other wazers who join in the future.
Is there a simple way to keep track of the forum?
Of course! you can now subscribe for specific forums that interest you, or remain with the current feed that holds all the posts on the forum. To subscribe to a specific feed, you will need the forum id which appears as part of the URL when you open the forum.
For example, the MAP forum is #8 as seen from its URL: viewforum.php?f=8 Subscribing to a forum will also subscribe you to all of its sub-forums.
In order to get the RSS for the MAP forum only, use this url:http://www.waze.com/WAS/forum_feeds?ids=8
To add another forum, for example, the Norwegian forum (id = 54) just add the number following a comma (no spaces): http://www.waze.com/WAS/forum_feeds?ids=8,54
By default, the feed will contain the last 10 posts, but you can extend up to 100 posts by adding &limit=xxx to the end of the RSS feed URL: http://www.waze.com/WAS/forum_feeds?ids=8,54&limit=100
what should I do with this forum feed?
You will need to Subscribe to a site that can provide you a way to gather all the feeds from the forums you have chosen. There are a number of sites that provide this service, such as netvibes.com, igoogle, bing etc.
Information about map problems is available on waze's wiki - check this link: Map Editing. We have two types of map problems — merger problems and scan problems.
What do scan problems mean?
(also check the wiki page How_to_fix_scan_problems_(problems_1-31) ).
Scan problems are shown on the map when the program recognizes a situation that might be problematic for navigation. You will have to activate the Map Problem Layer in order to see problems that exist on the map. If there is a major problem that is left unsolved, waze will not be able to route in the specific area where the problem exists. It is vital, as an area manager, to check the map in your area and see whether these problems can affect the navigation of users in your community and if so, fix them. Our Scan Problems wiki page holds all the information you’ll need to know in order to solve these problems. Make sure you check it out.
What do merger problems mean?
(also check the wiki page How_to_fix_merger_problems_(problems_51-60))
Merger problems are slightly different from the scan problems. The merger problems are problems that arise after the program runs a daily scan and finds anomalies. This is where the current map does not fit the actual route of other wazers.
For example, a road segment is not where it should be. Because of this, the actual route that was taken by wazers will be far from the current road showing on the Waze map, thus creating a merger problem. As an area manager, the «merger problems» tool can help you detect if there are roads that should be fixed or if there are new roads that should be added.
Once again, please visit the merger problem issue in our wiki page to get all the information you need to solve these problems. Pay special attention to the fact that some of these problems do not need fixing. Some merge problem might arise from inaccurate GPS tracks caused by wazers with cell phones having inaccurate GPS chips.
What is pending deletion?
Another good question. Pending deletion is a tool that lets you monitor and approve deletion of roads that wazers from your community suggest be deleted. You are the only one who can approve or disapprove deletions of roads in your area! Most important: the tool helps you validate the integrity of the map in your area. You will be the one who approves the deletion of roads. Check the roads before you approve or disapprove deletions.
After a (normal) user asks to delete a segment, he will receive a message that his request is pending the approval of the area manager. In the meantime, until you review his request, the segment will remain on the map but a label with a warning sign saying 'road is pending for deletion' - so map editors will know not to work on this segment anymore. After you review the pending deletion requests, you can either delete the segment which will completely remove it from the map, or discard the request which will bring the segment back to its regular form.
ok, but how is it done?
Very simple! In the update map (cartouche), you have the View Panel. There you can see the option «pending», which is only available after you become an area manager. By clicking on «pending», a new menu will pop up:
This menu is divided to 6 columns:
Make sure you make a routine check of the pending deletions candidates frequently.
(please check the wiki at our site to learn about numbering houses.) Adding house numbers to streets is vital for proper navigation. The goal is to establish accurate house / business street numbers for each street that was created and to add numbers to an already existing street.
I see... but what's my part in house numbering as an area manager?
Brilliant question. Like your duty in the "pending deletion" tool, you are the one who approves the house numbers. As the area manager of your zone, you should make sure that the numbering, done by other wazers, is correct.
ok...how do I do that?
Simple as pie! Open the update map (cartouche), turn on the "House Numbers" Layer. Now you can see house numbers that were recorded by other users (showed as red circles with an arrow inside). In order to save / approve the recordings you must approve them.
Just click on one of the circles, check if the data is accurate and press save. If not, change the house numbers and then press save. That's it. Simple as pie.
You'll notice the color of the house number now changes to white. This means it was saved and sent for indexing. New address indexing happens once a day. Once the index is run successfully, you'll notice the color changes again - to a blue circle. When the house number appears in a blue circle, it means that is now part of the waze system - you can search and navigate to this address, including the house number.
This is the crown jewel.
As an area manager you have permissions not only to create new roads according to your routes but create roads according to the GPS points made by any other wazer in your area.
When mapping a map from scratch, meaning that there are hardly any roads recorded by users, it is your duty to make the map alive by mapping the area yourself. Keep in mind that if you're still not sure about any of the cartouche features and options, you can check this wiki article.
Sounds great! Where do I start?
Work your way by the importance of the roads. Start mapping the freeways, ramps, major and minor highways and then move to the main streets etc.
Start from the highways that connect the cities, This will allow basic navigation around the city and its surroundings. Then create ramps, then major roads in the city itself, in order to make the navigation simple and quick. When you're done mapping the main roads create the smaller streets.
As soon as the main grid is up and live, it'll be easy for other wazers to join in. As more wazers navigate in your area, there will be more data, helping you build the map faster and easier. The better the map is, the more users will join you by mapping their own streets.
Anything tricky about this map editing stuff?
Unfortunately, yes. What you see, is not always what your get - Turn restrictions and connectivity
As a new Area Manager, before you go off and start making lots of changes to your map area, let's stop a minute and be sure you understand how to truly 'see' what waze sees in your map. New area managers often think they just need to open the roads by setting the direction and modify a road segments geometry to match the aerial map. Sometimes that is enough but to really get your map right, you need to use some viewing tools to look deeper.
Just because you have a nice map like this, Where the directions are correct and where there is a nice junction at each intersection, don't think that everything is copacetic. What you see is not always what you get.
Roads may seem to be 'open' but Waze may think they are not drivable. Huh?! Yep, just because one road touches another road and has a junction, waze may not think you can make a turn. How do you tell? There are two tools that help a lot. First, You have to click Restricted Turns in the Layers panel. Then some red turn restriction arrows may appear. See that we have a restricted turn as James avenue crosses Lagoon.
But wait, there is more. The second tool, Highlight Connectivity shows which roads are actually connected to each other. Again, placing a junction does not insure all the roads really connect.
By checking the Highlight Connectivity box in the View panel, you see the true picture. See what happend to our view of James and Lagoon. As you travel south on James, Waze understands you can take a right turn to go west on Lagoon - Green Highlight, Waze also understands that you can take a right turn from Lagoon onto James going north or you can go northward on James across Lagoon - orange lines. But, Waze does not think you can drive south on James across Lagoon.
But you can go south on James across Lagoon, But how do you fix it? You fix it first, by selecting the two road segments in the order that you would drive them. In this case, first click the James Ave segment to the North of Lagoon and then command/ctrl click (command for Mac, ctrl for Windows) the segment to the south. Next, on the Edit panel, click Connect Roads by order of selection. Next To remove the turn restriction, you must click on the junction at Lagoon and James, and once the junction is highlighted with a circle, click Enable all Turns on the Edit Panel.
I did some mapping, but how should I label the new roads that I created?
Just visit our wiki page and you will find all the information you need is here. We realize that road types differ from one country to another. A few have already created their own guidelines in separate wiki articles for their country. If you are not sure about your country, you can ask us at email@example.com and we will assist.
I see this Locked checkbox option when I edit roads, is that dangerous?
Actually, no it is very useful. When you select a road segment and click edit details, the Locked checkbox is shown. If you have a new area, the checkboxes will mostly be unchecked. The Locked checkbox, if checked, prevents Waze from automatically changing the direction(s) of a road segment. If a road segment in your area is unchecked and a wazer with a poorly calibrated GPS passes through the neighborhood, the wazers bad signal could make waze think your recently set one way roads are actually two way.
Setting the locked checkbox is not like 'until death do us part'. As area manager you can modify the road directions to your hearts content. The Locked checkbox just keeps Waze from trying to 'help'
General rule: When you go through your area, if you are pretty sure about the direction of your roads, you should lock them.
Ok, but what if I'm about to change a road segments direction and it already has a lock on it. What do I do then? In that case, I'd double check your facts. Someone before you thought differently. Check the flow of roads into and out of the road you plan to change. Bottom line. Be sure you're right, then go ahead and make the change.
Yes! I'm done mapping the area you guys gave me. I want more!
Way to go! Congratulations!!
just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your username, your email address, a Super Permalink on the update map screen (!!) of the area you want to add (use the maximum zoom level, meaning go as far as possible and then hit the Super Permalink button) and additional information that will might help us (cities name, regions etc.). We will send you an email once your new area has been added.
Area managers in the same city can use our wiki to collaborate and divide the work. The To Do lists page can be edited so you and other area managers can mark the Highways/Roads you want to fix. Scroll down to see the list of cities.
If your city isn't listed, you can add it by copying a city line in the wiki page source code. Sounds scary but it's easy. Other Area Manager's have already started defining what needs to be 'done' to get a highway right. Here's an example of an active to-do list for Minneapolis.
OK, but how do we discover each other and form a team?
Good question. You can start by turning on the Area Managers Layer in the Layers panel in Cartouche and see usernames of the current area managers in your town. Also, you can ask Wazers in your area with the biggest point to join you. Check the bottom toolbar in Waze on your phone. Tap the arrowhead. Tap scoreboard. You'll see wazers in your town by point totals, with highest on top.
To make contact, log into the forum and send them a private message. Often regular users don't know how to sign up by sending an email to email@example.com with their Waze username, their email address, and a Super Permalink of the area they want to fix. But, please don't be pushy. Some wazers just need to cruise.
Update requests templates
Adding new roads
The mapping in our project is done by the users, who record the GPS data while driving. In order to add a new street/road/exit etc, you need to record it as you are driving through the area. To edit the details of the road you recorded, visit http://www.waze.com/cartouche/ the following day to edit the road you created. For further information read our Forum and Wiki. -- Thanks for the update,
Adding House Numbers
You can update house numbers through your mobile device while driving along the relevant street. Visit http://www.waze.com/cartouche/ to edit roads in your area yourself. For further information read our Forum and Wiki. -- Thanks for the update,
Adding POI's - (Points of Interest)
You can add POI's to the map with the Landmarks panel in the update map at www.waze.com. Currently you can only view the landmarks while driving near them. In the future you will be able to search for specific landmarks. -- Thanks for the update,
Thanks for pointing this map error out. If you want to do more, please visit the website www.waze.com and look at the live maps then the update maps option. You will already have permissions to fix map errors that are within a mile of where ever you have driven with Waze on. -- Thanks for the update,
Please mention the error that needs to be fixed, including any information that may be useful. Visit http://www.waze.com/cartouche/ to edit roads in your area yourself. For further information read our Forum and Wiki. -- Thanks for the update,
I didn't find the streets you mentioned anywhere near the update request marker. Please send the request again from the problematic location. Visit http://www.waze.com/cartouche/ to edit roads in your area yourself. For further information read our Forum and Wiki. -- Thanks for the update,
Our maps are maintained and developed by the community. Visit http://www.waze.com/cartouche/ to edit roads in your area yourself. For further information read our Forum and Wiki. -- Thanks for the update,
The reason for the error you've described is probably a GPS deviation from the GPS component in your device. Try to place the device in an exposed space while using it. -- Thank you for the update,
Did you try again since you've sent this update? If the problems persist, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org -- Thanks for the update,
Street already updated
The street has already been updated by another user. Visit http://www.waze.com/cartouche/ to edit roads in your area yourself. For further information read our Forum and Wiki. -- Thanks for the update,
Updating road directions
The road direction has been updated based on the information you've submitted. Visit http://www.waze.com/cartouche/ to edit roads in your area yourself. For further information read our Forum and Wiki. -- Thanks for the update,
Updating streets name
I've updated the street's name. Visit http://www.waze.com/cartouche/ to edit roads in your area yourself. For further information read our Forum and Wiki. -- Thanks for the update,
Requests from non US users
You can help us build the maps for other countries by recording roads while driving in your country and then editing them on our website. For further information read our Forum and Wiki. -- Thanks for the update,