Waze Map Editor

From Wazeopedia

Revision as of 15:06, 24 August 2012 by Alanoftheberg (talk | contribs)

This page is the key starting point for any editor of the Waze maps. Ensure that you read through the entire page to best prepare you for the many bits of information needed to make you a good map editor. People who edit the map without fully understanding many of these elements can do more harm than good with their edits. If you cannot find an answer to your question somewhere in the Wiki, be sure to post a question in the Waze Forums where many experienced Wazers will be happy to provide an answer. Just be sure you did your best to search for the answer in the Wiki here.

Usage of external maps

Usage of any external copyrighted source of information, in order to add information to the Waze database or maps, is not allowed. External copyright information includes any online or printed map information that is not provided by Waze like Google, Bing Aerial imagery.

Google's terms of use means that Waze cannot use their aerial images to update Waze maps. Those terms of use also apply to any user or editor of the Waze maps and database. Users cannot use Google's aerial images to edit the Waze 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. Using any source of external copyright information, such as Google Aerial imagery, puts the Waze maps under danger of being forced to revert all changes done to the map in your area / country. If any user were to do such a thing, it would taint all the work that person did on the maps and Waze would need to reverse out all those edits. There could also 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 the result of any Waze action). 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. Users may negotiate with officials in their country for access to aerial images that Waze can use. The user must be careful not to give the impression that they are acting on behalf of Waze. But as an interested citizen any user can speak with local authority, in a local language, to explain the benefits to their country in making aerial images freely available as a public good. Note that external copyright information does not include any source of information that is provided by Waze through the internal tools of the online editor or application. Also any information developed independently by a user being physically present at a site is acceptable to add to the map as long as it is provided without copyright.

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, so 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 is currently using its second generation map editing interface (covered in this article). Known as the Waze Map Editor (or WME for short), it is the default editor for Waze since September 19, 2011. This editor interface is internally code-named "Papyrus", and was functionally upgraded on August 12, 2012. There are currently three different server farms managing the maps of the world. Be sure to log into the appropriate server when making edits to a particular part of the world. You can use the same username on all servers, but your editing points are managed separately by each server. Also the maps are not synchronized between the servers, so for example if you went to the North America server to modify parts of Europe, the different server supporting Wazers in Europe would not see your changes.

The original (first generation) editor called Cartouche was used prior to the new Waze Map Editor. While it is still available, you should not be using unless you are an advanced user because it can possibly cause synchronization issues on the map. There are a few functions not yet available in the new Waze Map Editor that the experienced users will need to access from time to time until they are added to the new editor. The Cartouche editor is sometimes referred to as "old Cartouche," and as with the new editor, there are currently three different servers managing the maps of the world. Be sure to log into the appropriate server when making edits to a particular part of the world. You can use the same username on all servers, but your editing points are managed separately by each server. Please do not use the Cartouche editor without first checking the forums for why you want to use it.

When editing the Waze maps, please be sure to first review this page and also follow the best map editing practice. You should also be aware of known Waze Map Editor issues or missing features.

Using the WME, you can add, edit, or delete nearly any object within your editable area. If a road segment is locked by a user with a higher editing level than you, the road, intersection, or turn permissions connected to that road segment cannot be altered unless you chose one of the following:

  • Place a request to the Update Request forums to unlock that segment by giving them a permalink with the segment or segments highlighted and a country manager may unlock it for you.
  • Send a Private Message (PM) to the previous editor using the Forum PM functionality. As of the August 12, 2012 update, Area Managers are no longer able to override segments locked by higher-level editors.

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 in which you have requested to be an Area Manager.

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 Waze Map Editor editor is currently officially supported on the Chrome browser only. It may or may not work on other browsers, but there is currently no official support for issues that might arise.

You can access the map editing page directly using the links above in The Map Editors section, or you can reach it from the Waze homepage as follows:

  1. From the Waze homepage select the Login link at the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Select "Live Map" in the main navigation header.
  3. Select "Update Map" located just above the map viewer.

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

Papyrus sample post login.png

For the sake of efficiency, you may also wish to bookmark the link directly to the map editor:

Be sure to check out the Map Editing Tips and Hints page for some shortcuts for logging in to the map editor and other great pieces of information to enhance your map editing.

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. Note there must be roads leading into the roundabout first.
    • 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, zoom level, visible layers, and any objects such as roads, junctions, or landmarks which are selected at the time the permalink is recorded.

To create a permalink to your current map editor view, first set the zoom level and select any road segments or junctions you want to point out to the user who will view the permalink. Use the multiple select option for your browser (CTRL-LEFT-CLICK for Windows-based systems). You can right-click the Permalink hyperlink at the lower right corner of the browser screen (see image). That will bring up the option to copy the URL into your computer clipboard.

Alternately you can left-click the hyperlink to reload the page which updates the URL at the top of the browser window which you can highlight and copy. With this method, be sure to first save any unsaved changes because this operation of the Permalink button will reload the browser window and lose any unsaved changes.

If you notice the road layer does not match the Bing aerial layer, you can press the Permalink button to regenerate the screen and clear up the misalignment. If instead you use the browser reload option the map will move to the location of the last time you pressed the Permalink button.

The last permalink is saved with your user profile. When you restart the browser and go to the Waze Map Editor, it will automatically take you to the last permalink you recorded.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Template:Keyboard shortcuts WME

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

Using External sources (such as Google Imagery)

Template:External sources