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Google 'excited' about enhancing Google Maps with Waze data 

The rumors were true -- Google has announced that it's closed its acquisition of Waze, the collaborative navigation and traffic app. In a post on its official blog, the company confirmed the buy-out, saying that it was "excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze." The search giant also said it wants to bring the power of Google Search to the existing Waze app, which allows users to work together to find the best routes.

The Waze team, Google says, will continue to operate separately from the Maps team out of its Israel HQ. Google also promised to work closely with the Waze community and allow it to "grow and prosper."

More: Google Blog

 

Reader comments

Google closes acquisition of Waze

37 Comments

ohhh boy this year seems to be getting better and better, i said this be the year of google and boy was i right =)

I've been a fan and user of Waze for a few years. Hopefully Google is able to integrate community based notifications into the Navigation app. But allowing the existing team to operate independently with Google's backing is great news.

Wow...guess they just denied it to confuse people :-)

Disappointed that navigation means you always have to have an internet connection though...

Yes, then once you search, you can click on one of the icons to select another site to search from. Google used to be one of the options but it was completely removed with one of the updates....

Bing got me lost, I was out of town and looking for a particular restaurant and the Bing results sent me the opposite direction miles out of the way.

I'm excited for this I was hoping they would nab it up. I would like to see Google grab up Hula also.

I don't agree it to be this a good thing for us consumers. Yes, it's great that Google is keeping Waze running as if it was itself like it does with Motorola. Yes, Google can provide a lot of help to make Waze better.
But, would Facebook make a better synergy with Waze? I think so.
You could log in with Facebook instead of Google+. You could share your traffic inputs with your Friends (providing local police doesn't mind that you alert speed traps, everything would be fine). Now where are all your Traffic inputs gonna go? Google+? as much of a Google fan I know that's a joke.
And why does Google need 2 maps? They don't! This Google purchase is merely a strategical way of being in charge of Mapping. Google knows that to keep their maps the best, it needs customer's input. Google wouldn't be able to handle Facebook as a map competitor.
Is this good for Google? Yes
Is this an antitrust issue? Yes, indeed.
Are the consumers better off? We'll never know.

Well, the difference is that if Facebook bought it I would never (ever) use it, with Google owning it I might. How many actually use FB to check in or even give them your location data? I don't trust FB as far as I can spit. I don't trust Google either but at least they give me tools (opt-outs and dashboards) to keep them at bay.

I could be wrong, but I have to believe that Google thought this through for that that kind of money, and they must see a strategic benefit for Google Maps. I think Facebook could have benefited more from Waze than Google since they have no mapping solution, but I think Waze users will gain more from the Google acquisition than they would have from Facebook. What does this have to do with the Sherman Antitrust Act?

Never mentioned the Sherman Antitrust Act. I'm sure Waze doesn't give Google a significant percentage of market share in digital mapping industry. Nevertheless, I stand on that this purchase is solely with the purpose of hindering competition more than anything else.

actually, this is something i've wanted to happen. Google Nav is by far the best navigation app out there, but it doesn't have the real time data that Waze does. The ideal Nav solution for me would be to add a waze plugin to google maps/nav and the info from waze would display as another layer. This is an opportunity to have the best features from the 2 best Navigation apps all in one.

Now the NSA can have your Waze information too! Google can cross combine it with other data and sell your personal movements. No thanks. Plenty of other mapping tools out there.

They're going to have it anyway, if you send it from the US or the data is in anyway routed through the US. The main idea is to spy on foreigners, guess Israel is technically foreign to the US...

So, dumb question, but I *USED* to use waze a year and half ago and it kinda sucked.
Should I start to use it over built in Google Navigation now?
I drive a lot! (in SoCal)

Thanks...

I'm not in SoCal, but I was in the same boat as you. I tried Waze a year or so ago, and gave up after it gave me wrong directions in an area I wasn't familiar with.

I downloaded and installed a couple of weeks ago. I was still disappointed. Maybe I'm using it wrong?

I do absolutely love the crowd source / social part of Waze! I get that part.

But I just like Google Maps and Navigation much better, so I'll stick with it. If they can integrate the crowd source and social parts of Waze into Google Maps and Navigation, I'm sold!

I used to be a big fan of Google but their refusal to bring navigation to S. Korea makes me more and more infuriated with them every day. They aren't the only ones. Finding a good navigation app on your phone in S. Korea is impossible unless you are going through your mobile provider and getting it in, well, obviously Korean. Even Sygic and TomTom don't have S. Korea. It's absurd and I really wish Google search results would give a real explanation on why this is so difficult to accomplish. I post this on every forum when they speak of changes in Google Nav and still nobody knows why...

Waze is my daily commute companion. Real-time, crowdsourced traffic data enables it to dynamically route me around incidents. Last night it directed me to exit the freeway and take a country road around what would have been an hour-long traffic jam -- I'd never been on that particular road before, but could easily see how it led me back to the freeway a couple of miles past the accident site. Recent updates include social-networking features, which I ignore. Echoing the sentiment above: Google, please don't screw it up or clutter it with useless fluff!

Trapster is my road-trip tool, letting me know about speed traps and other hazards that I'm likely to encounter on the long stretches of road with which I'm less familiar than the beaten paths hereabouts. I also use Where to locate the cheapest gas; there are other tools for that, but Where gives me a simple list sorted by price and proximity, with the option to drill down on the desired station for navigation information.

Google Maps, on the other hand, is more for exploring. I use it for locating cities that I'm reading about, getting a Street View of a new store or restaurant, looking at remote islands in the middle of oceans -- whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Google, please keep making this even better, and give Waze the laissez-faire treatment that will help it along its own path.

Just FYI, as of a couple of versions ago, Waze has the "look for cheap gas" functionality as well (crowdsourced ofcourse). You can get a list of stations near your route sorted either via price or distance. Prices seem to be very accurate, but ironically it's actually not very useful here in Israel, since prices tend to vary very little between stations.

Also, according to a post by a Waze admin on the official Waze forum, Waze map data will be kept separate from Google maps for now (I suspect because integration will take a while -- Waze PoI names aren't very consistent, at least hereabouts -- and there may be copyright issues with some of the GMaps data). However, she did say that aerial view and StreetView will be integrated, at least within the map editor tools.