Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

From Wazeopedia

Revision as of 15:09, 21 March 2013 by Alanoftheberg (talk | contribs) (updated paved road timing info)

This FAQ should be read together with the Official FAQ and the Technical FAQ. The glossary explains words and phrases which are often used with special meanings.


What are those dots on some of the roads?

These are roads that have not been confirmed by being driven over since either being imported from another mapping source, or since being created in the map editor. It is more likely that the road layout or junctions are incorrect so treat them with caution. When you drive over such roads your Waze icon changes to a Pacman-type character and "munches the dots". This earns you points and confirms the road as valid. These roads are also known as Pacman-roads.

What is Waze Map Editor?

Waze Map Editor is the official name of the current, web-based map editor. It is often abbreviated WME. You can access WME:

What is Cartouche?

Cartouche is the name of the previous map editor. As of November 5, 2012, it has been discontinued worldwide. The new Waze Map Editor is now the primary map editing tool.

What is Papyrus?

Papyrus is the internal code name used for Waze Map Editor (WME) prior to beta release in January 2012. The use of 'Papyrus' is discouraged in favor of Waze Map Editor or WME.

What is Dashboard?

Dashboard is the name of your personal information console. You can find various information about your Waze account here, including most recent driven routes. You can access it through: (Northern America users) (International/other users)

What are My Drives?

Drives are journeys that you have driven with the Waze client running. While you drive Waze monitors your journey (recording details like location, time & speed) and transfers this information to the servers. This data is used to validate the existing mapping (roads, turns etc) and to learn average journey times. Other Waze users and Area Managers can also view the anonymous GPS tracks of many users when editing the map in the Waze Map Editor. This helps with map accuracy.

When do my Drives show up in the Waze Map Editor?

Drives are typically processed and available for viewing in the Waze Map Editor with an hour of completing the drive. For most short drives such as commutes to work and back under 50km or so, you will likely find them in the editor in under 15 minutes. If the servers are bogged down, or if your drive is significantly longer, such as 150km+, drives may take up to a week to appear. If you don't see your drive after seven (7) days, open a ticket from the Support page, Quick Help box. Use the Email link and fill out the form and submit.

What happens when I drive on an unknown (unmapped) road?

If you simply drive on an unknown road, Waze simply records your route information as usual, but will not create them with as new roads in the Editor, Livemap or the app. When viewing a Drive in the Waze Map Editor, you can look for sections of your drive which are colored red. These indicate an area your phone reported you driving which Waze was not able to associate to an existing road. If this road should exist here, you can select the red section of the route and create a new segment from it.

You can help to build the maps by adding unknown roads. Simply switch on road building mode in your Waze client and it will record the route as a series of new road segments adding junctions (also known as nodes) where it detects your turns. When Waze detects that you are back on a known road, road building mode is automatically paused.

Please turn off road building mode when it is not needed as it can lead to duplicate roads being recorded due to the existing maps being slightly inaccurate or due to GPS errors on your client. Remember that the Waze client is dependent on having a good GPS fix for accurate recording. Also the Waze client might falsely record new roads if it hasn't been able to download the map tiles for your location due to poor cellular phone coverage etc.

When recording new roads, wait until the road turns red on your client before turning off road building mode otherwise the final segment is not recorded. This behaviour is useful if you forgot to turn it off earlier and have accidentally started to record a road in error.

Updates of the map are made based on your recording, but you have to wait at least 24-48h before changes show up.

I recorded new roads in the client - what now?

Your newly recorded roads will not appear in Livemap until they have been edited in the Waze Map Editor. WME will show unknown roads in red, however Livemap will only show small arrows if you zoom right in to indicate that it knows of an street/road with no name. The editing updates will need to be done by either you or the appropriate Area Manager, or another user who has also driven close to this road previously.

When the paved road shows up in the Waze Map Editor depends on the drive processing time, which is covered in the When do my Drives show up in the Waze Map Editor? answer above.

Please log into the Waze Map Editor and edit the details of the road you recorded. You must set the road category, its name, city and directionality. You must also ensure it is properly connected to other roads to allow Waze to use it correctly for routing.

It is planned to implement functionality in the Waze servers to countdown from the road creation so that they disappear from WME unless they have been edited (something like 30 days) to prevent roads incorrectly recorded from remaining on the Livemap.

When do my roads show up in the Livemap?

Generation of the Livemap should take place daily, but the queue of changes is lengthy, so most map edits should appear in the LiveMap within 2 days. The visual part of LiveMap isn't updated regularly or at all, but changes are there, which you can see by clicking. Clicking a location where a road is will show the most recently updated data. Updates to the map on the Waze client app happen at the same time.

From the Waze web application you can look at the Live Map tab and at the lower left of the screen below the map you will see the last update of that map information.

Newly recorded roads will not appear in Livemap until they have been edited in the map editor. This will need to be done by either you or the appropriate Area Manager.

When do my edits show up in the Waze app?

The normal process, is that on a regular basis, the map tiles update process runs on the servers. When it starts, any edits which are complete by that time will be included in the current map update cycle. The map tile updating process can take several days or even weeks on the World server, and are currently happening approximately once a week on the North American server. (The NA servers are currently using an upgraded infrastructure which has significantly reduced the amount of time it takes for the map update cycle to execute, this new infrastructure is currently being ported to the World server.)

Once the map update cycle is complete, the tiles are loaded into the client map and the live map. The date that the update process is complete is referred to as the Update Date, though this can be confusing because the edits which made it into that cycle may be weeks old. The website is usually updated with the latest map update cycle information, which includes the "with updates through x date" information.

Tiles on the app are cached, and only refreshed when one of the following conditions is met:

  • You are showing a specific location on the map from the address search.
  • You are navigating to or through the tile.
  • The tile is over one week old.
  • You use the manual option to Refresh map of my area under Settings >> Advanced >> Data Transfer

Note that the Waze app tends to get the updated tiles before the Livemap on the website.

From the Waze website you can look at the Livemap and at the lower left of the screen below the map you will see the last update of that map information.

What web browser do you recommend for editing roads?

Waze recommends using the Google Chrome browser or Google Chrome Frame plugin with Internet Explorer for map editing in Waze Map Editor (WME).

Support for Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) is limited and some editing functions may not work properly.

The following browsers are acceptable for use with Waze Map Editor:

Why do I get to see traffic reports hundreds of miles away in the client?

The traffic reports on the client show traffic alerts and user-posted hazards within the Event Radius you have set in the Waze app. This event radius includes your route if you are in navigation mode. Waze only actively shows you the traffic reports within a certain radius of your location (using a pop-up). At this time, the minimum distance from your location or route for alerts is 5mi/km.

How do I turn off the pop-up reports when not moving?

There is no setting to just turn off the reports which pop-up when not moving. See answer above on how to minimize the report count.

To turn off these popups, you need to turn off the "Download traffic data" Advanced option.

BE WARNED: This also turns off all speed data which shows the speed of roads around you.

What is a locked road?

A locked segment cannot be edited by an editor with a lower editing rank than the lock's current level (defined by the level of the segment's most recent editor, not by the first locking user.)

Segments that are locked will affect the turn restrictions for all other segments connected to either end of the locked segment at those junctions. Therefore when changing turn restrictions for another segment you find the turn restriction is not changing, check the other segments at that junction. It is possible another segment is locked at a level higher than your current editing level. You will need to post a request to the Unlock Request Forum to get it unlocked to enable making the change to the other segment's turn restrictions. Please see the Unlock Request Instruction Summary post for information on how to format your request.

Why are aerials not available or are low resolution?

Due to Waze's business model (which keeps the product free to us users) they are limited in what sources they can use for aerial maps. Normally this means using free sources which will of course be of lower resolution or availability then aerials available from commercial sources. If you know of a source that the licensing appears to be free for commercial use and in particular has no strings on derivative use, then send that source to Waze using the Quick Help support form found at Waze Support and they will look into it, and see if it will work.

On My Dashboard all my points have gone, and the date of last update is very old. What's wrong?

You are probably logged in to the wrong server

USA/Canada users:

WWW Server My Dashboard

Israeli-an users:

IL Server My Dashboard

All other 'international' users:

WORLD Server My Dashboard

How are points calculated?

Template:Points collecting

How do I change my home state or country?

The scoreboard allows you to compete for points against other wazers in your state or country. Waze automatically matches you to the state or country based on where you have earned the most points in the last week. If you travel several states a lot, send in a support ticket via the Quick Help form at Waze Support to have them lock your home state.

How can I remove or delete a group that I've created in Waze?

Send in a support ticket via the Quick Help at Waze Support.

How can I delete my account and all info from waze?

Send in a support ticket via the Quick Help form at Waze Support. Enter "Delete Waze account" as the subject/question, then click the Email link. Complete filling out the form with your Waze username and registered email address.

How can I change my username?

At this time, changing your username is not possible.

When are weekly points calculated?

Points are added up from Monday through Sunday. Alerts usually appear on your client on Monday morning.

Do I get points/credit for driving without navigation mode on?

Yes. All driving when Waze is running, whether in navigation mode or not, is tracked and can give you points. There are reasons why you may not see all your drives or get points for driving. See this question below for more information about those situations.

Why isn't the location of other Wazers in the app accurate?

Other Wazers shown on the map in the app are delayed by between 2-5 minutes. This is both for security concerns, server capacity, and network data capacity. It would be a huge amount of data required to update every Wazer's location every 2 seconds.

Does Waze support time-based turn restrictions where turns are allowed or restricted during certain times of day?

No. This feature is on the roadmap, and should be available. ETA is unknown. For these intersections, consider a "majority-rules" turn restriction scheme. If the turns are allowed during the majority of a day or week, leave it open, but also consider volume and if most of the weekly traffic would be restricted from turning there, then set the turn as restricted. Every intersection is different and should be considered individually.

Additional information can be found in this article.

What do I do when Waze has my destination or address at the wrong location?

If Waze is routing you to the wrong location for your destination, and the street the location should be on appears in Waze, it likely is due to Waze getting the wrong GPS coordinates for the destination. In most parts of the world, Waze relies exclusively on 3rd party content providers for address and POI locations. Waze sends your address or POI search to these 3rd parties, and they then return to Waze GPS coordinates for that destination. Waze then routes to the closest location on the Waze map for the GPS coordinates. For example, if Waze routes to the street behind the location, that is because the GPS coordinates for that location are closer to that street than the street you actually access the location from.

Starting in late 2012, Waze enabled the adding of house numbers, or address data to the Waze Map Editor. The form of this is to select a segment and specify the starting and ending address numbers for that segment. This would allow Waze to figure out the actual address location by spreading the addresses evenly along the segment. This isn't optimal, but does allow Waze to resolve more address lookups internally rather than rely exclusively on external providers. In even later 2012, Waze took this system offline to work on a new system that will use pinpoints for addresses instead of address ranges. Beta testing of the feature started in January 2013 for the NA Server & February 2013 for the ROTW Server.

To solve the errors in external providers' data, you need to update the GPS coordinates with the 3rd party provider who is supplying the bad information to Waze.

  • In the US & Canada, address lookups are handled by Bing, with Google used when the address can not be found in Bing (rare).
  • For other countries, visit the country specific section of the forum to find out the provider of address coordinates for your area.
  • POI lookups (business names) are by a variety of providers. Look to see what tab in the search results you are using for the POI to determine which provider you need to contact to fix the GPS coordinates.

Most providers offer a way to submit corrections to their location data. It is normal for more than one provider to have the same bad information. This is due to their being two primary providers of GPS location data, which other companies then license. After correcting the location information with the correct Waze provider, it is a good idea to update with these two original providers. Instruction on how to do so can be found here.

Can I add a road hazard or accident to the map from home or the office?

No. Waze only allows you to report anything such as Police, Accident, Hazard, Camera, etc., based on your current GPS location only.

Can I search for an intersection of streets and not by address?

Yes. In the Navigate search box, enter "A St and B St" and search. You will likely need to switch the search results to Bing or Google to get an accurate search result.

Can I navigate to latitude and longitude or GPS coordinates?

Yes. In the Navigate search box, enter "longitude, latitude" (without the quotes) where longitude and latitude are in decimal form. For example, for the United States, Disney's Epcot Center in Orland, Florida is located at these coordinates: "-81.54942,28.37529"

The website livemap also accepts the same format in the Search box.

Why doesn't Waze learn my routes?

The setting within the Waze app, "Auto-learn routes to frequent destinations" is misleading. Waze only learns your favorite destinations, but does not learn or store actual routes. It will pop-up with the "Are going home?" or "going to work?" messages for these frequented destinations.

Waze should always pick what it believes is, mathematically, the fastest or shortest route, depending on your settings. If, in your estimation, it doesn't, that means that there could be an error in the map somewhere along your preferred route, or there is a lack of correct speed/traffic data for that route, or lack or correct speed/traffic data on the route it is trying to send you on. If it isn't too far out of your way, take the suggested route a few times and Waze will collect and start to use that data in its routing decisions.

The reason just driving the expected or preferred route won't work automatically is because Waze could have incorrect speed data on the segments it wants you to take. If Waze thinks another road is 2x as fast as your preferred road, no amount of driving on your preferred road can change the data for the other road. Waze needs accurate data for all neighboring segments and routes in order to always compute the fastest (or shortest, depending on your app setting) route.

How does Waze work, and do I get points for, driving with no or flaky data network connection?

For all aspects of Waze to operate, it was built assuming a data network connection pretty much all the time. If you have an intermittent connection, Waze will try to get data from the servers for traffic alerts and hazards, but may not be able to give you reliable information. Additionally, if Waze doesn't have a connection back to the Waze servers, you will not be able to post hazards. Waze does not cache reports or map issues for sending later.

In regards to points or drive integrity, Waze will collect the data in terms of where you have driven even during network outages. In order for you to get credit for and being able to see in the editor your drive data collected during network outages, Waze must be able to upload your drive at the end of your trip. Waze sends this retained information when you shut it down. The Waze app does not cache your drives after shut down. If the Waze app does not have a connection to the servers when you shut down, any drive data not yet uploaded to the waze servers will be lost, and any points associated with it will not be credited.

There is still some debate as to whether Waze will try to upload the most recent drive when you start Waze the next time, but this hasn't been conclusively proven.

How do I submit a Support ticket/request to Waze?

The forums are primarily for community-based support, though some Waze staff do answer questions, mostly around editor and app bugs. If you need direct support, there is a form for this. The form went through some updates in January 2013 which makes it more difficult to get to submitting a ticket. However, the process is longer in order to ensure that the automated system answers as many questions as possible first. The steps below can help you quickly get to submitting a ticket, though you are encouraged to exhaust the self-help first.

  1. Go to the Support page.
  2. In the Quick Help section, enter your problem/request/issue into the single text box which is there. Copy your text.
  3. If your situation isn't addressed in the auto-help which appears, click the Click here link next to "Still can't find what you are looking for?" at the bottom of the box.
  4. Click appropriate category which best represents your problem/request/issue
  5. If your situation still isn't addressed by the topics that appear, click the Click here link in the phrase "Still can't find what you're looking for? Click here"
  6. Fill out the form with the requested information, and include the full text details of your request, including permalinks to the editor, links to app screenshots, etc., in the More Details box as appropriate for your issue.
  7. Click Submit

You will not receive an email confirmation of your ticket being created. You should receive some kind of response from Waze within a few days.