The Waze community has grown significantly in the Philippines. There are currently 2.85 million active users on the navigation app, of which 30 are map editors.
These map editors are considered to be the unsung champions of the technology community. They have taken the responsibility of maintaining and updating the Waze map, which requires a significant amount of time. These map editors have committed themselves without anything in return but their own personal fulfillment.They make sure that the routing is correct through users’ reports, place submissions, and setting up road closures and/or restrictions.
Alvin Magno, who already made over 500K edits, making him a Level 6 map editor, started editing the Waze map in 2012 by fixing the route from his office to his house and other areas that he frequents. Since then, being a Waze map editor has brought him to Thailand to represent the Philippines at the 2017 Waze Global Conference. At the event, he had the opportunity to meet with the top map editors in the region who shared the same passion of editing the map and ensuring that it is as accurate as it can be.
Brian Altman, who is a Level 5 map editor said that his ultimate goal is to keep the area clean. They receive thousands of reports every day and they make sure that it is free of vandalism and accurate. Keeping the map updated is more than just volunteer work for most map editors.
“I like the idea of a community that gets together for a common cause and that’s what the Waze community is all about,” Altman said. “We meet almost every week where we have fun talking not only about map editing but also our personal lives. On top of that, we also get to meet new people and enjoy the company of each other.”
Map editors also play a significant role in making sure that more features are made available in their local community. For instance, they ensure that 90 percent of the local gas stations are plotted on the map to make the gas price feature available to the Filipino Waze users.
While it does not fall under their responsibility, map editors also play an active role in managing the local community. Through social media platforms, they keep the community posted on matters related to Waze.
Today, more Wazers are realizing this same sentiment as the pool of map editors continue to grow. Waze may not be the only answer to the worsening traffic situation, but it can definitely be utilized to come up with solutions, just like how the Waze community is involved in developing the app.