It has been a little over two months since Google officially purchased real-time traffic Waze, and the relationship between the two is finally hitting paydirt. Both sides announced updates on Tuesday, with new features getting integrated into both the Google Maps app and the Waze app.
For Google, the integration means including real time incident reports in its Google Maps app, the company revealed in a blog post. That will that when users on Waze report on accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, the updates will then also appear on the Google Maps app.
While incident reports within Google Maps will not include Wazer profile information, contributors will still earn points on the Waze side.
The update is set for both Android and iOS and will be available to users in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
And, for Waze, that means two new features for its app as well.
First, it has incorporated Google Search into the app in order to make it easier for users to find businesses and addresses. And it has also added Google Maps Street View and satellite imagery as tools in the Waze Map Editor to "make it easier to correct map errors reported by the community."
Since Waze relies on crowdsourced information, sometimes that means that it is very helpful, and other times... not so much, Waze CEO Noam Bardin said in a blog post.
"At times like these, more visual tools like Street View and aerial imagery will be invaluable to not only fix the problem, but identify what the issue was in the first place. It can also help to fill in house numbers, street names, turn restrictions and other missing data," he said.
As these are the first integrations for Google and Waze, its no surprise that they are among the more obvious ones. Real time updates are basically what Google bought the app for in the first place.
As the two apps go further along, though, I'm excited to see what else they can come up with to do together.
Google's purchase of Waze
The acquisition of Waze turned out to be something of a coup for Google.
Google bought the company in June after battling it out with numerous other suitors, including Apple and Facebook, with the final price for Waze turning out to be $966 million.
Not to be outdone, though, Google's maps rival Apple has shown that it might just go ahead and create a Waze of its very own.
Waze, which was founded in 2007 in Israel, is a navigation app with a crowd-sourcing twist: it encourages drivers to get into their cars and share driving conditions and experiences with other members of the online community. In return, Waze provides real-time information on the circulation and short-cuts, while making suggestions for stops along the way
The app has almost 50 million users and the company has raised $67 million, most recently $30 million in growth funding in October 2011, led by Horizons Ventures Hong Kong, which manages the private venture investments of Li Ka Shing in the technology sector, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) Digital Growth Fund and iFund.
As per its acquisition, Waze is remaining independent, and continuing to operate in Israel.
(Image source: http://google-latlong.blogspot.ca)