Wall Street Journal: Google Maps Chief Sees New Directions for Digital Navigation

Wall Street Journal: Google Maps Chief Sees New Directions for Digital Navigation. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google Maps is the fourth most popular mobile app in the U.S. by unique visitors age 18 and up, according to Comscore, making it more popular than the mobile apps of Instagram and Tiktok as well as its closest direct competitor, Apple Maps. The Google Geo group, which runs the Maps app, now also oversees the company’s Waze mapping service. Christopher Phillips, the head of Google Geo, recently talked with The Wall Street Journal about what he sees as the longer-term future of navigation.”

CNBC: How Google’s Waze has changed from its early days as car travel is remade

CNBC: How Google’s Waze has changed from its early days as car travel is remade. “Waze users – also known as ‘Wazers’ – provide information on things like stopped cars, road work, gas prices and police activity during their commutes. The app then collects this real-time data and updates its maps accordingly, giving users the most up-to-date information on travel times and other potential traffic burdens. What was once a small Israeli startup now has more than 140 million monthly users worldwide.”

The Guardian: Surrey police accused of using ‘phantom’ traffic units on Waze app

The Guardian: Surrey police accused of using ‘phantom’ traffic units on Waze app. “Surrey’s police force has been accused of operating ‘phantom units’ after traffic officers admitted to providing misleading data to a satnav app. Officers said on Twitter that they falsely reported their locations as stationary on the Waze traffic app, which suggests they may be operating a speed trap, when they were in fact driving.”

Mashable: How to use Waze and Google Maps to find cheaper gas

Mashable: How to use Waze and Google Maps to find cheaper gas. “The U.S. national average for a gallon of gas is $3.40 — and in places like Hawaii, California, and Pennsylvania the average is over $3.50, according to AAA. There are gas tracking apps like GasBuddy, but that requires a separate search on your phone. When you’re already using Waze or Google Maps, it’s much easier to find the cheapest gas near you. Both navigation apps have gas prices built in.”

Neowin: Google’s Waze lays off five percent of its staff

Neowin: Google’s Waze lays off five percent of its staff. “Waze said the layoffs were partly due to COVID-19, which has emptied roadways globally after many cities were placed into lockdown. Due to the restrictions, many began working from home, and thus, fewer people used the navigation service for declining needs. Waze measures its usage by monthly active users or the number of customers using the app monthly and driven kilometers. Both metrics have seen a dip in recent months.’

Techdirt: Why Navigation Apps, Working Properly, Can Make Traffic Flows Worse — And What To Do About It

Techdirt: Why Navigation Apps, Working Properly, Can Make Traffic Flows Worse — And What To Do About It. “Techdirt has just written about how advanced digital technology can be used for less-than-benign purposes, simply because it is a tool that can be applied in both good and bad ways. A fascinating analysis by Jane Macfarlane in IEEE Spectrum explores something similar: how new technology being used as designed, and with only the best intentions, can nonetheless give rise to potentially serious problems.”

Mashable: Waze app can tell you how to get to Sesame Street

Mashable: Waze app can tell you how to get to Sesame Street . “t’s been 50 years of sunny days sweeping the clouds away. The beloved children’s show Sesame Street has been on air for half a century. To celebrate this major milestone, a New York City street is permanently becoming Sesame Street and you’ll be able to get to Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, and even Oscar the Grouch’s stomping grounds. Instead of asking someone to tell you how to get to Sesame Street, you can plug it into the Waze navigation app.”

Techdirt: NYPD Sends Letter To Google Demanding It Remove Cop Checkpoint Notifications From Google Maps

Techdirt: NYPD Sends Letter To Google Demanding It Remove Cop Checkpoint Notifications From Google Maps. “A few years after law enforcement officials claimed Google’s Waze navigation app allowed cop killers to stalk cops, the NYPD is demanding Google alter one of its apps (Google Maps, which incorporates certain Waze features) so it works more like the NYPD wants it to work, rather than how drivers want it to work. Gersh Kuntzman of Streetsblog NYC was the first to obtain a copy of a cease-and-desist sent to Google by the NYPD.”

Engadget: Google Maps gets collision and speed trap reports in latest test

Engadget: Google Maps gets collision and speed trap reports in latest test. “When Google bought Waze back in 2013 it was widely assumed it would only be a matter of time before some of the traffic app’s more popular features made their way onto Maps. It’s taken a while, but now it looks like Google is getting ready to add incident reports — a move suggested by an APK teardown a few months back and, more recently, the appearance of the feature for some Maps users.”