Google parent company Alphabet has announced that it will merge Waze and Google Maps, the company’s two map services. Waze or Google Maps? That has been the great debate for years now. Have you ever found yourself wondering which app to use when you get lost on the road? Well, now more.
Once an independent company, Waze was acquired by Google for $1.3 billion in 2013.
Google will now incorporate Waze’s 500 employees into its Google Geo, which is responsible for Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Street Views. Waze CEO Neha Parikh, who only just began at this job in May 2021, will leave after a transition period.
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The one difference between the two services – Google Maps and Waze – has been that Waze offers a service wherein users post information about traffic jams and other problems on the roads. The Waze system then uses that information to provide alternate routes that it calculates offer the best time in getting you to where you need to go. And the really neat thing about Waze is the cute little graphics on its maps that show stuck cars or red lines indicating delays, etc.
And Waze also gives an estimate of the travel time based on user provided information. Much of this has already been incorporated into Google Maps.
Google Maps has the advantage of showing pictures of places along the roads. So, when you select an address – unlike with Waze – you can see what the building or house there looks like.
Now the Google and Waze teams will work together as one.
“By bringing the Waze team into Geo’s portfolio of real-world mapping products, the teams will benefit from further increased technical collaboration,” said a Google spokesperson.
Waze was originally founded by Israeli developers Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, and Uri Levine in 2006 under the name FreeMap Israel. Waze provides satellite navigation software on smartphones and other computers that support the Global Positioning System (GPS), as well as turn-by-turn navigation.