QCOSTARICA — Although the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation platforms Waze and Google Maps are part of the same conglomerate, Alphabet Inc., Costa Rica’s Transportation Minister, Luis Amador, recommends that drivers not trust the veracity of the second.
The is from an interview on the radio program Nuestra Voz.
Amador added that the Government provides real-time information to Waze about closures and public works, in order to warn drivers from getting stuck in traffic jams, a data update that does not happen with Google Maps.
“On the Interamericana Norte Highway (Ruta 1), at around 4:30 a.m., there were problems because the tide was high (…) The highway was ordered to be closed technologically in Waze, because we do have the possibility in the app(location) to do so so that people know that they have to use alternate routes, and when they are navigating, they aren’t given that (closed) road as an option,” said Amador.
However, Google Maps does not allow users to be warned preventively of obstacles on public roads, thus the Minister strongly recommended that “they do not use Google Maps, because it will never tell them if the road is closed or has a problem; Please use Waze.”
The purchase of Waze by Alphabet Inc. was completed more than ten years ago, in June 2013, for US$1.3 billion dollars.
Waze was originally developed in Israel by Waze Mobile and initially released in 2006, (as FreeMap Israel), providing satellite navigation software on smartphones and other computers that support the Global Positioning System.
Waze collects map data, travel times, and traffic information from users and transmits it to the Waze server, at no cost to Waze. Waze users (“Wazers”) can report accidents, traffic jams, speed and police traps, and, from the online map editor, can update roads, landmarks, house numbers, etc. Waze sends anonymous information, including users’ speed and location, back to its database to improve the service as a whole.