SatNav, a Sequoia Capital funded maps and GIS company, is powering maps for Waze, a rather interesting free social mobile mapping application. SatGuide Waze is free, and dynamically plots roads using GPS as users drive, and depending on the speed, automatically updates traffic related information; if you’re stuck in traffic, a red line forms behind you, informing others of an impending slowdown.
Users are also free to report hazards and publish photos, and also long online to plot additional information via crowdsourcing, and fix inaccurate data. These are essentially driver generated maps, wherein users can record a road, and the map is updated continuously. SatGuide Waze also learns routes taken and offers improved, adapted suggestions.
Our take: Frankly, I love the concept of plotting routes using GPS, and live traffic based on map usage – but it faces one major problem: usage. With the SatGuide partnership, mapping information should not be a problem (in fact, it might just help SatGuide improve its data in small towns), but to be effective, SatGuide Waze needs thousands of users in India proactively updating their routes on the maps. SatNav will have to try and push usage, perhaps tie up with cab companies or bus companies to make traffic information available on the maps. Only if there is already information on the map will others find it useful.
SatGuide Competitor MapMyIndia is piloting traffic updates in Delhi, in partnership with cab companies, and SatGuide could look at a few of the suggestions we’d made earlier, about incorporating more information.
Download SatGuide Waze
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