Free Waze App Turns GPS Navigation Into a Social Cellphone Game

Illustration for article titled Free Waze App Turns GPS Navigation Into a Social Cellphone Game

The problem with most turn-by-turn navigation apps for cellphones is that they are outrageously expensive. Not so with Waze. In fact, the app is totally free—and it even turns the driving experience into a fun little game.

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The video explains the service in detail but, in a nutshell, Waze maps are entirely user generated. Users can also relay a heads up to others about accidents and other hazardous driving conditions. It even plays a Pac-Man type of game with drivers who are exploring uncharted territory. As you map the area, your car icon will eat up dots and collect points. Apparently, the app also pays attention to your speed to help determine traffic conditions and disable the keyboard to prevent users from typing while driving.

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The problem here is that crowd-sourced services have had limited success in the past, so Waze is fighting an uphill battle. But since it is free, it's not like you have anything to lose by giving it a shot. Waze is available for iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian and other devices. [Waze via TechCrunch]

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In Argentina there is a "crowdsourced" map of the whole country... Its called proyecto Mapear ( [www.proyectomapear.com.ar] ) and it works with garmin GPS devices. Basically, people are drawing up the maps and collaborating with it. You can then download the mapbase for free which is pretty cool. Its not automatic as with this app, but its pretty cool nontheless. Especially since the big GPS players are still not providing maps for us. We only got google maps this year!