Let The Game Begin: Waze Launches Social GPS App in Germany & France With Localized Grid and Road Full of Surprises

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Users can now waze in German or French on a developed road grid, munch road goodies to gain points, and see how they stack up against both the local and worldwide competition.

Waze, the world’s first social GPS, providing driver-generated maps and real-time road information geared towards everyday driving, today announced their official launch in Germany and France, featuring a developed road grid, German and French UI and voice prompts, as well as a contributor’s scoreboard and a road full of ‘goodies’ to help new users rack up points as they help improve the navigability of the map in their areas.

Up until recently, users needed to record roads entirely from scratch to build the map in their area, however, following a partnership with Intermap Technologies, waze has received access to a comprehensive set of German and French road grids, which the company will merge with data that local users have already contributed on their own, to offer these local driving communities a highly accurate grid upon which to navigate.

All that’s missing in order to turn the grid into a fully functioning map is for German and French wazers to validate road directions by driving on the roads themselves, and to add road names via waze’s online map editor – and this is exactly where the fun, gaming aspect of waze begins. Users will find that most roads will be marked with plenty of ‘road munching’ dots - GPS points that, when driven over, set the road’s direction, helping to increase map quality and navigability, while providing users with tons of extra points. The process of validation is incredibly quick - within just a couple of weeks, with the help of the wazers in these areas, the German and French maps will be fully navigable and highly accurate.

Waze will also be adding candy and cupcake ‘road goodies’ – small icons worth 3 and 5 bonus points, respectively – to the map in areas where the system needs validation, as well as virtual treasure chests that, when driven over, have the potential to reward users with valuable real-world prizes, including Amazon gift cards. German and French wazers should look out for treasure chests along their daily routes starting on March 2, 2010, for their chance to win.

After wazers have racked up points by munching these ‘road goodies’, they can turn to the waze contributor scoreboard to help put their point totals into context. Users are able to see how they stack up against others commuters in their country – as well as other contributors, worldwide. In addition, each week, users will be able to view a status report informing them of the top contributors for that week, as well as who is going up or down in rank.

While waze’s navigation capabilities develop, users can still benefit greatly from the app by sharing real-time traffic alerts and live reports (with pictures) from the road, as well as pinging each other for additional information – all in their native tongue, on a fully German and French-supported keyboard.

About waze

Waze is a free mobile navigation application that allows drivers to build and use live maps, real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation to improve their daily commute. Waze also has a social element that gives drivers the ability to actively update one other on traffic, police traps, construction, speed cams and more - and because it’s 100% user-generated, the more people who use waze, the better (and more fun) it gets!

Waze is available on the Apple AppStore and the Android Market Place and can be downloaded from the waze web site for Symbian and Windows Mobile devices. To learn more about waze online, visit http://www.waze.com or @waze on Twitter.

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Michael Selvidge
Spark PR
(415) 350-3091
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