At the ITS World Congress in Melbourne, Australia, the global leader in smart-mapping systems, Esri, announced a new partnership with Waze, the free, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app. The collaboration will make it easier for governments of every size, anywhere in the world, to begin building intelligent transportation systems in their communities.
Governments already using the Esri ArcGis platform can now quickly and easily exchange data through the Waze Connected Citizens Program, a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information. Google-owned Waze has set the gold standard on how to share and harness the power of anonymous, aggregated data to promote greater transportation efficiency, deeper insight into travel conditions, and safer roads. Esri is the industry-leader in geospatial analytics, empowering more than 350,000 organizations in making location-based decisions. Starting today, governments that have not already subscribed to Esri technology or joined the Waze Connected Citizens Program can sign up online to start sharing road closure alerts and other information with their citizens immediately.
The simplicity and structure of the data feeds allow local governments to merge information into existing enterprise systems, such as emergency dispatch and street maintenance systems, to make their communities operate smarter and safer. The partnership enables communities to extend the reach of the data they map and manage by sharing it with Waze, which has more than 65 million monthly active users worldwide. This free, public-private partnership allows greater government transparency and collaboration with citizens to help people better navigate their streets and highways.
In 2014, Waze pioneered data standards for road closure and incident reporting, which are embedded within customized data feeds provided to each partner. Established as a two-way data share, the company provides partners with real-time, anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slowdown information directly from the source: drivers themselves. In exchange, partners provide real-time, government-reported construction, crash, and road closure data to Waze to return one of the most thorough records of current road conditions.
“Our Connected Citizens Program empowers municipalities to harness real-time driver insight to improve congestion and make better informed planning decisions,” said Paige Fitzgerald, head of new business development and data acquisition for Waze. “With 100 partners worldwide, we provide each partner with the same set of free, data-driven tools and resources to foster collaboration and communication between all partners. Working with Esri allows us to further scale the program and creates additional opportunities for our partners to collaborate, helping each other incorporate the power of crowdsourced data into their traffic management strategies.”
Terry Bills, global smart transport specialist and transportation industry manager at Esri, said, “Councils can now leverage real-time reports without having to invest in sensor networks or an Internet of Things infrastructure. Waze allows local governments to share open data with a purpose, in an application that is already popular with constituents, commuters, and tourists.”
To read an EXCLUSIVE interview with Esri’s Terry Bills, click here.