August 20, 2013
It was bound to happen, and now it has. Google has introduced the first integrations between Google Maps and Waze, the social GPS mapping service it purchased in June, according to a posting on Google's Lat Long blog. Effectively immediately, the traffic tab in Maps now includes real-time traffic incident reports by Waze users. These include accidents, construction, road closures, and other incidents. Meanwhile, the Waze app now supports Google search, and Waze map editors can now access Google Street View, and satellite imagery. The changes are currently only available in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Google purchased the Israeli-based Waze for a reported $1 billion. Prior to this, we heard that both Apple and Facebook were also interested in acquiring Waze. For example, at the D11 conference in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the Cupertino, Calif. company had acquired a total of nine companies since October 2012, and as such we wondered at the time if a Waze acquisition would bring this number up to 10. Google Maps and Waze are both free, universal, and available now in the App Store.