Thought I would give this smartphone application a plug for Canberra people. It’s been mentioned on RiotACT before and now it’s gaining a lot of momentum. It’s called “Waze”.
It’s a free app for smartphones that is more like a gps Wikipedia/social media than a navigation device. There is a group called “ACT Wazers” which allows for real time reporting of Canberra traffic conditions.
The way it works is that the application reports the road conditions (mostly speed) to everyone in the same group. It does this by knowing what speed past users have driven on that road.
Like any social media it relies on users generating the content (traffic conditions). So just by having it on while you drive allows other users to be aware of in the traffic conditions on the road you are on. From there you can also report road works, traffic jams, hazards etc which all can go out to the ACT Wazers group.
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There are currently 80 Waze users in the ACT group. Each generating traffic conditions as long as the application is on.
For advanced users you can start to build new roads, landmarks on the map and getting into defining your community. This is where the analogy to Wikipedia is, Waze is only as good as the content the users put into it and the more users using it, the more accurate the service is.
I’m in no way affiliated with the software other than just being a user, it’s just a simple tool that helps my long drive to work.