A Waze To Go
by Gary Woods
I've had a lot of GPS devices in my car from the stand alone ones like the Garmin and TomTom to the one built into my Ford Explorer. Then, there are the handheld Apps on the iPhone like GPS Drive and the ever popular Google Maps. Most all of them have worked pretty well but if you put in a destination they take you there without much variation unless you make a wrong turn and they have to re-calculate.
Recently however I heard about an App called Waze (http://www.waze.com/) which combines Social Media with GPS technology and creates a route which can be immediately altered if something pops up on the road in front of you.
For example, if one of the Waze users puts in information about approaching police activity or there's an accident in front of you the route will be instantly altered. Also, if other driving issues come up like road hazards or traffic jams they are shared by other drivers in real time.
There's an active community of Waze map editors working to constantly improve and update the Waze maps which is the reason they're some of the first people to reflect changes happening in the area around you.
If you hook up Waze up to Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare and you're meeting people at a mutual location everyone's arrival times will be coordinated keeping you in sync with all your friends. Waze also allows you to share the prices at gas stations along your route so everyone can be tuned into the cheapest place to get fuel.
Waze is available for both Android and iOS devices and is a free application. I've been having fun with it and it's definitely gotten me to destinations quicker.
If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or see my column on the Internet at http://www.santabarbaraproperties.com or call me at (805) 729-0910
Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc