Waze/Google Maps question

I’ve moved pretty much full time to Waze as my GPS. On a recent drive to the airport in Omaha, everyone was giving me a detour (due to flooding on I-29) that added 30 minutes to the drive; Waze gave me a route that was only about 5 minutes longer. I use it because it seem to be up to date, almost in real time, on road condition, outages, etc.

So I have to make a drive down to KC early tomorrow morning, and I looked at Waze to see the route it came up with due to I-29 closures south of Omaha. Looked like a good route, but just to be safe I checked the Missouri DOT road conditions map. Waze has me traveling on a long stretch of I-29 that the MODOT map has as being completely under water and closed.

I checked Google Maps (and I do know the connection) and it gave me a couple of choices, with the preferred one being different than Waze but also using miles of highway that is clearly closed (and has been for at least a couple of weeks.)

I checked online, and that stretch of road is indeed closed.

Any idea why both Google Maps and Waze have no idea this long stretch of highway is closed?

Both GM and Waze use crowdsourced data from Waze drivers, so if folks are actually going that way, it might not be closed because both programs see it as in use. Possibly.

I’m going to take an alternate route I looked up that connects to the highway at the point where MODOT says it’s closed, so I’ll be able to see who has the best data, MODOT or Waze/Google Maps.

Oh please let us know how it goes.

Yea totally.

I will. I’m very interested in knowing if I could have been routed right into a miles long stretch of highway that is underwater. It avoids the underwater highway further north, just south of Omaha, so I’m very curious. If it turns out that Waze had bad data on this, I’ll send a note to their tech support and see what they have to say.

I was thinking the opposite: since it’s crowdsourced, if people aren’t going that way, maybe there haven’t been many people marking the road as closed, so Waze thinks it’s ok to send you that way. I always mark backups, etc, when I’m using Waze (safely, of course!) but if I went to a road and it was closed, I’m not sure I would mark that, because I’d probably be focused on how the heck to get to where I was going.

I only used Waze briefly for a few days. It was always giving me really bad routes here in Kansas City on how to get home compared to Google maps, so after that week I stopped using it and went back to google maps.

I agree. Waze has poor routing in Toronto, with preference for minor side-streets in a zig-zag pattern that is highly susceptible to delay. For example I recall it sent me down a residential street with a left turn at a stop sign onto a busy road. Five minutes before it was probably fine because no-one else was making that left. Now there are 13 cars in a queue, and it takes 13 minutes to make that left, which is insane and frustrating, and there’s no room to go around and turn right (away from destination) or u-turn. I believe Waze even has a setting to ‘prefer major streets’ but I didn’t find it much better.

I have yet to find any reason to dump Google Maps for anything else. All the others have not been as good.

Weird, we use Waze all the god damned time here in LA and it’s been such a timesaver.

And also because the Waze ‘road closed’ feature is a UI nightmare that I can’t even use when parked.

I use Waze everyday , but I often feel like I’m the only person in the UK using, as there’s often.wildly inaccurate data on it.

I was a waze fanboy for about the first 3 months. Easy trips, I learned a few new routes, it seemed to be doing great.

Then I had a few bad trips where it would tell me to change lanes and take a right with less than 50’ to the intersection, it was routinely 10-15 minutes behind in its estimate for when I would get someplace when traffic was heavy, even though it was routing me through a maze of back-end streets, and what finally got me to uninstall it was it just never learns. We have this route we take downtown to hockey games. It is a good 5-10 minutes faster than anything waze ever offers and despite taking this other route many, many times, it never learns.

Google maps is another frustration. I don’t trust it. I will use it to find where something is at and look at how it’s trying to route me. I have been misled way too many times. To this day, even years later, it will try to route me down my neighbors driveway to get me home.

I think if you use them as a suggestion and to know where you are going, they are fine, but to blindly trust them you are going to have some bad experiences.

Hi Jeff,

I’m the Assistant Regional Coordinator for the Waze map editing community in the Plains Region, which includes (among other states) Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. We are the crowd that sourced the closures you are referring to, and I just check our map. Turns out that we had some closures expire earlier than anticipated. I’m fixing those up as we speak. Since it’s difficult or impossible for us to monitor everywhere Waze may be mentioned (I only happened across this post by accident) I’d very much appreciate it if you would post to our forum directly with any future routing or closure questions. Tech support typically refers those questions back to the community anyway, and that’s the easiest way to get a hold of us. The Plains region forum is https://www.waze.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=567 and you can log in with your Waze app userID and password.

To address the question about Google, many/most of the closures you see in Google are initially imported from Waze. However, Google has implemented a system that will open roads if they detect any amount of traffic on them. I can’t say much more, but a contractor with an Android phone in his pocket could break that closure in Google.

Thank you for replying here, I’m traveling on a funeral (waiting on some people at the moment before getting back in the car) so I’ll go the forum later. However, for my edification, right now the Missouri DOT map shows I-29 closed in MO, north of St. Joseph where 29 intersects 71, and closed/underwater all the way to the MO/IA state line. It appears I can’t give Waze a start and end point to plan a trip, it will only start from my current location (Ohio at the moment) but I will get into KC tomorrow night and want to know if Waze will still try to route me through this flooded highway from KC to Sioux City, IA?

EDIT - after some googling I found how to set a different start point - it would be nice if that was a simple, front page option as I asked elsewhere and most people said it can’t be done (thus the current way is to buried for most people to be aware of it.)

No need to reply on the forum for this issue, I’m monitoring this thread now. Future issues could go to the Waze forum. The closures I literally just finished saving mirror IADot and MODOTs maps exactly, and I tested in the app from a point just east of Columbia, MO to the center of Sioux City, and was routed around the flooded areas. If you want to know how to do that, I’ll be happy to talk you through it, but it’s kind of a power user thing.

Also, condolences for your loss.

[Edit] I agree that the set a different start point is more than a bit buried, unfortunately, due to limited developer resources, I doubt that will change anytime soon. Staff does monitor the Uservoice suggestion box, however, so you could certainly add it to the list https://waze.uservoice.com/forums/59223-waze-suggestion-box

Thanks very much. On the positive side, earlier in the summer, when I needed to drive to the Omaha airport from the Sioux City area, all of my friends born and raised up there gave me the “best” detour route they were all using, adding about 30 minutes. Waze was showing a different way to get there, so I followed Waze and it routed me on a very simple detour that only added about 5 minutes to the trip. So, while it’s not perfect (haven’t yet found that perfect app!) I’m a fan.

Nope, not perfect. You’re right though, nothing is perfect. We power users who have direct lines to staff still have occasional complaints. The major difference is that Waze is community driven, and the senior members of the community have those direct lines to staff, so we at least have a voice in making it better.

Old guy here who travels a ton, and Waze has been great for me. One of the few things on a cell phone I have really warmed up to. (That and the birdwatching apps)

Very effective, over and over, at warning me about serious slowdown and accidents and such. And so much safer than flipping a map around on a busy highway far from home.

It is a mystery to me, though, that on routine local round trips, so often Waze will recommend one route going and another returning. This has never been a problem, it always involves two routes almost identical in length. But it clearly has nothing to do with traffic flow, it’s always use route A heading west and route B heading back east. My inquiring mind would really like to know how this comes to be.

I would love to have a stand-alone Waze unit - there are times when, for various reasons I need my phone doing something else. We have a stand-alone garmin gps but much prefer Waze.