Very interesting article about the Waze Cartographer community with many implications for FOAM. Check it out and let us know what stands out that can apply to the protocol’s development!
Chad Richey spends 30 or 40 hours a week fixing Waze maps and teaching other map editors his techniques. It isn’t his full-time job. It isn’t a job at all. He does it all free.
But for much of its information, the company relies on Mr. Richey and about 30,000 other volunteers who devote nights, weekends and the occasional odd hours to fine-tuning its maps by adding streets and businesses, updating road closures and responding to user requests for map updates and fixes. In an era of the gig economy, Waze has found a better business model—unpaid labor.
The volunteers—whom the company calls “editors”—accrue points for each map update, rising through the ranks and [earning new avatars as they gain the ability to edit wider areas and more important roads. There are six levels of editors and people can also earn additional titles, showing they oversee a specific region.
Each time Brett Reich is promoted to a new Waze editing rank, his wife, Kristin, asks how much his raise will be. “If someone else wants to profit off it, so be it,” said Mr. Reich, 41, a data-analytics specialist from Tulsa, Okla.
Over recent years, editors have manually entered data on speed limits and HOV lanes across the country. When a Waze official announced the imminent launch of another new feature—one that would require tens of thousands of hours more work for its volunteer corps—the editors applauded. One pumped both hands in the air.