Waze, the social GPS “geo-gaming” app gets holiday theme, foursquare support, and new languages.

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by Mike
Posted December 17th, 2009 at 7:02 am

If you haven’t checked out Waze yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. The simple “find all of the state license plates on your cross country trip” now pales in comparison to the scope and cool factor that Waze offers. What started as a simple social GPS app that allowed end users to upload road conditions among other things has grown into a GPS game of sorts — enticing users to discover new paths to their destinations in order to collect the hidden presents on the map for the chance to win actual real life prizes dubbed “Road Goodies”.

For this latest update being released right in the middle of the holiday season, Waze has updated the Road Goodies with a special holiday flare. The new icons and gifts now feature snowflakes, candy canes and gift packages as the icons you must search out in your map quest across your local splotch of land.

We’ve all now had several weeks to get acquainted with Waze and the Road Goodies and I’m at least still finding it just as fun as it was several weeks ago. But today Waze is bringing some more “geo-gaming” (as it’s called) to the table by introducing foursqare support, allowing foursquare users to tap into their accounts and use said accounts all within the Waze application itself. A hit in the making for sure.

Finally, Spanish and Italian language support makes an appearance thanks to the help of the Waze user community.

User generated apps such as Waze that allow the user community at large to upload, edit, and update the app’s information for the rest of the world are quickly gaining a footing in the mobile sphere. With unique twists on such mundane things as simple navigation between point A, B, and everything in between makes me the technological world in which I live all the better.

The updated Holiday themed Waze complete with foursquare integration and Spanish/Italian language support is now available for Android, iPhone, Symbian, and Windows Mobile.

Give Waze a shot and let us know what you think! Press release after the gallery.

Press Release

WAZE’S HOLIDAY VERSION ENHANCES GAMING AND ADDS
USER-GENERATED MULTI-LANGUAGE SUPPORT

New Version Features Holiday-Themed ‘Road Goodies’, Waze ‘Treasure Hunt Contest’, Foursquare Integration and Multiple Language Deployment

Palo Alto, Calif. — December XX, 2009 — Waze, the first free provider of driver-generated maps and real-time road information, today announced a new holiday version of its free navigation app to include holiday-themed ‘road goodies’, a treasure hunt contest, integration with foursquare, as well as multi-language support.

Waze recently added ‘road goodies’ – small icons worth bonus points – to the map in areas where the waze system has identified map problems. As users drive around to munch these ‘goodies’, the system analyzes the driver’s GPS data to automatically solve the identified problems, improving map quality, and therefore navigation, for all drivers in that area. The holiday version features wintery, new ‘road goodies’ including snowflakes, candy canes and small gift packages, scattered all over the map.

Waze’s holiday version also announces the ‘Holiday Treasure Hunt’, featuring treasure chests that, when driven over, have the potential to reward users with anything from bonus points to valuable real-world prizes. From December 17, 2009 to January 1, 2010, users, worldwide, should start looking for treasure chests along their daily commute for their chance to win. More details can be found on the waze blog.

Taking the gaming aspect of waze even further, this version also features an integration with Foursquare, a new location-based geo-gaming app with a lot of buzz. Users of both apps can now ‘check in’ to various locations on Foursquare via the waze client - a feature that’s sure to become very popular - and even earn a waze ‘roadwarrior’ badge.

In addition the elements mentioned above, waze’s holiday version also introduces a new capability allowing for quick translation and availability of waze in any language. The version includes Spanish and Italian support, both on the client interface as well as the audio navigation prompts. These translations were fully undertaken by waze community members, and any other users who’d like to help translate waze into their language are invited to the waze wiki (www.waze.com/wiki) for more information on how to do so.

“There’s a lot of fun to be had on waze this holiday season,” says Noam Bardin, waze’s CEO. “In addition to the holiday-themed ‘road goodies’ and treasure hunt contest, we’re very enthusiastic about our collaboration with Foursquare. Individually, waze and Fourquare are taking geo-gaming to the next level, and, combined together, we’re positive that our users will be able to experience both apps in exciting new ways.”

About waze

Waze is a free mobile navigation application that allows drivers to build and use live maps, real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation to improve their daily commute. Waze also has a social element that gives drivers the ability to actively update one other on traffic, police traps, construction, speed cams and more - and because it’s 100% user-generated, the more people who use waze, the better (and more fun) it gets!

Waze is available on the Apple AppStore and the Android Market Place and can be downloaded from the waze web site for Symbian and Windows Mobile devices. To learn more about waze online, visit www.waze.com or @waze on Twitter.

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