As a community-based GPS navigation app, Waze is backed by volunteers from around the globe, including Indonesia.
From around 30,000 monthly active volunteers who contribute to updating the map whenever there are changes to road conditions or layout, also known as Waze map editors, more than 720 are from Indonesia.
“Waze map editors are able to edit roads, location names and add other destinations such as gas stations, shopping centers, banks and more to the Waze map. To keep things in order, map editors are provided different levels of editorial privilege, between a scale of one and six. For instance, six is the highest level of authorization to access edits for highways and other highly crucial main roads or locations,” said Waze Indonesia country manager Marlin R. Siahaan in a statement.
Among Waze map editors in Indonesia with the “highest-level of editorial privilege” is Christian Iskandar, a book publisher from Jakarta.
“I was impressed by the Waze app’s ability to suggest a better and faster route from Kemayoran to my office in Palmerah. Prior to experiencing Waze, the highway was my regular route. However, Waze suggested an alternative path that took me only 35 minutes during Jakarta’s morning rush hour – in other words, 40 minutes faster. My office was also previously not included on the Waze map. This motivated me to add the location to Waze so I learned the steps by browsing the internet. This inspired me to contribute more edits to the Waze app,” said Chris, adding that he enjoyed being a map editor “simply for the pleasure of being a useful person”.
Alongside Trevino Soenjono and Martin Ugahary, Chris is also known as a Global Champ, selected specially by Waze. The three of them are the Waze map editor leaders in Indonesia. The next level down is a group called the Local Champs, which comprises active map editors that are considered mapping experts in their respective country or region.
“Moving forward, my goal is to establish communication with as many map editors as I can find and encourage more contributions to Waze’s map as Indonesia is a huge country and the map can only be improved effectively if the map editors work together,” said Chris.