One of the most awesome things about Israeli crowdsourced navigation company Waze, which Google acquired in 2013, is that it allows drivers to log real-time incidents into its feed directly. Be it an accident, or a road closure because of construction work, or a speed trap set up by the police – Waze helps you help others with handy nuggets of information.
We are yet to see this level of usefulness in Google Maps, but looks like Google might be doing something in that department. According to Android Police, some Google Maps users are receiving prompts for the confirmation of road closures and construction work. Looks something like this:
So, you can see details of the incident, along with the time it was reported at, and you are given a prompt to verify the accuracy of the information.
It’s yet not clear whether users will be able to report an incident themselves conveniently, because right now, the procedure is quite lengthy. You have to dig deep into the ‘Help & Feedback’ section to report an error on the map and there is simply no provision to communicate temporary incidents, like a road allowing only one-way traffic because of a public event.
So, it’s good that Google is enabling some sort of real-time crowdsourced reporting that would allow Google Maps to suggest alternate routes proactively and save a lot of time and hassle for its loyalists – especially at a time when other players like Apple Maps are working to overhaul their offerings from the ground up.