Waze, the social mapping app for mobile, is finding its way to BlackBerry after enjoying an extended stay on iPhone and Android. If you haven’t heard of Waze before, they essentially crowdsource map creation, allowing the community at large to draw in roads as they travel, as well as provide real-time contextual information, like speed traps, traffic jams, accidents, and general points of interest as community members update. On the downside, Waze doesn’t use the already-prolific OpenStreetMap, but good on ’em for starting something from scratch.
I’ve spent the last couple of days in the closed beta, and though I don’t drive much and the experience is still a little clunky, the concept of Waze is without a doubt unique. The closest thing I could imagine is Google Buzz, but even if you forget the breadth of content types tailored to Waze (car accidents and the like versus mere geotagged status updates), the ability to actively contribute to maps and share routes otherwise not available is really impressive.
As an added incentive to try out the app, Waze has scattered berry icons randomly over maps – those who collect the most between today and May 14 will win one of two iPads. Go to m.waze.com on your BlackBerry to get downloading, or take a look at the guided tour to get a better sense of the app.
[via Waze Blog]