A few weeks ago, I was stuck on a freeway. Completely stopped. After about 10 minutes of no motion I really wished I had been able to do a "search within 1/2 mile of my location" sort of thing to find out what was going on and when it would likely be fixed, so I could decide to tell the friends I was meeting "I'll be a bit late" or "Sorry, guys, go on without me".
Which has nothing to do with actually being near said locality. I think filtering on geographic locations is great, but even greater is that ability to do so while remote. I can learn about events occurring in and around a specific area without actually being in that area. That's (part of) the beauty of the internet.
I'm way more likely to be interested in stuff happening near where I currently am than in some other arbitrary place.
Sure, sometimes it makes sense to be able to search elsewhere, but that makes things more complicated for marginal gains.
Yelp is a good example. Yes, I've used it to research food in other locations, but it would still be 95% as useful to me if the only thing it did was show me stuff that was nearby, since that's what I almost always use it for.
Also, at some point a few months ago they redesigned the ride sharing interface. I'm referring to the feature where you can link a friend so they can see your drive. I used this all the time with my girlfriend when I'd come to visit, so she could see how close I was. Then it completely broke. It became horribly unreliable.
In the end I left Waze for Google Maps because it didn't seem to actually deliver on any of its goals.
Waze has saved me a huge amount of time by routing me around the random traffic I have in my area in ways that I'd have never thought of.
And the ride sharing update actually made the feature usable for me whereas before it just seemed to lock the app up as often as not.
It seemed to behave strangely on a long road trip, trying to send me on a very bizarre and obviously wrong path, but aside from that I've got nothing but good things to say about it -- oh, except the bizarre 'lets put up a popup ad in your way when you stop at a light when you will be most likely be looking for direction clarification' thing it has been doing lately.
Waze's routing just did not satisfy me. It tended to prefer highly complex routes, sometimes just for the sake of avoiding a tiny little stretch of road where it thought there was heavy traffic. Half the time, it was wrong about the more complex route being faster. When it was right, though, the added labor of following that route wasn't really worth it, because it would only save me a negligible amount of time.
Waze claims to learn your favorite routes. It never seemed to learn anything at all about my favorite routes. As far as I could tell, this feature didn't exist.
The ride sharing update not only made it much more frustrating to share the ride -- before you had a great link you could just paste or share anywhere, now it's some sort of Waze-specific notification which goes away and gets lost after you click on it -- but it also made the ride sharing maps nearly non-functional. Whenever my girlfriend or I would use it, it would almost never actually update the other person's position on the map. We tried this several times over the course of more than a month and the failure rate was very high.
In my opinion, if there were bugs causing it to crash before (which I never experienced), they should have just fixed those bugs. The interface "improvement" was a huge step back for me.
Maybe all this is fixed now. I hope so. But it wasn't that long ago that I switched away from it -- about a month or two after the ride sharing update.
I'm surprised that you find Google Maps superior after the Waze acquisition; you'd think both products would be approaching a feature-equilibrium by now.
I was very confused, even despite the handy animation they showed me (I apparently can't recognize the iOS notification center on sight, so thought it was showing me something on Android that I'd never seen before).
I believe Google uses the crowdsourced Waze data in various ways, e.g., for their traffic maps, but I'm not sure of a source for that.
To be fair, the description of this app it's so vague that it's hard to see how distance would affect its users.
Once they gain traction, you will get too many infections from around the world and may be interesting in what is happening local.
I like how vague it is - it is allowing the the users to define it's purpose. A bit like Facebook.
Already seen too many cats on there for one day though. One is too many.
Well, that's the fatal flaw of this recurring "let's build a local social network!" idea... if you wanted to indiscriminately talk to people all around you in your area, you already would be. By and large, you don't have every neighbor on your Facebook because you don't really want them there.... I still haven't seen a compelling use case that isn't based largely on wishful thinking or nostalgia (often for eras not lived in by the nostalgia-ee that may or may not even have existed...), rather than being based on some sort of witnessed need.
Also, many communication platforms have "arbitrary" constraints (square photos, 140 characters) that help shape the user experience.
See some of the coverage on the use of FireChat in Hong Kong (http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/16/tech/mobile/tomorrow-transform...).
Along a similar vein, I could see localized information being very useful during an emergency or natural disaster. "Downed power lines on Main Street" means different things depending on the poster's geography.