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There are times when geographic locality is the thing you want to filter on.

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".

>There are times when geographic locality is the thing you want to filter on.

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 disagree that it has nothing to do with it.

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.

You should check out waze https://www.waze.com/

I was a dedicated Wazer for a while and I eventually had to accept that it just didn't work. I could count on one hand maybe the number of instances where it actually seemed to react to construction or road obstacles in a practical way. I could count on 10-20 hands the number of times it tried to get me to maneuver across several lanes of traffic in order to spend 30 feet on some back road only to get back onto the road I was just on, having to re-maneuver across lanes.

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.

Wow. I've had almost the opposite experience in every way.

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.

Oh yes, I forgot about the pop-up ads whenever you're stopped. :)

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.

Doesn't Google own Waze[1]?

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.

[1] http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/google-maps-and-waze-...

I just got (on Android) a Waze push notification saying that I could add Waze integration to my (iOS) notification center.

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).

Yep, they do. I prefer Google Maps simply because it's simpler and I ultimately found that the additional features of Waze weren't worth the complexity.

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.

I guess it depends on the location - for me (Silicon Valley) it works great to avoid traffic. Never tried the sharing part though. Also, seems to drain the battery quite quickly but since I only use it in a car I just need not to forget to plug it in.

In my experience Waze is mich more accurate than gmaps in predicting commute times. It's also alerted me to speed traps on multiple occasions. Crowd-sourced "radar detector" was an unexpected bonus.

How many years ago did you try Waze? I was on waze when it first came to the US and I agreed. It's much better now though - it depends on the number of users in your area.

I have found twitter search to be a very reliable indicator in such events. e.g. caltrain failures, traffic blockages and such.

Try Waze

Isn't this exactly what twitter is for?

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