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Waze Arrives in South Africa

The GPS navigation service, Waze has officially announced its first venture into African territory. The service that offers drivers to share traffic conditions automatically in real-time has finally launched in South Africa.

Waze is in fact a community-driven app offered on all the major mobile platforms, such as Android, iOS and BlackBerry. The service makes use of driving times to give routing and real-time traffic updates.

Although, the app is available for download all across the world, the full ‘basemap’ is limited to few countries, including US, Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ecuador, parts of Argentina, Panama and, Israel and now the latest inclusion comes in the form of South Africa. In the rest of the countries users need to record the roads and edit the maps on their own.

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The excerpt from an official announcement says, “Every now and then, we do an ‘official’ launch in a new territory, and just recently, we added South Africa to the mix. Partnering with MiX Telematics, the launch builds upon the community of more than 30,000 ‘early adapters,’ [SIC] based mainly in Johannesburg, that already exist.”

It was reported in January that Waze had passed 12 million users mark and launched three version of its Android app.

The idea of developing a service like Waze was first in Israel few years ago, when a software engineer Ehud Shabtai was presented a PDA with an external GPS device pre-installed with navigation software. Ehud pointed out that the product didn’t depict the real-time changes that exemplify real conditions on the road. So, he decided to work on it and started working on a traffic platform that combined GPS, open-source software and a community of drivers.

The company has announced that it is planning to expand its services to other countries as well and will come up with more announcements later.

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