Waze — free navigation app offers holiday treasure hunt

Waze is a neat app that not only offers GPS navigation but also uses "crowdsourcing" to help make available real-time traffic updates. Users can send alerts as they drive so that others can avoid problems. The recently released holiday version of Waze offers a holiday theme with a treasure hunt that gives you the opportunity to win real prizes. According to their press release, they added what they call "road goodies" – small icons worth bonus points – to the map in areas where the waze system has identified map problems. As you drive around to munch these ‘goodies’, the system analyzes your GPS data to automatically solve the identified problems, improving map quality, and therefore navigation, for all drivers in that area.The road goodies include snowflakes, candy canes, and small gift packages, scattered all over the map. You can read more on the Waze website.

Beatthetraffic is also available now as a free crowdsourced navigation app that shows traffic speed and incidents for major routes in over 100 cities. And it has live webcams for over 30 cities.


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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.