We first introduced you to Waze back in September. Waze is a free, turn-by-turn GPS application that uses crowd sourcing to detect traffic conditions in real time. A social network for motorists of sorts.
Today Waze is releasing a holiday version of it's navigation application that includes holiday-themed "road goodies", a treasure hunt contest, bi-lingual support and integration with the location based, geo-game foursquare.
Ease on past the break to read more about Waze's holiday version.
When we first reported that Waze was headed to Windows Mobile, it was in it's Alpha stages and has since grown considerably. While Waze still remains focused on using motorists input for making mapping updates and providing real-time traffic conditions, Waze has added a bit of flavor to the process with a point system and "road goodies."
"Road goodies" are small icons that are in areas where the Waze system has identified mapping problems. As driver's come across these goodies, the system uses that traffic to improve map quality and awards the user points. The holiday version includes "road goodies such as snowflakes, candy canes and gift packages."
The Holiday version takes the "road goodies" a step further by adding a Treasure Hunt feature. The Treasure Hunt will place treasure chests throughout the map that when driven over (virtually) have the potential to reward users with bonus points that can be as well as real world prizes. The Treasure Hunt will be active from through Jan. 1, 2010. More details on the contest can be found on the Waze Blog.
Okay, so you're asking "what's with all the points?" Best I can figure is that the points are applied to your user account and the more points you earn, the greater you status is amongst other users. It gives Waze users a way to achieve "braggin' rights" within the community. In surfing Waze's blog, it also looks like occasionally contests are held with those earning the most points receiving prizes such as Amazon.com gift cards.
I've got to tip my hat to the Waze developers for adding an entertainment twist and a bit of flavor to point-to-point navigation. You can download the application from Waze's download page or by pointing your mobile browser to m.waze.com. Again, Waze is free so you won't be out anything if you decide to take it out for a test drive.