Connected Citizens Program Summary

Waze Contacts: 

Table of Contents:


List of existing partners

Technical Overview

Connected Citizens FAQ

Examples of Connected Citizens PR

Case Studies: Connected Citizens Success Stories


The Connected Citizens Program is an ongoing partnership between Waze and various international government agencies to share publicly-available data in order to accomplish two goals:

  • Improve the quality of the Waze App
  • Utilize Waze data to improve city planning, inform infrastructure decisions and increase the efficiency of day-to-day operations

Waze exchanges publicly available incident and road closure reports, enabling our government partners to respond more immediately to accidents and congestion on their roads. In turn, Waze aggregates the partners' data on the Waze App platform, resulting in succinct and thorough overviews of current road conditions.


In 2013 Waze successfully became the traffic data supplier for the Centro de Operações Prefeitura do Rio (COR), the traffic control center of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Waze APIs are embedded in their NASA-like command center, creating a shortcut between emergency services and Rio's citizens on the road who use Waze to alert other drivers of hazards, road conditions and traffic. Rio has relied heavily on the Waze platform to maintain connectedness and keep the city running during major events like the World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Olympics.

On October 1, 2014 Waze announced the Connected Citizens Program at an event in New York City.

Current Connected Citizen Partners, by Region:

North America

  • Boston, MA - City of Boston
  • Florida - Department of Transportation
  • Iowa - Department of Transportation
  • Kentucky - Department of Transportation
  • Los Angeles, CA - Regional Integration of Intelligent Transportation Systems (RIITS)
  • Massachusetts  - Department of Transportation
  • New York City, NY - New York Police Department
  • Oregon, US - Department of Transportation
  • Utah, US - Department of Transportation
  • Washington, D.C. - D.C. Department of Transportation

Latin America

  • Petropolis, Brazil - City of Petropolis
  • Puebla, Mexico - City of Puebla
  • Rio De Janeiro, Brazil - Rio de Janeiro Center for Traffic Operations (COR)
  • San José, Costa Rica - City of San José
  • Vitoria, Brazil - City of Vitoria

Europe, Middle East & Africa

  • Budapest, Hungary - BKK Center for Budapest Transport
  • Barcelona, Spain - City of Barcelona
  • Catalonia, Spain - Government of Catalonia
  • Latvia - Latvia State Roads
  • Tel-Aviv, Israel - City of Tel-Aviv


  • Jakarta, Indonesia - City of Jakarta
  • Sydney, Australia - City of Sydney

Technical Overview of Data Exchange

A. Structure and Content of Waze Data

Waze maps provide information to assist motorists in avoiding traffic jams. Waze maps and traffic are dynamically updated by a continually expanding network of drivers worldwide. This, of course, reduces the importance of predefined routes. The most accurate representations are through poly-lines – where the traffic is geographically-based, independent of specific map attributes.

We provide information about traffic jams and events that affect road conditions, either from Wazers or from external sources. Wazers provide community road reports or UGI (user-generated incidents) which provide detailed information about specific traffic and road incidents. They may issue reports from the location at which they are currently located or, if no longer at the location, within 30 minutes after the event occurred.

The time period that affects the results can be internally adjusted by the Waze server configuration to provide best results, based upon local conditions. Events include weather conditions, a car stopped at the shoulder and so forth.

To the driver, the question is very simple: should I choose an alternate route or not? Waze provides updates from anywhere our drivers are. The information is provided in real time and, in the case of major events, in considerable detail.

B. Data Sharing Types

Waze will GIVE the partner(s) real-time traffic data, including:

  • Traffic incidents - jams, accidents, hazards, etc --- reported by our community of mobile users
  • Road-closures - reported by either our community of mobile users and/or external sources which were provisioned into our system

Waze will RECEIVE from partner(s) real-time traffic data, including:

  • Traffic incidents - excluding the 'Waze-reported' data - collected by the partner from it's various sources
  • Where feasible, valid and relevant - road-closures data, both scheduled and real-time

C. Technical Integration

Waze will GIVE data:

  • Waze will make it's data available for the partner to retrieve through a web-access to a pre-loaded, pre-generated data-file.
  • The file will contain the filtered data for the specific monitored-area structured in a standard protocol (XML/JSON). See sample here.
  • Partner can pull an updated file every 5-15 minutes, 'old' files will be overridden
  • We will provide you with documentation which will enable you to parse the Waze data

Waze can RECEIVE data in either one of the following methods:

  • Preferred method: Waze will retrieve the partner(s) data-file through a web-access using standard protocols GeoRSS, XML, JSON etc.
  • Secondary Method: Partner will post the data to Waze service through Waze API
  • Pre-planned closures can be submitted through the closure tool or through any means including in worst case in the first phase through .pdf

Connected Citizens FAQ:

What are the resources available to Connected Citizens partners?

Partners also have the option of receiving a customized ETA tool, which provides a web interface through which partners can visually access all Waze incident and closure data along pre-selected routes in their region.

Partners have access to a partner-only form to input road closures and surface ideas for push campaigns in their region around major traffic events or emergencies. Partners also are included in a partner-only online forum that serves as a hub of collaboration and a space for our partners to discuss both strategic and operational issues. Partners have used this forum to share examples of ways they have incorporated Waze data into their operations, analyzed Waze data to make smarter traffic decisions and used Waze as a platform to communicate with citizens. Waze staff also use the forum to periodically share interesting case studies and keep partners up to date with the latest features and program changes. This forum has been a valuable tool to solicit partner feedback on ways that Waze can improve this data exchange to maximize impact.  

Waze hosted a partner summit that coincided with the launch of the Connected Citizens program in October and was attended by almost all current partners and several prospective partners. This summit initiated cooperation and the sharing of best practices between Connected Citizens partners. Waze will host a second partner summit April 13th -15th in

What are the benefits of being a Connected Citizens partner?

At this time partners only receive publicly available road closure and incident information (accident, congestion) submitted in the app by Waze users. The Waze user alias of each report is not shared. All of the data Waze shares with its partners (or any entity), is in accordance with Waze's user facing policies, including the Waze Privacy Policy data and privacy policies. Waze will never share individual driving history or non-public user information with any partner.

Waze gives partners attribution for partner-supplied data within the Waze application.

Example: Partner Attribution Within Waze


What benefit does Waze receive from its Connected Citizens Partners?

Waze receives the same data types as it shares in the app: incidents and road closures. Detail on road closures, particularly those planned due to marathons or construction, will be used to improve Waze user routing- reducing chances that Wazers will be navigated through a closed or otherwise impeded road.

The Connected Citizens partner must attribute Waze as the source of any Waze Data in all public-facing communications or external uses of Waze Data as follows based on the following guidelines:


"Data provided by Waze App. Learn more at"


If including the full length of the above attribution is not technically feasible, Government Agency may use the following short-term attribution instead:

"Data by Waze App."


If Government Agency is unable to provide the short-form attribution, Google must provide written approval for using a different format of attribution.


If the attribution is on a mobile application, the hyperlink will be "". Embedding the hyperlink is acceptable only if embedded in "Waze App" text.


Any other attribution or uses of the Waze Brand Features must be pre-approved by Google. This includes, but is not limited to, references or uses in academic papers, presentations, charts and graphs, marketing material & other print.

How are partners chosen?

Several qualifications:

  • Waze aims to work with partners who have additional sources of data, such as road closures, street cameras or road sensors, not found within the Waze app
  • Geographical diversity
  • Technical capability
  • Eagerness and readiness to innovate
  • Waze needs in the market (need more data or want to grow focus markets)

How will Waze measure success?

Success metrics will be developed over time, but for now, Waze and its partners will begin by looking at quantity and quality improvements of reports and closures for Waze, Google and each partner. In the short term, simply, the program is successful as soon as a citizen receives real-time driving information that he or she would not have otherwise received. Over time, Waze and its partners can measure more specific congestion and mobility metrics such as insights for future planning and congestion reduction.

What are the long term goals of the program?

The long term goals of the program are two-fold:

  1. To answer the question for drivers “What’s happening, where?” whether in commute or a unique crisis situation
  2. To get Waze-reported incident data into the hands of government officials that can address the reported incident, whether it be a five car pile-up or a pothole.

Examples of Successful Connected Citizen PR:

San José, Costa Rica:

Kentucky Department of Transportation

Jakarta, Indonesia

Riga, Latvia

Case Studies: Connected Citizens Success Stories

New York City Police Department

Atlanta: Storm Leon

Austin: Seasonal Floods

New Jersey: Superstorm Sandy

Rio De Janerio: World Youth Day

Phillipines: Typhoon Haiyan

Los Angeles: Jamzilla

New York City Police Department

On October 1, 2014, Waze announced our Connected Citizens Program in New York City with an inaugural class of 10 partners. The New York Police Department was included in this group along with cities and bureaus of transportation from all over the world. Several officers from the NYPD attended our media event in New York that evening.

While they signed the Waze/Google marketing release to participate in the program, they are still in the process of reviewing the Connected Citizens Waze/Google data sharing contract. This process has been delayed due to personnel reorganizations within the NYPD, along with recent dramatic events. Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 4.52.51 PM.png

Waze is in regular communication with the NYPD, who sends road closure data frequently for major events happening in the city. Recently the NYPD has worked together with Waze on campaigns like NYC's December speed limit change on city roads from 30 to 25 miles per hour as well as closures associated with the Avon Breast Cancer Walk, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and New Years Eve and the New York City Marathon. The NYPD has also recently agreed to share data with Waze regarding dangerous intersections in the city measured by frequency of accidents. All of these efforts between Waze and the NYPD have been with the goal of making New York City safer for drivers.

On October 27th 2014, Waze representatives Paige Fitzgerald and Chen Barshai met with a group of NYPD officials at Google's NYC office to discuss next steps of the onboarding process.

This meeting was attended by Thomas Chan, Chief of the NYPD's Transportation Bureau as well as members of the NYPD's legal team. The result of this meeting was that the NYPD was moving in the direction of establishing a real-time RSS feed where all scheduled street closures would be pushed in advance to partners and updated in real-time. This would also include emergency and otherwise unscheduled road closures.

Atlanta: Storm Leon

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On January 28, 2014 Storm Leon hit the city of Atlanta with 2 inches of snow and affected a metro area of 6 million citizens. Drivers were not able to reach airports and school children were separated from their parents while spending the night in buses. Routes which would normally take 30 minutes, trapped cars for 10, 16, 20 hours. The City was not able to react to the sudden changes in climate resulting in major congestion on I-285 & I-20. Citizens were not able to find alternate routes. Atlanta’s transportation system relies heavily on the highways. Waze’s real time traffic updates provided alternate routes, warning drivers before entering a congested freeway.Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 2.02.38 PM.pngScreen Shot 2014-04-16 at 2.02.50 PM.png

Atlanta drivers relied on Waze to get them through the congestion with an increase in active drivers of 2.5X to over 50,000.

Austin: Seasonal Floods

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Austin lies in the heart of Flash Flood Alley. Whether or not you live in a floodplain, it is critical that you be alert to the dangers of flooding both in your home or around town. Since 1960, 54 people have died in flash floods in Travis County. It may surprise you to learn that Texas leads the nation in flood-related deaths and holds about half of the world records for rainfall rates in less than 48 hours.

Waze worked with the City of Austin to provide updated road closures in order to help aid the citizens of Austin. Users that drove with Waze in the city of Austin would be routed around flash flood segments as soon as they occurred.

Real Time Data and live updates to the map provided road closures and automatic re-routes which were difficult to see roads in the dark. Crowd sourced information and images assisted other drivers and the municipality. Waze’s Road Closures process provided live closure updates immediately through simple a simple shared excel document provided by the City of Austin. Waze updated the closures through a backend tool with the provided segments from Waze Map Editor which were immediately available to drivers re-routing them around the flood.Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 2.19.11 PM.png

New Jersey, Staten Island, Long Island, FEMA: SuperStorm Sandy

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Fuel shortage became a national crisis after Super Storm Sandy, especially in places like New Jersey and Staten Island. The White House and FEMA asked Waze to engage our community to see if they could help. This was the first time we reached out to Wazers in a crisis. We sent a location-based push notification to Wazers in affected areas requesting information on gas stations with power and the length of the wait to get gas. Over the course of the weekend, tens of thousands of responses came through which were passed on to FEMA. FEMA could then use this information to figure out where to send the fuel trucks.

Rio de Janeiro: World Youth Day and Pope Francis Visit

Waze worked closely with the government in Rio de Janeiro to close roads and provide live updates for the Pope's visit. Together, we created a custom event website showcasing planned road closures and real-time data for locals, alerted Wazers in Rio + 5 surrounding metros to the closures, sent Waze representative to Rio to manage road closures in real-time, paved the way for a cohesive partnership with COR, and elicited press opportunities

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Our partnership with the city of Rio de Janeiro was the inspiration for the longer term partnership with connected governments called the W10. We share road closure data and mega event information and are developing a long term partnerships leading up to the 2016 Olympics. Data shared includes road closures and mega event information.

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Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was a powerful tropical cyclone that devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, on November 8, 2013.Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 2.47.57 PM.png

Waze sent a push notification to users requesting data and put up a Major Traffic Event page but this time we added a special feature which allowed adding shelters, rescue centers and a “Help Search”.

Again, Wazers came out to help their fellow citizens where they could, used Waze and reported heavily. The results of the clicks on the pins from Shelters was one of the highest we’ve ever seen.

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Los Angeles: Jamzilla

For the third time in four years, one of the most important highways in Los Angeles - the 405 - was closed for repairs. Whether it's being called Carmageddon or Jamzilla, the impact of a major highway closure in an already traffic congested city is an event arguably worthy of the apocalyptic monikers it has received in the past couple of years. This one was difficult because it included many on ramps and off ramps which were sprinkled across the entire (19).jpgphoto (2) (1).jpg

The closures took place over President's Day weekend from Feb 14 - Feb 18, 2014 but Waze in partnership with ABC7 updated Waze's maps with all expected 405 closures and the times they are slated to take effect. Whereas other apps might not even recognize the 405 as non-operational, Waze had optimal, up-to-the-minute traffic and routing information that took into consideration which roads were closed and when. The results were a whopping 98% increased in new registered users meaning a huge increase in data available to the City.

For Existing Partners:

Partner Submissions for Events, Closures & Regulatory Changes Form