Los Angeles and Waze Sittin' in a Tree, S-H-A-R-I-N-G (Data)

Los Angeles and navigation app Waze are sharing data to improve the navigation service, reduce hit-and-run crimes, and help the city plan its traffic operations more intelligently.

by / April 21, 2015
Flickr/Sal Petruzelli Marino/Waze map altered to show Los Angeles

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on April 21 a new data-sharing agreement between the city and navigation app Waze.

The city will share such data as road closures, construction, safety hazards and blocked streets, helping the more than 1.3 million Waze users in Los Angeles navigate with increased ease.

"This partnership with Waze matches city data with the latest smart phone technology to get people where they want to go faster," Garcetti said in a press release. "This is exactly what our open data initiative is all about -- going beyond information sharing to provide opportunities for our data to transform into tools to make people's lives safer and easier in very tangible ways."

Waze made a similar agreement with the city of Boston in February, but Los Angeles will be the first city to report hit-and-run information with Waze as part of a larger program to decrease one of the nation’s highest incidences of such violent crime. The Los Angeles Police Department will also use the app to disseminate AMBER alerts.

Waze is also sharing anonymized data with the city, providing user-generated reports and route data that will allow city officials to better understand its streets and the behavior of its residents. That data, the city reported, will eventually be integrated into its traffic management and 311 systems in order to organize for events and road closures more intelligently.