‘It Takes Over Your Life’: Waze Volunteers Work for the Love of Maps


"In an era of the gig economy, Waze has found a better business model—unpaid labor." Over 30,000 volunteers spend nights and weekends go through Waze and update roads, speed limits, HOV lakes and more in a game-ified system.

The volunteers—whom the company calls “editors”—accrue points for each map update, rising through the ranks and earning new avatars as they gain the ability to edit wider areas and more important roads. There are six levels of editors and people can also earn additional titles, showing they oversee a specific region.

A fantastic look into how an army of unpaid workers helps keep you in your car less and the motivation behind why they do what they do.


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