Google Maps vs Waze: Difference and Comparison

In the world, time is one of the valuable commodities which fails to reclaim after spending it. That’s why everyone is in a constant rush to reach their destination.

Finding the best and the shortest route from source to destination can be tough at the time. Now, the map comes to the role.  

Thanks to the GPS, which has solved the problem of outdoor computing quite successfully. Nowadays, personal smartphones turned into portable navigating devices due to our reliance on GPS navigation a lot.

When it comes to applications, Google Maps and Waze are two of them. In this article, Google Maps and Waze difference is highlighted. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Google Maps excels in providing comprehensive mapping data, including public transit and business information.
  2. Waze specializes in real-time traffic updates, relying on user-generated data for optimal navigation.
  3. Both apps are excellent navigation tools, with Google Maps providing broader functionality and Waze focusing on traffic updates.

Google Maps vs Waze 

Google Maps is a web service that provides detailed information about geographical regions and sites worldwide. Google Maps offers aerial and satellite views of many locations. Waze is powered and used by drivers all over the world. Drivers connect to one another and work together to improve each other’s driving experience. 

Google Maps vs Waze

Travel Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to travel

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In addition to route planning and real-time traffic updates, it offers POI search, street maps, geocoding, 360-degree panoramic Street View, satellite imagery, navigation information, and many more.

It is a solution of full navigation, which makes traveling manageable. It offers users a convenient and friendly navigable experience to be in the desired location in no time.  

Waze is the start-up of an Israeli-based which is navigation and traffic app made for tablets and smartphones. It offers turn by turn information with the user-submitted route and travel time details.

It offers carpooling options that see drivers and riders being connected without any disruption on the same route. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGoogle MapsWaze
InterpretationIt is the world’s navigation app of go-to that is more data-based compared to community-based.It is a navigation and traffic community-based app owned by Google.
IntroducedIn February 2005In January 2009
AdvertisingDoes not haveHave
AvailabilityAvailable offlineRequires a data connection
InterfaceTraditional navigation interfaceThe minimal and sleek interface offered using the latest in design language

What is Google Maps? 

Google Maps is a consumer application as well as web mapping platform offered by Google.

It offers aerial photography, satellite imagery, real-time traffic conditions, Street View, and route planning for traveling by bike, foot, air, car, and public transportation.  

When it comes to registration, it was optional and included with a Google account. Google Maps began at Where 2 Technologies by brothers Jens and Lars Rasmussen as a C++ desktop program.

The company was acquired by Google which turned it into a web application in October 2004.  

In 2005, Google Maps was finally introduced after the additional acquisition of a real-time traffic analyzer and geospatial data visualization company.

In September 2008, Google Maps for iOS and Android devices was released and features navigation of GPS turn by turn.  

The ANSTO in 2005 complained about the terrorist potential in planning attacks by using satellite images with particular reference to the nuclear reactor of Lucas Heights.

However, the Australian federal government fails to support the concern of organizations. 

google maps

What is Waze? 

Waze is a Google subsidiary that offers satellite navigation software.

It offers information on turn-by-turn navigation and user-submitted route details and travel times while downloading information of location-dependent over a mobile telephone network.

It works in computers that support GPS like smartphones.  

The Waze software was manufactured by the Israeli company, namely Waze Mobile. It was founded by Amir Shinar, Uri Levine, and Ehud Shabtai.

It collects travel time, traffic information, and map data from users and further transmits it to the server of Waze.  

Users of Waze can report traffic jams, police traps, speed, and accidents, and with the help of an online map editor, it can update landmarks, roads, etc.

It sends anonymous information including users’ location and speeds back to its database for improving the service as a whole.  

Concerns have been mentioned that the smartphone’s located app can be used to recognize movements by identifiable individuals.

From Technion-Israel Institute of Technology attempt was made in 2014 to fake a traffic jam by the students in the Waze application. 


Main Differences Google Maps and Waze 

  1. Google Maps offers fairly basic customization like to change between languages and accents. In contrast, Waze is more customized as in addition to Spotify integration, it supports a range of audio apps for listening to podcasts and many more. It allows you to have fun with navigation by selecting character and celebrity voice prompts.  
  2. Google Maps provide biking, walking, driving, and public transportation directions. It also has a built-in feature, “Explore” that allows users to see photos, reviews, points of interest, events, etc. On contrary, Waze is pretty much for cars.  
  3. Google Maps and Waze users FCD or Floating Car Data which is obtained from the passenger and driver smartphones to generate updates of real-time traffic to offer the best navigable experience. But Waze does it more efficiently and effectively in comparison to Google Maps.  
  4. When it comes to real-time accuracy, Google Maps app fails to notice immediately about local street closure, car accidents, etc. On the flip side, Waze users can submit information easily related to the local street closure, road hazards, and car accidents.  
  5. In terms of ease of routes, Google Maps offers logical suggested and alternative routes without sacrificing time. It also gives lane assistance to never miss a turn or exit. Conversely, in time crunch Waze can be helpful, but its emphasis on speed that can make route harder and unpleasant to navigate. 
Difference Between Google Maps and Waze



Last Updated : 15 October, 2023

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