It’s no secret that traffic is a problem in Los Angeles, where the population is around 10 million. What makes it a problem, I have found, is it is unpredictable— there is not definitive “rush hour”— and it’s not limited to the weekdays. That’s why Waze is essential to travel in this city: it is live data collected from Waze users’ location (speed), so you know the current traffic conditions.

While I was initially drawn to Waze for its vibrant colors to show traffic conditions and animations to show businesses, accidents, and live Wazers, these are very reasons I find the way finding system frustrating and difficult to read.

I have no idea what the drivers’ symbols indicate. Is their car overheating, or is the thermometer there because it’s hot outside? As for the traffic conditions, it’s hard to tell which direction is which, especially when all the icons are shown as well which, again, I’m not sure what they symbolize. All in all, it looks like a jumbled mess of colors and stickers that don’t add to my understanding of the road conditions but in fact distract from them.

Waze users’ live data/input. But what does this mean for me?

It can be difficult to decipher the data on traffic conditions.

Waze shows traffic/avg using Waze users’ live location data