Google has taken the first steps to unify its Maps platform with Waze, its most recent large startup acquisition. The Israeli-based company was acquired by Google earlier this year for around $1 billion, as its growing community of user-sourced incident and accident reporting was seen as a competitor in the lucrative online mapping market.
Maps for iOS and Android have been updated with the first of Waze’s features, perhaps the most important one, incident reporting. This allows users in select countries (Canada is not currently on that list) to receive on-the-fly suggestions for updated directions based on accidents, construction, road closures and other traffic snarls.
The country list includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the US. No word on when Canada will be added.
Waze for iOS and Android have been updated with Google Search, which bring Google ads into the fray. This is an obvious step for Google to monetize yet another search box, but more importantly it should give Waze users a bit more context when looking up landmarks.