***Strictly embargoed until 1st April 2017***
WAZE TO MAP MARS
MARTIAN MAP TO HIGHLIGHT LANDING SITES, VOLCANOES, CRATERS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF HUMANITY
1st April 2017: Today, Waze announce a new partnership with a leading extra-terrestrial exploratory organization to build a more thorough and informative map of the fourth rock from the Sun.
The real-time, crowd-sourced navigation app, which has over 400,000 volunteer map editors globally (with over 1000 in the UK) will work with Extra-terrestrial Intelligence Communications Group (EICG) over the next decade to map key locations via detailed satellite imagery with the aim of providing practical navigations for an unmanned Mars rover.
The good news is that things are moving quickly as two possible landing sites were announced this week (30th March) for the ExoMars unmanned mobile rover, tasked with recovering evidence of life on the Red Planet - touching down in 2021. By mapping locations, it is hoped that the rover will carry out its mission efficiently, without going off-track.
When approached about participating in the unique project, leading map editors from USA, Russia, and Italy jumped at the chance to partake in this interplanetary adventure. Waze have opened a special space-focused server on the web-based Waze Map Editor platform to select other talented editors. They’ve been hard at work readying terrestrial editing software for more extrinsic uses. So far, landing sites are simply marked as places, dust storms/volcano activity are major traffic events, and broken-down rovers as potential road hazards.
Finlay Clark, head of Waze UK says, “There is no doubt that the Waze Map Editing Community knows how to build a map. Thousands of Wazers already work in their spare time to ensure maps in their areas are as current as possible so drivers can navigate the quickest routes possible. So, when we were alerted to the project we wanted to get our leading map editors, known as Waze Global Champs, on board at the very earliest stage. Naturally, or should we say supernaturally, we reached out to Champs from countries that know a thing or two about space exploration and masterful design with the UK leading the way. The process of mapping Mars is already underway, with what’s sure to be an exciting slate of unexpected challenges around every crater.”
Due to the quality of street view from the rovers, the team are in preliminary discussions about sending one top editor on a very special mission. But for the mean-time, the team will have to keep their feet firmly on the tarmac and carry out their mission from Earth.
One small step for Waze, one giant step for Waze-kind...
Prospective map editors should visit waze.com to register.