Movie Shoots And Street Closures Will Show Up On Waze And Google Maps

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(Photo by F Delventhal via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
Waze and Google Maps can be a real lifesaver when it comes to driving in Los Angeles. They will direct you to a sleepy side street that can save you precious moments when you're running late (though it may anger the occasional homeowner group). But these apps have their limits: neither have any way of knowing that the street is sleepy because the city closed it down for a marathon or movie shoot or construction or a water main break.

That's going to change, says our very app-friendly mayor. Eric Garcetti announced during yesterday's State of the City address that Los Angeles was going to be collaborating with Waze and Google Maps. Here's what he said:

And to help you get anywhere that you want to go in L.A., I am announcing the launch of a new data-sharing partnership with the traffic app Waze—the biggest collaboration of its kind.

Now, when you open Google Maps or Waze, your smartphone will show you where the city has closed a road for repairs or for a movie shoot. Now you’ll have to find a new excuse when you’re late to dinner with your mother-in-law...

And we will use the data collected by these apps to find new ways to cut your commute

It seems like a pretty commonsensical move, but we'll definitely appreciate the effort next time we're rushing to the next Garcetti-Moby jam session. Los Angeles isn't the first city to do this—just yesterday police in South Carolina said they're doing the same thing at a summit being held in Mountain View. Waze invited city, state and municipal government representatives from around the world to discuss the app. (Police like the app because it crowdsources info about crashes, though they're not so hot on the idea of crowd-sourcing police locations.)

Garcetti didn't offer up a timeline for the partnership's rollout. FastCompany notes there are still nitty-gritty details to be worked out in these partnerships: "For the police departments, using Waze to reach citizens seems like a similar step to notifying television or radio stations. It remains to be seen how it would work, however, at scale."

In his speech, Garcetti also announced new initiatives around public safety, trash and he promised that we can take a Lyft home from LAX starting this summer. You can read the full text of his address here.