Reshared post from +Danie van der Merwe

When Waze Won't Help, Palestinians Make Their Own Maps using Maps.Me and OpenStreetMaps

When you pass from Israel into the West Bank, part of the occupied Palestinian Territories, Waze’s directions simply end. To keep going, you need to change your setting to allow access to “high risk” areas. Even then, GPS coverage tends to be limited.

If you’re set on crossing the often invisible dividing line between Israel and the Palestinian Territories, your best option is to close Waze and open Maps.Me. The Belarus born, now Russian owned navigation app pulls from open source mapping and can be downloaded for offline use, a crucial feature in the Territories, where there’s no 3G for Palestinian providers.

Maps.Me is more than a source of directions. It’s a database of roads, schools, squares, shops, and other landmarks that programmers have plotted through open source mapping (a Wikipedia–like system, where anyone can add their knowledge), places that otherwise would have been left largely off the radar. started in 2011 in Belarus, and now has around 80 million downloads, says co-founder Alexander Boresk. The company, which moved to Moscow after a Russian internet company acquired it at the end of 2014, operates on a simple premise. It takes the open source information available through — a free crowd-sourced mapping service — and uses its software to operate its own map and navigation tools with the data.

The real point though is that this app draws from open source mapping, so there is a lot more control and influence that locals have got over updating and improving the maps.

See and you can download the mobile apps for iOS and Android from

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