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Nat & Lo are back for a new year, this time going behind the scenes with mapping app Waze. Waze became a part of Google in 2013, but has remained a separate entity within Google, so Nat & Lo are finding out a bit more about the history of the service, as well as what the story is with the avatars you see in the app.

The behind the scenes look is helped by Di-Ann from Waze and Jesse, one of the Waze maps editors. The history of Waze is interesting in itself, starting as a response to the staunchly old-world mapping companies who wouldn’t take crowd-sourced data to improve their maps – a concept which is strange in todays landscape where seemingly everything is being crowd-sourced. The avatars are interesting too, as is the use to which Waze is sometimes used, going so far as to help out the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in times of crisis.

The 5-minute video is interesting to check out, especially for maps and navigation nerds so check it out: