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Traffic information

Launched on Thursday, the Waze iPhone application is designed to give users real-time road information. Based on input from other users' iPhones, the app can provide traffic speeds, reports on accidents or other notable road conditions, and much more. In addition, the app can give drivers turn-by-turn directions and send out tweets based on reports they make while driving.

Here, the Waze app is showing a live map while driving through San Francisco. The red rectangles denote traffic speeds as reported by other users.

Caption:Photo:Daniel Terdiman/CNET
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Traffic report

Waze users can send out various kinds of traffic reports from their iPhones, which other users can see in real time.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Daniel Terdiman/CNET
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Other Waze users

This 3D map of San Francisco shows two other Waze users, each depicted by one of the small pink avatars. When the app reaches critical mass, assuming it does, the map would show other users throughout the city. But this image was taken on Thursday, the day the app launched, and not many drivers in San Francisco are using it yet.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Daniel Terdiman/CNET
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Gobbling dots

One game-like aspect of the service allows users to score points by being the first to drive down a road depicted on the map with small gray dots. And as they do so, their avatar becomes a Pac-Man-like figure that "gobbles" up the dots.

Waze gets its base maps from the U.S. government, but it is not guaranteed to be accurate. As a result, many roads are "unconfirmed" until a Waze user drives it.

It's not entirely clear what Waze users will be able to do with the points they earn, but one use might be to gain additional administration access over the maps.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Daniel Terdiman/CNET
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Angry Waze user

Waze users can select a "mood" for their avatar. If they're angry, other users can see that reflected on their screen, as in this picture.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Daniel Terdiman/CNET
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Reporting choices

This Waze screen shows the choices users have when deciding to issue a report. Among the choices: speed traps, police, road hazards, parking lots, and more.

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The Waze app is also designed to give turn-by-turn directions, as shown here.

Related story: Waze iPhone app provides real-time crowdsourced traffic data

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