by Brandon Dimmel on 20130823 @ 07:52AM EST There's nothing more frustrating than ending a long work day by waiting two hours for a traffic jam to clear up. That's why Google has announced plans to update the Google Maps mobile application to provide real-time updates for its users, thereby helping them avoid troublesome traffic areas. Google made the announcement on Tuesday, August 20, 2013. The update will give mobile Google Maps users real-time alerts about fender benders, new construction projects, and other potential traffic issues. Real-World Drivers Provide Traffic Updates Providing the data required for the service will be Waze, a social mapping application that Google acquired just a few months ago. (Source: cnn.com) Now, this isn't the first time Google has rolled out real-time traffic updates for its Maps service. In the past, that information has been provided by third-party global positioning system firms like TomTom. However, those systems were based on satellite imagery and sometimes took a little too long to make their way to Google Maps users. Waze is different. It effectively 'crowd sources' traffic issues, meaning it relies on a widespread network of drivers and pedestrians to relay information about traffic problems. "This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures, and more on Waze, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app," Google said in a recent blog post. (Source: cnet.com) Those who participate in the program are rewarded with virtual badges and, in some cases, real-world prizes. Google Pays Big For Social Mapping Service Many industry insiders consider this a new and revolutionary trend in mobile software development. That's why Waze won the award for Best Overall Mobile App at the 2013 Mobile World Congress. It's also why Google paid roughly $1.1 billion to acquire the firm in June. Google Maps users accessing the service through Android or iOS devices in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom should be able to access the Waze-based traffic updates soon.