MapQuest has recently stepped up development efforts, rolling out a new and improved “beta” site just a couple of weeks ago. MapQuest product VP Mark Law told me at the time that was the first of many changes and improvements to come. Accordingly, yesterday, the company debuted MapQuest Local a new “start page” (think MyYahoo or MyAOL) for local content. It features drag and drop widgets that can be customized.
AOL also sees MapQuest Local as a kind of open platform that will increasingly allow third parties to distribute their locally relevant content to MapQuest’s 48 million monthly users. While there are some conceptually similar things in the works from others, this is a very fresh and compelling approach to local.
There’s no search box yet but that’s coming. I’ve got more discussion on my personal blog Screenwerk.
From the release:
Starting today, consumers can access the Truveo Mobile Video Search beta site from RTSP-supported (Real Time Streaming Protocol) mobile phones by going to http://wap.aol.com/truveo. The new mobile video search site taps into Truveo’s industry-leading index and makes it possible for consumers to search and browse through millions of videos on more than 300 websites whose content has been optimized for mobile devices.