MapQuest Aims For Reboot With New Content, Partners, UI

mapquest-featured A few years ago, while others were investing in their mapping platforms, AOL was coasting with MapQuest. AOL's sustained neglect of the online mapping pioneer cost the site its leadership in digital maps. Now, the company hopes to claw its way back with new content and functionality in what was described to me as phase one of a new multiphase rollout. Call it a reboot. Although the site has had several false starts in trying to do that over the past couple of years (e.g., MQVibe). Despite this, MapQuest's strong brand has kept the AOL division from falling off -- dare I say it -- the map [...]


MapQuest Transfers Local Listings Management To Yext

mapquest-featured Last October, MapQuest started outsourcing local business listings management to Yext. The "claim your MapQuest listings" page is hosted by Yext (I believe) with a co-branded look and feel. Yesterday, MapQuest notified business users that its local business center and basic local listings product would be formally shutting down. Here's the text of the email that went out: We wanted to inform you that the basic version of the MapQuest Local Business Center (LBC) is shutting down. As of January 31, 2014, you will no longer be able to access your listings account within the basic version o [...]


Mapquest Takes On Google Navigation With Free Android App

Following the success of its iPhone app, Mapquest has released a free, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation app for Android handsets. The new app differs in a couple ways from its older iPhone sibling. Most significantly it takes advantage of Android's speech capabilities and includes OpenStreetMap data, which allows the app to be used outside the US and results in some enhanced local mapping within the US. I've had a chance to use the app for the past 24 hours and can report that it generally works well, although there are a few areas and features that are rough around the edges. Mapquest' [...]


Mapquest Launches New Atlas For Students — With CIA Data

Mapquest has launched a useful new site: Atlas.Mapquest.com. As the name suggests it's an interactive atlas, directed toward students and teachers, with tons of useful data and information -- from the CIA. There's a wealth of information here (as one might expect from the CIA) about populations, culture, the economy (and of course the military). There are numerous charts and photos. There's also an interesting "compare countries" feature. Those interested can click the "find the insurgents" button to locate political agitators in each geography (just kidding about that last one). You [...]


Friday Maps Mania: Street View Back In Europe, “Wi-Spy” Accusations In US, Mapquest Opens Up & Put Your Check-ins On The Map

With lots of mapping news today, we're combining it all into a single round up, which focuses largely on Google. The company decided, after suspending, examining and "scrubbing" its Street View equipment in Europe and elsewhere, to resume collecting imagery and related data in several countries: Having spoken to the relevant regulators, we have decided to start Street View driving in  Ireland, Norway, South Africa and Sweden again starting next week. We expect to add more countries in time. Our cars will no longer collect any WiFi information at all, but will continue to collect photos and 3 [...]


We Could Be Lovers: AOL Courts Google & Microsoft

Coy AOL is trying to get as much as it can for its flat to declining search volume from either current partner Google (AOL CEO Time Armstrong's corporate Alma Mater) or Microsoft, still hungry for more search wins and share. In an article recapping the D8 interview of Armstrong this week, he asserts there are "more than two potential partners" for AOL. The current Google search deal expires in December of this year. Sure, there are scores of search engines out there but only two that are able to genuinely compete for AOL's business: Google and Microsoft. Yahoo's not on the list because [...]


MapQuest (Finally) Launches Street Views With “360 View”

We're more than two years in with street-level photography, although Google was the only game in town for most of that time among the majors. There were also less-well-known independents such as Everyscape and MapJack. Then two weeks ago, Bing made a big splash with a very enhanced Silverlight version of Bing Maps and national coverage with its Street Side imagery. MapQuest for years had been the leader in Maps and it's still the top search term in Travel according to Hitwise. But in February of this year Google passed MapQuest to become the top mapping site for the first time. Throughout t [...]


AOL Returns As Independent Company, Search Decision Looms

Yesterday was the first day of trading for the "new" AOL, an independent company with a market cap of $2.5 billion dollars. When AOL "bought" TimeWarner a decade ago in an all-stock transaction worth $182 billion there was a near consensus that the combined company represented the future of media and publishing. It made a lot of sense -- conceptually. But the marriage never worked out and AOL saw its fortunes decline literally and figuratively as newer companies ascended over the last 10 years. Now, with former Googler Tim Armstrong at the helm, the company's independent strategy is focused [...]


MapQuest Launches iPhone App With Innovative Local Search Features

AOL's MapQuest has been in mobile mapping longer than any of its rivals, but it's playing catch up when it comes to the iPhone, which remains the most important smartphone platform for the time being. This morning, MapQuest launched the iPhone version of its MapQuest4Mobile app (launches iTunes). Prior to this app the company has offered an optimized browser-based version for both the iPhone and Android. MapQuest4Mobile as an app has been available for BlackBerry for some time. The new iPhone MapQuest4Mobile app offers a rich environment with innovative new features. There's a great deal of [...]


MapQuest Launches Enhanced Biz Locator, Puts Brands On The Map

MapQuest has beefed up its business locator tool. A scrolling vertical bar now appears on the upper right of every map allowing users to populate any map quickly and simply with different categories of businesses or, in the case of advertisers, with specific brand locations. Here's what happens when you click the logo for Holiday Inn on a New York map: Note how Holiday Inn also has the display ad on the right side of the page (see below). That's very deliberate and will be a feature of advertising on the business locator: Users can also add multiple layers of business type [...]


AOL Launches Local Events Search: When.com

AOL is unveiling When.com this morning. It's a local events site powered by Zvents. When.com deemphasizes the AOL brand but will become part of the "AOL Local Network," which includes MapQuest, AOL Cityguide, AOL Travel, etc. There will also be an When.com widget soon. When.com uses IP targeting to determine default location, but offers personalization when users register. Zvents content is also integrated into MSN Cityguides. Yahoo has Upcoming, its user-generated events site. Google Calendar allows publishers to add events and allows users to discover/search for them. It's not cle [...]


Google Maps: #1 In Features, Market Share Rising

As Google Maps continues to roll out new features that competing map services don't have, web users are rewarding it with big gains in traffic. A recent analyst report says Google is the number one maps site in terms of features and usability, and new Hitwise.com traffic data just shared this week with Search Engine Land shows Google Maps pulling much closer to category leader MapQuest. In a report issued this week, the boutique investment bank Cowen and Company says Google is the clear leader with the most user-friendly features among the four major mapping sites. "Google Maps has meaningf [...]


AOL Unveils MapQuest Local, Video Search For Mobile (WAP)

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. [...]


Citysearch And AOL Announce Reciprocal Content And Ad Distribution Deal

Citysearch has announced a deal with AOL that provides Citysearch reviews and content (e.g., video) and place local Citysearch advertisers on AOL local properties. The two firms will share revenue from clicks or leads generated from AOL distribution. Here's what the release says: Under the agreement, Citysearch … will provide its local content, including editorial reviews, user reviews, merchant videos, photos and offers for distribution across AOL properties, such as AOLCityGuide, AOL Local Search and MapQuest. AOL will integrate local advertising and content from Citysearch’s broad ba [...]


AOL Local Search Released Second Beta

Gary Price reported that AOL Local Search [...]


AOL Offers New Local Search Format

AOL, which was one of the early players in local and has recently fallen behind, has now launched a new look and feel local search. The centerpiece is MapQuest maps plus content and ratings from AOL Cityguide (formerly Digital Cities). Here's an example search for "Sushi, New York City." It's a nice looking, functional site that allows users to sort results by distance, name or rating. These features are now "table stakes" in local, although Google Maps still does not permit "sort by rating." [...]


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