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 Aims For Revival With New Mobile App

Mapquest logo Once the leader and innovator in online mapping, MapQuest has fallen pretty far from that perch. While the brand survives and the site is still widely used, it has for several years been overshadowed by rivals including Google and more recently Apple. According to recent comScore data MapQuest's mobile apps aren't in the top 15, although AOL is a top 10 mobile web property. MapQuest parent AOL has shown itself to be ambivalent about the site, having made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to sell it in the past. There have also been attempts to reinvigorate MapQuest from time to time. I [...]

Amazon Buys UpNext, Will We Soon See Kindle Maps?

Amazon has done a really interesting thing: it just bought mapping app UpNext. UpNext is a 3D mapping company that started on the PC in 2007 and more recently shifted its focus substantially to smartphones and the iPad. While UpNext has not received the same attention as other mapping startups the company has slowly built coverage and depth over the past five years. When the site originally launched it aspired to be a kind of "3D Yelp." There's a lot of room for speculation about what this means for Amazon and its future mobile plans. GigaOM, which first reported the acquisition, says th [...]

Mapquest Debuts New Local-Social Mapping Site “MQ Vibe”

Screen shot 2011-10-13 at 2.21.50 AM People have been speculating about it for weeks and now it's live: MapQuest Vibe. With the launch of the new neighborhood-discovery site MapQuest is striking out in a promising direction. It's not a new social network, as some speculated, but it incorporates social input into a larger algorithmic-based framework that generates a score for nearly every neighborhood in the US, as well as local places. MQ Vibe is launching with 50,000 neighborhoods to start. The idea is certainly compelling: to rank various neighborhoods and local businesses as a way to help residents and tourists (and mayb [...]

MapQuest Launches Local Business Listings Center

Local SEOs have another tool to add to the "citation belt," as it were: MapQuest has announced its own Local Business Center, a place where local businesses can add and/or manage their listing(s) on MapQuest. As the video below shows, the MapQuest LBC functions very much like Google's and Bing's and offers many of the same basic features such as photo uploads, videos, categories and so forth. MapQuest is also offering two premium listing levels at $99 and $399 per year -- the latter of which includes distribution of business information to other sites like Yelp, Yahoo Local, SuperPages and [...]

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 Introduces Transit, Walking Directions

Mapquest has introduced public transit and walking directions. It has had walking directions on mobile for awhile. The transit directions are limited right now to rail (including subway) and in only a few cities: Rail Transit Directions are now available in six major metro areas (NYC, Chicago, D.C., San Fran, Boston and Philly) all of which have large subway, elevated and/or commuter rail networks. Rail transit is integrated with walking directions, allowing travelers in these cities to route between towns, addresses, points of interest, or specific transit stations. Google has had [...]

Mapquest Launches New Atlas For Students — With CIA Data

Mapquest has launched a useful new site: 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 [...]

Mapquest Advances ‘Open’ Strategy With Euro Sites

Mapquest is continuing down its new "open" path with OpenStreetMap. Previously the AOL company announced an investment in the open-source mapping community and the creation of "Mapquest Open" a parallel, crowd-sourced mapping effort in the US and UK based on the OpenStreetMap data. Now that initiative is being expanded across Europe to France, Italy, Germany and Spain: MapQuest, a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc. today announced the beta launch of four new European mapping sites built on OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. The sites in France, Germany, Italy and Spain will utilize the new MapQues [...]

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 [...]

Mapquest Introduces New Look, New Capabilities

You might not have thought of it this way but the old MapQuest was mostly about driving directions. The new Mapquest (launching today) is about local search and an expanded range of capabilities and use cases. There's a new look and feel, a new back end, a single search box and a new "brand." Mapquest is the number two mapping site; Google having toppled it from atop the mapping throne in early 2009 after years of complacency and "feature neglect" at the AOL-owned property. But now with a new boss at AOL, fewer ads and a new focus on the consumer experience, Mapquest hopes to build new o [...]

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 [...]

Year In Review: Local Search & Maps

While analysts and practitioners have been prognosticating the imminent arrival of local search for the last several years, 2009 was finally the year that proved us right. A number of innovations and developments in mobile search, such as the widespread adoption of the iPhone, the release of Android, and a burgeoning number of location-based apps like Foursquare have certainly helped fuel local search's rise. But local has gained mind share among SEO's, marketers, business owners, and perhaps most importantly, searchers, in its own right as well. Let's take a loo [...]

MapQuest Integrates Citysearch Content

MapQuest or variations on its name represent five of the top 22 search queries in the travel category (in November) according to Hitwise. However Google Maps is solidly in first place now as the top mapping site online. That puts MapQuest in the position of having to figure out whether to be content with its second place position or do some things to try and regain the lead. It's not clear whether MapQuest could regain the lead; however, the company has introduced a number of features and upgrades recently in a bid to improve the look and functionality of the site: 360 View: street-leve [...]

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 [...]

What’s In A Brand? AOL Becomes “Aol.”

One wonders how much the branding consultancy Wolff Olins was paid to help create America Online's new "brand identity." Over the weekend the about-to-be-independent company revealed its new brand and brand philosophy. The major change (so far) is the move from uppercase to lowercase letters: from "AOL" to "Aol." Here's how the release describes that new identity: The new AOL brand identity is a simple, confident logotype, revealed by ever-changing images.  It’s one consistent logo with countless ways to reveal. The new brand identity will be fully unveiled on December 10, when AOL common [...]

Brad Garlinghouse To Run AOL’s Email, IM & Venture Units From West Coast

Brad Garlinghouse, who was previously an SVP at Yahoo, and the author of the now famous "Peanut Butter Manifesto," is joining AOL as president of Internet and Mobile communications. What this means is that he'll be responsibile for email, IM and other communications tools, which implicates a range of properties including Bebo. According to the press release out this morning Garlinghouse will also be "heading up AOL's Silicon Valley operations from its Mountain View campus and serving as the West Coast lead for AOL Ventures, the company`s venture capital arm headed globally by Jon Brod." [...]

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong: “The Model Is Disney”

It's been roughly 100 days since Tim Armstrong was named CEO of AOL in anticipation of a spin-off/IPO of the company from corporate parent TimeWarner later this year. There are a slew of interviews out this morning in which Armstrong assesses his first 100 days, the state of the business and gives some indications of where AOL is headed. Among the highlights: AOL sees content and its display ad network reach as its primary strengths It will have many brands built on more unified platforms that simplify the back end The new AOL will be divided into the following areas (per AdAge): co [...]

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