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 [...]


Hitwise: Google Maps Has More Traffic, MapQuest More Engagement

There's already been considerable discussion of the passing of the maps traffic crown from MapQuest to Google Maps. Hitwise, comScore and Compete all show Google Maps as the traffic leader in the category. One could argue with relative confidence that the long-anticipated development is a consequence of two things: Google's ability to refer traffic to its own property and regular innovation at Google Maps with features like Street View, among others. According to a new post on the Hitwise blog, despite Google's traffic advantage, MapQuest retains brand strength and has greater engagement th [...]


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 [...]


MapQuest Launches Mobile Personalization

As part of a wave of new features, MapQuest late last year introduced My MapQuest, a personalization tool for the PC side of the business. It subsequently renamed that offering "My Places" and has now launched it in mobile. My Places for MapQuest4Mobile offers a rich user experience and the ability to save maps and directions. It also provides a bridge between the mobile-PC divide by offering consistency across platforms. MapQuest4Mobile, the application, is currently available to BlackBerry devices (and free), although the company plans to roll it out rapidly to other platforms includin [...]


ComScore To Report Google Maps Now Number 1

Forthcoming January traffic data will reportedly show that Google Maps has taken the lead from MapQuest as the top mapping site in the US. According to the numbers that I received (I've asked comScore to verify), MapQuest's January monthly unique visitors were 41.5 million and Google's were 42.2 million. This is the first time that Google Maps has overtaken MapQuest. However my source said that time on site/engagement, as reported by comScore, is still greater for MapQuest than for Google Maps. In some respects we have been anticipating this event for a long time, ever since Google remo [...]


Google Maps Nearly Catches MapQuest: Hitwise Report

Google Maps and MapQuest are neck-and-neck in the fight to be the most popular US mapping site. A new report issued today from Hitwise shows the continuing ascent of Google Maps and the simultaneous decline of MapQuest traffic during 2008, with MapQuest pulling away again in the last few weeks: In November, we wrote how MapQuest was coming "out of hibernation" with a concerted effort to hold on to its leads among mapping sites. As Heather Hopkins suggests in the Hitwise post, those new features may be responsible for MapQuest's recent upswing in traffic. But it may be difficult to co [...]


MapQuest: “We’ve Come Out Of Hibernation”

I recently had the opportunity to interview two senior level executives from Mapquest to find out what the longtime provider of online mapping services is up to. Despite perceptions, MapQuest is actually a more popular mapping destination than Google or Yahoo's map sites, and the company continues to innovate and push out new features and services, with a renewed level of energy in recent months. What follows is my Q&A with Mark Law, Vice President of Product Development and Christian Dwyer, Senior Vice President & General Manager, MapQuest, Inc. Can you share the highlights of your [...]


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 [...]


BlackBerry Mobile Bonanza: Microsoft Launches Live Search, Google Introduces New Search Client & AOL Launches MapQuest 4 Mobile

At the CTIA wireless trade show today Microsoft announced an extension of its existing relationship with BlackBerry maker RIM. Previously Microsoft released special versions of Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail for the BlackBerry. The Live Search downloadable client was also available for Blackberry. However today the company announced that Live Search will be available on the BlackBerry home screen (no download required). Yesterday Google announced a new live search downloadable client for the BlackBerry. MapQuest also introduced an improved mobile client for BlackBerry devices [...]


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. [...]


MapQuest Introduces New (Beta) Look, Features

AOL's MapQuest remains the top brand in online mapping and is still the most visited mapping site, despite recent gains by Google Maps. However, as the "incumbent" MapQuest has been somewhat resistant to experimentation and slower to adopt new features. But this morning the site is launching what promises to be the first of many changes in the coming months that will make it more dynamic, more visually interesting and content rich. When you go to MapQuest.com, you see the existing site with a link to the new "Beta" site. Here's "MapQuest classic": And here's the new MapQuest Beta: The [...]


Google Maps Gaining On Market Leader Mapquest

Mapquest arguably "owns" the mapping brand online. It has been the dominant mapping site for years by a wide margin. But that dominance may now be slipping under pressure from Google. Hitwise reports that "traffic to Mapquest has remained flat year on year and is down 20% in the past 6 months. Google Maps traffic is up 135% year on year and is up 7% in the past 6 months." According to Hitwise, after Mapquest, Google is the number two mapping site, followed by Yahoo and then Microsoft's Live Local. Hitwise's Heather Hopkins argues that the traffic trend is based almost exclusively on Goog [...]


MapQuest Rebuilds ‘From The Ground Up’

MapQuest has launched a new beta site, which represents a new and rearchitected site with a host of new features and capabilities. The new MapQuest blog offers some additional insights and explanations. MapQuest says that the changes respond to user feedback. I'm sure that's true, but the onslaught of mapping innovations and competition coming from Google and Microsoft probably figure into the decision to upgrade the platform and update the interface. Features have been added or simplified and the interface has been "Web 2.0ified." Compare a search for the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on MapQuest [...]


MapQuest Introduces New ActionScript API For Richer Maps

In the second mapping-related announcement of the morning, MapQuest has introduced a new, Adobe ActionScript API for third party developers to build on. The bottom line is that this new platform will apparently enable richer and more complex mapping applications and mashups. Here's a sample, mocked up for the announcement: golf course finder (see the drop-down menus and "full screen" option [upper right]). Here's how the press release explains it: Developers can now build rich applications with Adobe® Flex™ or Adobe Flash® software using a true, native API for ActionScript for superior d [...]


More Maps Announcements Coming This Week

The conference Where 2.0 begins tomorrow in San Jose, California. It's about mapping, mashups and location-based services and there should be a range of interesting announcements from companies large and small. To that end, Garrett Rogers speculates, based on domain name registrations, that Google will be announcing a "street view" mapping capability at the show. Here's more background on a related startup (Vutool), which Google allegedly acquired to offer this functionality (or some version of it). Microsoft has experimented with street-level photography and has had "Street Side" (in Seattl [...]


MapQuest Partners With GM’s OnStar For ‘Send to Car’ Directions

General Motors' OnStar Division and MapQuest have announced a partnership (see the video and related info on how it works) that allows OnStar subscribers to plan their trips via MapQuest and then send those directions to their cars. The service is called "Web Destination Entry" and will reportedly be made available to roughly 2 million OnStar equipped vehicles in 2007 and 3 million more by 2008. Users plan trips via MapQuest and then, effectively, "send to car" (as they would their mobile phones). Directions are downloaded and played back via voice, turn-by-turn. Up to five destinations c [...]


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." [...]


Google No Longer Linking To Yahoo, MapQuest Maps

Search Engine Land got an email this morning from Another Blogger alerting us to the apparent fact that Google had removed links to Yahoo and MapQuest maps. Previously, a search for "541 Lexington Avenue New York" (W Hotel), for example, would have yielded a choice among Google Maps, Yahoo and MapQuest. Here's the same search result today. A variety of searches I performed, that should have provided the Yahoo and MapQuest links, were similar in offering only Google Maps. Searching directly for Yahoo Maps or MapQuest of course provides links to those sites. But the removal of those [...]


Virtual Earth Enhances Aerial, Satellite Imagery

Still somewhat ahead of consumer demand, Microsoft continues to build on its commitment to rich satellite and aerial imagery (in addition to 3-D) through its Virtual Earth platform (and Live Local destination). Earlier today Microsoft announced that it will integrate more than 400,000 square miles of U.S. aerial imagery into Virtual Earth, under an agreement with satellite image provider GlobeXplorer. And earlier this week GlobeXplorer was acquired by DigitalGlobe, which is one of the primary providers of imagery for Google Earth. The state of competition among the major Internet mapping d [...]


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