At MapQuest, we love maps. We've been creating millions of them every day for 15 years, helping people navigate among millions of places across the globe.

In the past couple years, the need for maps has changed, and although maps are great for roads and terrain, finding where you actually want to go can be a frustrating experience. Often you find a bunch of restaurants, all with 3.8 stars, and you need to read through hundreds of reviews to find a new place to eat. Or, if you find a "Best of" list, it's usually at the city level, which isn't what you want when you're hungry now and don't want to drive across town.

A few months ago, our MapQuest Labs team came upon a new way to tackle this problem, and we're proud to announce the launch of MapQuest Vibe, your shortcut to becoming a local, anywhere. This early beta cuts through the clutter of ratings, lists, and pins on a map, by giving you actual rankings of places based on key criteria within a local neighborhood context.

MapQuest Vibe gives you the local knowledge of, not just the best restaurant in Denver, but also the best Italian restaurant in the LoDo neighborhood in Denver.

The neighborhood pages let you explore everything that neighborhood has to offer, including restaurants, attractions, and services, all ranked in a clear order.

Or you can zoom out to a City Page to get a sense of the Neighborhoods that make up a city. It's a great way to quickly see where you'd want to spend a day or even get a sense of where you might want to buy a house.

All of this is available today at
http://mqvibe.com/ and will be available in a few weeks as a iPhone app.

The early beta of MapQuest Vibe, VibeRank, and these new neighborhood, city, and hotspot pages, are just a small first step in the next chapter of MapQuest's journey. Please try them out and let us know what you think. To learn more about MapQuest Vibe please visit our
MapQuest blog.