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Brian McMahon's posts

May 8th 2014

MapQuest at 18

Travel is more fun today, isn't it?

Travel is easier, more intuitive, more fulfilling and just plain better. If you had asked the good people who founded MapQuest in 1996, I think they would have shared that their hope for this -- the pioneer provider of online maps and directions -- would be to do just that: Make travel better.

Nearly two decades later, that's why this MapQuest crew gets out of bed every day. Our teams around the country and partners across the globe spend literally every second on the job working, yes, to improve travel, but also to expand the consumer's idea of how we can help make his or her DAY better.

As consumers, we look for help making 254,800 decisions each year. It's exhausting! Just trying to decide what's for dinner or where to take Fido for a groom can spin the day in a sour direction.

But what if that didn't have to happen? What if MapQuest were there to help with the most remedial decisions required every day?

Friends, that day is here. If you haven't checked out the new MapQuest Local experience launched just last month, that's a good place to start.

  • Taking Timmy to a soccer game and need to have dinner waiting when you get home? Our GrubHub integration allows users to review menus and order online from hundreds of thousands of restaurants nationwide
  • Did your favorite professional hockey players surprise everyone and make it to the second round? SeatGeek may be the answer to finding last-minute tickets.

And don't miss the myriad of other functionalities from booking an appointment and checking your flight status to finding a hotel or making a dinner reservation. It's the beginnings of what we believe will be the best single source of local discovery and experience on the planet.

Though we find the majority of our desktop users appreciate printed directions riding shotgun with them, millions have taken a liking to our free re-imagined navigation apps launched late last year.

Our heralded iOS and Android apps focus on the three most important areas for our consumers:

  • Safety: Our upside-down mode means people don't have to monkey with their phones to navigate the road. Hands on the 10-and-2, and we'll flip things around for you.
  • Accuracy: Nobody in this business offers the plethora of algorithms we do to get people there, even if road conditions change and an alternate route is required. And by the way, we did this before anyone else.
  • Relevancy: For those driving more than a few hours on their trips, the drag-and-drop map icon makes it a synch to find hotel options along the route.

There's a lot to see and do with the new MapQuest these days, and while we hope you'll take a peek at these meaningful offerings, we're not even close to being finished with them. Keep an eye on us these next few months as we continue to roll out features to make the every day better. Because it's what happens AFTER you get there that matters, isn't it?

Feb 28th 2013

MapQuest Ecosystem Expands Through Launch of Travel Blogs

MapQuest has always been great at getting people from point A to B. But what we embraced through the launch of MapQuest Discover last fall is the idea that it's not only about the destination, but that the journey counts just as much.

With that in mind, we're excited to announce today the launch of MapQuest Travel Blogs, and a new iPhone app that allows travelers to easily capture the memories and routes taken on all of their trips. With just a few easy clicks, users can now collect all of their photos, reviews and stories to create a digital memory of their journey.

Features of the app include:

  • On and off-line usage for travelers without cell service or those journeying out of the country beyond their mobile coverage; the mobile blog can be sync'd with the web once a user is back online
  • Privacy settings to allow users to share their blogs on their own terms via social channels or through an individually curated distribution list
  • Those that opt to have their content stay public will be featured in the MapQuest Discover content feed and may be featured across AOL's digital network
  • Coming soon: the option to have your blog printed into a beautiful photo book

Travel Blogs is not just a tool to help users document their recent day trip up the coast or two week cross-country excursion. As part of our library of over 24,000 blogs from Everlater, now part of the MapQuest family, our goal is to help give people valuable and authentic stories that inspire them to set out on their own adventure.

Thinking of planning a trip? Check out some of our favorite blogs so far, Maui in One Week, Culinary Adventures Around the World, East Africa with Amsterdam En Route and Runways and Rails, for ideas and tips on where to set your next course. Happy Travels!

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