MapQuest Kicks Off Its 15th Year With Bright Future of New Products, a Hiring Push and Re-invigorated Consumer Experience

DENVER — (BUSINESS WIRE) — April 26, 2011 — MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), celebrates its 15th birthday this year citing first-to-market timing, company purpose, exceptional talent and an unflappable consumer-focus for its longevity. Since 1996, MapQuest has been a leading consumer website dedicated to helping people get where they need to go.

From left- Jon Brod, President of AOL Ventures and COO of the Huffington Post Media Group, Richard S ...

From left- Jon Brod, President of AOL Ventures and COO of the Huffington Post Media Group, Richard Scharf, President and CEO of VISIT DENVER, Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, Kelly Brough, President and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Bill Vidal, Mayor of Denver, Christian Dwyer, General Manager of MapQuest, and Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, stand next to an oversized computer mouse to commemorate the 15th anniversary of MapQuest in Denver on Monday, April 25, 2011. (Photo by Chris Schneider)

“MapQuest.com stemmed from a cartography services company that created free maps for gas station customers,” said Christian Dwyer, senior vice president and general manager, MapQuest. “We were one of the original Internet start-ups, sharing an outlet for our server with the kitchen coffee machine. MapQuest has come a long way in the last 15 years, and we have dedicated our future to helping our customers decide where to go, how to get there and what to do along the way, taking the anxiety out of getting there.”

Now part of the Huffington Post Media Group, MapQuest has always offered maps and directions, but continues to integrate content and enhancements to inspire consumers to explore, discover and go.

“MapQuest is indispensable at a time when context is essential to content,” said Jon Brod, president of AOL ventures and chief operating officer, the Huffington Post Media Group. “We hope our users, both old and new, will find the additional information and customization features truly useful for navigating their worlds.”

Now hiring, the Denver-headquartered online mapping company has a large technology branch in Lancaster, Penn., and employees across the globe including Palo Alto, Calif.; New York; London; and Dublin.

Key Facts

MapQuest has released a series of improvements since revitalizing its identity in July 2010 including personalized user features, advanced mobile apps, developer services, distribution programs and a vested commitment to the OpenStreetMap initiative.

MapQuest is the 20th most trafficked website on the Internet, reaching 1 in 5 users.*

Key Milestones

  • 1996: MapQuest.com was founded in Lancaster, Penn., launching the first consumer-focused interactive mapping site on the Internet. (MapQuest.com grew from a cartography business started in 1967.)
  • 2001: MapQuest is acquired by America Online, Inc.
  • 2006: Gas prices and related tools are introduced to MapQuest.com; new aerial imagery makes it possible for viewers to map actual terrain.
  • 2008: Traffic lands on the MapQuest with updates every five minutes.
  • 2009: The online mapping company launches an iPhone and Blackberry apps.
  • 2010: MapQuest rebrands its consumer-facing site and commits to invest $1 million to open-source mapping with OpenStreetMap.
  • 2011: The MapQuest Android app launches in February; Denver headquarters moves to LoDo (Lower Downtown) historic district to return to start-up roots.

Key Products

Mobile Products
Taking its cues from the millions of mobile MapQuest website users, MapQuest launched its applauded free iPhone app with voice-guided navigation in July of 2010 and the recent Android addition in February 2011. MapQuest’s mobile properties have experienced significant growth and continue to build each month with use by new smartphone and iPad users.

Talent
The new brand has helped not only attract new unique visitors, but top talent as well. Folks such as the new vice president of engineering, Patrick McDevitt, and Anke Corbin, vice president of marketing, joined earlier this year. Vijay Bangaru, MapQuest’s new vice president of product, joins forces today at the Denver office.

Advertising
MapQuest is in the business of getting people where they need to go. The online world requires dramatic and consistent change, especially over a 15-year timeframe. MapQuest’s advertising inventory has changed along the way as well, creating unique opportunities to help advertisers reach MapQuest users in targeted and relevant ways.

Content Integration
The Huffington Post Media Group will be a great resource for local news relevant to user searched. City’s Best, Patch, AOL Travel and many other properties will assist in delivering accurate MapQuest search results.

Open Initiative
MapQuest truly believes in the long-term global power of open-source mapping, committing in 2010 to invest $1 million to support open-data and technologies with new tools, sites and community-building activities that foster enrichment of the map. MapQuest has launched 27 country-specific “open” websites, which help serve as a complementary tool to commercial data with living maps that can be improved by anyone. Natural disasters, special events, tourist attractions, and even niche interests are each enhanced and better shared through this open mentality.

Developer Services
MapQuest developer tools and services are free and open as well. MapQuest believes maps are a canvas for community and collaboration, and as such, has generated a series of free APIs that developers can use to better all map-to experiences.

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