Jun 29, 2010

MapQuest Puts Consumers in the Driver’s Seat: It’s All About the Journey

New Brand, New Experience, Local Content Integration from Patch and Personalization

Site to be More Engaging, Intuitive and Faster

DENVER, CO – June 29, 2010

MapQuest, the #2 mapping site in the U.S.*, today unveiled a new brand identity and launched a new consumer experience that puts the journey front and center, taking consumers beyond just maps and directions, into the world of discovery.

The site also integrates Patch’s directory information into its search results.  MapQuest aims to educate users about where they are going and provide locally relevant information about the places in between. That relevant information is available on computers and across an expansive and growing roster of mobile devices.

“We are committed to providing accurate maps and directions to millions of people every day,” said Christian Dwyer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, MapQuest.  “And under the new leadership at AOL, we have invested in creating a new user experience that helps users discover what is there, nearby and along the way, making it more than how to get from Point A to Point B. The MapQuest evolution is underway and aims to transcend how consumers engage with maps by adding seamless context and sharing capabilities.”

Part of the new experience includes:

  • One-box search for finding directions, maps and businesses;
  • Enhanced My Maps with a simplified login process using existing services (AOL, OpenID, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Twitter);
  • The ability to easily save and customize information, including My Maps trip itineraries, and share it with friends via social networks, including: Facebook and Twitter;
  • Ways to plan and personalize travel with notes, anecdotes, landmarks and short cuts; and
  • Integration of Patch’s directory information into MapQuest’s search results (e.g. restaurants, stores, government offices, local services, parks and schools).

The MapQuest.com experience will continue to be replicated on mobile devices via the company’s various mobile products including MapQuest 4 Mobile, MapQuest Navigator and MapQuest Mobile Web.  MapQuest also recently announced the availability of basic voice guidance on MapQuest 4 Mobile for iPhone, a key differentiator from many other free navigation apps.

New MapQuest Brand Identity
In addition to the new user experience, MapQuest has also revitalized the company’s branding to coincide with the new site aesthetic.  The goals of the new logo were to make it simple, clean and modern while remaining vibrant and fun.   The new icon can mean different things to different people – some people see the monogram (the M and Q), some people see the “M” to the power of the “Q” – or maps to the power of your quest, while others see a character that can help guide you along your journey.

“For the past 15 years the MapQuest brand has been synonymous with helping people accurately get directions to where they needed to go,” said Dwyer.  “The new brand reinforces that commitment and promotes a sense of discovery, encouraging users to personalize and share their trips and journeys.  The name MapQuest combines two powerful words that elicit a perfect harmony between the desire to seek and find (the quest) and the means to do so (the map).”

“MapQuest remains one of the largest mapping properties on the Internet and is a central part of AOL’s Local and Mapping strategy,” said Jon Brod, Executive Vice President of AOL Ventures, Local & Mapping.  “Enhancing the brand identity, improving the UI and incorporating original content from Patch are all steps toward revitalizing the MapQuest brand and making it more relevant to consumers.”

Only a small percentage of users will see the new UI experience right away, but there is the ability to opt in via a link on the current site, or users can go directly to www.new.mapquest.com.

For additional information about MapQuest and their various mobile applications visit blog.mapquest.com and a video at http://features.mapquest.com/new-mapquest-video.

About MapQuest
MapQuest provides Internet, mobile and business solutions delivering on the promise of helping people research and discover: where is it, how to get there and what’s nearby. MapQuest is one of the leading U.S. mapping brands online, offering maps and directions, reaching more than 49.1 million users in May 2010, according to comScore unified UV metrics. MapQuest’s mobile solutions are compatible with a variety of mobile devices, including iPhone and BlackBerry devices. MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc., is based in Denver, Colorado.

About AOL
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a leading global Web services company with an extensive suite of brands and offerings and a substantial worldwide audience. AOL’s business spans online content, products and services that the company offers to consumers, publishers and advertisers. AOL is focused on attracting and engaging consumers and providing valuable online advertising services on both AOL’s owned and operated properties and third-party websites. In addition, AOL operates one of the largest Internet subscription access services in the United States, which serves as a valuable distribution channel for AOL’s consumer offerings.

*Based on comscore Media Metrix, May 2010 data.

Contact:
Caroline Campbell
VP, AOL Corporate Communications
917-606-4772
c.campbell@corp.aol.com