Dec 16, 2010

MapQuest Extends OpenStreetMap Partnership With Launch of Open.MapQuest.com in U.S.

Online Mapping Leader Adds Error-reporting Tool to Feature Set on All “Open” MapQuest Sites

DENVER (December 16, 2010) – MapQuest, a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), today announced the launch of its first U.S. site built on OpenStreetMap (OSM) data, an information source encouraging consumer contributions.  Open.MapQuest.com, like the 10 open sites launched by MapQuest in Europe and Asia over the last four months, hosts OSM data along with the new MapQuest brand and interface.

“While the launch of our U.S. open site is significant, we are just scratching the surface on the power of open source, and its broader potential for MapQuest and the mapping ecosystem worldwide,” said Christian Dwyer, senior vice president and general manager, MapQuest.  “MapQuest has dedicated $1 million to open-source mapping’s development, and we look forward to the continued enhancement of all MapQuest open sites across the globe, leveraging the richness of OSM maps to create compelling user experiences in 2011.”

OSM Features and Functions

The U.S.-focused Open.MapQuest.com has the advantage of offering:

  • Language selection: British English, Canadian French, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Latin American Spanish, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
  • Map tiles updated every 15 minutes
  • Search results updated every 5 minutes
  • Driving directions updated daily
  • Map Toolbar for easy searching within the map
  • More sharing and “send to” options
  • Draggable routes and right clicking anywhere on map for precise editing

How Open.MapQuest.com Works

By using crowdsourced OSM data, Open.MapQuest.com is a “living map,” improved by contributors who can easily add content and details that make the map more specific and useful.  Examples include detailed tourist attractions, biking and hiking trails, or even a simple feature such as footpaths through neighborhood parks.

Certain features are provided to enable consumers to become owners of their communities on the map, while advanced tools are available for developers and editors to do more ‘heavy lifting’ of OSM data in everyday actions.  The easy-to-use tools are seamlessly integrated into all “open” MapQuest sites – enabling a soccer mom to add that missing parking lot; the businessperson to edit his office location; or the developer to use free maps in the next “big thing” mobile application.  

Today, there are more than 320,000 registered OSM users worldwide, including a growing U.S. contingency.  Although urban areas such as San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Denver have shown early adoption, OSM is a hyper-local initiative that really only requires the attention and effort of one individual. 

 Error-reporting for the OSM Community

As part of an ongoing commitment to OSM, and to encourage contribution, the MapQuest team has introduced the ability to report mapping errors on all “open” MapQuest sites.  Working with Skobbler to integrate its new MapDust API into the website and into the Potlatch 2 map editor, MapQuest is making error-reporting efficient and straightforward.  With this enhancement, becoming an OSM contributor is as easy as visiting Open.MapQuest.com

Previously, both error-reporting and having access to reported errors while editing map data was a multi-step process that created a vast disconnect involving multiple websites and applications.  Now, using the Skobbler Mapdust API via Open.MapQuest.com, reported errors can be seen by anyone editing the map (via Potlatch 2 or JOSM) or by clicking on the ‘reported bugs’ icon in the Map Toolbar. 

“Over the past four months, MapQuest has received overwhelming support for its open sites, and we continue to work with the OSM community to make it easy for anyone to contribute,” said Antony Pegg, product manager, MapQuest.  “MapQuest’s new error-reporting integration is one more innovation to ease interaction with OSM, creating a stronger local-mapping product for developers to use on a regular basis.”

To find our more information and get involved in the MapQuest Open Source Project, visit the Developer Network: developer.mapquest.com/web/products/open.

About MapQuest

MapQuest provides Internet, mobile and business solutions delivering on the promise of helping people research and discover: where is it, how I get there and what’s nearby. MapQuest is one of the leading mapping brands online, offering maps and directions, and reaching more than 44.0 million users in November 2010, according to comScore Media Metrix. 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, Colo.

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