This week we hear from MapQuest, one of the leading mapping brands online, that reaches more than 43 million multi-platform users. MapQuest provides Internet, mobile and business solutions delivering on the promise of helping people dream, plan, share and go wherever the map meets their life. MapQuest’s mobile solutions are compatible with a variety of mobile devices, including iPhone, Android and Amazon devices. MapQuest is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) and is based in Denver, Colo.
We caught up with Andy McMahon, product director at MapQuest, to learn more:
What local problem(s) does MapQuest solve? How?
For nearly two decades, MapQuest has been helping people navigate their lives with maps, directions and recommendations on how to get from A to B, and the many places in between. Though we’ve always been known for road trips and road travel, the majority of our 1 billion searches each month are for “local discovery” or within 50 miles of point of origin. Since we know folks use us for local discovery, we focus on delivering the right information at the right time in the right way.
What makes MapQuest innovative?
It’s for our consumers that MapQuest started as an Internet company in 1996, following our legacy as cartographers going back to the ’60s. To bring our maps online, we literally had to unplug the coffee maker and plug-in our server. We’ve come a long way since then and these days we’re the No. 2 map provider across all devices, having launched both our re-imagined free navigation apps late last year and in April, we launched a new local interface that puts the map, canvas and details center stage.
We’ve also partnered with a myriad of organizations to expand and complete our functionalities. From Yelp to Foursquare and MLB.com to SeatGeek, we want folks to have the context, the information and the ability to transact when the time is right for them. And there’s quite a bit more in store from an innovation standpoint, so stay tuned.
How does MapQuest make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
We work very hard to key in on meaningful data — the kind of data that helps us create the best advertising solutions for buyers and address pain points for our consumers. Additionally, our enterprise customers appreciate our geo-codes that help them deliver hot pizzas to hungry consumers and get contractors through their daily itineraries.
Local discovery is certainly about knowing your options and having the information that helps you select the best one for you, but we feel our job is to empower users to make better decisions based on a more relevant preference. To help with those #everydayvictories.
What is next in local?
We’re currently working on creating a new search experience that encompasses more relevancy factors while also learning from user behavior. Local Search needs to be a lot more flexible and handle different platforms in different ways – a mobile user is different from a desktop user, even when that user is the same person.
At MapQuest we aggregate local information from a variety of sources and are always looking for more partners who have high quality and valuable local data. Understanding where people are going, be it via a mobile device or even a printed map, is something we’re able to use to make the overall experience in local more valuable.