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Type of site
Web mapping
Available in Multilingual
Owner AOL
Alexa rank Positive decrease 840 (April 2014)[1]
Registration Optional
Launched 1996
Current status Active

MapQuest (stylized as mapquest) is an American free online web mapping service owned by AOL.[2] The company was founded in 1967 as Cartographic Services, a division of R.R. Donnelley & Sons in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1969. When it became an independent company in 1994, it was renamed GeoSystems Global Corporation. MapQuest was acquired in 2000 by America Online, Inc. Company headquarters are in Denver, Colorado with a second office in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.[3]


In the mid-1980s, Donnelley began generating maps and routes for customers, with cooperation of Barry Glick, a University at Buffalo PhD graduate.[4] Much of that code was adapted for use on the Internet to create the MapQuest web service in 1996. In 1999 the company was renamed to MapQuest to leverage the popularity of its online brand.

MapQuest was acquired in 2000 by America Online, Inc.

For a while, MapQuest included satellite images through a licensing deal with GlobeXplorer, but later removed them due to the unorthodox business mechanics[clarification needed] of the arrangement brokered by AOL. In September 2006, the website once again began serving satellite imagery in a new beta program.

In 2004, MapQuest, uLocate, Research in Motion and Nextel launched MapQuest Find Me, a buddy-finder service that works on GPS-enabled mobile phones. MapQuest Find Me lets users automatically find their location, access maps and directions and locate nearby points of interest including airports, hotels, restaurants, banks and ATMs. Users also have the ability to set up alerts to be notified when network members arrive or depart from a designated area. In 2005 the service became available on Sprint and in 2006, Boost Mobile.

In July 2006, MapQuest created a beta version of a new feature in which users could now "Build Your Route" by adding additional stops, reorder one's route (and the stops along the way), to avoid any turns or roads en route. Users could also write out the starting address.[citation needed]

In April 2007, MapQuest announced a partnership with General Motors' OnStar that will allow OnStar subscribers to plan their driving routes on and send their destination right to OnStar's turn-by-turn navigation service. The OnStar Web Destination Entry pilot program began in the summer of 2007 with a select group of OnStar subscribers.

The former MapQuest logo was phased out after a website redesign was introduced on July 14, 2010.

In July 2010, MapQuest announced[5][6] plans to become the first major mapping site to embrace open-source mapping, launching a new site[7] separate from its main site, entirely using data from the OpenStreetMap project.

Services and programs

MapQuest provides some extent of street-level detail and/or driving directions for a variety of countries. Users can check if their country is available via a pull down menu on the MapQuest home page.

A MapQuest-branded Yellow Pages service is provided by AOL. Other services include a world atlas and MapQuest Mobile. MapQuest Mobile is a service providing maps and driving directions to any Web-enabled mobile phone or personal digital assistant.

MapQuest also features a customizable GasPrices page, where users can type their address and compare the gas prices of nearby public gas stations. Because it also features the dates that the prices were first posted, it allows users to find the cheapest prices for gas (similar to However, this page is only available in the United States.


In October 2006, MapQuest sold off its publishing division (which published traditional maps in paper format) to concentrate on its online and mobile services.

Website redesign

On July 14, 2010, MapQuest launched a simplified user interface and made the site more compact. MapQuest also introduced "My Maps" personalization, which enables the user to personalize the interface.

See also


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  2. ^ "Products & Services". AOL Corp. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  3. ^ MapQuest's contact page
  4. ^ "Universiyt at Buffalo's alumni website".
  5. ^ "MapQuest Opens Up (MapQuest Blog)". 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  6. ^ Ant · Posted in: Events (2010-07-09). "MapQuest Opens Up – in the UK (MapQuest DevBlog)". Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  7. ^ "MapQuest Open – Beta". Retrieved 2011-12-20.

External links