MapQuest has upgraded the look of its maps (“new styles”) and added a few new features. The MapQuest blog explains in full.
These changes include:
- new terrain and vegetation imagery
- the entire road network [has been upgraded] to improve readability and shape of the roads with the new colors and styling
- more building footprints [show] how large a building is on the street. In addition, you’ll now see main subway stops shown on the map
- [Upgraded] hybrid imagery view . . . . you’ll see that we have improved the look of the roads while not obscuring the imagery
It’s not clear to me how much new AOL CEO Tim Armstrong values MapQuest. I’m sure he recognizes it as an important property and the “anchor” of the AOL local network. However if he were really smart, he’d invest in it, upgrade the technology and really make a significant effort to maintain and grow the brand. It has got to be one of the top two or three brands under the AOL umbrella. Because if/once that property fades through neglect it will be a wasting asset and a major opportunity will have been lost. We’ll see over the next year.
Google is Green, MapQuest blue and Yahoo! Maps (once the innovation leader) is yellow/orange. Yahoo’s decline in maps is a very sad story in my mind.