US: MapQuest, a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc., launched its first US site built on OpenStreetMap (OSM) data, an information source encouraging consumer contributions. Today, there are more than 320,000 registered OSM users worldwide. Located at Open.MapQuest.com, the new site empowers consumers to improve MapQuest map data by adding rich content such as tourism attractions, footpaths, new businesses or developments and biking or hiking trails.
“The launch of MapQuest’s open site is significant as it enables all MapQuest users to play an active role in improving the depth and quality of the map,” said Christian Dwyer, senior vice president and general manager, MapQuest. “The average MapQuest user is getting maps and directions within 25 miles of home or work, and the open site employs a ‘neighbourhood watch’ idea, encouraging individuals to take ownership of their localities and make the map reflective of the world around them.”
“Over the past four months, we have received overwhelming support for the ‘open’ sites developed for other countries and MapQuest continues to work to create a stronger local-mapping product for consumers’ use on a regular basis,” said Randy Meech, head of engineering, local and mapping, AOL Inc. “As part of our commitment to OSM, MapQuest sees the open site as a map for the people, by the people, which means we share all the information generated on our open site with the world for free.”
Since July 2010, MapQuest has introduced dedicated “open” sites in India, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland, with the goal of growing the OSM community and compounding its content. Like these initial “open” sites, the US site includes the new MapQuest brand and interface creating a powerful, compelling and integrated tool for today’s mapping needs.