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A Review of Online Mapping Sites: Mapquest

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This is part 5 of a 9 part series reviewing online mapping sites. Click here for the introduction to the series.

Mapquest’s search page is separate from its map page and requires users to complete a number of separate text boxes. This is generally not a problem unless one needs to search for an address outside of Canada or the United States at which point the user needs to go to another page. Users can search by address or postal code. A nice feature that’s available are saved searches; unfortunately, this does not appear immediately at Mapquest’s main page. This secondary page also offers users the option of searching by latitude and longitude values.

Unlike Google Maps / Local, Mapquest maps do show minor rivers and lakes; in fact, depending on the area being mapped, Mapquest offers a surprising number of data layers on its maps, including city parks, industrial and commerical areas and significant buildings. Placement of street names, however, is clunky. One way streets are not indicated.

From the list of countries in its drop down box, it appears that Mapquest covers a good chunk of the world; however, not all of these are mapped at the most detailed level (for example).

A test of the directions capability of Mapquest resulted in route that followed the test route but was listed as 42.2 km instead of the actual 41.3 km. Estimated drive time, however, was only 35 minutes, 3 minutes longer than the actual. Both distance and drive time is the same as Maporama’s.

In short: There are no bells and whistles available here but Mapquest is perfectly adequate (with the exception of providing directions on one way streets) to the task of finding directions and locations.

Tomorrow: MSN Maps

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