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MapQuest is a map publisher and a free online Web mapping service owned by AOL. The company was founded in 1967 as Cartographic Services, a division of R.R. Donnelley & Sons in Chicago, Illinois. 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 Lancaster and Denver, Colorado.
Donnelley began making maps with computers in the mid-1980s to generate maps for customers. 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. For a while, MapQuest included satellite images, but later removed them. In September 2006, the web site 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.
In April 2007, MapQuest announced a partnership with General Motors' OnStar that will allow OnStar subscribers to plan their driving routes on MapQuest.com and send their destination right to OnStar's Turn-by-Turn Navigation service. The OnStar Web Destination Entry pilot program will begin the summer of 2007 with a select group of OnStar subscribers.
Services and programs
MapQuest provides some extent of street-level detail and/or driving directions for a variety of countries. You can see if they include your country from a pull down menu on their 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. BlackBerry World Version, Bing Maps, Yahoo! Maps and Google Maps have competing services.
In October 2006, MapQuest sold off its publishing division (which published traditional maps in paper format) to concentrate on its online and mobile services.