Services & Software

Mapquest takes another baby step forward

The venerable mapping service gets new features, but not new enough.

MapQuest today got a few useful additions: You can now save personal data in your My MapQuest account -- like your home and work addresses, your mobile numbers, and car's mileage. The first two features make it easier to create a route involving one of your typical hangouts and send it off to a phone. The third helps you with your expense reports or taxes.

Other updates dropped on MapQuest users recently: You can drag a map around on-screen (finally), and grab and move a route if you want to change it (the "Highway 101 Always Sucks" feature). And there's a robust "local" page that gives you a ton of information on events and news attached to a location. It'd be a good thing to scan before going on a trip.

MapQuest now lets you keep your favorite routes handy.

Since I'm sick of creating new accounts for every new service I try, I also like that you can log in to the new personalized MapQuest with my OpenID.

MapQuest continues to be relevant for a large number of users, and it also has deals with publishers who use its APIs. The cool QuickBooks data visulization service I covered recently, for example, use MapQuest data and maps.

However, I still won't be using MapQuest. The service may be getting more capable, but the interface is busy and slow compared to Google Maps, which, by the way, saves the addresses you visit automatically.

Previously: MapQuest inches toward modernity.