Mar 12, 2009

How The New Toolbar and On-Map Search Tool from MapQuest Saved My Trip To Chicago!

Ok, it’s been a flurry of product launches here at MapQuest the last few weeks and I finally had the chance to stretch my legs a bit while traveling to Chicago this weekend.

I have been to Chicago several times, but never to see downtown…and it is safe to say that I was a fish out of water. With little time and so many choices of restaurants, I was a completely overwhelmed at where to start my search. It ‘s like that in any new city right? You know there are fantastic places hiding in the bowels of concrete and glass, but where do they exist from your current location?

As fate would have it, I had my laptop and was near a coffee shop with WIFI. Once settled, I opened MapQuest.com, downloading and installing the new MapQuest Toolbar into my browser. The new toolbar not only allows you to easily search Maps, Directions, Gas Prices, and Traffic from your browser anytime, it has a new “Find Me” feature that I was going to put to good use. Using the Skyhook Wireless Loki plugin, “Find Me” was able to approximate my location on my MapQuest map of Chicago.

Knowing my location in this monster of a city was half the battle, now I needed to see what restaurants were close to me (my flight was leaving in 3 hours). Using the new MapQuest On-Map Search Tool, I was able to click on the restaurant icon (see below) to instantly see tons of restaurants displayed on the map (you can also see gas stations, hotels, and much more). Wow! Just as I suspected, the huge city of concrete and glass was hiding many fantastic restaurants—all within a “stones throw” from my current location.

After stuffing my face with a Chicago style, deep-dish pizza, I fired-up my laptop once again and checked traffic on MapQuest.com. I was able to hop a cab and make my flight with time to spare…wondering if I should have enjoyed another slice!

Thanks MapQuest for making it all so easy.

If you already have the current MapQuest toolbar, be sure to upgrade to this newer version and enjoy all the great new features of this enhanced version. Or, if you’re new to the Toolbar, try it out and see how helpful it is to have MapQuest with you wherever you surf the web!

See more details on the toolbar.