Feb 4, 2010

Overhauling Business Search: The First Step

If you’ve searched for a business or landmark on MapQuest.com today, you may have noticed it’s a little different. Just this morning we released a new geosearch engine to power our location search, built on top of the open source < lucene>Apache Lucene project. In other words, we now have the flexibility to expand our search capabilities, helping us create a better experience for our users.

The first thing you might notice is the change on the homepage. We no longer default to a 5 box form, but instead provide 2 boxes for input. This allows you to easily copy and paste in an address.

One of the new capabilities allows us to give you, the user, a short list of results based on what we think most closely matches what you are searching for. You might see a search result appear like this:

If we don’t provide you with the location you are looking for, click on the ‘Show More Results’ link to get a full list.

A few weeks ago, we also added a feedback link to the bottom of the search results. It looks like this:

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Please click on this link whenever you search for a business and can’t find it; we use this information to refine our search algorithms, making it easier for everyone to find what they really want, quickly.

And don’t forget, if you ever need the phone number for your family doctor, you can quickly do a search for it by inputting ‘Dr Smith’ in ‘Your Town, Your State’ to find their information.

While we work furiously to improve your search experience on MapQuest.com, we welcome any feedback or discussion you can provide. Visit our brand new forums to join other MapQuest users interested in helping us improve our site.

There’s more search improvements on the way!