Nov 11, 2010

Latest Update for MapQuest Open Sites

We’ve done it again!  Updates are fast and furious on our MapQuest Open sites, powered by OpenStreetMap data. Just this week, we’ve released new edit buttons, ‘send to website’ and ‘right click’ to find the closest thing in your map display.

Our new edit button is really three different edit button or links: below the search result (in the images below, I searched for Walt Disney World in Florida) is a link to edit this location; an edit button located at the top right of your map; and edit links that are built into the popup information box. The popup information box allows you to choose which OSM editor you want to use in order to edit the location (or surrounding area).  Your two edit tool choices are Potlatch 2 (hosted by MapQuest) or JOSM (known as the “Java OpenStreetMap Editor”).  Potlatch 2 uses a GUI user interface for easily making edits whereas JOSM allows you to download chunks of the OSM data onto your desktop to edit and then upload the newly changed data back onto the OSM servers for processing. (Note: be sure JOSM is already installed and running when you click the JOSM edit link.)

We now have a send to website feature added in – this will generate the code necessary to easily embed a MapQuest Open map into your own website. Just get a map of a cool location (like Cinderella’s Castle) and click the ‘send’ button on the top left of the MapQuest Open page.  You’ll see a popup window like this image (below) that will have generated the code needed to embed that exact location into your website pages.  Alternatively, of course, you can simply send a link to your map (or route) to your Facebook friends, email or GPS unit.

However, my most favorite new feature is the right click function!  Grab a map (such as Space Mountain) and right click with your mouse to see the “closest” feature in the OSM map data.  In the below image, I’ve captured what happens right after ‘right clicking’ on the brown circle that is Space Mountain.  Go ahead and try it, it’s fun!