Archives for Jennifer Asbury

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  1. MQ_HourOfCode_MQBlog_302x200

    We MapQuest employees love our jobs, but some days, like today, we love our jobs just a little more.

    Today, we are helping lay the foundation for next-gen builders of culture and code.  In the end, some 600 Denver Public School students will fill MapQuest’s halls during a weeklong program dedicated to providing them with an “Hour of Code.”  Over the course of Computer Science Week (Dec. 8-14), each MapQuest employee in our headquarter office will lead an “Hour of Code” session providing code curriculum, instruction, an introduction to real careers that STEM education can lead to, mentoring, a completion certificate and homework to continue the learning.  The experience is meant to provide actual tactical knowledge, as well as reduce the barriers to STEM higher education and careers for students everywhere of every age.

    Our participation in the nationwide “Hour of Code” initiative underscores our belief in investing in STEM education for all and creating more opportunities for girls to choose STEM fields.  Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies are essential to daily operations at MapQuest affecting every department, every project, and every product and service we offer to consumers.

    “Hour of Code” is an initiative by CSEdWeek and code.org to introduce computer programming to 10 million students and encourage them to learn programming.  Curriculum and instruction tips were provided by code.org and several other accredited organizations, and technologists across the country were encouraged to offer time, instruction and mentoring to students of all ages.

    MapQuest and AOL volunteers in Denver, Dulles, San Francisco and New York will be instructing one-hour classes around code with curriculum that is pre-accredited, engaging and a baseline for future development.

    Dulles AOL / Case Center
    Tuesday, Dec. 9; Stone Bridge High School

    AOL San Francisco 

    Tuesday, Dec. 9; Francisco Middle School 

    AOL NYC / 770 Broadway
    Wednesday, Dec. 10; PS 282

    As our general manager, Brian McMahon, said, “While I’m happy these students will walk away with a general understanding of how code works, I’m happier the kids have a mentor and a friend to help them understand how and why code is cool. Obstacles and intimidation prevent so many from learning the basics of code, and this immersion will help lay the foundation that computer science is fun, interesting and the future of nearly every industry.”

    Representatives from the Department of Children’s Affairs, City of Denver; Colorado Technology Association; Denver Public Schools, and University Preparatory charter school students will host a pep rally before kicking off the inaugural hour of code in Denver this morning.

    Sessions will continue throughout the week with on- and offline lessons taught by the MapQuest Professor teams.  Host to numerous student groups throughout the year, MapQuest hopes to create an easy architecture and network of Colorado technology businesses that can support STEM activities within the community going forward.

  2. holidaytravelThe travel journalists behind MapQuest today unveiled a series of tips for surviving the busiest travel period of the year, which unequivocally falls during Thanksgiving week.  These tips cover off on air, rail and car travel tips to decrease costs, increase convenience and efficiency, and deliver travelers more easily to their destinations.

    “Most of us have experienced the challenges travel can create any given day, but the time around Thanksgiving introduces inclement weather, larger travel crowds, greater variety in travel fluency and increased costs can cause greater chaos and uncertaintly,” said Michael Yessis, editor-in-chief, MapQuest.  “MapQuest has always tried to eliminate the worry from wayfinding, and our tips address the primary pain points of travel during peak times.”

     

    Busiest Time of the Year to Travel

    Some of MapQuest’s heaviest traffic falls prior to Thanksgiving Day when folks are determining bigger vacation itineraries for the holiday season or last-minute plans for smaller getaways and overnights over the Thanksgiving weekend.  The editorial team responds to inquiries MapQuest has received from its community, as well as issues they’ve experienced in their tenures as travel journalists. Though not an exhaustive list, top tips are below:

     

    Charge and Prep Devices

    A delay can sneak up without warning, and coveted outlets are not always readily available at airports or train stations.  Charging a phone or tablet, and also inputting numbers for the customer service line of the airline carrier can serve displaced travelers well.  Portable chargers are another good idea.

     

    Use Twitter as a Travel Resource

    Twitter is increasingly becoming the go-to place for travelers to resolve issues that arise during their travels. Some airlines are responding by stepping up their presence in the social sphere. American Airlines, for instance, will be adding extra resources to its Twitter team around the Thanksgiving holiday. Need help with a missed connection? Can’t locate a checked bag? Need to rebook? Travelers may want to consider Tweeting at their carrier.

     

    Have Alternative Routes and Travel Options Ready

    Those affected by a cancelled flight won’t likely find an agent with time to spend researching re-booking options.  The savvy traveller will take screen shots of other potential itineraries and note local or regional airports as backup destinations.  Having that information at hand can provide travelers with greater flexibility and a greater likelihood they will arrive sooner.

     

    Keep Overnight Items On-person in Case of Delays

    Many tips stem from the possibility of a delay, which can be even greater at certain airports; but nobody wants to be stuck without a toothbrush or contact lens fluid during a delay that extends into the night. Those small personal items can make travelers more comfortable while waylaid without baggage. With the 3-1-1 rule at the airport, though, all liquids must fit in a container of 3.4 ounces or less.

     

    Plan with the MapQuest App

    The MapQuest app provides alternate routes and can direct travelers around trouble spots. Should the vehicle need a tow, run out of gas, lock out the driver, MapQuest’s free navigation apps on iOS, Android and Amazon provide integrated, on-demand roadside assistance via Urgent.ly.  Now travelers can find local, reliable roadside service providers, connect with them via the app and track their arrival to the car in real time.

     

    Gas Up in Advance

    Lines are inevitably long the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Nobody wants to add a gas station pit stop to what will probably be an already long and stressful drive.  Gassing up early in the week can provide shorter lines, better prices and a streamlined start to the holiday weekend.

     

    Board Early Using Amtrak’s Red Cap Baggage Service

    Red Cap agents can carry a passenger’s bags to the train early and, in doing so, deliver that passenger to the train and even to her seat before general boarding. It’s a free service, though tipping is recommended. Red Caps are available at 12 major stations, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Note: Passengers will need to ask an agent to help. Red Caps can’t solicit work.

     

    Stock Up on the Kids’ Stuff

    Charge their devices. Stash extra batteries in the glove compartment. Download a favorite movie onto a tablet. Leave a new game or toy in their seat for them to discover when they get in the car. Pack lots of snacks. And the experienced guardian will also invest in kid-friendly headphones.

     

    Use a GPS Luggage Tracker

    To operate, travelers can place a GPS luggage device inside luggage to always know the location of their belongings. If the bag fails to arrive at the destination, travelers can let the airline know exactly where it is, whether that’s inside the building or on another continent. Engadget points to Trakdot ($49.99) as one option.

     

    Don’t Be That Stressed-out Traveler

    With so many extra errands and activities to facilitate during the holidays, travelers may want an extra hour or two to get to the airport or train station as to not feel harried. Not only will they feel less stress, but they can benevolently reduce other travelers’ stress by stopping to help pick up the toddler’s fallen toy or by stepping aside to let someone through a doorway. Planning ahead can make stressful situations better for all.

     

    MapQuest editors spend every day writing about travel, reading about travel and, yes, actually going on trips. We want to help you travel better, so we’ll be sharing our favorite tips, secrets and discoveries from the road in this Editors’ Column.

    Have comments or questions? Find us on Facebook or Twitter!

  3. MapQuest and MLB.com’s original online video series, “Key to the City,” hosted by Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre comedian Matt Fisher, proudly unveiled it’s “New York Yankees” video today. From Little Italy to 30 Rock, the “Key to the City” series highlights the heart of New York with a Yankees gameday itinerary best experienced with the industry first, seamless MapQuest integration.

    The new “Key to the City” online video series complements MapQuest’s original Gameday Guides, featuring articles created by MapQuest’s editorial team with area travel experts who know MLB ballparks and cities inside-and-out.  Check out http://gameday.mapquest.com/ for more info.

  4. MapQuest Awards 199 Amazon Coins for In-app Purchases 

    DENVER (June 16, 2014) – MapQuest, Inc., today launched a weeklong promotion offering 199 free Amazon Coins, Amazon’s virtual currency used to purchase apps, games and in-app items, to users who download the free MapQuest navigation app within the Amazon Appstore from a Kindle Fire or other Android  device, along with the purchase of an an MLB team kit.

    READ MORE…

     

  5. MapQuest and MLB.com have launched an original online video series, “Key to the City,” hosted by Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre comedian, Matt Fisher, that accompanies MapQuest’s completely customized ballpark content featuring “Gameday Guides” for all 30 MLB teams.

     

    MLB.com “Key to the City” Online Video Series

    The original video series, “Key to the City,” located at gameday.mapquest.com, features new custom content for MapQuest’s community of travelers and baseball fans.  Upright Citizens Brigade comedian and MLB fan, Matt Fisher, hosts the new video series offering a unique, 5-minute episode on what to do on game days in select baseball towns.  From iconic tourism attractions to local hangouts to hidden gems, the “Key to the City” series highlights the heart of each town with an itinerary best experienced with the industry-first, seamless MapQuest integration.

    Feature cities include:

    ·      Denver: Today, Colorado Rockies

    ·      New York City: New York Yankees

    ·      Los Angeles: Los Angeles Dodgers

    ·      Chicago:  Chicago Cubs

    ·      Washington, DC: Washington Nationals

    ·      Boston: Boston Red Sox

     

    MLB Gameday Guides

    The new “Key to the City” online video series complements MapQuest’s original Gameday Guides, featuring articles created by MapQuest’s editorial team with area travel experts who know MLB ballparks and cities inside-and-out.  Each of the Gameday Guides features six chapters:

    ·      Welcome to the Stadium: History and key information

    ·      Before the Game: Get to know the best offerings near the stadiums

    ·      Inside the Stadium:  From gluten-free fare to exclusive micro-brews

    ·      Game on a Budget: When to buy, where to sit and the deals inside

    ·      Best Bets for Families: Make a child’s first visit memorable or get tips on the best experiences for families

    ·      After the Game:  From celebrating wins to drowning gameday sorrows, these places are worth the stop

    This original content series is part of the MLB.com and MapQuest partnership to deliver MapQuest-powered mapping and directions through an exclusive app-to-app experience within the “MLB.com At the Ballpark” smartphone app.

  6. Just in time for Opening Day, MapQuest and MLB.com announced an official partnership delivering MapQuest-powered mapping and directions through an exclusive app-to-app experience within the “MLB.com At the Ballpark” smartphone app, as well as integrated into MLB.com and all 30 MLB team websites.

    The MapQuest integration into the “MLB.com At the Ballpark” app and responsive, mobile-optimized sites now make it easier for fans to find their way to games throughout the 2014 season.  As part of the official partnership, MapQuest created custom-branded MLB team experiences, available within its iOS and Android apps and developed original MLB content to enhance local experiences. MapQuest and MLB.com are also co-creating an original video series for MLB fans and MapQuest users alike, expected to debut in May 2014.

     

    MLB.com + MapQuest Integrations

    MapQuest traffic-influenced rerouting accommodates for game-day traffic to get game-goers there for the first pitch.  Available today, MLB.com and MapQuest’s integrations include:

    MapQuest for iOS and Android Apps:  Super fans can customize their free MapQuest apps by upgrading to a premium team experience for $1.99:

    *   Team Colors and Map Icons: Customized with team’s colors and four logo options

    *   Baseball-themed Progress Bar: Customized industry-first ETAstatus bar with a baseball icon

    *   Field Wallpaper: Background menu image

    *   Team Start Screen: Team loading screen (Android Only)

     

     MLB.com: Optimized experience for mobile with MapQuest-powered mapping and desktop-to-mobile directions from the MLB.com “At the Ballpark iOS and Android apps.

     

    Put some mustard on that app and download your favorite team’s experience.  And if you can’t decide where your loyalty stands, we’ve got 29 more team options to choose from.  Though we’re not taking sides, we do hope our Blake Street Neighbors make a run for Rocktober.

    Click here if your mascot is of the domestic type.

  7. MapQuest Summer Travel Infographic 2012

    MapQuest Summer Travel Infographic 2012

    Sure, MapQuest has long-since been known as the road warrior’s travel companion, offering accurate maps and directions to hurried, adventurous and seasonal travelers.  But we happen to know you want more from this relationship.  In fact, we’ve spent a lot of time getting to know just what you’re searching for this summer with our latest infographic.

    For instance, we know a lot of you love national parks, so we created parks.mapquest.com as a completely devoted resource for information on the 58 U.S. national parks.  Many of you visit these iconic destinations for overnight trips between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and even more of you stop at them along the way — called via points — the most popular being Yellowstone.

    If you’re not planning on taking a trip across the country, MapQuest can also help you plan a backyard escape that takes only an afternoon. Last summer, we helped more than nine million people find a nearby place to get ice cream.  What more could you want in the summer than easy-to-follow directions to a sundae?

    While we can’t lower the high gas prices, we can tell you where the least expensive places to fuel up are.   Gasprices.mapquest.com shares where to find the cheapest gas near you; so, if you do go to the Grand Canyon, you can make the trip there even easier by finding the least expensive gas stations and prices along the way.

    Take a look at our Summer Travel infographic for more surprising stats and popular destinations, so you can get more out of the summer season.  Because after all, life’s about the journey, right?

  8. Trying to get somewhere this summer?   Download the updated MapQuest smartphone apps, where our free iPhone and Android offerings are now powered with TomTom maps.  As the world’s leading supplier of in-car location and navigation products and services, TomTom provides coverage for more than 7.5 million miles of roads across North America.  That’s like going to the moon and back about 16 times.  That’s like traveling the length of the Great Wall of China over 1,300 times.  That’s like running well over a quarter of a million marathons.  Basically, it’s a lot of mapped miles any way you look at it.

    With MapQuest and TomTom maps, you could drive virtually anywhere there’s a road in the United States with our app as your travel companion.  (No need to panic if you forget to print off directions before leaving your house.)  Whether you’re driving across the county or across the continent this summer, there’s never been a better time to ask for directions…just ask us.

    Where are you heading this summer?  Tell us on Facebook.

  9. As you may have read in our National Parks post, we here at MapQuest are an active bunch.  We love the outdoors.  We keep busy with hikes and bikes and exploring our neighborhoods.  And because of this, we also know the value of a good pair of shoes or, conversely, we know what we love to do would be so hard to do shoeless.   Today is the TOMS “One Day Without Shoes.”   It’s one, big national pledge to go barefoot and raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life.

    You can help MapQuest and AOL reach the goal of spreading the One Day Without Shoes message to 1,000,000 people by taking one (or more) of the following actions:

    To thank those who are getting footloose, AOL will be awarding 100 $50 TOMS gift cards to random winners.  See official rules here.

    We hope by taking off our own, you’ll do the same!

  10. MapQuest Vibe kicks off the “Colorado Ranch” in Austin today with an exclusive hangout for industry influencers during SXSW Interactive.  Along with Forkly, Flixmaster, Roximity and Napkin Labs – all fellow, innovative Colorado tech companies – the Ranch welcomes hundreds of tech-heads looking to plug in, recharge, and take in Austin’s BBQ, beer and local bands. MapQuest Vibe provides a “shortcut to becoming a local” to all Austinites and SXSWers by highlighting top activities, restaurants and neighborhoods in the Austin area.  Actually, mqVibe provides this great neighborhood context in 50,000 neighborhoods and 30,000 cities, but we just thought we’d do something special in Austin this week.  Have you tried the mqVibe iPhone app?

    mqVibe at SXSW

    Colorado Ranch at SXSW mqVibe Team Enjoying Austin BBQ, beer and bands

    Colorado Ranch House Music

    Colorado Ranch House - Austin Band