Archives for Jessica Feaster

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  1. Common Area in MapQuest's New, Green Office

    What better way to celebrate a birthday than a brand new office?  Our new 17,000-square-foot green office space in Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo) brings the best of both worlds with raw materials and contemporary design.  The open space, lack of actual offices and countless collaboration areas gives the space a start-up, inspiring vibe.  The energy is palpable.

    IA Interior Architects worked with us to create the amazing new space.  The office combines green, raw materials with more modern elements like metal, glass and recycled materials from local resources. The end result is that of a highly sustainable, beautiful place to work.

    Some of our favorite aspects of the new diggs include: the open environment, patio over-looking the 16th Street Mall (Denver’s pedestrian mall), poker and ping pong tables, huge windows, exposed concrete floors, countless flat screen tvs and just the overall energy that radiates from the space.

    The ability to host community events is another great element of the new space.  The Denver-Boulder area is known as one of the fastest growing tech hubs and we can now host events to help foster this group.  After all, it wouldn’t be fair to keep this inspiring space to ourselves.

    If you want to see more photos, head to our Flickr gallery.

    The Entryway of MapQuest's New, Green Office

    Meeting area in MapQuest's New, Green Office

    Kitchen in MapQuest's New, Green Office

  2. Go green – it’s something I think we all really want to do, but frankly, it can sometimes be inconvenient!  Well, good news – MapQuest’s earth-friendly tools are super helpful and you’ll get the internal satisfaction of giving Mother Earth a big ol’ hug.

    Save Paper.  Go Mobile.
    Next time you get directions on MapQuest.com, try sending directions to your mobile phone instead of printing.  When you use our Send To Mobile tool, we’ll send you a text message.  Just click the link and the directions you planned online will be available right there on your mobile.  It’s incredibly easy and you’ll save paper and ink.

    If you’re already on the go, you can also choose to plan your entire trip from your mobile device.  MapQuest’s iPhone and Android app offers voice-guided directions (yes, it’s just like a GPS!) and it’s free.  If you’re on a different device, you can use our mobile website (http://m.mapquest.com).

    Transit, Bike and Walking Directions
    Hopping in the car is second nature to most of us, but why not try alternative transportation next time?  We can route you there based on the transportation mode you prefer – transit, bike or walking.  Just pick your mode of green transport and we’ll get you where you need to go.

    Alternative Fuel Prices
    With gas prices rising, many of you have been using our Gas Prices site to find the gas station near you with the cheapest gas prices, but did you know you can also use the tool to find stations with alternative fuel? Just click on the drop down and you can choose from Biodiesel, electric, hydrogen and many other fuel options.

    Drive Less
    Even if you drive a super-green hybrid, choosing the most efficient route saves extra time in the car.  MapQuest’s Route Planner tool lets you enter up to 26 locations and will reorder it based on the shortest or quickest route.

    Hope these tools are helpful this Earth Day and the rest of the year!

  3. The Webby Awards declares MapQuest an Official Honoree

    The Webby Awards, often called the Oscars® of the online and mobile world, just declared MapQuest.com an official honoree in the web services category.  As most of you know, we’ve made some big changes over the past year, so we are honored that such great minds appreciate what we’re doing.  If you’re not familiar with the Webbys, it’s an award honoring excellence in websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile.

    According to The Webby Awards official site, the honorees are selected by ‘an executive 750-member body of leading web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities, and Associate Members who are former Webby Award Winners and Nominees, and other Internet professionals.’  While that sounds somewhat exciting, it’s even better when you hear who is included in that list: musicians Beck and David Bowie, creator of “The Simpsons” Matt Groening, Virgin Atlantic Chairman and Founder Richard Branson, founding partner of Crispin, Porter + Bogusky Alex Bogusky, and many other folks with whom I wouldn’t hate to be stuck in a room. The members also include writers and editors from publications such as The New York Times, Wired, Details, Fast Company, Elle, The Los Angeles Times, Vibe and WallPaper.

    We’re also featured in Web by You, a concept from The Webby Awards and AOL, that highlights some great people in the industry and also encourages people like you to vote in the People’s Choice segment of The Webby Awards.

    Thanks for the honor, Webbys.  We hope to continue to impress you over the next year!

  4. For so many of us, it’s nearly impossible to understand the devastation that occurred in Japan following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami — images from the disaster may be the closest many of us may come to comprehending the scale of destruction.  MapQuest recently obtained aerial images from our partners i-cubed and GeoEye, and we wanted to share these with you. Below are two sets of before-and-after images, as well as additional links to images of other areas and ways to support the relief and recovery efforts.  To see larger versions or to zoom in, click on the image.

    Before: Yuriage, Japan, just south of Sendai. Aerial image from April 2010

    Before: Yuriage, Japan, just south of Sendai. Aerial image from April 2010

    After: Same area as of March 12, 2011.  Like many neighboring coastal cities, Yuriage was nearly completely wiped out by the tsunami

    After: Same area as of March 12, 2011. Like many neighboring coastal cities, Yuriage was nearly completely wiped out by the tsunami

    Before: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Facility. Aerial image from November 2009

    Before: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Facility. Aerial image from November 2009

    After: Same area as of March 17, 2011. Several reactors were heavily damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. Authorities continue work to stabilize the reactors and prevent further radiation leakage.

    After: Same area as of March 17, 2011. Several reactors were heavily damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. Authorities continue work to stabilize the reactors and prevent further radiation leakage.

    Here are before-and-after images of two additional hard-hit areas:
    Rikuzentakata: Before and After
    Sendai Coast: Before and After

    MapQuest recently launched, crowd-sourced map service in Japan through a country-dedicated site, open.mapquest.jp.  Read more here on how image provided to OpenStreetMap by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency is available to the mapping community to help accurately portray damage caused by the tsunami and recovery efforts that are currently underway.

    AOL News and Huffington Post both have up-to-date information on relief efforts, as well as ways to support the recovery process.  Our hearts go out to the millions of people affected by this tragedy.

  5. MapQuest CruiserQuest at SXSWIt’s true!  We’re giving away cruiser bikes everyday during SXSW Interactive.  So, if you’re headed to Austin this weekend, here’s what you need to know to participate.

    It’s Easy
    Cruiser bikes are all about the laid-back lifestyle, so we made the giveaway easy-going as well.  Just find one of our street team members, show them that you’ve downloaded our FREE MapQuest mobile app (yes, the one with voice-guided directions), and you’ll have the chance to enter to win.

    Find the Street Team
    Dressed in bright green shirts and gray hats, we’ll be hard to miss.  Many of us will also be riding around on some amazing MapQuest-branded bikes so keep your eyes peeled.  If you still can’t find us, just check @MapQuestTech as we’ll be tweeting real-time as to where we are.

    When to Play
    As you can see in the poster (pictured right), we’ll be taking entry forms Saturday (3/12) thru Tuesday (3/15) and announcing the winner everyday at 4:30pm CST.  If a free bike doesn’t appeal to you, we’re also hosting happy hours from 4-5pm in the MapQuest booth both Monday and Tuesday.

    MapQuest's Street Team Bikes

    MapQuest's Street Team Bikes






    Why Cruiser Bikes?
    Besides the fact that they’re awesome, we are actually celebrating two recent bike announcements: bike routing on our MapQuest Open sites and bike APIs based on OpenStreetMap data.  We love the idea of getting more people where they need to go – this time on bikes!


    With this and everything else we’ve got going on at SXSW, we are looking forward to a fun, jam-packed week in Austin. Hope to see you there!

  6. MapQuest's BBQuest: Take a Road Trip to Salt Lick BarbecueIf you’re headed to SXSW®, we hope you’ll take a trip with MapQuest as we hold our 2nd annual BBQuest to the renowned Salt Lick Barbecue. If you somehow haven’t heard about this place, check out their accolades.  This year’s event will be even bigger, and will offer FREE, all-you-can-eat BBQ and drinks. This year, we’re also bringing a band: Shinobi Ninja.

    Here are the details…

    BBQuest: Take a Road Trip with MapQuestWhen:
    Sunday, March 13th 5:30-8:30 pm

    Where:
    Bus Pick-up at the Hilton Austin.  MapQuest will load the bus at the Hilton Austin around 5:30pm, then transport the first 250 people to this free (and delicious) event.

    All you can eat buffet at MapQuest's BBQuest

    Who:
    Attendees will include tech influencers and press, VCs, and entrepreneurs from your favorite and soon to be favorite start-ups.

    Participants will need a SXSW Interactive, Gold, or Platinum badge, and an ID to prove you’re 21 or older. Remember, you must be on the bus in order to take part. It’s first-come, first-served, so get there early!

    People are still talking about last year’s trip with MapQuest. Make sure you don’t miss out this year.

    Add the event to your SXSW event calendars:

    SXSW Schedule
    Facebook
    Plancast
    Upcoming
    Sched

    For more info on what we have planned for SXSW, check out our earlier post.

  7. We’re headed back to South by Southwest® this year and it looks like we’re gonna be pretty busy again.  For those of you unfamiliar with SXSW®, it’s an amazing conference and festival that covers interactive, film, and music.  If you’re passionate about any or all of these, it’s a can’t miss event.

    As we count down the days until we head to Austin, we wanted to share with you what we have planned in hopes that you’ll join us.  Here’s a quick overview; some might say we’ll be busy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

    MapQuest participates in South by SouthwestMapQuest Road Trip (3.13 @ 5:30)Take a road trip with MapQuest to get free, all-you-can-eat BBQ and drinks, gorgeous scenery, and quality conversation with some great minds in the biz.

    Booth during Interactive + Film (3.14 – 3.17) – Happy hours, giveaways, and great developer chat.  We’ll be right near the 4th St. entrance so stop by.

    Giveaway (3.12 – 3.15) – We can’t give all these details away yet, but let’s just say you’ll want what we’ve got.  Stay tuned to our blog for more info.

    Das IronGeek (3.15 @ 3:00) – MapQuest will host one of 5 challenges in Das IronGeek, an event that puts a set of 6 press and bloggers attending SXSW through a series of fun, technology related challenges, all intended to test their “geekiness”.

    Panel (3.15 @ 3:30) – Josh Babetski, our Product Evangelist, will be taking part in a panel about Interoperable Location.

    Core Conversation (3.15 @ 5:00) – Christian Dwyer, our GM, and Maureen Sullivan, AOL’s CMO, will hold a core conversation about re-branding.

    Official Mapping Sponsor of SXSW - Download SXSW’s official mobile app, SXSW GO, to build your schedule, see a map of what’s going on where, and more.

    Stay tuned to our blog and @MapQuestTech over the next few weeks for more details.  Hope to see you in Austin!

  8. MapQuest for Android SweepstakesIn case you haven’t heard, we just launched the MapQuest app for Android™! We’re pretty psyched and, to celebrate, we’re giving away some great prizes and sharing a fun video.

    MapQuest for Android Sweepstakes
    Free tablet anyone? Between now and March 9, 2011, at 5 p.m. ET, you can enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 Samsung Galaxy Tabs™ or 1 of 150 MapQuest for Android T-shirts! Just head over to our Facebook page and enter your information for a chance to win. If you prefer Twitter, we’ve got you covered there too. Remember to share with friends once you enter as the more you share, the better your chances are to win.

    How to Make a QR Code Out of LEGOs Video
    We love that you can get apps by just scanning a QR code, but we wondered: What would make this even better? Why, scanning a QR code made out of LEGOs, of course! So we created a life-sized QR code from LEGOs and recorded the process. Have your Android phone ready as you can scan the QR code for our free app that appears at the end of the video.

    Need an Android app to scan the QR code? You can find some at the Android Market.

    Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions.

  9. Get Going, On Us!Listen up road trippers, commuters, adventure seekers, and all you other road warriors! MapQuest is giving away gas for a year to 31 lucky people in December. One person, each day, everyday.

    So there we said it, free gas for a year. Now get over to freegas.mapquest.com and complete the “Gas for a Year” form with name, email address, street address, and birthday. Each day at 3:00pm Eastern Time we will be choosing a winner and announcing it at freegas.mapquest.com. Remember to enter everyday but like everything else, good things must come to an end, so the final day to enter the sweepstakes is December 31 at 5:00 Eastern Time.

    One more thing… if you tell your friends and they enter, you will receive up to 25 extra entries. So increase you chances by sharing – remember it is the holidays!

  10. We’ve been talking a lot about our new My Maps tool lately. Last week we wrote a post that gave you some ideas of what you can do with My Maps. As a quick recap, My Maps lets you create and save maps of locations then share it with friends and family. For specific ideas on what you can use My Maps for, check out the post from November 16th. In this blog, we thought we would show you how to create a My Maps from scratch. Following is a short tutorial or how-to that shows how easy it is to use.

    Step 1 – Sign InSign in for MapQuest My Maps

    After heading over to MapQuest.com the first thing you do is sign in using an AOL, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo!, or Google account. Signing in first will make sure that all of your My Maps information is saved. Take a look at the screen shot to the right. That’s what you will see when you first arrive.

    For the sake of the season, we are going to create a My Map for a ski trip to Copper Mountain. During our three day, two night trip, we want to find:

    • A good place to eat
    • A bar to visit after a hard day of skiing
    • The hotel

    Step 2 – Start Adding Points of InterestAdding Points of Interest to a My Map

    We have been told Alpinista Mountain Bistro is a great place to eat and want to place it on our map. After searching for Alpinista Mountain Bistro, we locate it on our map then click the pin to offer us other options.  We select ‘Save to My Maps,’ then ‘Create New Map’ and the Alpinista Bistro is added to the list. Here we can change the pin icon, add notes, and search nearby points of interest.

    Naming a MapQuest My MapBecause this is a new My Map, we need to create a name and add notes so it’s easy to find and add to the map later if we wish. Let’s go ahead and name it ‘Snow Day at Copper Mountain.’ Check out the screen shot on the right to see an example of what this looks like.

    After pressing ‘Save’ you can always go back to this map to either add points of interest or share it with friends via Facebook, email, mobile phone, a car navigation system, or a GPS system.

    Step 3 – Adding Notes

    Now continuing with other restaurants, we have heard good things about Double Diamond Bar & Grill, so we add that to the My Map and make some notes about it. Underneath the address there is the ‘Edit Notes’ button. There you can add information about the place including what you had to eat or an interesting fact. You can even change the icon that is displayed on the map, which can help you distinguish between lodging, restaurants, bars, etc.Adding Notes to a MapQuest My Map

    Step 4 – Using The MapQuest Toolbar For Finding Places of Interest

    For the sake of navigation and finding other points of interest around us we decided to place our lodging on the map. Instead of searching for the specific place, we used the MapQuest Toolbar to show us all of the lodging in the area. Our place, Copper Mountain Gold Lodging, was right there so we clicked the pin and pressed ‘Save to My Maps.’ It’s that easy!

    Step 5 – Finish and Share

    Don’t forget to share your map through Facebook, email, mobile phone, a car navigation system, or a GPS system. You’ll want your friends to know about your latest adventure. Here is the finished Snow Day at Copper Mountain map created using MapQuest’s My Maps feature. http://mapq.st/h/6-dydIpGoT