Archives for Jessica Feaster

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  1. Don’t worry about tracking down the Easter Bunny this year, because we’re doing it for you! In an effort to make this busy day a bit less hectic this year, we are making it easy for you to find many of the Easter Egg hunts and other Easter events in your area by displaying them right on your map.

    In order to try it, go to MapQuest.com, get a map of your area and simply click on the Easter Egg icon in the tool-bar on the right-hand side of your map. The events in your area will then appear on your map (the Easter Egg bubbles). From here, you can click on each to get more details about the event. If you do not see any Easter Eggs on your map, try zooming out.

    MapQuest On-map Search for Easter Events in Chicago, IL

    If you are looking for a restaurant for brunch or even a hotel for the in-laws, the toolbar can help with that too. Just use the up and down arrows to scroll and find the icon that you’re looking for.

    Hopefully this tool makes your holiday planning a bit easier this weekend. Happy hunting!

  2. Last week we wrapped up an amazing few days at the SXSW Interactive show in Austin, TX. Although there were thousands upon thousands of people in attendance, we know that many of you weren’t able to make it. So, we wanted to fill you in on all you missed. Where do I start…

    MapQuest BBQ Quest to the Salt Lick Barbecue Restaurant
    First thing that comes to mind…Yum! To sum up the event, on the 2nd day of the Interactive show we rented some charter buses and took nearly 170 people to arguably the best BBQ joint in the entire state of Texas. We can’t decide what people liked best: the fact that it was all you can eat and drink or that we picked up the tab – probably a little bit of both! Either way, there were about 170 smiling faces as a result so we deemed it a success.

    Here’s a picture of the hungry SXSW attendees in the buffet line and another of Jason, a fellow MapQuester, taking full advantage of the-all-you-can-eat buffet. Staffers have to eat too right?!

    MapQuest BBQ Quest at Salt Lick Barbecue in Austin, TX


    MapQuest ButtonQuest with 3 Lucky Winners of an Apple® iPad™

    The basic concept was pretty simple – we created a social scavenger hunt for MapQuest Buttons and, if the participant collected enough, they had the chance to win 1 of 3 iPads! Our MapQuest team (dressed in red) was out and about in Austin, tweeting their current location and which button they were giving away. We were hoping people would have some fun with it and I’d say they did just that. The prizes weren’t too shabby, but everyone loved the buttons too. I don’t really blame them, they are pretty cute. My personal favorite? The cowboy boots button.

    Congratulations to our winners!

    1. Clint from Kansas City, MO (pictured below with our MapQuest team)
    2. Devin from Austin, TX
    3. Kassidy from Flower Mound, TX

    MapQuest team and one of the winners of the MapQuest ButtonQuest at SXSW

    Beyond the BBQ and the Buttons, we also had some great location-based chats with developers at our booth, Josh Babetski, one of our product managers, mediated a panel called ‘Time + Social + Location. What’s Next in Mobile Experiences?’ and we even saved some time to attend other SXSW events like karaoke at Happy Cog’aoke. Whew, I’m tired even thinking about all this. All in all, what a great event. Can’t wait for next year!

  3. The 15 Different Buttons for ButtonQuest at SXSW

    We’re off to Austin tomorrow for SXSW and with that comes a lot of big news, some we’ve already told you about such as the iPhone™ app (my.SXSW), the BBQ we’re having at The Salt Lick on Sunday and the panel MapQuest is participating in. But now, the drum roll…during the Interactive Festival we will also have a sweepstakes where three lucky winners will receive an Apple® iPad™!

    YOUR MISSION?: Find as many MapQuest Star buttons as you can.

    WHAT IS IT?: Play MapQuest ButtonQuest and earn entries to win one of three Apple iPads!

    HOW DO YOU ENTER?:
    MapQuest will be handing out 15 unique MapQuest star buttons over the three days of the SXSW Interactive Festival. Once you have five different buttons, go to our booth (Booth #401) and fill out an entry form. If you get 10 different buttons, we’ll give you two entries. Find all 15 buttons and you’ll get three entries!

    WHEN IS IT?: During the SXSW Interactive Conference from Saturday, March 13 – Monday, March 15. Drawing will be held for all three iPads at 3:00 pm on Monday, March 15. As a heads-up, you must be an attendee of the SXSW Interactive conference in order to play.

    WHERE ARE THE BUTTONS?: They’re everywhere! Find the MapQuest team, dressed in red shirts and red hats, at various locations around Austin throughout the three days of the Interactive conference. To get you going, we’ll have a different button offered each day in the MapQuest booth – so stop by!

    HOW DO I FIND THE MAPQUEST TEAM?:
    We’ll be tweeting real time letting you know where we’ll be next. To help you out we’ve created a schedule and map of our button handout locations but there will be SEVERAL other handouts you’ll only find out about via Twitter. We also have secret button carriers – so make sure to keep tuned in by following us: @MapQuestTech and @MapQuest. We’ll be using the hashtag #buttonquest to announce all the locations throughout the Interactive Festival.

    So, if you’re headed to SXSW this weekend, take a stab at ButtonQuest for a chance to win an Apple iPad!

  4. You’ve probably heard of South by Southwest (SXSW) if you’re into music and film festivals or if you’re totally into technology, i.e. a tech geek. The MapQuest team is both so we’re really excited to be a part of this year’s SXSW conference in Austin, TX! For those of you who aren’t familiar with SXSW, it’s a very unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Not only are there five days dedicated to technology, but there is also a five-day music festival and a nine-day film festival.

    For those of you attending, check out the new SXSW iPhone app – my.SXSW iPhone – which allows you to view and build your event schedule as well as search for events/venues from your iPhone. The app includes MapQuest maps, helping you navigate to the next concert, premiere party or tech forum. You can also use the new SXSW maps online. The maps are easily filtered by category, venue and date.

    During the SXSW Interactive Trade Show, attendees can stop by our booth (#401) to talk to MapQuest Developers about making their applications location enabled. For attendees who will be at SXSW Sunday, March 14th – and who are hungry – we’d like to invite you to join us for free beer and free BBQ at The Salt Lick. It’s seriously the best (in our opinion) BBQ in all of Texas (and quite possibly the world). It’s first come first serve, though, so check out the details on our dev blog to see how to join in the fun.

  5. Highway Traffic

    Gridlock, traffic, congestion- no matter what you call it, daily commuting can make the most calm among us grit our teeth, seize the steering wheel and feel our blood pressure rise at an alarming pace. We have all been there. MapQuest is dedicated to helping travelers get to their destinations. To help make the driving experience a little easier, we have teamed up with INRIX, our traffic partner, to provide additional information, tips and ways to effectively handle what can sometimes be a stressful situation – daily commuting.

    1.) Check traffic before you walk out the door. In just one click you can easily see traffic conditions in most major US metro areas and make decisions about your trip. If you see your commute is going to cause your blood pressure to rise, find alternative routes or options by changing the default route we give you. Just grab the displayed route with your mouse and drag it to a different road/roads to find alternate ways to go. You might find a new way to or from work that has a better coffee shop along the way.

    2.) If you are already en route, don’t forget your Smartphone. With apps like MapQuest 4 Mobile you can get live-traffic updates and find the best place on the way to work to stop for gas or that cup of coffee. (The LA Times recently rated the app one of the most useful iPhoneTM apps out there.)

    3.) Don’t forget the power of music. A bad commute doesn’t mean you have to have a bad day. Here’s a playlist that should last about 45 minutes and might help make the beginning or end of your day easier and more enjoyable. Of course, everyone’s music tastes are a little different. So, go to our Facebook page or Twitter feed and give us some of your favorites.

    1. I Made It – Kevin Rudolph
    2. No Boundaries – Kris Allen
    3. Imma Be – Black Eyed Peas
    4. A Moment Like This – Leona Lewis
    5. Happy – Leona Lewis
    6. All the Right Moves – One Republic
    7. The Underdog – Spoon
    8. Empire State of Mind – Jay Z
    9. Bad Day – Daniel Powter
    10. Me Against the World – Simple Plan
    11. Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day
    12. You Are Not Alone – Michael Jackson
    13. Happiness – Fray
    14. Breakeven – Script
    15. Imagine – Beatles

    In addition to the tips here, check out our Facebook page for a view into what commutes from our fans across the country look like and some of their tips for staying sane – please also share yours!

  6. It may come as no surprise that LA, New York, Chicago and Washington D.C were the cities with the most traffic congestion in 2009. But did you know, of the nation’s top 30 largest cities, Las Vegas, Baltimore and Washington D.C. experienced increases of more than ten percent in congestion during peak commuting periods from 2008 to 2009?

    Top 10 Worst Traffic Cities of 2009

    Top 10 Worst Traffic Cities of 2009
    How do we know all this? Well, MapQuest traffic provider, INRIX, released its National Traffic Scorecard today noting that the economic recovery is playing a role in the rise of traffic congestion across the U.S. The annual report identifies and ranks the most congested cities and the worst traffic bottlenecks.

    On the surprising side of things:
    • Wednesday from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. is the busiest peak travel time nationwide
    • The best day to commute is Monday
    • Philadelphia made the top 10 for the first time in the history of the National Traffic Scorecard
    • More than 2,500 miles of the nation’s most important roads are congested more than five hours each week
    • There are more than 20 hours of congestion each week or four hours each work day

    For more information on the scorecard and analysis on the data check out the INRIX Traffic Scorecard.

    Also, stay tuned here as tomorrow we will be posting some additional information, tips and ways to effectively handle what can sometimes be a stressful situation – daily commuting.

  7. We are so excited for the start of the 2010 Winter Games that we thought it would be fun to take a closer look at the US Winter Olympic Team; so, we developed The MapQuest Olympian Hometown Map.

    As you watch the Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies tomorrow, you might be interested to know there are 33 states and 175 different cities represented from the US. Some of the states/cities the Olympians call home are not so surprising: Anchorage, Alaska is the hometown of four Cross Country Ski Team members and five winter athletes are from Aspen, Colorado. But, how about a bobsledder from Douglasville, Georgia or a speed skater from Memphis, Tennessee? Or even that the city of Farmington is represented by two athletes but each from a different state – Farmington, Connecticut and Farmington, Maine.

    Starting today, MapQuest Business Locator, our integrated on-map search tool that shows restaurants, hotels and other search categories, now includes the hometown locations of the US Olympic team. Just click on the Olympic Torch Icon in the toolbar and you’ll see all the Olympian hometowns in that area. If you don’t see any icons on your map, try zooming out to a state or regional level.

    MapQuest Olympic Hometowns - Bode Miller

    So, whether you are excited about the 5-time Olympic medalist, Apolo Anton Ohno – from Seattle, WA – or you are anticipating Bode Miller’s return to the slopes – Miller hails from Franconia, New Hampshire – you can see where Ohno, Miller, and all of the US athletes started their Olympic dreams with our Olympian Hometown Map. Check it out and find your hometown Olympian to cheer on during the games.

    Good luck to all of the US Olympians!