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  1. Our goal is simple: to make MapQuest the best place to work in the world. With this in mind, our amazingly talented team held the First MapQuest Culture Hack Day yesterday where we stopped our day-to-day work, and transformed into culture hackers dedicated to improving the quality of our MapQuest life.

    What is culture hacking you might ask?  Here’s just a sampling of what we accomplished:

    • Built a MapQuest branded beer-bike – which will hold a full keg, seating and a counter top bar.
    • Crafted a new tiki-bar for the Denver office – made from a real 30 foot boat.
    • Installed a new doorbell system in our Lancaster office to notify the team when someone arrives.
    • Completely revamped the MapQuest new employee on-boarding process (including a website).
    • Created a foozball scoring system and ping pong scoring system to keep track of scores – with a fully functioning iPhone app.
    • Beautifying our patios in Lancaster, Dulles and Denver

    #MapQuestCultureHack was officially a success. Cheers to making a great place to work even better!

    p.s. Sound like a place you want to work?  Good news,  we’re hiring.

  2. In case you hadn’t heard, you can now book hotels, flights and rental cars right from MapQuest.com, making it incredibly easy to get directions and book travel all from one place!  To show you how easy it is, we’re giving away one trip per day for the next 30 days.  Yes, that’s 30 trips in 30 days.  How do you enter?  Just book travel on MapQuest and that’s it!  Plus, you can get 3 more chances to win just by sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest after you book.

    Road trippers, business travelers, weekend warriors – you’re booking travel already, why not book on MapQuest and see if your trip will be paid for?  Just like other travel sites, you can search, compare and book hotel rooms at thousands of chain and independent hotels around the world, including hotel specials like instant discounts, free breakfast, and more.  You’ll also have access to thousands of rental cars worldwide and airline tickets with almost all major airlines.

    The only question remaining now is what you would do with all that extra cash…another vacation perhaps?  ;-)

    *No purchase necessary.  Reimbursement up to $5,000.  See Official Rules to learn how to enter without a purchase.

     

     

  3. With the recent release of MapQuest Travel Blogs, we’re excited to start using it ourselves. We’ll be taking photos and sharing our trip down to Austin later this week along with some friends.

    Cell service is sometimes spotty on the road, and our free Travel Blogs app was built with this in mind. You can build your blog and add photos and reviews while offline and then sync all your posts once you find internet again.

    We’ve collected all of our Austin blogs on one Best of Austin page so you can join in our adventures.  You’ll find:

    There will also be 5 live blogs starting at the end of the week. If you like music, bbq and shenanigans, follow along by subscribing to any or all of them:

    • RVSXers – Sit shot gun with the RVSXers as they road trip in an RV from Chicago to Austin (and back).
    • Jeremy – 10 days in Austin…or at least staying as long as he can handle.  Follow along to see if he makes it.
    • Monika – Telling us all about The Sounds of Austin…pretty sure there will be some stories live music in this one.
    • Kaitlyn – Your eyes are never bored at SXSW…as you’ll find out via Kaitlyn’s blog, The Sights of Austin.
    • Anke – Foodaholics rejoice!  Anke’s blogging about yummy food trucks and awesome hidden gem restaurants in downtown Austin. Follow along and give her your suggestions for what to try and what to avoid.

    No matter if you’re planning to experience SXSW in person or virtually, keep our Best of Austin guide handy.  If you are lucky enough to go, you can create your own Austin blog on travelblogs.mapquest.com or get the iPad / iPhone app here.

    MapQuest's Best of Austin Guide

  4. We had a big year at MapQuest and we wanted to thank you for being a part of it!
    Here’s just a quick run down of the 2012 highlights:

    MapQuest Discover

    In the fall we debuted MapQuest Discover, a photo-rich travel board where you can plan your next adventure, share photos of places and cities you’ve been, get inspired by great trip guides from our MapQuest travel writers, or even learn about new places to visit from other people like you. More

    MapQuest Local

    MapQuest Vibe expanded into MapQuest Local. Now you can get insider info like travel guides, reviews & ratings, best restaurants, your friend’s activity, and more for hundreds of cities and all 50 states. More

    Mobile Apps

    We’ve been working hard on our free iPhone and Android apps, so that cheap gas and voice-guided directions that beat traffic are only a tap away. More



    MapQuest.com

    The year saw changes to the site that allow you to hide the steps out of your neighborhood, find the cheapest gas and easily view the best places in any neighborhood.More

    MapQuest API

    For the developers out there, we released our iOS and Android Map APIs, which brings flexible routing, accurate geocoding, and beautiful maps to your own mobile apps. We also refreshed the styling on our Open Map Tiles, updated our Open JavaScript API, and released our Open Geocoding API. More

    MapQuest Culture

    From community gardens to clothing drives, picnics to holiday parties, we made it a point to be active in the community again this year. And with lots of exciting new projects in the pipeline, we’re continually looking for talented folks to join us.



    Big Plans for 2013

    In 2013, you’ll see us continue to improve what you’ve come to love about MapQuest, including exciting new products that move us further along in our vision for the future: to inspire your travel time, family time, free time, anytime; wherever the map meets your life.

    Every month, 36+ MILLION* of you shared the journey with us.
    Looking forward to another great year with you!

    Onward!
    Your friends at:

    MapQuest

    * Source: Avg over calendar year, comScore 2012

  5. Just last week, we announced MapQuest Discover, our new photo-rich site that inspires afternoon, weekend and weeklong adventures. To celebrate, we also launched the MapQuest Discover Never Bored Sweepstakes. Yes, that’s right – Never Bored. No matter if you’re desktop daydreaming or actually planning a trip, Discover helps with all of that and more.

    So, how does this relate to the sweepstakes? Well, we want to make all of this inspiration a reality. How does a trip to Key West, FL, Las Vegas, NV, Vail, CO or San Diego, CA sound? Or 700+ instant win travel-related prizes (digital cameras, luggage, gas cards, etc)?

    Enter every day between now and December 20. Remember to come back daily and share with friends as you can get a total of 190 entries to win your dream trip (not to mention one of the great instant wins). Less than a week into it, we’ve already given away more than 116 prizes!

    We hope the MapQuest Discover Never Bored Sweepstakes inspires YOU and your next adventure. Good luck!

  6. There’s a lot of buzz right now around mapping and navigation since Apple removed Google Maps as their preloaded mapping provider and launched their own version of voice guided navigation on the new iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 that hit stores today.

    As two of our biggest competitors in the industry battle it out, the free voice-guided turn-by-turn MapQuest iPhone navigation app continues to grow, helping millions of people each month confidently get them to their destinations. Having pioneered free voice-guided navigation on the iPhone in 2010, here’s a recap of what people like so much about our iPhone app and why it’s in the top 100 of over 500,000 apps in the iTunes store.

    • It’s free
    • Helpful hints in the route narrative for easy navigation
    • One-touch search
    • Trustworthy directions
    • Business information and reviews
    • Real-time traffic conditions
    • Live traffic cameras
    • Multi-stop routes

    Find out for yourself why our iPhone app is so popular. Download MapQuest 3.0 right now (for free) from the App Store and get exploring!

  7. MapQuest Logo
    We’ve got some really exciting things coming up, and the start of our journey begins today on MapQuest.com! Our new logos will help you easily navigate the many MapQuest tools that you’ve come to love. Though we’ve long been known for our maps and directions, we wanted to make it easier for you to access additional trip-planning tools to make everything from grocery-getting to going off the grid faster, better and more enjoyable. You can check out the new logos on all of our sites, including MapQuest.com, MapQuest Gas Prices, MapQuest Route Planner, MapQuest Developers, and more. It’s even on the blog (look up!) :-).

    As part of this effort, MapQuest Vibe will be rebranded as MapQuest Local, still offering Vibe rankings and scores, voting, rich neighborhood information and the complete local experience you’ve grown to love. You’ll see the new logos across the MapQuest products – from our websites to our free apps.

    Watch for more exciting news soon. In the meantime, keep travelin’.

  8. Alas, one of the better summers of my life is winding down and in a few weeks I will be heading back to Northwestern. There are moments when I feel sad to leave home, but they are quickly stifled when I remember all the enticing places I get to return to in September. For convenience, and the chance that I’ve forgotten how to get around Evanston this summer, I used MapQuest’s Map Builder to guide me.

    I will start nowhere else but FlatTop Grill in downtown Evanston. I sometimes question why I like a restaurant so much where I pay to prepare food myself, but then I remember when they bring it out. Because it’s that good.

    The next Evanston destination I will visit is Andy’s Frozen Custard. In the theme of being healthy with over-eating at FlatTop, I can’t envision topping off my night in any other way than with a bowl from Andy’s. The retro décor and delectable custard combined, for me, are an integral part of the Evanston experience.

    Dominick’s would be on my tour of Evanston, as well. I’ll see myself there with my roommates, most likely on a Sunday morning, to replenish our kitchen. As fun as it is having a trashcan with more contents than the pantry, we like to eat–we’re college students after all. We enter the grocery store with handfuls of coupons and leave with handfuls of processed, unhealthy, delicious foodstuffs.

    Although football is not my favorite sport, I love football games. Every home game I’ll be at Ryan Field clad in a NU shirt, yelling with my peers, pretending like I know what’s going on. Football and football games are very different events.

    Within the first week, I’ll have to make a stop at Beck’s Book Store. The used book store offers less expensive prices than other bookstores, and sells merchandise every student needs for success, like the “Northwestern Quidditch” shirt.

    Even if I have no classes there, I will take a walk to University Hall, my favorite building on campus. Also the oldest building on campus, University in the fall is quite a sight, and pictures of the building during this season attract students worldwide. Then, when the bitter cold devours them in the winter they wonder what they were thinking.

    And at some point in the quarter, I’ll have to make my way to the library. While it may not be the most inviting spot on campus, it provides an atmosphere in which students can get things done. Grades are ultimately the top priority.

    Until then, I will have no problem enjoying every last minute at home, because Colorado is as good at being a state as Misty and Kerri are at volleyball.

    If the fun of summer has hijacked your directional know-how as well, look no further than MapQuest’s Map Builder. It’s free, it’s easy to use and it’ll get you where you need to be.

  9. With the same swiftness they arrived, the London Olympic Games are now gone. The seven years of planning came to fruition, and now I know how parents feel when their children go from newborns to college grads.

    Although summer Olympic competition will pause for four long years, there are ample ways for us to follow our favorite Olympic stars in the meantime.

    If you fell in love with the infectious smile of Gabby Douglas, the bountiful tears of Aly Raisman, and the unrivaled sass of McKayla Maroney, you don’t have to say goodbye just yet. The gymnasts will be going on a national tour this fall to cities including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Broomfield, Colo., Chicago and Boston.

    If your fascination was fixed on the pool, you can see Missy Franklin swim in exciting high school meets in Colorado that match Olympic races in the sense that people swim. Or you could see what Ryan Lochte is up to in Gainesville, Fla., before he gets swept up in a whirlwind of post-Olympic appearances.

    Perhaps it was platform diving that simultaneously took your breath away and captured your attention. American diver Nick McCrory will compete another season as an NCAA athlete for Duke, all the while staying at the top of his game so maybe he, too, can reach the Olympic heights like those of compatriot David Boudia.

    Ashton Eaton, the best decathlete in the world, claims he will continue to train for Rio 2016 at his alma mater, U of Oregon. (Fun note: Eugene, Ore., home of the University of Oregon, is nicknamed “TrackTown, USA,” probably because the city seemingly pumps out champions like Eaton as frequently as Tweeters used the hashtag #NBCfail last week.)

    And if the brutal play of water polo captured a spot in your memory, incoming Stanford freshmen and 2012 Olympian Maggie Steffens is likely to dominate the college scene. Now join me in the collective asking of the question, “Stanford athletes, what can’t you do?!”

    It may be hard at first saying goodbye to the Olympics, but seeing our athletes around the country post-Games can make it a little less hard. And using MapQuest to get to them can make it even easier.

    Hey, only 1,450 days until Rio!

  10. They’re here.

    My beloved Olympic Games. London has opened its doors and welcomed the world. Television channels have turned on their cameras and invited in our country, primarily me.

    These 17 action-packed days provide more than just the glory of athletics for us to bask in, but also entertainment from people like Bob Costas and Al Michaels who tell the stories of heart-warming resilience. The melodic voices and occasionally pointed remarks from these and other commentators only amplify my love for the Games.

    That is why, if I were in London, I would start my Olympic tour with my favorite broadcasters and commentators. Unquestionably, the best place to begin the day is at the International Broadcast Centre in the heart of London and the soul of the Games. The sweeping landscapes of London’s countryside are no match for the plush seating arrangements and inviting glass windowpanes of the IBC.

    A logical next stop would be the North Greenwich Arena on the bank of the River Thames for gymnastics. While I may need to fashion an eye shield before entering the shockingly pink arena, it will no doubt serve as an experience covered in goose bumps. Gymnastics has always been a passion of mine, and seeing the pinnacle of the sport live would be a fantasy realized.

    Next, I’m off to the Aquatics Centre (or Center, for this side of the pond), where I can debate whether I am more entertained by watching swimming or listening to the commentators. If ever there were a dynamic duo, Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines would be it. Not to mention, their perch rests just above the truly world-class pool where Chinese domination in diving continues. Watching them and all of the other world-class athletes compete is an inescapable dose of their dedicated reality—and how much they devote to compete at that level.

    Let’s end the tour at Olympic Stadium to watch the world’s fastest men and women run speeds quicker than I am comfortable driving. Since I most likely won’t be able to get to London by Sunday to see if Usain Bolt can win the 100-meter race again, I’ll have to watch from my dark basement. Will I see the daylight for a second Olympics in a row or will the basement be too dark?

    Now all I have to do is make my dream Olympic tour come true, which may prove harder than winning a gold medal. Maybe by 2016…

    Map