Archives for General Info

  1. 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

    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

    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

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. Whether you’re looking forward to Valentine’s Day or dreading it, MapQuest has a fun new way to help out.

    Through February 15, you’ll find two love-related icons in the map toolbar (which lets you search for nearby businesses with one click). Click on the heart icon to find the most romantic restaurants in town. Or click on the broken heart icon to find the perfect break-up spots.

    Either way, it’s the perfect way to let your Valentine know exactly where your heart stands.

    Most Romantic Restaurants and Best Break Up Spots on MapQuest

    These “love ‘em or leave ‘em” locations were selected by the savvy editors of AOL City’s Best, serving the nation’s top cities: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas / Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, the Twin Cities and Washington D.C.

    We hope you’ll get a kick out of our temporary Valentine’s Day-inspired logo. And if you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see added to the toolbar in the future, let us know. We’d love to hear your ideas.

  5. MapQuest Play-by-Play Football DirectionsMapQuest opens its football playbook this year with ‘Play-by-Play’ directions to your Big Game celebrations.  Whether you’re bellying up at your favorite sports bar or waist-deep in wings in your best buddy’s mancave, drop these directions into the invitation to make sure your team shows up on time.

    To turn on Play-by-Play directions, click on the flag drop-down menu in the upper-right-hand corner and select the football with a green background.  Then, get your directions like you normally would — on the far left underneath the MapQuest logo. Don’t forget to show your true colors, just like Questi, seen here rocking some serious spirit with a home team (MapQuest, that is) football helmet.

    Finally, type in your kickoff (start) and (end) zone locations, and let Play-by-Play bring you straight to the posts.

    MapQuest Play-by-Play Football Directions Drop-down Menu

    For those who don’t yet have plans, MapQuest’s “My Maps” feature City’s Best recommendations in the nation’s top cities including: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas / Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, the Twin Cities and Washington D.C. .  Find everything from Big Game beer selection to athletic-sized appetizers.

  6. At a CES 2011 keynote, Ford announced its electric vehicle, as well as our partnership with them on the new MyFord Mobile app, which will allow Focus Electric drivers to make safe and smart-trip planning decisions. Using the features powered by MapQuest, drivers of the new vehicles will be able to:

    • Locate charging stations and get the destination sent to the vehicle
    • Know if the vehicle can reach a specific charge station with the current charge level, and if not, it will make recommendations on how to drive more efficiently to get there
    • Create a journey or itinerary with multiple stops — and be informed of the likelihood the car has adequate charge for the full trip
    • Find the car by creating a route from a mobile phone to the vehicle.

    Service is expected in conjunction with Ford’s electric vehicle (EV) launch in late 2011.

    The MyFord Mobile app uses MapQuest to find charging stations.  (Credit: Ford)

  7. Traffic Jam during the HolidaysIt’s not your imagination. Traffic patterns can change towards the end of December. To give you an idea of what to expect, we asked INRIX (the company that provides live traffic reports for to share their holiday traffic forecast for some of the nation’s busiest travel spots.

    Plan ahead.
    It’s expected to take you a little longer to get where you’re going in these already-congested areas, now until the end of the year. Here’s how much more time you can expect to spend in the car:

    • Chicago-Naperville-Joliet IL-IN-WI – 14.2%
    • Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA-NH – 12.4%
    • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX - 7.8%
    • New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island NY-NJ-PA - 6.4%
    • Detroit-Warren-Livonia MI - 4.8%
    • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA - 4.8%
    • St. Louis MO-IL - 4.8%
    • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA - 4.2%

    Live Traffic on MapQuest.comWatch out.
    The roads in some areas are pretty much guaranteed to be slow-going — even with good weather. Several of the worst trouble spots are forecast for the Northeast, as people travel between New York and the rest of New England.

    Check out our map of the biggest holiday bottlenecks from coast-to-coast.

    Get traffic.
    To make your holiday travels a little more sane, look up your destination on for live traffic reports, updated every five minutes. If you see heavy traffic ahead, it’s easy to change your path by “dragging” your route to alternate roads.

  8. If you weren’t able to talk the relatives into coming toRoad Trip with Kids see YOU this year, never fear. We’ve got some time-tested, parent-approved tips for keeping the kids happy and occupied during your holiday drive.

    Bring a cooler with snacks to keep you out of the drive-thru — like fruit, nuts, string cheese, granola bars, water, juice and chocolate milk. And don’t forget baby wipes for the inevitable clean-ups.

    Tip #2: BRING MUSIC
    Let everyone in the car take turns playing their favorite music. Bring along some holiday tunes and you just might find yourselves in a classic family sing-a-long.

    Tip #3: PLAY GAMES
    Challenge the whole car to a friendly game of “I Spy,” “The License Plate Game” or “Name That Tune.” Plus, bring cards and travel-sized versions of games like bingo and Scrabble.

    Modern gadgets can be lifesavers on long trips: from handheld electronic games, to educational systems like LeapFrog, to portable DVD players with headphones.

    Tip #5: TAKE A BREAK
    Stop every two or three hours so everyone can stretch their legs and use the restroom. For a quick burst of fun and energy, toss around a football or Frisbee.

    Stump (and impress) your kids with answers to questions like “Where was Dad born?”, “What’s grandma’s middle name?” and “How many cousins do you have?”

    Tip #7: BRING TOYS + BOOKS
    Bring things that challenge your kids’ imaginations, like action figures, toy cars, an Etch-A-Sketch, pop-up books and Mad Libs. And consider bringing small gifts to give during the ride.

    Sleeping Girl on Road TripTip #8: GET CRAFTY
    Pack up craft supplies like pipe cleaners and felt scraps, plus paper, crayons and colored pencils. A cookie sheet with raised edges makes a great travel tray.

    Tip #9: SHARE THE MAP
    Bring an atlas and printed maps from to show the kids where you’re headed and what landmarks you’ll pass. Track where you’ve been with a highlighter.

    Tip #10: PACK PILLOWS
    Kids will snooze more easily with creature comforts like pillows, favorite blankets and stuffed animals. Wearing PJs and earplugs can help them relax and fall fast asleep even faster.

    Since you’re hitting the road for the holidays, you might find these other MapQuest tools helpful as well:

    Win Free Gas for a Year
    Check Live Traffic in your Area
    Find the Cheapest Gas in Town

    Safe travels and happy holidays!

  9. We don’t have David Letterman on staff at MapQuest or an office house band, but with a December of daily giveaways, we’ve definitely been thinking of the top 10 ways we would use free gas for a year. Our ideas may not make the list of most PRACTICAL ways to travel 12,000 miles (average miles driven annually), but they do a good job of showing just how far free gas for a year can go!

    10. Tired of your friend with the Toyota Prius telling you how much they save on gas every year? Turn the tables and have you behind the wheel by winning free gas for a year.

    9. There is a 50 percent chance you live within 50 miles of where you grew up. Dust off those childhood memories by driving back to where you grew up … some 240 times next year.

    8. Stressed about driving that gas-guzzling SUV to the mountains for a day of skiing? Drive worry-free from San Francisco to Tahoe 60 times.

    7. You’re never too old for Disney World®. Take a road trip with your friends or family across the southern U.S., driving from Disneyland® (Calif.) to Disney World (Fla.) nearly six times. High-fiving Mickey has never been this easy.

    6. No amount of gas can send you back in time unless you mean reliving the ‘60s and ‘70s by driving from Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco to the phoenix of CBGB in New York City, twice in 2011. Rock on!

    5. From Yellowstone to Acadia, the U.S. proudly protects 58 national parks. Spend your year of free gas driving to see them all.

    4. Road Trip of Dreams. Start at the famous 1988 Hollywood movie site of Field of Dreams and travel to the five most popular baseball stadiums: Fenway, Yankee, Target, Wrigley and Camden Yards. Wasn’t enough the first time? If you win free gas, you can go five more!

    3. On average, houses in the U.S. are 20 feet apart. This means you could drive from your garage to your neighbor’s 3 million times or, for those weekend warriors, maybe use the trips to the home-improvement store instead.

    2. The farthest distance between two McDonald’s restaurants in the contiguous 48 states is 145 driving miles. With 12,000 miles of free gas you could drive between the two more than 80 times.  McRib® is calling!

    1. A mailman walks more than six miles daily and the average UPS® truck driver covers 500 miles a day.  Help your local delivery people carpool when delivering holiday packages for the rest of the year! That is a ton of mail.  Literally.

    Do you have a way you can use free gas for a year? Share it with us on our Facebook page or on Twitter using the hashtag #FreeGas.

    *NOTE: Sources used for the above information include, and

  10. The holidays are a time for gift-giving and well-wishing, so this holiday season MapQuest wants to make wishes at    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® come true with your help.

    Today only, MapQuest is matching $1 for every click we receive on the St. Jude promo on the top right of our homepage (up to $5,000). This donation will go towards finding a cure for cancer and improving the quality of life for the children at St. Jude. The giving doesn’t stop at $5,000 though! The promo will be there the entire day and we encourage you to contribute to our donation if you would like to further support their cause.

    Together we can help children like Haley have their holiday wishes come true.

    From everybody here at MapQuest, where we are so grateful, we hope you spread the joy to those less fortunate this holiday season.

    If you’d like to learn more about St. Jude and pledge your support to their cause, please click here.

    Happy Holidays!