Archives for MapQuest Map Builder

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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…

  4. MapQuest’s easy to use and quick to implement Map Builder tool helps bloggers and publishers build custom maps for a variety of mapping needs including natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricane maps as well as celebratory events such as wedding maps and party maps.

    The best part about Map Builder is that it’s free to use and available as a web tool, WordPress plugin and API for developers.

    Here’s an example of how Huffington Post used MapBuilder to create a map for the recent Virginia earthquake. Share your custom maps with us by emailing so we can feature them on our blog too.

  5. This weekend, WordCamp comes to the Windy City. Learn more about WordPress, plugins, blogging and search optimization at WordCamp Chicago, July 30 & 31.

    If you’re planning to attend, stop by the MapQuest table at the entrance of the event. We’ll let you take our Map Builder WordPress Plugin for a spin and create an interactive map for your blog. Not familiar with Map Builder? It is an easy tool for mapping your favorite local hotspots, local news stories, upcoming events, or your team’s weekend soccer tournament. You can embed the map to your site and share with your friends. Not a WordPress user? We also have a Map Builder stand alone tool for all other blogs or websites. We launched Map Builder at SXSW this year, since then maps have turned up all over the place:

    Below is a Map Builder map we’ve created, which includes the weekend’s locations, DePaul Student Center (main venue), the after party location, the nearest L stop, the nearest Starbucks, and more.

    To get updates live from the event, follow @MapQuestTech.

  6. The 4th of July weekend is always full of events in cities and towns around the country.  From parades to community barbecues to firework displays, there’s no shortage of things to do and see.  With Map Builder, it’s easy to create a map of events and activities to help your fellow Americans explore and decide what to do.

    To create your own custom map, simply go to Map Builder and add the locations for your events and activities. Make it a personal map by adding comments or helpful hints. From there, you can easily share with your friends and family on your blog, website or even your local newspaper.

    Here’s one we created for the Denver area:

    Fireworks Icon

    Need a graphic to use as a fireworks map pin? Use ours!

    Creating a parade route is easy as well.  Just choose the line tool in the drawing panel and trace the path the parade follows. We traced the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade route below.

    We’ve created a few maps of 4th of July events ourselves that we’re happy to let you use as well! Choose a city below to check out the map and copy and paste the provided code to include the map on your site!

    Stay tuned for more features and news on Map Builder and have a safe and happy Independence Day weekend!

  7. According to BlogPulse, there are now 163MM public blogs in existence, with 67K started in just the past 24 hours. That’s a lot of people with a lot of things to say. We’re at BlogWorld for the next few days talking with many of these folks about where the industry is now and where it’s headed.

    If you’re planning to attend BlogWorld as well, we’d love to see you. Just stop by our booth (#503). We’ll have a free t-shirt for you (while supplies last of course) and you’ll also have the chance to take a quick poll to enter to win a $500 VISA® Gift Card. The poll is meant to educate us – we want to know exactly what map and location-based services bloggers and publishers are truly looking for. We have some great tools available now for bloggers, publishers and more – check them out on our MapQuest tools site – but we want to continue to better these and also create new products. As an example, you can see a great use of our most recent tool, MapQuest Map Builder BETA, on AOL’s Monster Help Day website or see the embedded map below.

    If you’re not attending the conference, we still want to hear your feedback. If you contribute to the blogosphere or editorial realm in anyway, take our poll now and you’ll have the chance to win too!

    To get updates live from the show, follow us on @MapQuestTech.

  8. Creating robust maps for your business, your blog, or your website just became easier with MapQuest Map Builder Beta!

    MapQuest Map Builder enables you to create custom interactive maps quickly and easily.  Create a map for your business using your logo as the map pin and allow customers to get driving directions to your business.  Create a map of your favorite local hotspots to share with your friends on your blog.  Create a map of local news stories, upcoming events, or your team’s weekend soccer tournament.

    Let’s take a quick look at MapQuest Map Builder Beta:  Add points to your map by dropping a pin directly on the map or by looking up location by address, name, or latitude and longitude.   You can customize each location you add to the map by providing your own title and description.  You can also change the design of the map pin on the map by choosing from our pin gallery or by linking to your own image!

    Map Builder lets you draw shapes, too!  Use the shape tools to draw lines, rectangles, ellipses, or your own custom polygons on the map.  You can even change the color, opacity and border of the shapes you put on the map.

    Once you are done, simply save your map and copy and paste the code into your website.  Map Builder creates both an interactive map and a map as a static image for you to use.   It’s that simple.

    Take a look at some tutorials and some of the sample maps we’ve created in Map Builder.

    If you are a WordPress user, you can install the Map Builder for WordPress plug-in.  When you create maps with the plug-in, the maps insert directly into your post or page.

    As always, we appreciate hearing feedback from our users.  And, stay tuned for more features for MapQuest Map Builder in the future!