Once the web’s premier mapping platform, MapQuest has been in catch-up mode for a long time now. It seems they’re making some inroads now, at least in terms of strategy. Last month, MapQuest launched a local site, racking up 3.3 million of the site’s 48 million uniques until now. Now in an attempt to turn the MapQuest platform into a media information hub, the company has integrated Yelp reviews. Not only does MapQuest benefit from more locally relevant content for its users, but Yelp should also receive a fair amount of traffic from outside the Silicon Valley area where it’s popular.
MapQuest will also be adding sports information to their local site, part of the company’s “vision to reproduce what people can find in their Sunday newspaper, but in a dynamic online format.” This is exactly what MapQuest needs to be doing to compete in today’s online mapping world. They’ll never catch Google, but at least they can maximize their financial potential in order to become ripe for sale.
Not content to stick to the traditional web, MapQuest is also working hard at going mobile. It’s released a few Blackberry mapping apps, and in the next few days they should be releasing a version of their platform optimized for the Apple iPhone’s Safari browser.
Way to go MapQuest, it looks like you’ve finally got your collective heads screwed on straight. Too bad it’s a little too late.