This upcoming weekend I am driving to the lake to meet up with some friends. Although I am thrilled to have a week at the Lake, I am not enthusiastic about the confusing drive that I will be making alone to meet up with them. Here’s when an upgrade in Mapquest is extremely convenient.

While GPS devices in the car and on phones are becoming increasingly popular and since Google has outranked Mapquest in its number of unique visitors and overall traffic for the past two years, it now seems to be the appropriate time and possibly needed time for a change in Mapquest’s services.

Today, Mapquest introduced their new and improved Beta version map services. The change didn’t just improve the services of the company, but also the look. The name is no longer MapQuest with a capital Q, but Mapquest and is written in a more professional font than the original sqiggily red font. I guess they are hoping to portray their improved professionalism both through look and their upgraded services.

Some of the improved services that the new Mapquest offers:

  • One box search so as to make the directions and mapping services more clean and clear.
  • Maps on the right hand side, so as to enable customers to see both the map and the directions at the same time and not have to scroll down. (thank goodness)
  • Options to personalize your trip with itineraries, notes, short-cuts, and landmarks
  • Ability to look up gas stations, historical landmarks, shops, restaurants, hotels, and such to add to your trip.
  • Ability to share your maps, itineraries, and notes with friends via facebook, twitter, etc.
  • Easy destination options. Add multiple destination and change their order: A to B to C OR A to C to B

The upgrades for the new Mapquest are endless, but most importantly simple, making the whole experience more consumer friendly. “It’s allowing it to be a place of discovery, rather than just a calculator,” said Dwyer, the new boss of Mapquest. “It’s meant to be a simpler, more elegant, faster, more intuitive version that offers more information to plan a trip.” Customers who grew accustomed to the old version and don’t want to change can still use the older version.

This new Mapquest, both features and look-wise, was a necessary change which may have been the perfect key to improving their strategic internet marketing. Maybe one day they will not still be behind Google Maps. Maybe.