MapQuest has announced a major new redesign of its website, which now includes a single search box (rather than multiple address fields), other interface and feature enhancements, and hooks to social networking sites and other AOL properties. There’s also this new logo. For details see the MapQuest blog, the press release, and news coverage from the Associated Press and CNet.
Adena’s take on All Points Blog: “On first look the interface is cleaner and the app has more of the until-now-missing tools many of us already use in Google Maps and Bing Maps including ‘My Maps,’ a tool to build your own custom maps. While the update is a step forward, it really just sets MapQuest closer to the leading players.”
Personally, I’m annoyed that the search box takes up a full third of the page; it’s wasted space unless you have a list of directions, which is what, I think, MapQuest expects. MapQuest has generally worked on the basis that its users are looking for a map because they’re taking a trip somewhere, and its features tend to reflect that; of course, there are many other reasons to use an online map, which Google, Microsoft and even Yahoo have exploited to their advantage. MapQuest’s focus is still much narrower.