AOL€™s MapQuest unit announced it was going €œback to the future€ today with plans to publish printed maps and guide books, and AOL announced the formation of MapQuest Publishing business unit. Perry Evans, CEO of LocalMatters, Inc. must be having a good laugh.
Perry used to work at R.R. Donnelley & Sons' original mapping company located in Mountville, PA €" now know to 41 million monthly unique visitors as MapQuest.com. One is reminded of the €œSmuckers€ old tag line €" with a name like blah, blah, blah, it ought to be good. In this case, AOL has finally seized the opportunity to leverage a global online brand with a real world, everyday solution €" printed maps and guide books. Mixed emotions abound. Rand McNally will watch its market share drop like a brick and can only kick itself for never getting ahead of the curve. Have you ever been to randmcnally.com? (Me neither.) Nor have I ever been to the R.R. Donnelley site looking for maps. Too bad neither had a road map for the future.