Mobile Local Search Enhancements From MapQuest

MapQuest announced today that it will enhance its MapQuest Mobile product and make MapQuest Navigator available on BlackBerries from Sprint and Nextel.

MapQuest Mobile is a mobile local search platform available on any cellphone, which requires only a free download. It’s currently the top revenue generating mobile search download in the U.S. The new features of v2.5 include multipoint routing, walking directions, and 15 million points of interest (one of MapQuest’s silver bullets is point of interest search in addition to business locations. See last year’s mapping Advisory Maps: Where are We Now, Where are We Going?)

MapQuest Navigator by comparison is the company’s more enhanced mobile local search platform that requires GPS-enabled devices and works best on smart phones (smart phone adoption on the rise according to ZDNet). It features text and audio turn-by-turn directions and is meant to have all the functionality of an in-car navigation system in a cheaper and more accessible device (although nav systems are coming down in price and Yahoo! is trying to “get onboard”.)

At ILM: 06 MapQuest GM and VP Jim Greiner was a featured speaker and went over a lot of these products’ benefits as well as the company’s vision for mobile local search and its positioning to tackle this market given its commanding market share lead of online mapping. We also had the chance to speak with Jim in a briefing call yesterday, along with Christian Dwyer, director of MapQuest Business Solutions, and Alan Beiagi, director and GM of MapQuest Wireless. We’ll cover this and other upcoming announcements by MapQuest in next week’s issue of Local Media Journal.

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