MapQuest has undergone a number of changes over the last year, including a major overhaul. Today, it has launched a new initiative that may help endear the once top dog in online mapping to much of the geolocation community - a U.S. site based on crowdsourced mapping effort OpenStreetMaps.AOL-owned
MapQuest has already introduced similiar sites across Europe and Asia, but this site - open.mapquest.com - brings OSM data to the U.S.
According to the company, using OpenStreetMap data offers a number of advantages, including more than 12 languages, continual updating of maps and daily-updated driving directions.
"By using crowdsourced OSM data, Open.MapQuest.com is a 'living map,' improved by contributors who can easily add content and details that make the map more specific and useful," the company writes in its announcement. "Examples include detailed tourist attractions, biking and hiking trails, or even a simple feature such as footpaths through neighborhood parks."
MapQuest general manager Christian Dwyer told the Associated Press that MapQuest "would like to 'out-open' Google."
OpenStreetMaps has more than 320,000 users worldwide and each of these users can help report errors in mapping and help edit the map. The addition of a MapQuest overlay to OSM data means that users can get MapQuest-specific overlays, such as local attractions, restaurants, bars and driving direction.