MapQuest

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Screenshot of MapQuest's open site

MapQuest is an online mapping company based in the United States and is wholly-owned by AOL. MapQuest is one of the pioneers in online mapping and holds a significant market share in the U.S. During the State Of The Map 2010, the company announced their support for OpenStreetMap making MapQuest the first large online mapping service to embrace OSM.

In their SOTM announcement, MapQuest launched open.mapquest.co.uk, a general-purpose experimental online map for the whole world and with specific routing for the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. The data on open.mapquest.co.uk is based on the OSM database and the website was constructed with the help of technologies familiar to OpenStreetMap: Mapnik for rendering map tiles, Nominatim for geocoding and search, and Potlatch 2 for editing. Improvements done on these software have been contributed back to the community. For routing, MapQuest uses their own engine.

In addition to open.mapquest.co.uk, MapQuest earmarked $1 million in resources to help improve the OSM data in the United States with the stated intention of possibly using OSM data for their maps of the U.S. in the future and to improve the maps on Patch, MapQuest's sister website company in AOL providing hyper-local news, which already uses OpenStreetMap.


Projects

Items listed here are goals that MapQuest is attempting to focus the community towards, in order to improve the US

  • Project HotSpot - Goal is to get important landmarks in the USA to a level of high quality, to demonstrate OSM's ability to be a Premier Map for the USA
  • MapQuest Charities - We've implemented "Places to Give" in map tool bar showing locations around the world to give to your local charities.

Contact

  • For general feedback about all open.mapquest.* sites, comments can be sent to us using the Feedback link found above the top-right corner of the map.
  • For technical feedback or inquiries, contact the product and tech team at this e-mail address: open@mapquest.com

Available Websites

Portals

Developer Sites

Blogs

Access / Downloads

Style files for Mapnik

The MapQuest style files for Mapnik are available at http://github.com/MapQuest/MapQuest-Mapnik-Style and is released under the MIT license.[1]

MapQuest-hosted map tiles

You are free to use the MapQuest map tiles in their existing applications or in your applications so long as you do the following:

  • Because this site uses open source mapping data, your use of the map tiles, data and images is subject to the licenses you see on the map tiles and your use must comply with this license. You cannot add a more restrictive license to the map tiles, data and images on the site or create derivative works with a more restrictive license.
  • If the application will get heavy usage (current defined as more than 4,000 tiles per second) please let MapQuest know in advance at open@mapquest.com. Please include the estimate of usage, so we can make sure that we can accommodate the load.
  • Before making an announcement (e.g., a press release, or something that is "all official-like") that relates to this site or the data, tiles or images on it, please contact MapQuest at open@mapquest.com with some notice because we’d like to hear about your efforts and if folks are going to get excited and hit the website, we’d like to have everything working at peak capacity.
  • All the information is provided “As-Is” and without any warranty of any kind. We are also under no obligation to provide any error corrections, updates, upgrades, bug fixes, etc. Since this is open source data, there will likely be errors and faults so please use at your own risk and if you see something that's not right, contribute to the Open Source Mapping community to correct it. Please also be aware that we have no obligation to provide support, although we may opt do so in our sole discretion if one of our developers gets the urge.

Tile URLs

The tile URLs are very similar to regular OSM tiles, with only the front of the URL being different.

Always check here for the latest information: <http://developer.mapquest.com/web/products/open/map>

OpenStreetMap tile URL http://a.tile.openstreetmap.org/8/126/87.png
MapQuest tile URL http://otile1.mqcdn.com/tiles/1.0.0/map/8/126/87.jpg
MapQuest Open Aerial tile URL http://otile1.mqcdn.com/tiles/1.0.0/sat/15/5240/12661.jpg

Just replace the "http://a.tile.openstreetmap.org" bit with "http://otile1.mqcdn.com/tiles/1.0.0/osm".

Note: MapQuest has 4 subdomains set up, otile1 to otile4, all pointing to the same CDN. Just like with OSM's a.tile to c.tile subdomains, these subdomains are provided to get around browser limitations on the number of simultaneous HTTP connections to each "host". Browser-based applications can thus request multiple tiles from multiple subdomains faster than from one subdomain.

Apps using MapQuest tiles

Sutter MapQuest Yahoo OSM CyleMap Mashup.PNG

Here is a sample listing how a mashup web app can use the MapQuest styles as well as multiple other maps as a transparent Overlay. The Sample picture refers to http://sautter.com/map/?zoom=14&lat=48.77402&lon=-123.69374&layers=00000BTFFFTTFF

News

FAQ

How often is the data updated?

  • The map data is updated approximately every 15 minutes
  • The search data is updated approximately every 5 minutes
  • The routing data is updated daily

Why did MapQuest launch first in the UK?

MapQuest chose to launch initially with an Open version of their UK site for the SOTM conference in Girona in July 2010. Even though the site seems to be operational for the whole world, the original functionality was designed and tested for use in the United Kingdom, especially the routing. MapQuest wants to localize the language of all the buttons, headers, text, etc. and the UK, being an English-speaking country, made starting it easier. MapQuest also started using just the UK data and has and will continue to scale it up. This was especially important with routing.[2] In September 2010, MapQuest launched Open versions of their international sites for France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Why do MapQuest tiles look fuzzy?

The 'fuzziness' noticeable around fine detail is due to JPEG compression artifacts. MapQuest used to provide tiles in PNG format (which does not suffer from this problem) however stopped sometime during 2012 due to maintenance nightmares[3]

Languages available

Here's the languages we offer on all open.mapquest.* sites:

  • Cantonese
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Danish
  • Dutch (Netherlands)
  • English (British)
  • English (US)
  • Flemish
  • French
  • French (Canadian)
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Irish (Gaelic)
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Spanish (Latino)
  • Swedish
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese

Renderings

Here's a list of renderings that the map rendering could show.

See also

References

  1. Message #051818 at the talk mailing list archive
  2. Message #051744 at the talk mailing list archive
  3. Message #354713 at Mapquest Developer Forum