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MapQuest Beta?

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Yesterday, I saw some new features on MapQuest, including draggable maps.

They appear to be gone now, but it looks like AOL-owned MapQuest may finally be trying to catch up in features to Google Maps, Windows Live Local, and a smattering of other AJAX-based map sites. It was at beta.mapquest.com, but appears to have dissapeared after a brief time (and before I could not the other new features).

MapQuest’s brand is so strong among longtime web users (and in search engine rankings), and its experience and expertise in driving directions is mostly unsurpassed (fastest route, shortest route, avoid highways route) that if it catches up technology-wise, it can make all the hard work by Google and others go to waste. If MapQuest stops looking like a chump, it is going to be hard for the new sites to steal its loyal userbase any more.

Who else noticed it?

Andrew Ng

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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