Finding Your Way Around With Mapquest
MapQuest is a name that's been around for a long time on the web. Before Microsoft and Google Maps, there was MapQuest offering high quality maps to users for free. Indeed, they started the movement and brought a great interactive site to everyone, where you could travel the world by looking at any location on the map. Their high quality maps included all the information you would need to plan a trip or vacation, including road information, tourist attractions, traffic condition, and more. But now, MapQuest improved even more with their latest version, including their MapQuest Satellite maps.
With Satellite, you can see the same overhead views, but with a layered image taken from planes or satellites, high in the sky. On top of them, you have the option of having labels showing up the roads and places, which you can turn off. All the features available with the normal maps are also available here. On top of the MapQuest site, you can see a toolbar with icons for every popular function of the site. There, you can create routes, ask for directions, toggle various views, and turn on or off all sorts of information.
But the true value of the site doesn't start showing until you really dig down, and start using it. Soon, you'll discover how easy it is to use, with things like draggable routes, where you can simply click on a destination you asked directions for, and drag it on the map to another place. MapQuest then recalculates the path. Also, search is fully integrated into the web app. If you want to look for aerial photography in Portland or Phoenix, for example, you can just enter the name of the town in the search box, and the map will update itself for the most probably location. In many cases, you don't even have to specify the state or country.
And on top of the beautiful satellite maps, MapQuest also has street level photos with 360 degree views, and the ability to put in markers at specific locations to save and come back later. Plus, with its sharing features, you can send these satellite photos to a friend, or share it on Facebook. MapQuest is powered by constantly updated data that come directly from the companies doing the Earth photography, so the views are as recent as possible. And since MapQuest is owned by AOL, one of the oldest and biggest content company, it can pull data from many places and show you nearby businesses which you otherwise may not have found.
MapQuest Satellite is perhaps one of the most fun feature to use in a map application. Even if you're not planning a trip somewhere, just watching the top of the pyramids in Egypt, or the streets of Manhattan, there's always something fun to do on the site, and it's always available for free, to all users of the web.