MapQuest was created by using the tools and the images available from aerial photos and satellite images. Very accurate maps that can show people exactly where they are traveling and exactly where they have to go have been extremely useful. People are able to type in their home address and the address of any place they would like to go and they will be given exact step-by-step directions, along with the exact miles that they will be traveling between each phase of the trip.
Also, directions are made available simply by typing in the keywords, for example the name of a business, and where it is located and MapQuest will supply the address. This company also publishes maps, in addition to offering their free services with their online website. The MapQuest services became available on the internet in 1996, and they utilized the company's original skill of creating maps.
The site offers satellite images in an advanced program to allow people to track their travels, to see places they'd like to go, and to get a feel for an itinerary. Today, aerial maps and satellite images, working in conjunction with MapQuest and several other companies, have a program where people can track the locations of their friends. Using mobile phones that are enabled with the Global Positioning System, GPS, maps can automatically be created and accessed after being sent to cell phones so people can meet each other at places that are near both of them.
MapQuest also allows for people to type in certain points of interest, including restaurants, banks, hotels, airports, or ATM machines that are near their current location. People can sign up to be alerted to when their acquaintances or friends come to a nearby location or come close to where they are.
MapQuest continues to improve its systems and continues to add services for the benefit of the public. In July 2006, it launched a program where people can construct their own routes- instead of only plotting the directions and distance between two points, they can add different steps along the way, they can change the order of stops, or they can choose to circumvent specific roads or routes. The route that is generated by MapQuest will take into account all the guidelines and specifications, making a unique and personalized route for travel.
People are also able to use the aerial maps provided by MapQuest, and they can actually pinpoint certain points on the map in order to change their locations. They can drag and perform functions on the map itself and the website will generate new directions or offer suggestions based on the changes made. The maps include aerial photos so people can see the location of the actual image and its location on the map.