MapQuest reportedly shutting down in preparation for MapBox overhaul

We already know that Verizon is acquiring AOL for some $4.4 billion dollars, but now we’re hearing reports that some big changes are coming to AOL products as well. For instance, there seems to be indications that AOL is planning to drastically overhaul their online mapping service, MapQuest.

MapQuest, once the forerunner for online maps but eventually overshadowed by Google Maps, has still been fairly successful in recent years. However, it looks like AOL is going to make a hard push to make their service competitive again, to the tune of an overhaul of the entire system. The reports indicate that AOL has struck some sort of a deal with MapBox, a startup which was built to allow people to design maps with custom markers, icons, color schemes, and layouts.

We can imagine that MapQuest is interested in more than just MapBox’s great design, but that has to play a major part in whatever deal has been struck. In a Washington Post article published earlier today, the overhaul was mentioned as “something that has been in the works for over 2 years”, and was compared to “razing a house rather than a remodeling”. It will certainly be interesting to see where MapQuest goes with this, and whether it’s a serious attempt to be competitive again, or the last push of a dying brand.

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