MapQuest Offers ‘What To Do’ In Addition To ‘Where’ With Memorial Day Push Notifications

The Verizon/AOL map platform is alerting holiday weekend travelers to traffic with in-app push messages as well.

MapQuest users will be getting a bit more guidance about getting this Memorial Day weekend, as the Verizon/AOL-owned mapping platform is testing a series of alerts that go beyond getting from Point A to Point B.

On Friday, some MapQuest app users were given an alert on their iPhone to check out Memorial Day weekend happenings in their local area.

The app is A/B testing two different versions of what it calls the “Memorial Day push.” The first is to encourage people to “Check Traffic” before they embark on their Memorial Day road trips.

The second feature is meant to encourage MapQuest users to turn to the Layers tool, which are square tabs at the bottom of the app’s screen showing a number of customizable search categories such as hotels, food, coffee, gas, and parking.

The Memorial Day weekend push notifications use deeplinks to open the “Layers drawer” to help MapQuest users discover nearby “points of interest” (Coffee, Restaurants, etc.), a MapQuest spokesperson told GeoMarketing.

“In general, we use the tentpole/holiday push notification messaging to share how our features can help our users during high-traffic/travel holidays as means of feature education,” the rep added, who noted that no sponsors are involved in the Memorial Day effort.

The new features comes as Denver-based MapQuest is continuing to carve out unique utilities and functions as part of a wider resurgence amid greater demand — and competition — for mobile navigation services.

For example, last year, MapQuest expanded the use of its Leaflet plugins, a custom mapping tool for B2B publishers and developers. In the past, MapQuest has worked with the open source navigation tools in OpenStreetMaps, but last version featured visuals from its navigation data and design partner MapBox.

The Memorial Day pushes also reflect the ways MapQuest, Apple Maps, and other navigation apps are gearing up to challenge Google’s various proximity promotions through its “micro-moments” marketing and “near me” mobile search queries.

Apart from its holiday hints, MapQuest’s latest version has also launched “perspective view,” which lets users see the route ahead in 2.5D. In addition, it released Speed Limit Warnings that allow users to check the speed limit, how fast they’re going, and directions all in one place.

“Users must enable ‘Show Speed & Speed Limit’ in the app settings,” MapQuest’s rep noted. “We’re working hard to improve our speed limit data coverage, but as of now, it isn’t available in some residential areas so if you receive ‘unknown’ results, that’s why.  We’re planning another release coming up for Android that will have similar features.”

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David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.