WWW site of the week


MapQuest won't drastically change your life, but it definitely falls into the group of cool things on the Web that no one knows about. The site, a product of GeoSystems Global Corp., is an interactive, on-line map of the U.S.

The MapQuest concept is not a new one; CD-ROMs and other media have been produced with full US maps, but this is the first one to grace the Web. Supported by advertising, the site is free to all (though it does request that you register by entering your name and e-mail address) and is an invaluable reference resource.

The main section of the site is the "Interactive Atlas," which allows the user to find any location in the US by simply entering the address. Given the proper information, a map will soon pop up, with the relevant geography shown. The map can be zoomed from one of the entire United States to a detailed street map. And yes, this actually does work -- MapQuest found the obscure, dead-end street that I live on, as well as those of several friends. According to GeoSystems, an "Interactive World Atlas" will debut in the future, extending the search capabilities to the entire globe.

"TripQuest" is the site's other major section. Here, MapQuest will tell you how to drive from any city in the contiguous 48 states to another. While this technology cannot replace the knowledge of an experienced driver, the directions given are accurate, if not always the ideal route.

The combination of these two functions puts MapQuest near the top of the ever-growing list of "cool free Web stuff." The site is already thorough and will be continuously updated as the geographical information changes. So next time you need a map, forget Rand McNally -- just reach for your mouse and log on to MapQuest.

--Jon Kaufthal

Please E-mail StreetWeb@dp.upenn.edu with any questions or comments.

© Copyright 1996 The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. All rights reserved.

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