AOL’s MapQuest today announces the launch of Travel Blogs, a feature designed to help travelers seamlessly capture and share their adventures within an online travel journal while encouraging others to set out on their own journey. This is the second product introduction for the brand as it develops into a platform that helps inspire people where to go, plan how to get there and share their experiences. Travel Blogs is available through a new iPhone app available for download and on desktop allowing users to create visual archives of their trips using photographs, stories, reviews of places they visited and the route traveled. “MapQuest has a great history of helping people get to where they want to go,” says Brian McMahon, General Manager of MapQuest, “and now we’re growing the brand to have a role beyond setting directions. With tools like Travel Blogs, we’re building a product ecosystem that enhances the traveler’s experience at each step in the journey.” The free travel blog app works both on and offline, so users can create a travel journal by adding images and other content even when they don’t have an Internet connection. This comes in handy for travelers visiting locations beyond where their mobile data plans provide coverage. Once online, the app can sync to update the blog. From there, blogs can be shared at anytime through the user’s social channels or via email through an individually curated distribution list. In the coming months, authors will also be able to turn their blogs into a physical photo book. Users can choose to keep their blogs private, but those who allow for public viewing will have their blogs be part of a larger collection of content throughout MapQuest Discover, the brand’s social travel platform, and the AOL network. The aim is to spark curiosity and inspiration for others to set off on their own adventures. “Content is an important part of any digital product,” says McMahon, “and Travel Blogs will help us build out our existing catalogue of authentic stories designed to inspire readers to hit the road again or book that next flight.”
Some examples of MapQuest Travel Blogs include:http://travelblogs.mapquest.com/runwaysandrails/runways-and-rails http://travelblogs.mapquest.com/francislobo/maui-in-one-week http://travelblogs.mapquest.com/stacyandlee/spices-and-treks-culinary-adventures-around-the-world http://travelblogs.mapquest.com/daviddibardino/east-africa-with-amsterdam-en-route About MapQuest MapQuest provides Internet, mobile and business solutions delivering on the promise of helping people dream, plan, share and go wherever the map meets their life. MapQuest is one of the leading mapping brands online, reaching 33.6 million web users in January 2013 and 16.1 million mobile users in December 2012, according to comScore Media Metrix and MobiLens. MapQuest’s mobile solutions are compatible with a variety of mobile devices, including iPhone and Android devices. MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc, is based in Denver, Colo.