Usage Hints for site locator maps (MapQuest)

These usage hints apply to locator maps reached by clicking a MapQuest link on a site data page on this Website.

If the link in which you are interested uses the large MapQuest logo:   [ MapQuest map ]
then there's bad news for you.  In mid-2010, MapQuest abandoned support for that link format, which we had used for years.  It's not exactly broken, but it won't do what we intended when we constructed it.  Instead, it will redirect you to the MapQuest maps home page, ignoring the parameters we supplied.  So the hints below are now irrelevant for that map.

If the link in which you are interested uses the small MQ logo:   [ MapQuest map ]
then it was installed after mid-2010 using MapQuest's then-new link format, and it should work approximately as we intended. 

However, in 2016 (or possibly earlier), MapQuest again changed their map link format.  Fortunately, this time they kept compatibility with the earlier link format.  Unfortunately, that compatibility is incomplete, and some of our intended customization gets lost in the transition.

Our customization:  In addition to setting the latitude and longitude of the place being located (as best we can), we have pre-set the zoom level of the map to give you a large area view of the surroundings.  You can change that to meet your needs - see below.  Also, we have set the map type to "satellite" - aerial photography overlaid with map symbology for streets, etc.  Aside from those characteristics, everything you see on the map is as MapQuest designed it.  The point selected is marked with an icon that is centered in the available space, and the specified latitude and longitude appear below that marker.  MapQuest no longer allows specification of a label for the marker.

Need help?  Want advice?  Pick a question . . .

Just curious?  Read all the answers in order . . .

What's "MapQuest" ?

MapQuest is an online dynamic mapping service which is provided at no cost by MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of America Online, Inc.  It offers several different services for location-based information for several parts of the world.

Why are these usage hints important?

MapQuest provides very little help for its maps, apparently expecting that the user will find the controls "intuitively obvious."  There is a tooltip label that pops up when you mouse over a control, but anything else you must discover by experimentation.  This page which you are now reading explains how we use that service.  It also emphasizes what controls are especially useful in this context, and warns about what you should not do while viewing a locator map which we have customized.

How can I get a different view of the site surroundings?

MapQuest has only a few options to customize the map to meet your particular needs.

What other map controls are available?

All the rest of the stuff in the map has to do with MapQuest features that are of no relevance to us - shopping, driving directions, etc.  You'll have to decide for yourself what is relevant to you and how to use it.

The location marker (icon) on the map is in the wrong place; how can I help fix it for future visitors?

There doesn't seem to be any way to do this with the current version of MapQuest, unfortunately.  Please try our Google Maps customization for this same site; it can zoom in much closer, and has a special feature that will enable you to send us a corrected location quite easily.

I tinkered with the map controls too much, and now I'm lost. How do I get back to the original version?

Just reload the page in your Web browser.  That should be a browser menu option, but you may also have a Reload button and/or a keyboard shortcut.

Why isn't the map embedded directly in the site data page?

While MapQuest does now offer such an option, we chose not to use it, for two reasons.  Firstly, putting the map on a separate page allows it to be much larger, as well as giving you more options to change the view of the area shown.  Secondly, that would make our site data page load more slowly, and the larger the map we chose, the worse that would be.

[TowerBells Home Page] [Site data top page] [Credits and Disclaimers] [Feedback]

This page was created 2005/08/03 and last revised 2017/02/24.
Valid HTML 2.0!

Please send comments or questions to