Exactly one year ago, I mentioned here that MapQuest apparently has a prejudice against Newark. I was really ticked-off about that recently again, so sent them this email:
I am very puzzled and indignant that MapQuest appears to have an irrational bias against Newark, NJ. The name "Newark" does not appear on any map outside its immediate vicinity, even tho smaller cities and towns (Newark is the largest city in the state of New Jersey) do. Why is that? It is plainly not accidental. Someone, for some reason, has plainly programmed MapQuest to drop the name "Newark" above a certain scale, while leaving "Jersey City", "Plainfield", etc. See, for example, http://classic.mapquest.com/maps?city=Belleville&state=NJ&country=US&latitude=40.793598&longitude=-74.150597&geocode=CITY.
If I zoom in within that map, "Newark" still NEVER appears, even tho Belleville ADJOINS Newark and Newark is the largest city in the state. Indeed, even if I do an initial search on "Newark, NJ", the word "Newark" does not appear on the resulting map: http://classic.mapquest.com/maps?city=Newark&state=NJ&country=US&latitude=40.7356&longitude=-74.172798&geocode=CITY. You MUST fix this. Not only is it insulting to omit Newark, but it is also very inconvenient for drivers who know how to get to Newark, and are concerned only about how to navigate once they get to Newark. Please explain how this bizarre behavior of MapQuest happened, and correct it so that Newark appears everywhere the smaller municipality, Jersey City, appears.There are some few maps on which "Newark" does appear (my mistake), one level nearer than I tried with Belleville. Below I asked for a map on Vailsburg, NJ (my section of far-western Newark). The star appears at the post office's location. This is the highest "City" level map.
But as soon as you get to the "Region" level, "Newark" disappears.
My comment was given a reference number by means of which I might follow up, but no one got back to me. I sent my complaint on January 11th, but MapQuest is still denying Newark's existence at the regional level, in MSIE as well as AOL.
And it's not just Classic Mapquest, but also new MapQuest.
The City of Newark should issue a formal, public condemnation of MapQuest's vicious prejudice against Newark, and demand both an explanation and a change of behavior. City attorneys should examine whether there is a case to be made in the courts, as for instance, for defamation. Even if we should have no "cause of action" in law, the City and our nationally-known (black) mayor can still make a stink about (racially motivated?) mistreatment of the State of New Jersey's largest city by MapQuest, an AOL company. Mayor Booker can urge businesses to refuse to advertise on MapQuest, and urge individuals to use Google Maps or some other alternative until MapQuest stops insulting Newark.
And perhaps someone who knows how to edit Wikipedia can insert a note about this bizarre discrimination controversy into the Wikipedia article about MapQuest. If they don't care what this blog or Newark's mayor says, they may nonetheless care what Wikipedia says.