MapQuest debuts four new OpenStreetMap enhanced mapping sites in Europe

MapQuest, an AOL subsidiary and until further notice still the No. 2 Internet-mapping service after Google’s, recently debuted a site in the U.K. based on a project called OpenStreetMap, which is dedicated to user-created mapping.

Today, the company announced the beta launch of four new European mapping sites built on OpenStreetMap data, in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The AOL company says all four sites will utilize the new MapQuest brand and UI and will have data from OSM, allowing users to improve areas like streets in their neighborhoods, bike paths, parks and hiking trails. Each site will be a stand-alone offering that lives alongside the existing MapQuest sites – which are based on commercially available map data – in the four countries.

MapQuest says it selected France, Germany, Italy and Spain because of the rich data available and the vibrancy of the OSM communities in the four countries.

MapQuest also announced today the hire of Hurricane Coast to manage the $1 million open-source mapping investment fund that was announced in July. Hurricane’s responsibilities will include the management of the mapping investment fund as a way to support local open-source mapping initiatives.

Hurricane, who’s been involved with OpenStreetMap since 2008, will also work to encourage U.S. communities to participate in a living map.

MapQuest is one of the leading mapping brands online, offering maps and directions, reaching more than 49.7 million users in August 2010, according to comScore Media Metrix.