Most map applications nowadays are just for navigation purposes—getting from A to point B. Now, there is a social map app called Citymaps, which creates personal maps that can be shared and collaborated on with friends. Citymaps lets people discover new places rather than just navigating you from A to B.
When you are visiting a friend, family member or just out of town, you usually don’t know where to go eat or hang out. I know some people that have visited New York City, but go to Times Square and eat at restaurants like Planet Hollywood or Applebee’s… Whaaaat!? There are hundreds of awesome restaurants all over Manhattan, and a million different food genres. Why go to a restaurant that’s available in other parts of the country?
Citymaps attempts to take the strategy of “ask the locals” to find out where the hotspots in town are.
Though Citymaps was originally made for New York City, it recently updated its system to include maps for all U.S. cities and 15 million businesses. The company is not trying to compete with Google Maps or MapQuest. Instead, it’s focusing on the customization, discovery and mapmaking aspect. Citymaps lets users customize maps so that no two maps look the same. You can have and share maps like “Best Happy Hour Bars,” “Late Night Snacks,” or “Favorite Clothing Stores.” The options are endless.
The app is very user friendly. You could sign in through Facebook or create an account very quickly. Friends or other users can “like” certain places and leave comments about their experiences at places they have visited. Upon opening the app for the first time, you will already be offered several locations to hit up in your current location. I find myself always using the app to find a Starbucks or Chipotle.
A few of my friends already use the app. When I go to Brooklyn, I just look at my buddy’s map for all the cool new places to eat and drink. I have also used a few public lists for the “Best Biergartens in NYC” and “Best Food Trucks.” It’s just a fun way to find new places to visit in your neighborhood or when you’re out of town with friends and family. Citymaps has finally made maps substantially more fun and social. Social media agencies can also use Citymaps to promote themselves or their clients. It’s another platform for exposure and will surely be helpful to businesses looking for advertise their products or services.
Currently, Citymaps is only available in the iTunes store, but an Android version is still in the works.