New App Gambles on Social Mapping

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Citymaps is hoping that combining social media and mapping will be a hit among smartphone users. The company has just released their iPhone app and it features maps of all U.S. cities and 15 million businesses. The free app will allow users to create and customize maps of favorite eating spots, best art galleries or whatever they choose. Then they can share their maps with others and the idea is this will allow people to discover new and interesting places to go.

The free app will also give people directions like other mapping apps, which makes sense in that they’d likely want to find these new and interesting destinations. Mapping is very hot these days with Apple and Google taking turns swallowing various mapping startup companies. If Citymaps turns out to be a hit it will be fun to watch and see if they decide to stay independent or allow themselves to be swallowed up by one of the bigger players.

Their concept seems interesting and might be of great use if those creating their maps do a decent job of pinpointing truly good places to visit. The concern would be if unscrupulous marketers hijack the app like they’ve done with things like Pinterest and share out maps of businesses that have simply paid to be included as opposed to real maps of places people have actually visited and tried.

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