It happens all the time — You’re walking around in the city where you’ve lived for five years and you just can’t remember if your favorite pizza place was on 17th or 18th Street. You know it’s between 5th and 6th Ave, but you just never remember the street number. Google Maps will help you, if you know the name of the place, but what if you don’t? Hey, some of us are chronically forgetful.
“One good review from your friends is worth 100 reviews from strangers.”
That’s where Citymaps comes in. It’s a personalized map that’s based on places — not streets, rivers, or mountains — and they’re not just any places. There’re ones you know and love. As you pinch and zoom around the map, you find all your favorite places and you save them. Once you’ve done that, you’ll never forget a place. The more places you add, the more personal your map becomes.
Citymaps founder and CEO Elliot Cohen describes the app as a “personalized map for places,” adding that “Citymaps focuses on places as much as roads and rivers.” Choen believes that there are enough map apps out there that focus on directions, but not enough that are made for local discovery, so “we focus on places and build a map with that as an entry point.”
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You can also follow people, celebrities, friends, and publications whose opinions you respect to find new places. Since most places have reviews and user pictures, it’s easy to see whether it’s somewhere you want to go. Citymaps lets you make as many lists and special maps as you want, so you can plan a trip with a friend, or simply plot out your next weekend. Each place is marked with the company’s logo, so they’re easy to identify and find on the map.
“We think that a logo is a more natural way to specify a place than a red dot or a pin,” Cohen told us, adding that,”We get a ton of user-generated content from business owners who want to be represented on the map … They even get upset sometimes when they’re not on the map.”
Now that the company’s expanded globally, it has information for 80 million places around the world. Every place comes with basic info like directions to the place, the phone number, hours, website, star ratings, and more.
“We’ve been working for the last year and a half for global launch,” he said. “We’ve been working furiously to expand.”
The more places you add, the more personal your map becomes.
Now, Citymaps is ready. The app offers the same level of detail it has for its hometown, New York, in a plethora of cities and towns around the entire world. Want to see what’s happening in Barcelona, Paris, Hong Kong, or San Francisco? Just zoom out and spin the globe to where you want to go, and you’re there.
If you’ve already added a bunch of places to your map before, Citymaps will recommend places that you might like, based on your earlier searches and maps. Some locations even show you coupons, deals, and events that are happening. For example, if you zoom in on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, you’ll see what’s currently in the exhibition halls.
“We want to remove the steps involved in finding a place, mapping it out, and seeing what your friends think about it,” Cohen said.
Since anyone you follow can see your Citymaps, it’s easy to collaborate with friends to plan trips, or a simple night out on the town. Additionally, you’ll see all the places your friends liked as recommendations, seeing as like-minded people are typically friends, Cohen explained.
“One good review from your friends is worth 100 reviews from strangers,” he said.
Now that Citymaps is available in most places around the world, Cohen’s plans center around adding more places, improving personalization, and adding more social elements to the app, such as messaging and more collaborative map sharing. In the meantime, you can check out Citymaps on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.