Photo: CityMaps screengrab
A map of New York, San Francisco or Austin composed from the brand logos of the shops that line their streets sounds like an amusing novelty — at least until you think about how big an improvement that is on a regular map.CityMaps, a New York startup, just released a mobile app of its social mapping service, in which these three cities are visualized largely from their retail landmarks rather than street names or building addresses. The maps do one thing that older maps always failed to do: Tell you where the shops are, allowing you to plan a route so that you’re never a block or more from a Starbucks, or a shoe shop, or a bar.
In other words, the maps turn cities into vast malls. (Interestingly, founder Elliot Cohen thought CityMaps would be used by the real estate business; it’s turning out to be a shopping app.)
They’re great for tourists who want to know where the shopping districts are — and to avoid the parts of town where there just isn’t a lot going on.
The maps are also interactive, allowing users to see stores’ Twitter streams, reviews from other users, and deal offers.
Although CityMaps has been available in beta on a web-only platform for a while, it launched its mobile app this month. Thus far, it’s only available in New York, San Francisco and Austin, Texas.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.