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WebTrends_Apr09_CMaps have been integrated with great success into many businesses as a way to provide directions to customers. But what happens when a customer is looking at a map, and would like to know more about the businesses in the area? Before, they would have to close the map, open a new window and search. Now, there’s a new solution.

CityMaps is a novel new online map. At first look it appears similar to any other online map: streets, check; transport routes, check; geographic features, check. So, what sets it apart? Well, when you zoom in on a neighbourhood you don’t get a fancy street view, or outlines of buildings, you get a map populated with businesses.

What is CityMaps?
Think of those city maps that we’ve all used while on vacation, the ones with restaurants, shops and tourist attractions, and that’s the basic idea of CityMaps. When you zoom in on an area, you will see icons and logos of businesses. Click on one and a popup window will open with the business name, contact information, pictures, related tweets, reviews, and more.

Essentially, it’s a tool to help you plan your next adventure in the city. If you’re out with your friends and looking for a place to go for dinner, you can search for nearby restaurants, look at reviews and deals, and finally: make a reservation, all from the app.

How will this help my business?
With social integration, a business like yours can post a special offer on one of the many deal websites, and it will show up in CityMaps as an unobtrusive blinking green dollar sign. If someone tweets about your business, the tweet will show up on the map as well.

This program is a great example of good integration across social media and business. If a review is posted online, it’ll show up on the map. This can also be beneficial to your business as you will get near real-time feedback. CityMaps also encourages businesses to develop and maintain an Internet presence, while giving them a practically free way to literally put their name on the map.

Currently, the map is only available for New York, San Francisco and Austin. There’ll be more cities soon, but it’ll be a few years before every city in the US is on the map. So keep your eye on this program if you’re not in the three cities, as you’ll soon be able to take advantage of it.

If you would like to learn more about CityMaps, or other Web trends, please let us know, we are happy to help.

Published on 10th April 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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