There's a Map for That

NYC & Company and CityMaps Team Up to Launch Free Mobile Map App

NYC Map lets users navigate the city visually.


CityMaps, the social map tool that raised $2.5 million in funding last month, has partnered with New York’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization to launch a new app map called NYC Map. The app, which is available free in the iTunes store, uses CityMaps’ reliance on recognizable logos instead of pins or outlines of buildings to navigate users. So, for example, if you’re looking for a Starbucks, you’d just search the map for the Starbucks logo instead of searching for a coffee shop.

“NYC Map’s use of widely recognized logos, symbols and brands is particularly helpful for our non-native English speakers looking to get around the City,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta in a press release. “By aligning ourselves with this forward-thinking technology, we’re able to better engage locals and visitors, as well as support New York City’s vibrant digital sector.”

Sounds like another one of the Mayor’s sneaky schemes to put NYC at the forefront of digital innovation.

But the app does seem like a win-win. By employing logos, NYC Map can increase awareness about local businesses and offer local deals while also hopefully minimizing the amount of people huddled in the middle of the sidewalk trying to figure out how to get to Times Square.

Last time we wrote about CityMaps, we noted that while more popular areas like Manhattan were easily populated with logos, the further out in the boroughs you got, the less helpful the map became. NYC Map claims to serve as a digital toolkit for all five boroughs, but considering that the app is primarily aimed at tourists, we won’t hold our breath on places like Bushwick getting a fleshed-out map tool any time soon.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com