Gadgets Magazine

Citymaps: For Offline Maps and Tour Guide

Posted on the 11 March 2016 by Jyoti Arora @Jy0tiAr0ra

Our smartphones have now become our assistants in almost all areas of life. This includes travelling too. Using various smartphone apps, we can easily search for good hotels and book rooms, book tickets and cabs and use maps to find our way if lost.

However, most of these apps can be used only when the user is online. I recently came across an app that is like a virtual travel guide and can be used offline. This is Citymaps.

Citymaps: Offline Maps Tour Guide
Citymaps: For Offline Maps and Tour Guide

Social Mapping: Citymap is backed by social mapping. That is, people all around the world share their feedback and recommendations about various places, hotels etc. So users of Citymaps have the advantage of getting the reviews of different places while checking out their maps. This social mapping facility adds local wisdom and insider knowledge to the maps as it allows people to add information about places based upon their personal experience. Citymaps draws on these personal experiences of locals and tourists to enhance the travel experience of their users.

Offline Maps and Guides: Citymaps allows the users to download the required maps for offline use. They have nearly 100,000 city guides that can also be downloaded. Users can download maps of about 5000 cities across the world free of cost and use them even when they are not able to connect to internet. Users can easily search through these offline maps. The searches get saved in Recent Searches list which the users can access at a later time for one click use. Here, users can also see the reviews of the location and other basic information. The maps include over 40 million searchable points of interest in various categories like Must‐See Travel Spots, Restaurants, ATMs etc..

Collections: Citymaps also allows users to create collections of places to visit and also check out such collections created by other users.

Logos: The maps of Citymaps show easily recognized business logos for places like restaurant, bars. This makes it easier for the users to spot the relevant places in the maps. These logos pop-up very prominently while viewing the map.

Free Curated City Guide: Every map in Citymaps comes with a free city guide which includes a list of Muse See places in the region and also easy to browse categories likes Coffee, Restaurants, Art etc. The City Guides include maps and information from about 200 publishing partners ranging from small travel blogs to popular magazines like Travel & Leisure Magazine, leading travel experts and top publishers like NY Times and Gothamist.

Apps: Citymaps service can be used on computer by visiting Citymaps website. They have apps available for and Android devices also which make the use of Citymaps more convenient. I tried the Citymap Android app. The apps asked me to register. The options included Skip, so I skipped the registration and got straight into the app. The app's interface seems pretty straight forward. The Homescreen shows the map of the place you are in. Above the map, tabs of various categories Restaurants, ATMs, Friends' Places etc. are displayed. On the top of the page is the Search bar. The Menu button is to the left of this Search bar. The app allows users to save the maps they like and give them unique names and description. On these maps, users can also invite their friends and other users of the Citymaps to add their feedback and suggestions. From the Friend Finder option in the Menu, users can also connect with other users and view their public maps. However, all these features require registration. The offline maps, that is Maps that have been downloaded for offline use can be easily accessed from the Menu. When you search out the map of a city and want to download it, the page that opens clearly shows the size of the file to be downloaded and the free space you have left in your phone. That can come handy for users whose phones have less internal storage capacity.

As per lliot Cohen, CEO and Founder of Citymaps, "Citymaps has evolved to become the world's leading travel mapping platform - the modern, digital replacement for the old analog tourist maps. Of all the time people spend accessing travel information, 78% of the time is spent in map applications (i.e. Google Maps) - We've created a map specifically tailored for that use case, honing every aspect of Citymaps for the traveler.

This month, we are launching an updated version of our app, making Citymaps THE one-stop shop for travelers: users can now download maps entirely offline, saving them money. Users can browse hotels, see museum recommendations, make dinner reservations, and read reviews from travelers to find out what others enjoyed.
In addition, we just hit 1 million users and have signed up 200+ partners including top publishers in the travel space such as Travel + Leisure magazine and Nomadic Matt, which is a great validation of our efforts."

Citymaps can prove to be a very useful tool to make travelling more fun and convenient. Although, despite its huge database, it does not yet have the information of all cities. Like, it did not show me map of Ghaziabad where I live. But when I searched for nearby Delhi, the map loaded up quickly enough. I think that all important cities and tourist attractions would be there in Citymaps. And with time, even less important cities and places with regards to tourist interest would be added. As I checked out the app while sitting at home, I can't very well say how accurate the maps are while navigating through the roads. But the reviews and feedback they provide about places and the ability to take the maps offline are certainly points that make it a useful travel tool or tourist guide. If you are planning a trip, Citymaps is worth checking out. And it's free!

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