Citymaps is a fantastic way to create very visual maps of your favorite places in a city while getting recommendations from locals and other app users. It's a map app, social network, and travel recommendation service all in one.
Not just another map app
Citymaps is strong on features, providing a great way to curate all your favorite places in cities across the world into different maps. To start building these maps, you can either search for places you already know or start following other users and see what places they have added to their maps. Much like Twitter, the more relevant the people you follow, the better recommendations you will get. There is also the option to look for places by category, such as "restaurants", "coffee", "gyms", and "deals".
To add a place to your map, click on the icon. By clicking on this icon, you can also add photos and tips; find out more information such as opening hours; and see photos, user-generated reviews, and get directions.
Living in Barcelona, I started out with "my favorite coffee shops", and "best sports for brunch". Other maps include things like "best gluten free restaurants", and "best Mexican food". There is tons of inspiration in Citymaps from other users.
The user-generated content is a touch lacking at the moment, but hopefully will improve as more people start using Citymaps. As you can connect via Facebook or Google Plus, you can also see what your friends on these social networks are up to and share maps with them.
The maps are gorgeous, displaying small icons of each place to create a very visual representation of a city, and allowing you to easily see exactly which places you have pinned and where they are in relation to each other.
Citymaps' menus need some work, as it's difficult to find certain options. For example, the list of nearby maps, and my friends' places is hidden away in the search menu, which doesn't seem logical. This is also where the timeline of all your friends' latest activity is held. A useful feature but not much use if it's not immediately obvious where it is.
A must-have app
It's rare to find an app these days that combines innovation while filling a real need in the market. Citymaps does just that, and after using it for just a short time, I knew I would keep it on my phone. It may not be perfect at the moment and needs a few usability improvements, but it's an extremely useful app that deserves a spot on your phone.