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TripAdvisor has acquired Citymaps, a social-mapping startup.
Citymaps raised a $12 million financing round, to date.
Citymaps will remain a standalone brand.
Its CEO and founder Elliot Cohen argued that his 16-person company had found a niche in the online navigation market.
“Google Maps and Apple Maps are designed for one thing, to get you from Point A to Point B, and they do that terrifically well. We wanted to create an interface that uses maps as a discovery tool.”
Citymaps takes a more dynamic approach.
On the back end, it aggregates information from several dozen sources, including Wikitravel, Viator, OpenTable, Groupon, and Travelzoo (for deals) and Songkick and Ticketmaster (for events and performances).
On the user side, when a user brings up a map, nearby Points of Interest (POIs) are indicated by photos or logos, rather than just business names.
When tapped, each one brings up more detailed information, including, among other things, additional photos, insights and reviews from other users and a button that invites the user to save POIs they’re interested in via a so-called “Map Collection,” i.e., a personalized map.
The company also works with 200-plus publishers, ranging from Buzzfeed to Travel + Leisure, allowing them to create maps of their own curated suggestions.
In an emailed statement, Adam Medros, senior vice president, global product, TripAdvisor, said:
“The Citymaps team understands how people experience their day through a maps lens. We are excited to welcome the team to the TripAdvisor family of brands to help TripAdvisor ensure its mapping features best address the needs of its users who are increasingly accessing the site on mobile devices.”