New York startup CityMaps thinks Google Maps needs a makeover, or at least some lessons on how to be social. The tool incorporates data behind several popular companies like Twitter, Foursquare and Groupon, and mashes them up into one easily-readable guide to your city. Today, TechCrunch reported that CityMaps closed a $2.5 million Series A round earlier this year, backed by investors Dave Leyrer and 360i.com president Dave Levin.
CityMaps won the Popular Choice Award Grand Prize from last month’s MTA App Quest competition, so funding was pretty much inevitable. They also introduced a redesign and an iPhone app following their success at the hackathon.
As we noted last month, CityMaps’s UI could use a little rejiggering, but the ethos behind it–that logos are way more recognizable than the outlines of building–makes perfect sense, and lends a readability to the site that most map tools can only dream of.
CityMaps uses different icons to plot various offerings on a map: A dollar sign indicates a deal powered by BiteHunter, while the Twitter logo displays recent tweets from that business, making it a one stop shop for urban explorers and coupon collectors alike.
We also like how easy it is to discover previously unknown local businesses in your neighborhood. This reporter lives two blocks from a Wine Club and didn’t even know it ’til today. However, if you go deep enough into Brooklyn, a string of mom-and-pop shops get reduced to a few golden arches and some Western Union logos. Maybe that $2.5 million can help CityMaps build out mapping information for areas that are a little more off the urban grid.