We’ve previously named Yahoo Maps the top maps application on the Internet.
Tonight we’re not so sure. The new AskCity product, which combines Ask.com’s existing maps product (overhauled last February) with deep local content (information, reviews, etc.) and very good search, will make it our go to source for maps and local business information. Ask CEO Jim Lanzone gave us a walkthrough of the product a few days ago, and we are impressed with what they’ve done.
The reason that AskCity has such good content is that they’ve taken it from CitySearch, another service owned by parent company IAC. CitySearch has ten years of local content, and that is now deeply integrated with Ask’s maps product.
Key categories are Businesses and Services, Events, Movies, and Maps & Directions. The three pane interface allows users to conduct multiple searches, revise itineraries, create multi-point driving or walking directions (only Yahoo and Ask offer multi-point directions). Restaurant reservations are linked via OpenTable, event tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster (another IAC property) and soon they will integrate movie ticket purchases through Fandango. Searches can be refined by neighborhood, cuisine or movie genre.
A Users can also pin items (events, places) onto a map, draw their own notes on the map, and send a permalink to the customized map to friends for printing or for their comments.