Schmap Interactive City Guides

schmapI got an email press release the other day from Natalia at Schmap, and just now got a chance to check out the Schmap Player and Schmap Guides, which are still in beta. The player is freeware, and is a small download (about 5 mgs). The interface is the by-now familiar map in the center, layer lists on the left and information about various points on the map pops up on the right. What’s pretty cool about the Schmap Guides though, is the content that displays for each point. A photo (or photos), basic info such as web links and then a text description, all smoothly changing as you select different points. In addition to the hotels, historic attractions, etc., there are also layers for Top Picks for things like restaurants, events, attractions, and hotels. Right now, there are Schmap Guides about 14 US cities and a number of European cities (they have a nifty schedule for when they are rolling out new cities) and are planning more releases throughout the year. They even have virtual tours of some selected sites. Overall, the Schmap Player functions smoothly, and the interactive, dynamic presentation of the content is really impressive. Most of the functionality isn’t necessarily new, but Schmap has done a great job implementing the idea of embedded and linked multimedia content. Atlanta was the city I tried out, and I’m going to check out San Francisco next.