Gone are the days when being a tourist meant getting lost in the streets of a foreign city with nothing but a guide map and universal hand gestures to help you get to a particular destination. Not that it wasn’t fun but since globalization seems to be the flavor of the century, every cellphone and PDA manufacturer out there is increasingly keen on getting better mashups added to their services to make searching for people, places and objects more and more convenient. iPhone is now looking to take the Google Maps and City Guides apps a step further with the still-in-development Schmap. Just open the Schmap homepage on your iPhone Safari browser to locate a particular category of destination, e.g., restaurant, nightclubs, shopping centers, etc., in a particular area. In portrait orientation, your iPhone will give you a list of your search results for local businesses. But in landscape orientation, a guide map will accompany the list to help you better understand the location of the particular destination you have searched for.
The bad thing is that even the largest downloadable pack of maps available on the site is a mere 200 cities which is good if you’re visiting a major tourist destination but not so good if you’re stuck in an off-chart town in the heart of a third world-country which is where something like the Schmap could really, really come in handy. But we definitely expect the site to expand their services to include a lot of the smaller towns across the world soon, since Schmap’s local search function is still under beta development and thus, closed to public. You can still access the site by logging on through your iPhone browser and entering “724627” when asked for access code.
Source: Into Mobile