TripAdvisor Acquires Social Mapping Service CityMaps

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TripAdvisor has announced the acquisition of New York-based social mapping startup CityMaps. The company, which was founded by Aaron Rudenstine and Elliot Cohen, launched in 2010 as map-based aggregator of third-party data and later evolved into a navigational tool and guide for travelers. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

TripAdvisor spokesman Brian Hoyt said that CityMaps, which has raised $12 million in venture funding over the past few years, will continue to operate as a standalone business. The service will help TripAdvisor build out its ability to guide travelers to local attractions and create the kind of local relevancy that users value in a new city, he said.

“We’ve gone well beyond just being a travel review site,” said Hoyt. “We are now in the booking business where you can plan and book a trip, as well as everything involved with that trip, including where to stay; how to get there; how to find things to do while you’re there. [With CityMaps we’ll be] overlaying tourism content on top of the mapping experience to help travelers more quickly find things that are relevant from a location standpoint.”

Like most maps, CityMaps can help travelers navigate from point A to point B, but Hoyt said that CityMaps’ differentiator was in the way it highlights points of interest along the way — and that the interface will ultimately allow TripAdvisor to more seamlessly integrate booking capabilities for attractions and restaurants.

David Hirschman is Street Fight’s co-founder and COO.