Ask City

Almost since day one, Metblogs DC authors have posted a number of articles on the topic of online maps. Many of them are mashups between Google Maps and some other Web Service. The newest kid on the block is Ask City, but this time it’s not a mashup. The application was recently
launched by the search engine, and is built using their own mapping system (which has been much
improved for this interface). Simply enter your location, for instance Washington, DC (or your suburb), and you can begin to search for businesses, events, movies, and get directions.

The interface allows you to draw on your map view using lines, circles, rectangles and polygons, and also add addresses and make annotations. The feature I found to be the the most interesting is a row of buttons below the map that allows you to “take a snapshot” of your current view, in essence you are creating a quick link back to a previous search, including results, pushpins, and any drawings or notes you made. Like Google, you can use the Permalink or Email options to share a specific view with friends or add them to your blog or website. Here’s one of Indian Restaurants in DC. Very slick.

The search results are thorough, backed by 10 years of data collected via CitySearch (the Washington Post City Guide is powered by CitySearch). The backend also allows you to do such things a make restaurant reservations, purchase event tickets, and coming soon, movie tickets.

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