Planning to pub crawl? Going on a road trip? Visiting a new city? You need a map. And now, you can make something of your own.
Map making is usually something you associate with old men in dusty paper shops or serious people who wear tinted glasses and work in huge digital offices.
But now, set startup Poetry Makes it easy to create custom maps using drawing tools such as markers, pins, notes, and images.
The startup launched its platform publicly this week after private beta testing with more than 1,000 people. I decided to give it a try.
Can I make a map in 10 minutes?
I made this 10-minute map for a friend visiting Charlottenburg, Berlin. I’ve added a transport layer, some places worth visiting, and some text. very easy. It’s not the most accurate, but it was fast.
Google Maps is easy, but more fun. Create digital representatives of old-school hand-drawn maps, including highlights and notes. It can even include photos, links, and videos.
Of course, you can easily import your own data (just like I did when I made This map for this article). But it’s also easy to make something quick on the fly.
Gotta love that open source data
There is a huge amount of open, current and historical data collected in the huge integrated library of more than 50 data layers.
They range from maps of electric vehicle charging stations to bike lanes and squirrels in Central Park to earthquakes and wildfires.
I think there are huge opportunities for its use in mobility and smart city research.
Most importantly, multi-person live editing is built in. Updates are reflected on everyone’s maps instantly, which means you can stay in the loop of changes as you go. Very useful.
Felt is headed by Sam Hashmi, who previously worked at Code for America, NASA and was the founder and CEO of the public transit mapping company. remixacquired by Via for $100 million.
Currently, Felt is free for individual users, who plan to roll it out commercially for enterprise customers. You should definitely give it a try.