Are you planning a pub crawl? Are you going on a road trip? Visiting a new city? You need a map. And now you can make your own.
Card making is usually something you associate with old guys in dusty paper-laden shops or serious people wearing colorful glasses and working at huge digital desks.
But now, mapping startup felt makes it easy to create personalized cards with 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. And I decided to give it a try.
Can I make a map in 10 minutes?
I timed myself to make this 10 minute card for a friend visiting Charlottenberg, Berlin. I’ve added a transport layer, a few places worth visiting and some text. Super easy. It’s not the most sophisticated, but it was fast.
Google Maps is simple, but this one is a lot more fun. You can create digital representatives from old-fashioned, hand-drawn maps, including markers and notes. It can even contain photos, links and videos.
Of course you can easily import your own data (like I did when I this map for this article† But it’s easy enough to make something quick too.
Gotta love that open source data
A vast amount of open, current and historical data is collected in the massive built-in library of over 50 data layers.
It ranges from maps of EV charging stations to bike paths, squirrels in Central Park, earthquakes and wildfires.
I think there are huge opportunities for its use in mobility and smart cities research.
More importantly, multi-person live editing is built in. Updates instantly reflect everyone’s maps, meaning you can stay on top of changes on the go. Super handy.
Felt is led by Sam Hashemi, who previously worked at Code for America, NASA, and was founder and CEO of the public transit mapping company Remixeswhich Via acquired for $100 million.
Currently, Felt is free for individual users, which plans to roll out commercially to enterprise customers. You should definitely give it a try.