UpNext NYC (iTunes link), a new mapping application for the iPhone that takes mobile maps to a new level. For now, UpNext NYC is, as the name implies, only available for New York City, but even if you don't live around New York or plan to visit anytime soon, this app is worth the $2.99, simply because it can give you a good idea what mobile maps could look like in the future. UpNext displays a 3D map of the city and allows you to click on any building to see what's in there. In addition, you can search for businesses and restaurants, and get data about public transport as well.We just came across
UpNext launched its web app in 2007 to rave reviews, but the mobile app is obviously even more useful, as it allows you to easily orient yourself in a new city.
As you would expect, the app allows you to search for restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and even services like nail salons and barbers, but what makes it stand out is the extremely smooth 3D view of the city. The app uses the standard iPhone gestures for zooming and tilting the 3D map. The best way to get a good feel for the app without paying $2.99 is to watch this video.
Sadly, though, the city looks a bit bleak and could use a bit more color once you zoom in. This doesn't take away from the functionality of the app, though.
In addition to aggregating data about the city, UpNext also crowdsources its reviews and images from businesses. Users can also easily rate businesses and write their own reviews on the phone.
UpNext, of course, has the advantage of only covering a small area, and most of the data is cached on the phone, so unlike Google Earth, UpNext doesn't have to load its map tiles from the Internet.
(tip of the hat to CultofMac for pointing us to this app)