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With that in mind, Mapstr is looking to capitalize on the existing utility of maps by making them even more useful. The French startup officially launches its iPhone app this week, after a few months as a public beta product. It offers an easy way of bookmarking all your favorite places around the world, from parks and museums, to relatives’ houses and pubs.
It’s worth noting here that Google Maps already has a built-in bookmarking feature that lets you save places to your Google account. But Mapstr has been built specifically for this purpose, and brings new features to the mix.
You can search for places based on your current location, search by name / address, navigate to a specific point on a map, or even snap a photo of an address — Mapstr uses optical character recognition (OCR) to identify the address and let you save it.
Above: Mapstr: Organization
Moreover, Mapstr is all about organization. When you save a place to your account, you can add tags such as “parks” or “bars,” and even add comments — this could be useful to remind you why you saved a place.
One of Mapstr’s key selling points is that it isn’t bloated with features — it doesn’t try to be a social network, though with the latest version to hit the App Store there is a social element to it. You can share your favorite places with friends, which is a genuinely useful feature.
Also, there’s a danger with apps such as this that they try to second-guess places you might like. Mapstr doesn’t try to be a recommendation engine — it’s all about letting you remember all those little places that you love at the time, but could easily forget where it is or why you liked it.
Based out of Paris, with three employes working behind the scenes, Mapstr is close to finalizing a pre-seed round with 10 angel investors on board. With investors in the mix, however, this will obviously expedite the need to start monetizing — so how can an app such as this make cash without ruining the experience with ads or “promoted” places?
The most obvious route would be to go freemium — charge for add-on “premium” features. And we’re told that this is the most likely option for the startup when it decides to start making money. A version for Android and the Web is also currently in the works.