Profile: UpNext

UpNext: Wicked 3D Maps of NYC on Facebook

Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch
Nov. 21, 2007

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When
it comes to online maps, there is a gap between the 2-D maps and
pictures you see on Google Maps, Live Maps, and Yahoo Maps, and the
more fully-immersive, fly-through experiences of Google Earth and
Virtual Earth. A small four-person startup in New York City called UpNext is trying to bridge that gap, by bringing extremely detailed, 3-D maps to the browser.

UpNext only maps Manhattan right now (they hope to add Boston and
San Francisco next spring), but it is a powerful demonstration of how
3-D experiences could soon become more mainstream. (No download is
necessary, but you do need Java 1.5—and be warned that older Macs might
have some issues with it). I met UpNext chief architect Raj Advani last
week at our Boston MeetUp, and he came by today with CEO Danny Moon to show me the site and its new Facebook app.

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Yesterday, UpNext launched its map on Facebook,
although it is not yet in the app directory. (Unlike many Facebook
apps, it is not a subset of the main site’s functionality. You can do
everything inside Facebook you can on UpNext.com.) UpNext is a complete
3-D representation of the city, down to practically every single
building. You can pan and zoom, and click on any building to get a list
of the businesses inside. Type in an address and the map flies right to
it. If you want to see nearby restaurants, bars, stores, hotels,
museums, or sports facilities, you can set a filter to light those
things up on the map. This building-by-building and category search “is
something you cannot do on Google Maps,” claims Moon.

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