"Interactive maps meet social networking" to create a geo-social networking site for consumers, says founder Mark Sherman
BOSTON, Nov. 16 — ZoomAtlas announced today the launch of its free, photo-realistic wiki-mapping site, www.zoomatlas.com. The site combines the technology of interactive maps with the social networking of Facebook for users to post notes, stories and insights to reconnect its users with friends, family and places from their past.
The ZoomAtlas geo-social networking site is the largest, most detailed, lifelike map of the United States that blends satellite imagery with capabilities for users to personally update properties. Through site-customization tools users can update map details including roads, railroads, waterways, sidewalks and property lines to miniscule landscaping details like grass, flowers and bricks on residences, restaurants, schools, parks, workplaces and more. Beyond updating location-specific aesthetics and details from the past, the map enables users to post information and notes for family and friends at important locations in their collective lives.
"Facebook is a great tool to find and connect with people using the site, but what about those who aren’t on Facebook, or what about connecting with the places, not just the people, from your past?" asks Mark Sherman, founder and CEO of ZoomAtlas. "Our beta testing found users want more than to simply connect with people, they also want to share their experiences, recommendations and expertise about the places they know the best. ZoomAtlas creates a geo-social networking experience that takes social networking to the next level through an interactive map that is friendlier, social and more informative – interactive map meets Facebook as a place for people to reconnect with their past by mapping their lives."
Users’ ability to find old friends and family is dependent on the quantity and details of the information they post to the site.
"ZoomAtlas makes all notes and details logged available to the top search engines so that any search for any combination of the information entered is likely to result in a successful hit to reconnect – even when an individual being sought is not a user of the site," said Sherman.
Individuals are encouraged to post as much detail as possible about a place or memory to increase their chances of reconnecting with people from the past. They can also map their lives using the LifePath feature which creates a visual timeline of the places they have been and lived. The timeline can then be posted on Facebook to share with friends.
Anyone can use all site features anonymously, including searching, editing articles, and uploading pictures. Users may even use the detailed editing tools to edit map features. To post notes, individuals must create a profile or link to their Facebook profile.
The ZoomAtlas database currently contains 140 million places in the U.S. Users can search for any business or residence by address or business name, as well as search for a street, block, railroad track, neighborhood, city, town, zip code, county, state, airport, park, mall, sports complex, cemetery, house of worship, school, hospital, military installation, or geographic feature. The database will continue to expand over time as users add places and map their lives.
ZoomAtlas, founded by Mark Sherman in 2009, is a free, photo-realistic map that enables individuals to reconnect with friends, family and places from their past while leaving tips, stories and recommendations. Sherman is responsible for the strategic and technical direction of the company. In his 25 years of technology experience, Sherman has designed applications ranging from computer graphics systems to trading systems for financial firms. In 1996, he co-founded Microsurf, Inc., a comprehensive network of consumer Web sites focused on relocation and other home services, which later was sold to Monster Worldwide. The technical advisory board is headed by Ward Cunningham, the Chief Technology Officer of AboutUs.org. Cunningham is well known for his contributions to the developing practice of object-oriented programming; the variation called Extreme Programming, and is the creator of the world’s first wiki.