App

Keep track of where you go with this wide-ranging mapping app

Price: Free
Version: 1.6.13
Size: 115.3 MB
Developer: Hulab
Platform: iPhone/iPad

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Location tracking apps can have mixed results. The obvious players like Facebook and Instagram allow you to tag by location in their apps, while the recently retired Moves app tracked passively so you could view a record of your location.

Adding locations is nice and simple

However, it’s getting that information out again into a usable format that’s tricky and is why many ultimately don’t catch on. Mapstr, on the other hand, doesn’t just focus on recording your location, but making it useful, and more importantly shareable.

The tagging system is great for creating separate and specific maps

The idea is, you manually add locations you’ve either been or want to go via a search to create your own personal map, then tag them based on type. This could include restaurants, gig venues, cinemas, and even friends’ houses. You quickly realise that the tagging elements essentially provides you with multiple maps based on each category – or it can simply be reviewed as one big map.

You can search what’s nearby too – but it would be better if you could do this by category

It can be quite a daunting task getting started, but usefully, Mapstr gives you a quick into populating your map by importing from Facebook or Instagram. While your map now looks heavily populated proving to everyone what a busy little bee you are, the blanket ‘Instagram’ or ‘Facebook’ tags doesn’t make it that useful for finding places. Of course, you can retag, but we’d recommend building up slowly.

You can swipe up on locations for more information. The app provides plenty of useful and easily readable bits like opening times

Why not start by creating a series of restaurants you’ve always meant to try? Or add all your favorite music halls so you can quickly look next time you fancy catching a show. In fact, one of the key elements to Mapstr is it provides plenty of info. Tap on a location on the map that you’ve saved and it will show opening times, an option to call the location, and even provide travel directions based on the apps you have e.g. Google Maps, Uber and Citymapper.

This is where Mapstr is at its best – not the passive tracking of where you’ve been just so you have a record, but setting up places for you to try in the future. Next time you go on holiday, you can add a tag for, say, “Restaurants – Rome” and you can then add options based on your research so that when you’re actually there you can quickly peruse and get directions.

You can add locations by category and it’s easily visualized… unless you imported hundreds of locations from Facebook and Instagram

There’s a lot of potential to Mapstr and we hope it’ll keep getting attention. The friends element is a little underwhelming until you can encourage a few of yours to download the app. But if you get your group to go all in, then you can easily share maps, locations and other bits and pieces. However, unlike many apps like this, it isn’t make or break on having friends join you. If they don’t, you can still share via text or Whatsapp a location and they’ll receive a photo and address and a recommendation from yourself. It’ll also include a link to download the app so if you use it enough it could encourage friends to get on board. But we’d say its primary use is as a personalized collection of places you plan to go.

Even without friends, Mapstr has plenty going for it as a personal location planning tool. Always forget the places you mean to go? You should probably give Mapstr a try.

Review: Mapstr – track your fave places and plans
A great maps app for tracking sharing locations
For
  • Great tagging system
  • Location information is great
  • Simply designed
Against
  • Takes awhile to get going
4.0Overall Score