All search is local on AskCity

Ask.com offers new integrated search and mapping site

Ask.com has released a new way to find all things local. While that may not sound exciting, once you try out AskCity, you will be hooked on this quick and easy super-directory that requires no prior knowledge of what you seek.

AskCity interface
AskCity

AskCity allows users to search for things like restaurants and services within a chosen area. An intuitive and simple interface integrates maps, address information, directions and sharing features, while eliminating many annoying steps. Unlike other directories, AskCity does not require that you even remember the name of that town with the Thai place near that movie theater that plays the foreign films. It figures all that out for you.

When you're in a hurry, or on your smart phone, this is going to be your new favorite site.

An expandable vertical search bar on the leftt offers search by businesses, events, movies, or maps and directions. Searching for "fountain" under movies and "Cambridge, MA" under location brought up a list of seven movie theaters playing The Fountain, and further on the right a map plotted with the theaters.

Each theater result included the show time, running time and rating for the film; address and phone number; a link to a synopsis and reviews of the movie; and a link to all the movies and show times for that theater. The theaters were listed by location with the option to pin the theater on a personalized map, get directions, search nearby or send its number to a cell phone. Ask buttons offered the option of printing the page, or e-mailing a link to it.

Choosing a plot point for one of the theaters brought up a mini menu of choices similar to those found in the search list: directions, e-mail, zoom to street and search nearby. Typing "restaurant" in the small floating "search nearby" toolbar changed the list of theaters to a list of restaurants near the chosen plot point (the map and all other info remained on the screen). The option to e-mail that info was also given, as well as an option to save the map.

It's the search nearby feature that will have people giddy when they can't remember a street or place name, but they do know what's near it. The abundance of freely offered info within the search results is also a plus.

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