After my last post (on sanyamap.com), Tariq Mufti pointed me at an even better source of cities maps, also in China. It's Edushi.com (roughly E-City in Chinese) and they currently cover 24 cities. The title of this post is copied from Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith who's written up edushi.com in some detail.
Aladdin has first put forward the new concept of Internet application: Edushi(or rather, E-City) which is a corresponding result of the local governments’ encouragement of building “digitalized cities”. As a platform for 3-D emulation online-interaction, E-City is based in the WEB GIS and virtual-real technology.
"Digitalized city" integrates E-map, E-yellow page (city telephone directory), E-business, virtual community etc. functions.
"Edushi" allocates various information of the city based on geo information of the real city.
"Edushi" does not only emulate the architectural shape, geological status of the real city, but also vividly reproduce the entire city as well as the social activity and economical activity on Internet.
They also mention support for mobile phones, in-car navigation, a community information platform and a digital TV terminal application.
While I don't read Chinese, if you float your cursor over the list of cities at the top of this page, you can see their URLs in standard ASCII. Using this approach I was able to go to the city view for Xian and navigate to some tourist sites that I have visited.
All and all, a fascinating combination of 3D maps, virtual reality, directories and current city culture.