Place Pinning My Genealogy Books

Genealogy is all about location right? Well, what better way to map out the coverage of my genealogy book collection than to try and use Pinterest’s new Place Pins feature announced earlier this week. While, I could of course, use Google Maps to do this, Pinterest has a strong visual component that I believe makes it more appealing than creating a custom Google Map.

The Place Pins feature allows you to assign a specific geographic location to any of your Pinterest pins. For my 1st test case, I knew right away what I would use for my experiment. You see, I have a fascination with the books published by Arcadia Publishing – especially their Images of America and Black America Series. The books in the series emphasize pictures to help tell the stories of many locales around the country.  In the past few months I’ve decided to start collecting them and have been planning to make a more concerted effort to keep better track of the ones I have.  Since the books are location-specific, a map makes perfect sense.

This afternoon I created a new board and began pinning my books. Here is my new map! Click on the picture to visit the live version. 

As my collection continues to grow, I will keep adding pins. And, I also have plans for additional boards that could make good use of map, including a series of blog posts I’ll be doing focused on places I’ve lived throughout my childhood.

Let me tell you what I like about the new feature:

  • I appreciate that the map automatically includes the full geographic region covered by my pins.
  • The pinning process is easy — though it did take me a couple of tries to realize that I’m supposed to enter the pin description before I actually upload the pin
  • as you rollover a number on the map, the corresponding pin is highlighted; and vice-versa

What could be improved?

  • when more than one pin is in the same city, the overall map you doesn’t show multiple numbers if zoomed out to far, only one number
  • it would be nice if the map zoom function would work by mouse scroll (like Google Maps)
  • The feature leverages FourSquare maps, so locations have to be in the FourSquare database; that could potentially be limiting. Perhaps there could be some integration of Google Maps

I’m going to have fun with this. Thanks to the Pinterest team for adding the ability to do this!  Interested in other ways genealogists are using the new feature? Here are just a few other examples I’ve seen in the geneasphere so far:

I would enjoy seeing other’s pin maps, so if you have one, let me know!

4 thoughts on “Place Pinning My Genealogy Books

  1. I will be using this feature on my upcoming genealogy trip to Tennessee. I will be pinning all the places I go. Part of my trip will include going to many gen societies and also the cemeteries with my family. I will be taking GPS coord. for each marker, then adding that to the findagrave pages I manage or as a comment for those I dont.
    I might do a seperate board for pin locating all the findagrave cemeteries , Or maybe do the board by the virtual cemetery I have, I created those by the person in my tree and their direct descendants. Will have to see what works the best. One request that I have already put in is that the pins order can be changed so that the first pin I put in is numbered 1 and stays 1, it make this hard for trip planning, if every new pin on the board is renumbered 1.

  2. Great ideas Kari. One thing to note is that given the limitation that the site uses FourSquare maps, you may find some of your cemetery locations are not on the map they provide. So. you may have to get a little creative in pinning them. And yes, your suggestion to keep the pins in order is a good one too. Thanks for sharing!

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