Outside of my professional life, I’m an pretty avid traveler with a bit of an obsession for visiting the outdoors and taking rather road trips to get there. As a result, I tend to end up with huge collections of photos that really don’t share well on any social platform; it’s just overwhelming to present 50 (or 500) photos in one long gallery.
So, reading Pinterest’s map-board announcement, I was more than intrigued and have spent way too much time converting boards over to try and figure it out.
Sure, you can already tag Facebook photos with a location, mark a place for each Instagram upload, or caption a Snapchat pic but that’s all information at the photo level and doesn’t anything for displaying them back. Given how many photos come from travel, maps are a logical part of discovery… I’m surprised this wasn’t done years ago.
Location is often a mixed bag with privacy issues (as @lollyjean, who I discovered the feature from noted), but in this case I think it’s the right balance. Laying out a trip (past, upcoming or just a dream as many pinterest boards are) is useful and, since it’s not particularly real-time, the creep factor is minor.
As usual, the way Pinterest has built it out too is really cool: much easier to navigate than a gallery style post and you can actually explore progression. For brands / bloggers / users, I see a huge opportunity to jump more from showing people individual updates to telling entire “stories” (or treks) with the map to lead the way.
But, like with most of location services, experience is a big obstacle.
Even with the help of Foursquare’s database, there’s a lot of places I couldn’t find (oddly, many which I checked into on Foursquare when I was actually at them)… Location tech gets built in the middle of a WiFi enabled, well documented area, frequently-visited area, but it’s actually used in far less ideal conditions… slow access, small places, mis-known names.
For maps to work, people will have to tag dozens, even hundreds of pins. If Pinterest can’t make that easy…. really, really easy, Facebook (or anyone else with geo-tagging already in place) could simply take the geo-data they already have, spin together a map and step on past.
Here’s a great write up on the how to / limitations: http://monikarunstrom.com/blog/2013/11/how-to-create-a-pinterest-map-board/