One of the new features in the latest update to Live Maps is being able to locate items of interest (e.g., landmarks, buildings, famous sights) by exploring Live Map collections and other collections on the ‘Net (e.g., KML collections).
All these collections – contributed by you and me – make up the GeoWeb and Live Search is currently trawling (the tech term is crawling but trawling brings a more relevant image to mind for webDotWiz) the ‘Net to index all such geo data for us to use when we want to find an item in Live Maps.
In a write-up titled GeoWeb Exploration – Mining Information from Collections and KML the Virtual Earth/Live Maps team gives an example of finding what the area around the Trevi Fountain (featured in Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita) might look like. This post adds a few more steps and screenshots to what the Virtual Earth/Live Maps team did. As well a couple of local examples will be left for you explore.
Assuming you’ve read the above article to get an idea of where to start our search, we firstly enter our search query dolce vita in rome italy. Note Live Maps now has only one search box – whoopee (and Dare is now very happy, too):
and before clicking the Search button, we choose Collections:
After a click on the Search button, the left-hand side of the screen lists locations from various collections:
and on the map to the right we immediately get pushpins related to each item in the list above:
Either from reading the description of locations in the list or hovering your mouse over each pushpin, you’ll find that pushpin no. 7 is probably the best bet to give us the location of the Trevi Fountain and what its surroundings are.
Another way to go about our search is to enter Trevi Fountain in the search box, leave Collections turned on and click the Search button:
We’ve now got a different list of locations and the map shows them (we’ve zoomed in and turned on Bird’s Eye view):
Another way of getting better information about what buildings are around the Trevi Fountain location is to use the Explore collections feature. You get to that by going to Collections over at the top right:
Click and choose Explore collections:
Live Maps now mines data from public Live Map collections from users such as you and I (you’ll see a good example at the end of this post and we get lots more relevant info:
…as indicated by the increase in the number of pushpins on our map:
Now let’s look at an example closer to home. We’ll do a search to locate Rushworth and try a simpler way to Explore collections to see what we get (hint: webDotWiz knows we should be able to come up with at least one collection because he submitted it some time ago when the Live Maps/Virtual Earth team were asking for collections; webDotWiz didn’t know, however, what the team were planning):
You only need to enter Rushworth in the search box. Note we’ve chosen Locations so we get a map and the Explore collections link:
So what do we get when we click on Explore collections?
(webDotWiz must speak to himself when he’s next at the Rushworth Community House and fix that missing photo).
You’ll see that Live Maps has found entries from a Live Maps collection called Rushworth and district services.
If you try this search for Rushworth yourself using Explore collections, you’ll also get to entries from the The Early Families of Whroo collection.
In both cases, these examples not only locate Rushworth and Whroo on a map, but you get lots more information about what services are available in Rushworth and a history of where the early families of Whroo lived in the 1850’s. Here’s what you see on the Rushworth map:
The Explore collections is one of several new features as of the result of updates of October 16 2007 but it’s a fun way to get more information about a place you’re looking at on a map from data put together by… us! So, explore and have fun .
Posted using Windows Live Writer.