Pin in the map

pitm.pngIn the mapping simplicity stakes, there is a new player: Pin in the map, a Google Maps API-based web app announced with a press release by UK developers Eden Development.

Pin in the map is nothing less (or more) than one-click placemarking, to which you can add text, a picture, an optional password for later editing, and then email the resulting unique URL to friends (example). I’m reviewing it on Ogle Earth because every URL, if appended by “/earth”, will also open in Google Earth.

The business plan: “Premium pins”, minus the Google ads and plus your business name in the URL.

How does it compare to contenders? Tagzania is far more powerful, offering tags and feeds, different map options and javascript to put readymade maps onto your own site, but you also need to set up an account first, and that may just be overkill if all you want to do is send somebody a link quickly. And Tagzania doesn’t let you make private placemarks, whereas Pin in the map does.

The latest iteration of Microsoft’s Virtual Earth offers something nearly as simple to use as Pin in the map, and its enhanced “collections” feature lets you group placemarks, which I can see even casual users wanting (Pub crawls, photo collections, house hunting candidates…). These collections can be private or public, too. As with Tagzania, however, you first need to log in before you can use Virtual Earth’s placemarking features. And there are no links to Google Earth in Virtual Earth, of course:-).

Pin in the map‘s unique feature, then, is that you need no account to use it, and this will speed adoption by casual users. Having in the past called Tagzania a “del.icio.us for places”, there is no escaping the obvious conclusion that Pin in the map is the TinyURL of places.

12 thoughts on “Pin in the map”

  1. One suggestion: Add a “View in Google Earth” link alongside the maps, as people viewing a placemark may not be aware of that feature.

  2. They’re all exciting projects, but I’m looking for a little bit more flexibility, such as the option to choose from different kinds of pin and even (just being greedy) the ability to draw paths.

  3. Stefan: Good idea. Done.

    Jim: Hmm. Paths might come later, but I quite like the simplicity of the site as it stands and don’t want to screw up the useability. Different pin colours is likely to come, but later.

  4. How about giving premium pin users the javascript that lets them embed the map in their own website? Like Tagzania does it.

  5. There’s also a recent newcomer, xplorica.com, which will let you post photo-placemarks for free into Google Earth (if it’s not for a business) with your account – businesses pay $60 a year. If you go to http://www.xplorica.com and create an account, you can make as many “interesting” photo-placemarks as you want and they approve it without payment. I think they are targeting things like landmarks & natural features (bike trails, parks, waterfalls, beaches, etc.) but it’s still pretty cool. It also loads the nearest flickr photos in Google Earth when you pause overtop of an area.

Comments are closed.