I was reading Chris Pendleton's blog today when I came across a feature I knew of but didn't quite understand to the extent it could be used. Chris blogged about his upcoming trip to the Coachella Music Festival and he got the idea to create a Public Collection in Live Maps for all the music festivals around the world that are coming up that not only can be shared easily but also subscribed to via RSS.
This feature is really cool because not only can you use Live Maps to go find a place and then add it to a collection, you can add additional information, URL's and a photo to the items you add. After seeing his post I just went and created one myself. Since I am a huge fan of Napa Valley Wines and the Wineries I created a Public Collection of some of my favorites here, http://maps.live.com/?v=2&cid=2CFA69F79BD87A65!818
Check it out as I go into detail on how to create one of these.
First, go to Maps.Live.Com and Sign in
Next, click on Collections
Your Collections will then open, then Click New Collection
The Collection Properties will show up. Give your new collection a name and a description. Also be sure to put some key words in there to make your collection more searchable. Also, be sure to leave the Check Boxes checked for Sharing and to allow them to copy the items you add to it into their own custom collections. Then click Save.
Now, go search on Live Maps. In this example I did a search for Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley. When you find the item you want, click on "Add to collection"
Next hover over the item in the collection and a box will pop out. Click on Edit Properties.
Here's the cool part. You can add your own text, URL and a Photo to make the item in the collection even richer. This all shows up when you see the final product. In this case I typed in some comments, added the URL for the winery's website and also added a nice photo of the winery that will show up when you share your collection. After this I went back and searched for more wineries I like and then followed the steps above to add them into the new collection.
Now when you're all done adding items to your new collection, click on the Actions link and then click Add to Favorites.
This will bring up a new window where you create a Favorites Link out of it and gives your Favorite a public name and provides the option to share it. It also generates a link that you can share with your friends and its much shorter than the links for other things you create in Live Maps.
So now, here's what you see. Take the link from the window above and paste it into the address bar of your browser and voila, check it out. All your items from your collection with all the cool pictures and text you added to it. Another great feature is that you and your friends can subscribe to this collection so back when you first created your collection you left all the share check boxes checked they can also add to it. How cool!!!