Sunday, October 29, 2006

Microsoft has a new free mapping system at This is a fantastic new tool for genealogist, analogous to the old pushpins on a map but with many advantages of a computer system. As you hover over a pushpin, a pop-up appears where you can include your own text and graphics and you can also add a More info... link to another web page. You can provide your own text and picture of ancestors or other family history information. Visit the family history examples at!111 and!162

To create a map like this visit and register a password for Windows Live! You will then be able to login and create your own customized map. You can add pushpins to the map, but the real benefit is the ability to save your work in what Microsoft calls a Collection. Make sure that you save your collection periodically or your work could be lost. Unfortunately, this is still a beta test system and it has bugs.
Once you have you information saved, you can share it with your friends and relatives. Microsoft provides menu items to share your map collection by email, with Messenger, or by posting a link on a blog or web page as in the example above.
The maps can be viewed as a road map or an aerial view. The aerial view lets you identify individual houses where you can add your pushpin and family history notes. You can identify homes, farms, cemeteries and associate your own text, picture and web page. You can even get direction instructions for travel to these locations. This is great for planning a family history road trip.
This will give you a sense of the geography and proximity of various family history events.
This is fun, informative and free.