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Pinterest adds maps to its pins and boards

November 25, 2013

Pinterest Birmingham map screenshot

Screenshot of the Birmingham Pinterest place board

I wasn’t terribly good at geography in school. Maybe Pinterest’s newest feature will help me.

Last week, the social network added place pins to its “rich pins” set. Pinners can add location data to each pin, creating a “place board” or map of tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants, retailers and more.

If a locale has a Foursquare marker, it can have its location data on Pinterest.

When I found out Thursday, I started building a Birmingham place board with 74 pins. I learned my friend and colleague Jen was building her own map, ShopSmallBHAM. Funny how we both jumped right in on the first day. We’re just a couple of Pinterest nerds.

I can embed the pins on this site, but for now, they look exactly the same as regular pins … no location info included. Clicking on the embedded image leads to the pin, complete with a mini-map.

Gip’s Juke Joint pin with no geolocation data

I can also embed place boards, but as shown below, the embedded boards have no overall map (like the screenshot up top).

Birmingham place board, but no map

ShopSmallBHAM place board, but no map

Despite these display limitations, I can build a data-rich map similar to ones in Google Maps, with the added benefit of a great social network. (Google Maps, however, allows full map embedding, custom locations, routes and more.) Other pinners can follow the place board, repin their faves (to either regular pinboards or place boards), and Like or comment on pins.

(One huge and frankly odd limitation is the omission of follower counts on place boards. A Pinterest customer service representative said via email, “We don’t display followers on place boards — we’re working on a few designs to improve this in the near future.”)

The Pinterest blog rolled out the new feature with a list of 20 select place boards. My two favorites are …

1. A campus tour of the University of Michigan.

University of Michigan campus tour

2. Chef Andrew Zimmern’s favorite barbecue joints across America.

Andrew Zimmern barbecue map

Geolocation data can be a critical component, both for customers and companies.

A smart business will already have its Foursquare locations registered. A smart business will use Pinterest maps and geolocation-rich pins to feature branches, vendors, fans and any locale that relates to its mission.

And a smart business will understand that mapping provides another opportunity to reach and connect with people by giving geographic context to any message.

Follow me on Pinterest.

Learn more about Pinterest.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2013 9:10 am

    Since you’re such a Pinterest Nerd, I just KNOW you’re wanting to go in and map (in an organized fashion) all of your friend’s boards. Right?

    • November 25, 2013 10:36 am

      Of course. Let me just work out my per-pin rate …

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