The Genealogy Journey

The newbie genealogist's resource for books, mags, databases, and -- of course -- any free research stuff to be found on the Internet.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Use Local Live to Mark Family and Childhood Landmarks

Genealogy just got more interactive, at least in my own mind.

I’ve been using Microsoft Windows Local Live (powered by Virtual Earth) for a few months now to help in our search for a new home. This Web site gives you aerial photographs of the addresses you enter. We use this site to screen out any homes we don’t want to look at – we have a pet peeve with huge power lines in the backyard.

Depending on the area you’re looking at, you may be able to zoom waaaaay in. I’ve read about some people being able to read the advertisements on buildings in downtown Las Vegas.

But I never thought about using Local Live to mark special family landmarks until someone posted on alt-genealogy about it.

If you sign up with Local Live (free), you can save locations with virtual “pushpins.” For each pushpin, you can add text, graphics, or a link to a Web site. You can save all of this information to what Local Live calls a “collection.” But please note: This is a beta version and anything you save here could get lost into the black hole of cyberspace. Please don’t enter any data you’d be devastated to lose.

I entered the address of one of my childhood homes in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. I was pleased to see that Local Live labeled many items, such as the nearby Pinetree Pond where we kids used to catch tadpoles. And it was fun to trace the path I walked to school. I entered the name of my elementary school and a red pushpin marked it. When I hovered over the pushpin, I could see the label “Hillside Elementary School, Cottage Grove, Minnesota.” I could also see the commands to edit the pushpin notes, delete it, add URLs, and so forth. This is a fun place to play!

Another note: You don’t need to log in just to stop by this Web site and fool around. You’ll only need to log in if you want to save your pushpin locations.

Take a break and have fun with this!

~Mary Kaye


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