Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) August 17, 2012
The first in a series of new features has been added to the Virtual Pin Map platform at uencounter.me, improving the user experience and allowing the creation of customized personal maps. Previously, all the pins created by a UE user would appear together designated by color. With today’s feature release, users can create customized maps and designate which pins are displayed. According to the uencounter.me Team, this is the beginning of several new elements in the pipeline that aim to significantly increase user interaction and organization of pins.
The inclusion of customized maps was always a part of the long term vision but was accelerated into development with the large surge of individuals using the Virtual Pin Map application for genealogy purposes. “Our users were asking for a way to visually represent single family lines on their maps,” states Co-Founder Leslyn Kantner. “The ability to create a different map for each surname offered the most universal solution for all our users”. Kantner explains that the new feature allows any user to create a custom map, name it, and share it on their uencounter.me profile page if they choose.
Created maps can be designated private so that the user is the only one who can ever view it; hidden from the public but viewable when the URL is shared; or publicly viewed. With this release, the map creator is the only one capable of adding pins but uencounter.me plans to allow the ability for any user to add a pin to a public map (when authorized by the creator) in the near future.
In addition to creating custom maps, users can now ‘like’ pins and maps of other users, setting the stage for the uencounter.me Team to display the most popular content across the site in future releases. “One of our goals is to promote more activity from interest groups such as hobby enthusiasts and sports clubs,” states Kantner. “For example, a number of uencounter.me users have pinned white water rafting locations and creating a map that lists great spots and offers discussions about the experiences would be beneficial to anyone who enjoys the sport” she claims. The same can be said for just about any activity or interest.
The uencounter.me Team is capitalizing on the philosophy that collections are interesting to observe. Custom maps are a collection of pins marking interesting locations of specific interests. According to the UE Team, users pin travel, ancestors, social networks, family, business clients, business locations, sporting activity, musicians they follow, and more. Kantner described an example of a UE pinner who has pinned a collection of all the golf courses he has played all over the world.
Launched last November on a bootstrapped budget, uencounter.me has grown from a few friends and family members of the founders to thousands of people primarily from the exposure it has received from a few influential bloggers. Users spiked in June when genealogist Dick Eastman highlighted uencounter.me in his online newsletter and the genealogy community has been quick to embrace the potential for uencounter.me to be a great research tool.