Providing accurate map data is expensive. Street survey and location information, as we could imagine by logic, is a tedious process. Map provider, like in your GPS devices, might credit the map info to another company specializing in the field.
Thus, licensing information for every city on this planet will be expensive, not to mention updating the data. The same as in Live Maps. In smaller cities, and many countries, Live Maps wont have any business informations yet.
Here, user contribution kicks in. To cover search on areas where Live Maps doesn’t have business information, Live Search uses what’s called “Collections” as information. These are made by users. Thus, you could have community contributed information about restaurant, stores, or other points of interest.
Not quite Wikimapia still; and as other information database build “Hitchiker Guide”-style, many informations are not really accurate. Area could be represented by a dot missing the real location by some kilometres, and without any informations. But better than nothing right ?
So, how do we make a Collection ?
First, on Live Maps. There are two alternatives. The quick way is by right click over the location point, and then choose “Add pushpin”.
Another alternative is, click on the Collections menu on top right of the map, then choose “Open your collections”. This will open the Collection Editor dialogue.
In the lower part of the dialogue are icons for Points, Trail and Area as well as line style. Use these accordingly to mark the location you want to save as a Collection.
(Credit: thanks to Chris for correcting me about this :)
After that, type in the informations in the dialog. There’s also link for more information (e.g: website of the business) and to upload a photo (only one). After you finished, click save.
After saving, there’s a dialogue to review the item and to add new items in the collections.
You can add more items in the collection in the same manner as adding the first one. Mark the place using one of the shapes (Pushpoint, Track, or Area) and enter the information.
The logic I use is, imagine collection as a larger area (for example, a street) and the item is for a point of interest (for exampe, a specific store).
You can see the other Collections available in the map you’re viewing from the menu Collections –> Explore collections.
My feedback here would be,
I’d prefer that Live Maps allow user to add collection of a trail or area directly, rather than only the option of Pushpin in the first step.
Famous locations seems to have multiple collections assigned to it that are shared to public.
PS: if you create a Synth using Photosynth, you should add the location (the globe icon when you view the Synth in website). If you add the information, the Synth will be added as a Collection in Live Maps.
Update: updated about creating trail and area item from Open your collection dialogue. Thanks to Chris for the correction.