Short Story: Want a short link to a spot on google maps? Without a url-shortener service?
look it up at gmaps, get an about 200digit “link” from the upper right, throw away anything but http://maps.google.com/? the ll= and the z=-tags:
want a marker? Rightklick on a map and say “What’s here?”, get the link from upper right and do the same but with the q=-tag included:
For that I made a small Autohotkey script to use with ac’tivAid.:
If you are Autohotkey-able you could easily add an own hotkey to the script.. but … ;]
if you want the whole rant…:
You may know this situation: When you just want to tell a friend over email, instant messager, twitter or whatever: Ok lets meet at THIS corner! You could do the following:
Goto maps.google.com, search something, zoom in on the location, hit Link and copy it. Ok works but why is that Link so unbelievable long? this for instance is 199 digits!!!
So I did a little trial and error to find out if I can shorten this thing a little just out of google maps already without another URLsortener like goo.gl or tinyur.com (which would also disguise the URL):
Ok: so there is “maps” twice. It works without. It does without the “f=q” “source=s_q” the empty “geocode=” and “hl=en” as well. I could even do without the “q=new+york” because it doesn’t matter what I looked up before. “ie=UTF8”, another empty “hq=” and “t=h” can be skipped as well. whithout “hnear=New+York” it still shows the spot! Wow I can even throw away “spn=0.000646,0.001129” AND “sspn=43.983628,74.003906” AND “sll=37.0625,-95.677068”.
Now I only have:
And it still exactly shows what I mean with 146 characters less!
If I actually want an arrow at a spot. Yes I could go for My Maps… I would have to set up a new map, name it and “Ok” it, “Done” it, click “Send” copy another 183 character link … This is not what we want google!
Now ok I found a trick:
I right click and say “What’s Here?” at the spot. I immediately get a nice green arrow. (that I can’t move.. but ok, I can click at another spot). Now thats alredy something! A link from “Link” again yields an incredible mammoth. If we apply the learned we can shrink it to
Yay! Ok the positions almost match! But if I leave out the q= I won’t have an arrow. And If I get rid of the ll= it zooms to the next found thing, which is quite not what I wanted.
And with some more tryouts: You can omit 1 digit from each q-marker coordinate and still have adequate precision (probably depends on the zoomlevel z= as well, with less zoom you might ditch some more digits, but with 2 its already quite off). And when you skip 2 digits from each ll=float you still have a good view on what you mean.
Ok google! Why not make this simpler? Offer a straigtforward way to say “here”! That simply creates that creates a click-drag-movable marker. And If you click it pops up a field with a short link to the spot that shows an arrow.
I bet there are still some free letters in your server commands. Maybe you could even embedde the zoom into the command so the extra z=19 can be left out as well. For instance:
“http://maps.google.com/?a20=40.662434,-73.972099” (of course this doesn’t work)