Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Finally a URL shortener for Google Maps

12

July

If you use Google Maps you're used to those hideously long URLs it generates when you need to send a map link to someone. To illustrate, here is a link for the map to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville with the normal URL:

"http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ben+Hill+Griffin+Stadium,+Gainesville,+FL&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=60.50566,90.791016&ie=UTF8&hq=Ben+Hill+Griffin+Stadium,&hnear=Gainesville,+Alachua,+Florida&z=14&iwloc=B"

Ridiculous right? It does appear to have some useful information, like longitude and latitude, but when you're just sending  a link to someone who needs all that stuff?

Well, using a new Google Labs feature you can switch on a URL shortener that will automatically generate a simpler URL that is better for texting, tweeting and all-around use. Take a look at the same URL after shortening:

"http://goo.gl/maps/bjcc"

Nice! That takes the URL from 234 characters to 23 and makes it very Twitter and text-friendly.

To turn on this feature click on this link, check the enable button next to "Short URL" then click on "Save changes."

Screen_shot_2010-07-12_at_2.32.47_PM.png

While you're there, take a look at some of the other Google Labs "experiments." Because they truly are experiments some never graduate from the lab and some don't last long at all. For that reason Google offers this disclaimer:

Google Maps Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren't quite ready for primetime. They may change, break or disappear at any time. If such a feature breaks, and you're having trouble loading Maps, use this escape hatch: http://maps.google.com/maps?ftr=0.

Like it is will all experiments things can go wrong, but that's half the fun! At least in this lab you can't can't catch anything on fire.

 

 

[Last modified: Monday, July 12, 2010 3:11pm]

    

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