Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Create a Map Repository For Often Used Locations

Do you use a map site (like google maps or mapquest) to view the same map repeatedly? This tip might save you some time when you need to lookup directions more than once.

You can maintain a simple Map Repository within Gmail. It's builds on the concept introduced in the post entitled "Creating Notes in Gmail.”

  1. Create a new Label called "Map."
  2. Create a Filter to add the "Map" Label to any email addressed to username+map@---.com. Check the "Skip the Inbox (Archive it)" checkbox to bypass the Inbox.
    2009-10-06_105359 2009-10-06_105455 
  3. Whenever you search for directions or view a map that you will visit repeatedly, save the map as a gif image and send it (as an attachment or inline) to username+map@---.com. Include the name of the location (such as “ABC Engineering – Seattle Office” or “John Smith – Home.”

    As an alternative to using a graphic, you could copy and paste the url of the map into a new email. Then you could just click on the hyperlink to view the map. To do this in google maps, click on Link and copy the “Paste Link in email or IM” link.

Using Gmail's Search, you can later find the map much faster then by using an online map-service.

This can be adapted for many other applications by adjusting the label and filter.