Are we there YET. Tips on using the very best of Google Maps.


Recently in my project, I implemented Google Maps. I was wondering if I did it the right way. Went googling for some terms, and I came across some new nifty way to share URLs. Nonetheless, it turned out, that the http protocol GEO: doesn’t work in firefox. May be Desktop Firefox is not reading it. Mobile Firefox might be displaying it.

I would like to refer to my previous entry on the same topic. (https://salmankhwaja.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/sure_way_to_lure_customers/), where I was focused on making QR Codes for locations. Imagine when you come across a Website, where it is saying, where are we located, and then they insert their P-Mail address. Duh. Then when you actually need to be there, you end up copying / pasting that address in Google Maps, search, send that location to your mobile, and then drive there. Well, it’s about time to educate those who are developing sites for such corporations.

Even if QR codes are not your forte, one could at least provide the coordinates, so that people could view them in Google Maps / Foursquare, their application of choice. Here how to do it right.

  1. Goto http://maps.google.com/
  2. type in your desired location / name. In other words, just search for it.
  3. Once desired results are there, a red marker should be displayed right in front of you.
  4. Click on it, and it will show you the GPS Coordinate right below it.
  5. Click the GPS Coordinates. Now those Coordinates will be displayed in SEARCH bar.
  6. Copy them those GPS coordinates. The most common form of GPS coordinates is in the form of 64.19,98.92, that is, x,y, where x is Latitude, and y is Longitude.
  7. Now open your favoutire editor and make a hyperlink like
 <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/?q=[GPSCordinates]">Click here to see our location on Google Maps.</a> 
  1. That’s all there is to it. So the resulting hyperlink would be. Adding a location of Badshahi Mosque (randomly this location came into my mind). <a href=”http://maps.google.com/maps/?q=31.588085,74.310071″>Visit Badshahi Mosque here.</a>.
    Link added for your surfing convenience.

Alternatively, one could also use the GEO Protocol.

  1. Once, the Geo Coordinates are known, one could use the following link to create Geo Location.
    <a href="geo:31.588085,74.310071">go here</a>
    
  2. Second method sounds quite easy, but my Desktop Firefox was not pointing to right location. Link added for surfing again (Badshahi Mosque). Google Link

First method is tried and tested, and it works every time and points to Google maps, no matter on which device the user is at, well at least, most of the devices.

For those who are thinking to have some extra reading, here are the additional links shared.

http://geomediablog.com/2007/07/10/creating-a-hyperlink-from-a-point-in-geomedia-to-google-maps/
http://www.smick.net/notebook/how-to-link-to-a-gps-coordinate-on-a-webpage-using-geo-url/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geo:
http://diveintohtml5.info/geolocation.html

Some links to see Google maps and GPS Coordinates in action

http://boulter.com/gps/#31.588085%2C74.310071
http://www.itouchmap.com/latlong.html

How have you implemented Google Maps in your Project.? I would definitely like to know more in comments.

Which Search Engine do you use?


Yesterday, I was searching for some stuff on my research on Home Schooling, and then I was doing the same thing. Opening new tabs, one for Google, one for Bing, one for Yahoo and one for Clusty. Did my searching from all those four tabs, I was in turn opening more tabs. So actually just to perform a quick search, I opening 4 x 2 = 8 tabs. Although with more computing power, it is nothing, but I realized that I was not searching in an effective manner.

It was then, that I suddenly realized that I had an amazing tool at my arsenal, which is Power Seek. A search tool I developed to make my research more easier. It allows me to open up the search results in one window, and perform my search, all while the Search is being displayed right in front of me, and I just switch the Search engine with a click of Combo box / Drop list. Once I change my search engine, the new Search results are displayed in the same smaller window.

Any time, I want the results to be bookmarked, I can just open the Search in new tab, by marking a check on the check box say, OPEN IN NEW TAB. Easy as pie, isn’t it? Oh by the way, for my small number of readers, the Search engine resides at

http://bit.ly/PowerSeek

and its user manual is residing at

http://powerseek.wordpress.com

So my few readers,

which search engine do you use and why?

Power Search


The internet is a huge place, and one may get lost when there is no direction. Also, if there is no direction, the person may wander in all the directions. Plus with the advent of so many Search Engines, be that Google, MSN, Bing, Yahoo, and many others, there are times, when these search engines are giving different / same results depending on the index that they are having.

Still, for a conscious person (surfer) who is gathering information from the web, tries to looks are all the sources, as to verify each and every results. Whenever, we do this kind of  stuff, that is, simultaneously searching on different search engines, we sometimes get lost. To overcome this problem, I developed Power Search. Yes, the idea is very similar to what Firefox offers are their search engine at the top right corner, but this one is with a twist. It is a full-blown web page, where simple information, like Chosen Search Engine and Entered Keyword is in front of the user all the time. Anytime, if there is need to change either one, it is simply a matter of few clicks.

When I developed the power search, I has no idea it will be liked by people. Now, that I have developed, and I have started using it, I asked, myself, why not public it, so that others could also benefit from it. So here I go with this post for illustrating how easy it is to search using Power Search (http://bit.ly/Power-Search).

Following are the few of the features presented in Power Search.

Weather Forecast

  1. Choose, “Weather Forecast” or “Mozilla Forecast” from the Search Engines.
  2. Type City name, example “Karachi
  3. Press ENTER. Complete Weather information will be displayed.

Search within Twitter

  1. Choose “Twitter Search (Plain)” from the search Engines
  2. type twitter username, any trending term, or a complete customized string. More on Customized String here.
  3. Press ENTER.

Search twitter for tweets from a specific user

  1. Choose “Twitter Search (Posted From)” from the search Engines
  2. type the twitter username without the @ sign.
  3. Press ENTER. It will display the most recent posts from that user.

Word Mania

Dictionary

  1. Choose “Dictionary” or “Webster” or “Urban Dictionary” from the search Engines
  2. type the word whose meaning you’ve been aching to learning
  3. Press ENTER.

Thesaurus

Thesaurus comes handy when you are looking for different words having the same meanings.

  1. Choose “Thesaurus” from the search Engines
  2. type the word whose meaning you’ve been aching to learning
  3. Press ENTER.

Visual Thesaurus

Visual Thesaurus is another fancy way to look at words.

  1. Choose “Visual Thesaurus” from the search Engines
  2. type the word whose meaning you’ve been aching to learning
  3. Press ENTER.
  4. After a few seconds, once the page is loaded, click “LOOK IT UP” to see the word associations in action.

Anagrams

Anagrams are another interesting things in Words. Anagram is the process of  moving the positions of letters in a word and forming one or more words.

  1. Choose “Anagrams (Wordsmith.org)” from the search Engines
  2. type the big word. Usually this is performed when you are looking for different combination of word.
  3. Press ENTER

Acronyms

Acronyms are the short forms of words we usually find when people who are too lazy to type the whole word. For keeping in touch with those short forms, use Acronym Finder

  1. Choose “Acronym Finder” from the search Engines
  2. Type the short form. For example, RTOFL
  3. Press ENTER

Movies (Internet Movie Database)

Where else would you be going to know about your favorite movies. Internet Movie Database.

  1. Choose “IMBD – Internet Movie Database” from the search Engines
  2. Type the short form. For example, “Matrix
  3. Press ENTER

Images

Your report is done, but you need to jazz it up with the right kind of images at the right place. Try these embedded search engines.

  1. Choose either one these
    1. Google Life Images (this will provide the older images of the searched term.)
    2. Google Images
    3. Flickr
  2. Type your report keyword. For example if you are reviewing Matrix Movie, try using Matrix, Oracle, Agent Smith.
  3. Press ENTER

Wolfram Alpha :: New Search Engine on the block.


This search Engine, “Computational Knowledge Engine” as they say, is the new search engine on the block. Quite Technical, in terms of the input, but they are targetted on providing almost all the information within one page. Comparing this search engine with google is utter stupidity. People are more accustomed to the shortcuts, lingo particular to Google. Things like

  • define: [Keyword] (Word Definations)
  • 1000 USD in PKR (currency Conversion)
  • Weather Karachi
  • so on and so forth

Wolf ram Alpha, defines their own lingo, but they give full information about any particular topic, places, or thing. For example, typing KARACHI, will provide city population, the map on world plane, current local time, current weather. Some fun things are

  • Enter your Birth date: it will informing you how old are you. Now, ladies, you do not want to try this out.
  • try using IBM GOOGLE to have comparison on their stock positions, Number of Employees, and their market standings
  • try entering “RAMADAN in 2009”, it will be COMPUTING when would ramadan starts in year 2009. Now there is no need to look at the calendar, it there.? I tried the same in google, which in turn gave me links to which I can go and then find the answer.

You can check out the examples of this search engines by going through the following URLs.

http://www19.wolframalpha.com/

http://www19.wolframalpha.com/examples/

I also liked the VISUAL GALLERY of Example

http://www19.wolframalpha.com/gallery.html

All in all, Wolf Ram Alpha, is a new kid on the block in Search Engine arena, but it should not be compared with Google / Hotmail / Yahoo. It’s a Computational Engine, as they are not an harvesting block, which indexes all the web pages. Both the search engines are like Apples and Oranges.

FYI, this Search Engine is now a part of My developed Search Engine. Head over to

http://bit.ly/kz1t0