I checked. All of my Mac friends have used Google Maps. What’s not to love about maps with detail that are easy to use?
Except for entering in all the address information, Google Maps is perfect. Now it’s completely perfect. Almost.
What is so cool about the Mac developer community is their ability to find an empty niche and fill it with a great utility.
Even better is when the utility is low in price, and the quality and usefulness of the utility is high in value.
Great taste. Less filling. It’s the circle of nirvana life for Mac users.
Ok, Google Maps is the cat’s meow. All my friends use it. It’s simply enough for mom to use. More than once.
The only, and I say this will all due respect and admiration of Google and their talented team of developers, the only problem I have is…
You guessed it—bouncing back and forth between Mac OS X’s Address Book and the Google Maps To and From entry fields.
You see, Google Maps only gives you a map of To someplace if you fill in the correct From address and the To address.
That’s where that back and forth stuff comes in.
Open Address Book, find long lost friend or relative or gotta-go-to business, try to remember address, switch back to Google, enter, repeat, rinse.
Along comes Mac developer Brian Toth and the Google Maps Plugin. It’s free (though Brian is not averse to donations; aren’t we all, unless we’re doing the donating).
The Google Maps Plugin takes those extra steps moving addresses from where they reside to Google Maps. Click, click, map is done.
All you need is your Mac’s Address Book (uh, for some reason, Google Maps Plugin needs an address or two of where you want to go, and where you are) and Google Maps Plugin.
Oh, you’ll also need Safari, an internet connection, a Mac, someplace to live (an address), and someplace to go (why we’re engaged in this maps exercise thing).
The rest of the equation is pretty much as simple as free can get.
Download Google Maps Plugin from Brian. Install Google Maps Plugin. Read instructions.
Instructions? Don’t blink. Some of these Mac utility instructions go by awfully fast. You could miss it.
Open Address Book. Hover your mouse cursor over an address label until the label is highlighted, click. Easy, huh?
Then you select (that’s the “click” part) a Google Map menu item, such as, hmmm, oh, I don’t know—how about Google Directions.
That little, simple, uncomplicated action turns your Mac into a roaring Tiger of efficiency, opens a Safari window to the Google Maps, and…
And? And you’re done. If you did everything right, Google Maps is in your browser window with the correct From and To information already filled in, and the map already comfortably displayed in your browser.
How easy is that? And considering what you paid, it couldn’t get any easier unless Brian came over to your house and did the clicking for you.
If he does, be sure to donate some cookies, a glass of lemonade, or some Milk Duds. Something. Clicking can be exasperating, if you know what I mean.
That’s pretty much it. If you find Google Maps Plugin worthwhile, then I want you to remember two things.
First, Google didn’t do this for you. Brian did. Google Maps Plugin works on your Mac with OS X Tiger, and makes Google even easier to use.
Second, Google didn’t pay Brian to do this. But Brian’s not averse to a donation. I couldn’t find a PayPal button for cookies or Milk Duds.
Finally, Google Maps Plugin is just one of a gazillion nifty little Mac applications which add nifty little functionality to your Mac.
It’s Friday. Enjoy.