Thursday, January 31, 2008

5 great map add-ons for Firefox - getting lost is now optional


We checked out these add-ons for helping your find yourself, (no, not that way) and they do a good job of helping you get where you want to go. Well, at least they get you the directions and well, the rest is really up to you.

Get Directions from Google Maps
- save yourself opening a new window. Just highlight any address on a webpage you're viewing and right click. Select from the pop-up menu "Locate on Google Map" which then launches Google Maps in a separate tab with the address selected.

Map This - does the same as "Get Directions from Google Maps," plus you can set your home location in the preferences and get driving directions from your "home."

GD Directions - finds directions on Yahoo and Google maps based on your selected text and your home address. You can manage various home addresses and get directions from one of your home addresses to the selected address by right clicking on the selected address.

- uses Wi-Fi positioning system to pinpoint your location and turns your Wi-Fi enabled laptop into a virtual GPS device. Also, integrates that location into your Internet search, browsing and communications. You can even pinpoint your exact location on a map and share that location with others via Email or SMS Requires Windows XP and Wi-Fi. Note: Not for Mac OS X. (Sigh).

Mini-Map Sidebar
- One word: Wow. We saved the best for last. Great sidebar where you can drag and drop addresses or locations you find on web pages and they will be automatically located, and added to your saved address list. The sidebar is launched from the toolbar icon, a status bar icon and the view sidebar menu. The extension also comes with a main browser Map Tab for viewing a larger map and this is accessed from the status bar or by highlighting an address, and selecting 'Map Tab: Locate Address...' in the right click context menu. Below are a few of the extension features available:
  • Map an Address: Drag and drop addresses or links to show on map, which is added to the address list (hold shift when you drag to just display a temporary marker). Manually add an address. Build up a list of locally stored addresses.
  • geoDiscovery: The extension will automatically discover geoURL's and in-line geotags and populate the geoDiscovery list as you browse. Alerts you to the discovery via a status bar image.
  • View and post address list entry to tagzania.
  • Google Earth: View an address list entry in Google Earth.
  • View flickr photos based on an address list entry.
  • Drag and drop googlesightseeing links to view the image of interest.
Okay, if you're directionally challenged, you still might get lost, but at least you'll have all these map resources at your fingertips. You may want to consider a voice guidance system on a GPS unit, which is not fail proof either, but at least you have the comfort of a virtual back seat driver with you wherever you go.

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