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Google Maps - Satellite


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If anyone wants Google Maps / Satellite links in gc.com right now, and you use Firefox, then you can install Greasemonkey which allows pages to be modified before your browser displays them.


Once you've got Greasemonkey, install my map linking script from: http://files.dixo.net/GeocachingMapLinker.user.js (right click that link and choose "Install User Script")


Once installed, all cache information pages will link to Google Maps with a Satellite link too. For UK caches (since I'm a Brit) it links to Ordnance Survey maps too. Here's a screenshot





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Pretty cool. If it only put the waypoint onto the map it would be perfect. Thanks

I think someone mentioned previously that maps drawn via coordinates do put the balloons.


I tested the script with lordelph and it works great. He did all the work, I just used it.

Greasemonkey scripts are wonderful and this won is now at the top of my list of scripts.


lordelph, I've thanked you privately and now I thank you publicaly.



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So how do you undo it once the Google maps have been added to the website by the Groundspeak crew?


It's fairly painless - from the Firefox "Tools" menu choose "Manage User Scripts" then highlight "Geocaching Map Linker" and click "Uninstall"


If Google Mail is anything to go by, Google Maps will be in beta for a long time yet!

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If Google Mail is anything to go by, Google Maps will be in beta for a long time yet!

Yeah, Jeremy et al, Google isn't one to change things from "Beta" really. Yet basic functionality (like the URL for coordinate linking) won't change.


I've had G-mail for almost a year and I wasn't even one of the very first people to get it. It's still technically listed as "Beta", but they've even doubled disk space and added RSS scrollers, colored/advanced fonting, and given everyone 50 invites that hardly ever decrease (give away 20 of them in a week and have them back to 50 again in another few days). The sign-ups have to be near saturation..but it's still "Beta" if you go by the logo/icon.


If Google Maps is anything like G-Mail or a few of their other utilities and you wait for it to come off of "Beta", then we might not have a link here for a few years yet.

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I've been doing a fair amount of hacking with Google Maps, and there are some very good reasons why it's not quite ready to be added to Geocache pages yet.


First, it only supports one type of marker (the balloon / pushpin). I've created my own maps with different markers, but they don't fit quite right and the clickable area still matches the original pushpin.


Second, and most importantly, the way the google map script is currently built, it fetches an XML file of all the point information at once, when the map is loaded. If you've got a lot of points on that map, it really slows things down (I've tried plotting all the DC area caches, for example, and it bogs down my box pretty good). So they need to modify their code to be able to dynamically re-fetch a list of points for a given map area.


Hopefully, these will get improved in future iterations of the Google code.


That said, I gotta tell you, zooming all the way in on a cache (especially with the Terraserver Urban image source) and seeing the marker not 4 feet from where you remember finding a cache -- well, that's just pretty darned cool. :D


(in fact, that might be another reason not to add this just yet -- we may need a way to "fuzz" the coordinates so that the cache finding isn't *too* easy...)

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Two comments:


As to its Beta-ness and the perceived problems by Darth Null, I don't think any of these things would be an issue. Google Maps would be one more choice with Mapquest, Terraserver, etc. on the individual cache pages. In that case, multiple pins or variety of graphics is not an issue. A single pin at a point is all those links show for each individual cache. Also, that pin would be at the location given in the cache details. If a person doesn't want it to be so simple, they'll make it an offset, etc. Otherwise a cache at an exact coordinate as seen on a Google Map is no easier or harder than looking it up on any one of the other sat photo sites or terra maps.


Also, to TeamMH, Google Maps has added UK street maps. I believe it is their intention to add more world locations as they go. They don't put Google.com out in over 40 languages because of the US. :D

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I installed this Greasemonkey extension to Firefox, and it works very well. In the course of doing it, I came across another Greasemonkey extension which was only added to the Greasemonkey list today.


When you've found the location that interests you in Google maps, click on the new hyperlink at the right of the page and presto you are taken to Geocaching.com with a complete list of the nearby geocaches.


Pretty slick. I don't want to steal the author's thunder, but the script can be found here and a screenshot can be found here.

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It is their decision not to take their mapping service out of beta. It is my decision not to list their mapping service on the geocaching.com web site until it is out of beta. You can use the many google hacks until they do.


I have nothing against Google but I don't drink their cool-aid either.

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No it would be called Google Gulp. ;)

*AND* it's in Beta...*AND* it involves geocaching!


Google Gulp and Your Privacy

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