Apple’s Address Book is a clean and concise way to manage all of your contacts. It does what it needs without a bunch of frills, and for the most part, that’s a good thing. My use of Address Book is fairly infrequent — and by infrequent I mean that it’s pretty much only utilized around this time of year when I have to send out the annual newsletter or photo card of the kids.
Recently when my younger sister moved into the Big City and sent her ritzy new Manhattan address around to all of us, I entered it into Address Book like a good boy, and promptly forgot about it. It wasn’t long after that my lovely wife wanted to know about the new City digs, but I didn’t know a whole lot. So being a good nerd, I copied the address from Address Book and then copied it into a Google Maps session in Firefox to see what the area looked like. That’s when it hit me — why should I have to go through such a process?!
Following some easy Googling, I found a relatively old solution to my problem. In fact, our own Grand Poobah, Om Malik, was pretty jazzed about the same solution back when he discovered it three and a half years ago! But in internet years, that’s like 2.3 lifetimes past, so what’s old is new — onto the solution! The Google Maps Plugin for Address Book is by Brian Toth, and a perfectly elegant solution to my problem.
The plugin allows you to right click on any address from Address Book, and gives you a few options for how to view it:
- Google Map Directions: Select two contacts in your address book that represent the beginning and ending of your travels, and have it opened in either your default browser or Google Earth (if you have that installed).
- Google Earth: Take a look at the location from the Google Earth application.
- Google Maps: Take a look at the location from your Google Maps in your default browser.
Ok, so really all this does it take away the arduous task of copying the address in Address Book before CMD+TABing to Firefox, opening a new tab, and pasting it into Google Maps. But if I can save 5 keystrokes, I consider it a victory — perhaps you will too. It’s Donationware, so show Brian a little love if you get some use out of it, and while you’re at it, he’s got some other software to peruse too. Happy stalking Google Mapping!