Do you often receive email with addresses and directions to them? Personally even if someone sends me directions to an address I’ll just throw it into Google / Bing Maps or the car GPS and follow the automated map. This week I’m happy to report Google has just made this easier and you can look up addresses without even leaving Gmail. With this latest update from Google you can also insert them from Gmail into Google Maps automatically!
How does it work?
The new Google Maps preview feature is available in the Labs section of Gmail settings. The quickest way there is to press the green lab icon from your Gmail account.
Scroll down through the many features listed until you get to Google Maps previews in mail. Click Enable and then save changes.
Now when you get an email containing an address Gmail will automatically pull up it’s location in Google maps and provide you with the option to preview it at the bottom of your email. Click the +Show map preview button to see it. Requiring the click of the preview link was a smart move. It keeps the preview map from hogging space and becoming annoying on emails you don’t want to view it for.
Once you’ve Clicked the preview link a small Google Maps box will open right there in your browser at the bottom of your email. Not only will it show you the location of the address but it also provides basic Google maps zoom and scroll functionality.
Unfortunately there isn’t any support for earth view, but the Open in new window button will take you straight to the real Google Maps and where the address will automatically be entered for you.
This is a fairly groovy update that can help shave the precious seconds or minutes of copying and pasting addresses from one place to another. This labs feature works for Google Buzz too, now all it needs is some type of Foursquare + Buzz implementation to see where people are Buzzing from.