Sunday, 22 June 2008

Hardly a SPOT-Killer

Yup, as you might be able to guess for the recent test messages, I've been playing round with emailing locations to Google Maps. Hardly a killer for the SPOT system, as you might as well text the grid reference and call for help to all your contacts.

So, how'd it work? Great help from mapki.com/wiki/Google_Map_Parameters as it broke down the code. As you can see from the test messages, Blogger had problems translating the emailed URL into a hyperlink. There seems to be a limit to the number of characters. As I could replace the blog title "test message" with another message, eg "all is well", or "hurt head but am okay", I removed the text from the message.

That leaves the remaining code.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=56.567N+5.033W&z=12&t=h

This part of the code tells Google Maps to search for the following.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=56.567N+5.033W&z=12&t=h

The number are the latitude and longitude. The degrees north+degrees west in a decimal format. On my Garmin, I can swap units to H D.D° and read off the numbers to 3 decimal points. In the earlier posts, I tried the - for west, but I think that is too confusing for me. Easier, I think, to use N and W for north and west.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=56.567N+5.033W&z=12&t=h

The next code is the zoom level.

&z=9 zoom  ... level regional (example)
&z=12 zoom ... approx 1/50kregional (example)

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=56.567N+5.033W&z=12&t=h

And finally,

&t=p  ... terrain (example)
&t=h  ... hybrid (example)
&t=m  ... map (example)

Remember that the satellite image may not be available to some close in zoom levels.

Although it looks complex, once it works, you can copy/paste the code into other messages. You might find that longer code is allowed by your blogging software.

8 comments:

Kenneth Knight said...

I've noticed that blogger has trouble with some email messages and/or email clients. I can send an email post from my Mac and it appears pretty much just as you would expect. But messages sent from my iPhone, as you probably noticed as you read my TGO 2008 updates, got chopped up pretty badly. Bloger seemed to think emails from the iPhone were full of carriage returns, though when I look at the raw text I see no signs of that, and put line breaks all over the place because of this.

In some ways Blogerer's treatment of posts is pretty basic. It sees a hard return and puts a <br> tag in. It doesn't know about paragraph tags and such unless you put them in yourself. It's a bit surprising that it is as bad as it is with things like URLs, but that's the way it seems to be. I really hope they address these issues. But then, it's a free service and ad-free to boot so I'm not going to gripe.

If you can't make it work you might consider just posting the URL as pre-formatted text instead of a hyperlink that gets chopped up. You ought to be able to do this by surrounding the URL with the HTML tags <pre> and </pre>

AktoMan said...

Thanks for that, Ken. I've never used the pre tag, but will give it a go next (tutorial)

I send the email from my Sony Ericsson K800i, and the best I can get for carriage returns is to add the symbols in and hope that Blogger picks it up. It had never even crossed my mind to try using
or similar code for Blogger to pick up on.

I hope that you got used to the toilet flush handles. LOL - to see ourselves as other people see us.

Kenneth Knight said...

I should have been clearer in what I wrote. When I noted that Blogger sticks line break codes throughout my emails from my iPhone it does so whether I have hit the carriage return key or not. They just appear willie-nillie as far as I can tell. While I expect their is some rhyme and reason I do not know what it is but I do know I don't type the returns all over the place.

My point is the software Blogger uses to parse email messages seems to leave a lot to be desired

Regarding the toilet flush handles it was not new to me. I've traveled in Europe before I just never had occassion to write about it and the blog seemed a good place. It is interesting the design decisions that are made. You could argue that it makes more sense for them to be on the right side facing the toilet as you have them. After all, most people are right handed and so it is a straight shot to reach out and flush. This raises the question why are they always on the left in North America. I don't know the answer. But those little things do add spice to a trip, don't they?

AktoMan said...

Ken, you were perfectly clear, it's just me that missed out saying something like "And yet when I post from my phone, it ignores carriage returns."

I wonder if US bathrooms are 'handed'. Here, we tent to have, left-to-right as facing: bath/shower, wash-hand-basin, WC. So, having the flush-handle on the right means that it is out of the way beside the wall.

paulmartin42 said...

Interesting I may even get a mobile to play with this stuff

AktoMan said...

Join the dark side, Paul.

Kenneth Knight said...

I would not be shocked to learn that a study or two, maybe even a thesis paper, has been done on the design and location of fixtures on bathrooms. You end up with a chicken and egg sort of question though. Were the bathrooms laid out that way first so right-side handles ade more sense than left or were people making toilets with right-side flush handles first and then the layout came.Brings us back to the original question of what goes into tht decision of left or right side handles.

I'm sure architects talk about this sort of stuff at some point. I think I mentioned light switch placement in that post as another small difference. Of course, some things don't change. An obvious one: door knobs are always the same height.

Now we have really gotten off-topic from the original post. These comments should be accumulating in my original post —Scotland Trip-The Little Things.

AktoMan said...

LOL - aye, sir, I'll need to set aside an evening, some malt and a ... I'll stop havering at that point enough to say that I'll need time to savour your trip report.