If you’re regularly forwarding Google Maps URL’s by email/Twitter or using them in web documents, you’ll already be aware of the mahoosive length of the things, with location links made up of mile long collections of numbers and letters.
Happily, the folks at Google Maps have finally got around to sorting this out, and are now offering a a feature called “short URLs” which, as you might expect, shows short permalinks when you click on “Link”.
The new feature uses Google’s URL shortening service, with the snappier URLs starting with “http://goo.gl/maps…” so people have some idea where the shortened link leads.
An example of how big the improvement is can be seen when we looked at an old style link to the mighty Cardiff City stadium: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Cardiff+City+Stadium&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=16.209539,46.801758&ie=UTF8&hq=Cardiff+City+Stadium&hnear=&ll=51.47315,-3.203716&spn=0.008327,0.022852&z=16.
The new service reduces that vast pile of gibberish into a pleasingly bijou http://goo.gl/maps/5CTA.
As quite heavyweight users of Google Maps we’re rather liking this new feature, although a slight bummer is that you lose the the embedding feature if you choose to enable “short URLs”.