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Earth Addresser

359 words on

All right, here comes another little piece of playful software. Recently I received an e-mail as following up on my post on Geotagging on whether I knew whether it’s possible to put photos from the Address Book on the map in Google Maps. – I didn’t. But after pondering the question a little, I figured it should be easy to get the addresses into Google Earth by writing them into a KML file and opening that.

And after that both Nat, who got this rolling, and myself started hacking up a little tool to do this. Nat using AppleScript, myself by adapting what I had done for Mailboxer before. And while these things never work quite as easily as they look at first (getting into NSXML seemed like a typing intensive but worthwhile detour and some aspects of Google Earth’s icon loading remain a bit unclear to me), working results appeared quite quickly. My side of which I present here:

Earth Addresser. It takes the addresses from your Address Book, writes them to a KML file with links to any photos you may have for your contacts. And opening that file displays the addresses right in Google Earth. Neat. And, if it weren’t for the slightly uncomfortable fact that Google Earth and Google will know about all addresses you use this on after this, excellent.

There are still some potential problems like that of addresses potentially not being found because of strangely formatted addresses or things like department names being in the address. Or because people have set the wrong country for an address’ format. But for my well-organised address book it does work reasonably well. And seeing my friends right there on the map is just nice.

While doing this, I thought that this tool is definitely offers one of the nicest pay-offs for a well organised and -filled address book. One that makes the time wasted entering those addresses and adding those photos worth it. I also started to think that the Address Book framework, while doing the job, could possibly be a bit better.

Earth Addresser's main window

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

March 30, 2007, 1:10

Tagged as Earth Addresser, earthlingsoft.

Comments

Comment by Dow Smith: Gravatar image

A GREAT idea. However, for some reason, Earth Addresser doesn’t seem to like UK post-codes. I tried loading 33 addresses. These are all listed in Google Earth Places, but the 31 which INCLUDE a UK postcode aren’t displaying. The US address (with zip-code) and the single UK address WITHOUT a postcode are the only two to show on the map… The individual entries in Address Book will happily display individually via the AddressBook SErvices menu, so not sure where problem lies. Would be delighted to know if there is a fix or a workaround.

BW,

Dow Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

September 5, 2007, 16:27

Comment by ssp: Gravatar image

Thanks for the report, Dow.

I checked this and the behaviour of Google Earth seems really strange for UK addresses: Using the search field in the application, entering just a post code and UK will zoom to the correct place. But also adding the road or city name will not give correct positioning.

Currently I do not understand why this is happening and how it can be resolved. Even stranger: the Google Maps web page seems to do the right thing for the same search strings the Google Earth application fails on.

(Addresses which Google Earth cannot locate are displayed in the ‘Middle of Nowhere’ – 0°E, 0°N btw.)

September 5, 2007, 17:13

Comment by ssp: Gravatar image

Version 2 of Earth Addresser has been released. Be sure to get the new version and add your comments there!

January 28, 2009, 14:54

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