I Wish: Google Would Integrate Google Contacts With Google Maps
The other day when I was planning a trip to a friend’s house I did what I am sure many of us do on a fairly regular basis, went to Google Maps to visualize the route and see approximately how long the drive would take and how far it would be. Unfortunately, I forgot my buddy’s address where I had written it down earlier in the day but then I remembered I had saved it into my Gmail Contacts so getting it would be a breeze! But I was feeling sort of lazy so I decided to see what Google Maps would do if I just typed in the name of my friend as they are saved in my contact list.
As you may have guessed it didn’t work at all. I had to move my finger along my mouse pad and click my Gmail icon then go into the Contacts and find my friends’ name with their address in the contact list. However, once there I noticed something interesting: when you go to a person’s contact ‘card’ in Google Contacts (yes, it is technically its own Google product) there’s a link that appears if you hover over the address to “Map” (see the image on the right hand side) and when you click it, it open up Google Maps in a new window or tab and maps the address listed (not under the contact’s name, just by the address)! So there is some level of integration already present.
Would it be so difficult for Google to connect these services together? To me it makes sense that it would be a good idea to integrate them. It would certainly make a lot of people’s lives easier especially when they are in a rush to get directions. This would remove the extra step of having to go into Gmail, get to the Contact listing and click the “Map” link, instead we would just be able to go into Google Maps and type in the friend’s name and bam! it would spit out the directions for us. Yes, I am well aware that this is not the most important of features for Google to add. Yes, I am well aware that my wish for it is rooted in copious amounts of laziness borne from Google being so awesome and Gmail being so useful and so much information being so easily available online.
Maybe the issue that Google is worried about is personal privacy advocates not taking kindly to their names being associated with addresses on Google’s servers. If you go to the Google Contacts and click that aforementioned “Map” link you will see that it opens the address but doesn’t take the name with it. I could argue that because Google Maps has no association with Gmail aside from them both being linked to your Google Account it therefore makes no difference to Google Maps what name you’ve attached to the contact/address.
What do you think? Is linking/integrating Gmail, Google Contacts, and Google Maps a good idea? Is it a bad idea? Is it an almost useless idea and I should really shut-up and let Google’s Engineers do more important things?