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Who wants to help design an all-new trip planner from the ground up?
GoneNomad
Something I had forgotten about is worth mentioning here:

The GoogleMaps app has one non-searchable list of "Starred" (saved) places.

However, there are several useful management functions on the (poorly named) Bookmarks


C
onsidering that actual browser bookmarks can be sync'd (though is by logging into Chrome rather than google), this name adds to the confusion.

A list of the google.com/maps "saved places" appears on this
Bookmarks page.

Place names (referred to as "titles") can be changed, Labels (text only) can be added and Notes can be added.
They can be sorted by title, label or date.
They can be exported as HTML, easily accessible in the browser's default download folder.


All of these functions would be very useful for trip planning.

I previously mentioned the inability to organize into folders (which would be used for categories).
Actually this IS possible (to an extent) by using the labels, because multiple places can be given the same label, and when sorted by label then show up grouped by label. The drawback, compared to organizing normal browser bookmarks in folders, is all the "saved places" on the Bookmarks page all show up in one long list. It's like having bookmarks in folders but all the folders are always open.

Using labels along with the ability to add fairly lengthy notes, might reduce or eliminate the need for an external note-taking app.

NOTE:
It appears that these labels applied by a user are called "private labels"
Apparently they do NOT show up in "Your Places" > "Labeled"


......
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
Well, it looks like google has already taken a stab at part of this:
Google Trips


And this is similar to EverNote & OneNote:
Google Keep

..
Well, I am batting .500 on this with you. I already use Keep for list-keeping but I had not thought of it for route planning. The only thing is that I do not see how to use it on my PC and PC/Phone syncing is a must for me in route planning. But, having said that, I will think about it more.

Google Trips is a good find on your part and heretofore not on my radar screen. I can see that it could be useful, though, and I will think further about that, too.

Bottom Line: Good Finds, GoneNomad!
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
Something I had forgotten about is worth mentioning here:

The GoogleMaps app has one non-searchable list of "Starred" (saved) places.

However, there are several useful management functions on the (poorly named) Bookmarks


C
onsidering that actual browser bookmarks can be sync'd (though is by logging into Chrome rather than google), this name adds to the confusion.

A list of the google.com/maps "saved places" appears on this
Bookmarks page.

Place names (referred to as "titles") can be changed, Labels (text only) can be added and Notes can be added.
They can be sorted by title, label or date.
They can be exported as HTML, easily accessible in the browser's default download folder.


All of these functions would be very useful for trip planning.

I previously mentioned the inability to organize into folders (which would be used for categories).
Actually this IS possible (to an extent) by using the labels, because multiple places can be given the same label, and when sorted by label then show up grouped by label. The drawback, compared to organizing normal browser bookmarks in folders, is all the "saved places" on the Bookmarks page all show up in one long list. It's like having bookmarks in folders but all the folders are always open.

Using labels along with the ability to add fairly lengthy notes, might reduce or eliminate the need for an external note-taking app.

NOTE:
It appears that these labels applied by a user are called "private labels"
Apparently they do NOT show up in "Your Places" > "Labeled"


......
Another set of good ideas that require further exploration. I have been aware of Bookmarks, Saved Places, and Starred Places but your creative ideas on using these certainly add to our tools by adapting existing capabilities and apps to do what we need when it comes to route planning.

Keep up the good work!
SpadesFlush
First Reactions

Re: Trips - Phone app only. I don't see how it would be synced with PC.

Re: Labels - These are a bit weird. You can create 'labels' for Starred, or saved, Places and you can create 'labels' for e-mails in GMail but they are not linked. In other words, you can label a place, say, "Hamburg" and you can label an email "Hamburg" but there does not seem to be a way to do a universal search for "Hamburg" that displays both labelled emails and places. Also in Places, you must type in the label each time you label a place.

Re: Starred - Yes, you can get a long list of undifferentiated saved locations. The good news is that you can un-Star them once that status is no longer required. So, you could build a list of possible stops/places, star them, then create sequenced Calendar entries with references to these Starred Places, and finally un-Star them to clear out the clutter without losing the Place on your route.

Re: Contacts - I keep going back to the notion that places of interest can be saved as Contacts with Google Maps links and all the space you need for annotation of the place. Contacts can be categorized and sorted and linked to Calendar entries so I do not really see the need for messing around with Google Trips or even Keep, for that matter.
SpadesFlush
It would be nice if you could have differentiated 'Stars' for saved places in Google Maps. It could be as simple as having a small palette of colors that could be assigned to the Stars. For instance, Quicken has a flag facility with about 6 colors for transactions in ledgers. It works well enough.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
It would be nice if you could have differentiated 'Stars' for saved places in Google Maps. It could be as simple as having a small palette of colors that could be assigned to the Stars.
Very true. Any differentiation would be an improvement.
But there needs to be a way to import icons, just as has been pretty standard for every other mapping & nav system for a loooong time.

Although custom icons are not an option for the "SAVED" (starred) places, google appears to be slowly headed that way, because they recently implemented this:

Google Maps Update Lets You Label Places With Customized And Colorful Location Stickers


However, despite what some articles seem to indicate, this presently ONLY works on the two built-in labels: Home & Work

...all other (user-added) labels do NOT have this option.



ref.: How to give a place a private label in Google Maps (browser) (Android App)


Note: This only works for points on the map. It does not work with places on the map that already have place names.

............
Attached Images
google-maps-labeled-places-change-icon.png  
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
...I keep going back to the notion that places of interest can be saved as Contacts with Google Maps links and all the space you need for annotation of the place. Contacts can be categorized and sorted and linked to Calendar entries so I do not really see the need for messing around with Google Trips or even Keep, for that matter.
OK, tell me more...

Are you talking about the same contacts that show up in gmail?

If so, I guess it's possible to import lists that were originally in an Excel file?



Another workaround to the problem of only having single-level non-sortable lists of places (LABELED & SAVED) might be to create different google accounts for each trip, but that seems like it would have a lot of drawbacks too.


..............
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
Another set of good ideas that require further exploration. I have been aware of Bookmarks, Saved Places, and Starred Places but your creative ideas on using these certainly add to our tools by adapting existing capabilities and apps to do what we need when it comes to route planning. Keep up the good work!
Thanks!

Here is one of the (many) support threads attempting to explain the discrepancy between the "LABELED" places (google.com/maps or GoogleMap app) and the labels that can be applied to google maps SAVED places (google.com/maps or GoogleMap app) only on this webpage titled "Bookmarks"

(I'm the one who remarked that this reminds me of how George Foreman simplified things by naming all his children "George" )

The answer seems to be, it looks like just one one those things that happened, due to a lack of overall coordination between everybody working on the same product.

URL:
https://productforums.google.com/forum/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer#!msg/maps/qlVkj3BsN4M/Hu4thcvVBAAJ
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
...Keep up the good work!
Thanks again..

...and if you haven't seen this already, it's worth a look, because it shows in a nutshell why googlemaps owns local search & discovery: because only on google maps is it possible to directly select a POI as a named place, see all the info associated with it, and save it as that named POI without having to type anything in. With the others, you either have to identify/add a name for the places (really just the map points, not the actual places) chosen on a map, or do a text search, then chose from a list.


Also, I've discovered that a lot of the features I've mentioned in this thread are available in the form of separate apps. For example, there are apps that show the traffic cameras and provide the full-size images in real time. (some states have their camera locations displayed on a road map, too)

There are other apps that are pretty good for rest stops. ...etc., etc.

While in many circumstances that's not as good as being able to see it right there on the active planning map, at least these specialized apps do provide a fairly convenient way for HFTs to get the info they need.

...
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
OK, tell me more...

Are you talking about the same contacts that show up in gmail?
Yes
Quote:
If so, I guess it's possible to import lists that were originally in an Excel file?
I believe so but I have not actually done so....
GoneNomad
...the same contacts that show up in gmail?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
Yes
OK, I'd never tried to use google's contact manager.
In the abstract, it just seemed like what i was familiar with, which is a list of contacts in email, but not surprisingly this type of stuff has been developed far beyond that.

But now that I looked for it, I see what you mean.

At a glance it looks like it has many of the same features as OneNote, etc.

Not sure how well the organizational functions would work for lists of thousands of POIs, but I'm going to check it out.

Thanks for being persistent enough to keep mentioning it.

------------

UPDATE: I checked out using the google contacts for this, and I don't see any way to get from there to the list of Saved (starred) Places that actually show up on google maps.

But that still leaves the problem that the starred places list is flat, and doesn't even have basic sorting or other management functions, other than those available in www.google.com/bookmarks. BTW: I have now definitely confirmed that the "Labels" applied there to Saved Places does not have any relationship to the labels that can be applied as discussed below.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
...all other (user-added) labels do NOT have this option.
Note: This only works for points on the map. It does not work with places on the map that already have place names.
............
Well, unless they just added this function, in fact it IS possible to add labels to already-named POIs, not just points on the map.

This:
shows up on every POI I've checked so far, e.g.:


And the same label can be added to different saved places, e.g:



Saving the places seems to be the only way to be able to see them at once on a map like this:

...which is analogous to a POI collection where they all appear on a map at once, like this:


* This is a very good example of why larger, customizable icons are needed. But even the little yellow stars stand out better than nothing.

...versus a search or bookmark for a specific one of them.
That said, google search terms can be bookmarked, and ideally would show every one matching that search term within the visible area.

That works fine for consistently named POIs (e.g.: "Walmart"), but not so well for some others, like this,
where a google text search for "County Parks" doesn't find the very same county parks that are named as such, and in the same area, on the google map above.



..................
Attached Images
add-label.png   google-place-add-label-button-shows-up-everywhere.png   your-places-labeled.png  
SpadesFlush
I would agree that Google Contacts entries do not lend themselves well to populating a map with icon-ed locations.

But that is not the way I use them. I build an inventory of Google Contacts for potential stops with data that includes the Google Maps location. Then, I build a route using Google Calendar to sequence those Google Contacts. In that way, Google Maps can be activated for navigation either from the Calendar entry or from the Contact entry with that entry being the "B", where one's present location is the "A" in a regular "A to B" navigation. In this way, one has increased flexibility to make on-the-fly route changes by selecting a Google Contacts entry even though it might not be the next scheduled stop of the Calendar sequence or not even in the sequence at all.

I see what you are saying about saved places and adding labels in Google Maps. It just depends on what you are trying to achieve. I save places that way from time to time. I un-star them after use to keep visual clutter more-or-less under control. That does not mean these places are lost forever; sometimes Google Maps remembers them and types ahead of you when you start entering the name.

And adding labels looks to be of some advantage in managing saved places as you point out, no question.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush...I would agree that Google Contacts entries do not lend themselves well to populating a map with icon-ed locations.

But that is not the way I use them. I build an inventory of Google Contacts for potential stops with data that includes the Google Maps location. Then, I build a route using Google Calendar to sequence those Google Contacts...
Yep, I get that, and I like that even more ever since I discovered places entered into Google Calendar will automatically show up in a list of "Upcoming" places in the GoogleMaps app (though not on google.com/maps)


Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush...It just depends on what you are trying to achieve...
Yes. Very true.

One of the functions I'm going after would be a step before what you've described.

In this case, I'm trying to emulate part of the functionality of the POI Megafile, so that a traveler in an unfamiliar area can (for example) see where
all the parks he might like to visit are relative to his current position, without having to waste a lot of time scrolling around in a highly zoomed-in map,
where it's easy to lose track of where you are relative to the overview of the area.

The second screen capture shows that for POIs like this, google's own search does not find them,
even though it has them identified on the map as named places that can be selected to bring bring up the info on that POI.

Example, imagine you are traveling, or planning to travel, in this area:
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1841989,-124.0924644,12z
You should see a map that looks like this:


Imagine you'd like to visit a few parks or some other type of POI, but google's text search doesn't find all of them
(or a variety of reasons, but assume that problem happens very often, which it does, believe me), j
ust as it does not in this case. Only the largest one ("Laverne County Park") is visible in this view;
all others are hidden, even though google does actually "know" about them.

That's where the POI list comes in. Now this map look like this:


I manually circled the yellow starred "Saved Places" to make them more obvious.
There REALLY, really needs to be more, better & bigger icons than just the yellow stars.


Having POI lists will enable travelers to find these even though a google search does not.
And the utility value doesn't end there, because in some cases, the "POI community" has info about POI that google does not have.
GoneNomad
(BTW, another approach to helping make non-specific local search easier is the dual zoom view I discussed here.
Turns out somebody has already done something like that (oddly named "Where's the Path 3"):
check out this LINK ...which directs you to this dual-zoom view:


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