Leaky and verbose URL parameters…

Disclaimer: this post is a rant – turn away now!

I can’t keep quiet about this any longer, its getting me more and more annoyed. Google Maps includes a “Link” function – which creates a link to the current map, which is very useful – particully as the map is estentially ‘ajax’ style, but the parameters are definitly starting to suffer rot and lack of ‘love’ in maintaining them.

For example to just display a simple KML file, you get this corker:


There are so many things wrong with this url, its unreal. The first is the source – doesnt do
anything as far as I can see, an empty (but immensely useful) geocode, etc; but somewhat ironically I have HAD to edit the url provided by the function before I was willing to post it here, see that g param – yes that’s my (now made up!) home address.

Yes thats right, if you not careful Google Maps might get you to inadvertently share your home address – seriouslly WTF!

Ok, now I made my point will add a bit of background. It turns out the g param is the previouslly run ‘local search’, it would seem as it could provide extra context to the search*. But if you havent yet made a search – ie you sharing you first search – then its your starting location. And lets face it a fair number of people surely put their home/work etc location as the default location.

* consider this url:


I searched for London (place) and then pizza (what), as two actions, but because the map was already loaded for london on the search, I didnt bother entering london again (which is a reasonably intutive thing to do) – and just ‘pizza’ in the query would have a harder time recreating the map. (although in this case the coordinates do the same job)

Ok you could ask why do I care, but the simple fact is I read URLs – they give a serious clue to what the page is, but with lots of clutter that is much harder…

(and for what ever reason I share a lot of Google Links, and about 90% of the times I have to edit them manually to get what I want)

btw, the link above could be recreated as


with NO loss, and if *I* was sharing the link would reduce it to


which does pretty much what I want (but admit that sort of reduction would be risky done automatically – so prefer it just stopped at the previous step)



One Response to “Leaky and verbose URL parameters…”

  1. Edgemaster says:

    The Google Maps permalink has always annoyed me, what does sp do? Why does it pan me back to a search result if I take a permalink after panning away from a search result? etc