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Sharing directions just got a lot easier

Google Maps Directions

Whether you are used to using paper maps, or have a friend that likes to direct you using physical landmarks, I've found a way to get friends to you from wherever they are with ease.

Unsurprizingly, the trick uses google maps, but it doesn't take someone clever to figure out how to make this work.  Let's see how this would work in a common scenario.

Scenario: What a great band!

You are out with a friend on the town dive into a an unknown hole-in-the-wall bar and U2 shows up for a private pop-up concert.  This is blowing your mind, so you want to share this experience with all of your friends. How do you get them to show up where you are, right here and now, in a place you've never been before?

You load google maps on your phone and hit the geolocation target so it can find you. Once it finds you location, you probably have to change the zoom level of the map by pinching or pushing the map until you can find the establishment you are standing in. Once you see the name of the business on the map, you tap it so you can see the name and the address. This is when you click and hold your finger over the address to copy it.

Now, load up facebook or twitter or Google+ or Instagram and snap a picture of U2 playing and get ready to post that to social media. When it asks you to write a little something about it, say "U2!? Everybody click this link to get here right now!" 

Now you type the following...

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Current+Location/Cranky Pats 905 S Commercial St, Neenah, WI 54956

Above you can see that the first part of the address will always stay the same, but after the last forward slash "/" you type the name of the business and paste the address you previously coppied from google maps. That is the bold bit at the end, and that is what will be different each time you use this hack. Everything before it stays the same every time.

Now, when you friends click this link Google will load a local map, but then it sees "Current+Location" in the URL which tells Google Maps to geolocate your friend as the starting address.  After that it starts looking for a business named "Cranky Pat's" at the address you pasted it and makes that the destination. Your friend immediately gets personalized directions from wherever they are located to that address.  All of your friends. No matter where they are. From one link. And all you knew was the destination address.

From that link they can head from wherever they are to you and catch the last few moments of the experience.

Happy map sharing!


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