Posts Tagged Application programming interface

How to insert a Google Map into a Word Document

Maps for Office : Apps for Office

There are many ways to “skin a cat” as they say. But if you’re looking to do something a little less barbaric such as inserting a Google Map into a Word document, it may not be that straight forward.

If you’re lucky enough to be using the latest version of Word from Microsoft’s Office 2013 suite – things can’t get any easier than using the great Maps for Office app that we recently published to the Office Store. The Maps for Office app allows you to search for a location, add a pin, choose your preferred size and insert the map directly into your document. You can’t really get much easier than that now can you? If you’re interested in finding out more about this app, visit the Office Store and download it today.

TRY MAPS FOR OFFICE (15 Day Free Trial)

If you’re not lucky enough to own a copy of Word 2013, you’re not really out of luck since there are a number of other ways to insert a Google Map into your Word document.

I’ve outlined what I feel is the easiest way to achieve this (without using our app of course!).

First, create your map!

  1. Go to http://maps.google.com and search for the location you wish to use for your map in the search box at the top of the page.
  2. When you’ve found your desired location, it’s time to position it and choose your desired zoom level.
  3. You can click the map and drag it to centre the location on screen.
  4. Click the “+” and “-” buttons on the maps slider to zoom in and out on the map as needed to get the map exactly as you’d like it to appear.
  5. Once you’re happy with how the map looks, you’re ready to insert it into your Word document.~

 

Insert Google Map into your document…

  1. Open the Snipping Tool program in Windows. Do this by clicking the Windows key on your keyboard and typing “Snipping Tool”.
  2. When the Snipping Tool window opens, select “New” and your mouse cursor will change into a cross hair.
  3. Select the map by clicking, holding and dragging the mouse cursor across the area of the map you’d like to copy
  4. Open your Microsoft Word document, select the location where you would like to place the map into your document and press “Ctrl-V” to paste the map into your document.
  5. And that’s it!

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Maps for Office – App for Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)

Maps for OfficeI’m sure most of you have at some stage wanted to include a map in a document that you want to send to your customers or friends. This tends to be a tedious process. First, you visit your mapping website of choice, i.e. Bing Maps or Google Maps. After searching for the location you want to display, you’d probably take a screenshot, copy the it into paint and crop it to the size you wanted, before then inserting into your Word document.

Well now that process has got a whole lot easier.

If you have a copy of Microsoft Word 2013, you can visit the Office Store and download a free 15 day trial of Maps for Office. Maps for Office is a Google Maps generator that allows you to create maps using Google Maps. All the features you would expect from zooming, Satellite and terrain views and of course searching by location are available in a very neat task panel. From here, you can generate the map exactly as you want it, before clicking a button to insert it directly into your Word document.

This app will also work with Excel 2013 & Powerpoint 2013. Unfortunately you will not be able to insert the generated map into Excel or Powerpoint due to the API limitations of apps for Office.

Maps for Office uses the Google Maps API and although not required, it is recommended that you generate your own Google Maps API key before using the app. You can get your own Google Static Maps API key by following the steps below.

 

Step 1 : Get a Google Account

Firstly, you will need a Google Account. If you do not have one, you can create one here https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount

Step 2 : Create Your Key at the Google API Console’

  1. Visit the Google APIs Console https://cloud.google.com/console 
  2. Log in with the Google account you just created
  3. Click “Create Project”
  4. Give your project a name and click “Create”
  5. On the resulting page, in the left-hand menu, choose “APIs & Auth -> Registered Apps”
  6. Click “Register App”
  7. Give your App a name and choose “Web Application” under platform.
  8. In the left hand menu, choose “APIs” and Enable Static Maps API.
  9. Return to the Registered Apps page and select the App you created.
  10. Click the “Browser Key” option and you will see your API Key.

 

Step 3 : Enter API Key into Maps for Office

  1. Copy the API Key value from the “API Access” page in the Google API Console
  2. Click the “Change API Key” link at the footer of the Maps for Office App
  3. Paste your API Key into the “Enter Your API Key” field and choose save
  4. You should now be able to use the Maps for Office app!

This app is also available for purchase  at https://store.office.com/maps-for-office-WA104150524.aspx

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Google Wave – the next generation of communication?

Lars Rasmussen introduces Google Wave
Image by dailylifeofmojo via Flickr

Within minutes of Microsoft launching their new search system that is set to revolutionise the way we search, Google announced one of the most innovative applications yet to grace the World Wide Web.

Microsoft must have been so disappointed when all the web and blog headlines were NOT about their new search engine strangely named Bing. No, what caught every web enthusiasts eye was the launch of Google Wave.

Google Wave is Google’s attempt to rid the World of our archaic emailing system. They began their presentation with the notion of how old email has become in its 40 years of existence. It’s something that was designed and developed in a time when instant messaging, cloud computing, Facebook, Bebo and other social networking sites didn’t exist. They believe that now is the time to make the change to a new more advanced system that will incorporate all the “real-time” functionality that most of us live and breathe today.

Although I have to admit some of the functionality is mind-blowing and in places hugely innovative –  albeit that the system is developed with the yet to be fully HTML 5 standard – I’m yet to be convinced that it will actually replace people’s use of email.I just can’t see the normal joe soap trying to get to grips with this system when they hardly understand how to cc a number of people in a simple email.

Google plan to release a lot of this innovative code as part of their Google Web ToolKit which is an absolute dream for any web developer. They will also provide a fully open API which will allow developers to use the power of the system for their own applications, whether it be web, mobile or desktop!

One side of me is so excited about the release of Google Wave. That is the programmer side of me, the one that lives and breathes web innovation – we haven’t had anything like this in years! The other side – I’m kind of like, “so what?”. I personally see it as being the final string in Google’s stealth approach to building the World’s largest social network.

What do you think? Have a look at the launch here:

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