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Google Maps plug-in for Microsoft Outlook Contacts

CMC International's free plug-in for Microsoft Outlook lets you look up any contact's address and get a Google Maps view without overriding Microsoft Outlook's existing mapping functions.

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Anyone who's used Microsoft Outlook's Contacts feature has probably experimented with the "Display Map of Address" link. If a given contact has a physical address, click the button and a new Web browser window will open with an MSN Maps and Directions representation of the address.

But what if you want to use a different mapping resource -- such as Google Maps -- and don't want the map popping up in a standalone window?

CMC International has created a free Google Maps plug-in for Outlook that does just that -- it integrates with the Contacts page to give you a way to look up any contact address in Microsoft Outlook and get a Google Maps view.

Once you install it, a "Show Maps" button will appear in Microsoft Outlook's toolbar; after you select a contact address, the button becomes active.

When you click the button, you get a tab in the Contact view that has the Google map embedded in it, with all the usual browsing controls -- zoom in/out, the map/satellite/hybrid selector, and so on. If you resize the Contact window, the map resizes along with it.

There are a few drawbacks to the Google Maps plug-in for Outlook:

  • There's no direct way to show directions from/to a pair of contacts.

  • If you have more than one address listed for a contact, it only looks up the first one -- the business address -- regardless of what's marked as the mailing address.

  • It doesn't generate valid maps if all you have is a P.O. Box address -- but I suspect that's more due to Google than the plug-in itself.

Still, as a concept that could be expanded on further -- and as a new tool to add to Microsoft Outlook's arsenal -- it's quite handy. It also doesn't override Microsoft Outlook's existing mapping functions, so you can still continue to use those.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.


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The CMC Google Maps plug-in may not work in Internet Explorer (IE) 7 Beta 3.

When I select a contact and initiate the map lookup, IE 7 opens attempting to echo the map, but an error message displays: "The contact has no valid address defined." However, the contact has a valid business address. The same error repeats on multiple contacts, so it's not a specific contact issue.
—Mark M.

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The Google Maps plug-in doesn't work with Microsoft Outlook 2007 Beta 2.
—Michael G.

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As usual, great tip.

Are you aware that Microsoft Live has a similar free plug-in, but it doesn't have the limitations that you pointed out about the Google plug-in?

Here are a few drawbacks to the Google Maps plug-in for Outlook:

  • There's no direct way to show directions from/to a pair of contacts.
  • If you have more than one address listed for a contact, it only looks up the first one -- the business address -- regardless of what's marked as the mailing address.
  • It doesn't generate valid maps if all you have is a P.O. Box address -- but I suspect that's more due to Google than the plug-in itself.

—Guy A.

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Serdar Yegulalp has got to be my top candidate for publishing useful, helpful information on various free utilities.

However, I'd like to make one suggestion (using this article as an example): always mention under 'Drawbacks' when an email address is required. Yes, I could use a phony name and dead email address, but what about the software itself? And, reading the piracy policy of CMC International did not inspire confidence... especially the part that says the piracy policy itself is "subject to change." This is a non-starter for me.

Other than that, my thanks to Serdar for his efforts -- VERY worthwhile!
—Gary L.

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I keep getting "No Valid Address." All addresses are Microsoft Outlook compliant. They did not address any address changes.
—Mark P.

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I downloaded the Google Maps plug-in, but when I use it I get the following error message: "This contact has no valid address defined."

Where do I go for support?
—Chris T.

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I like using Google Maps better than any other mapping software. The plug-in seemed like a great idea. However, after downloading and installing the plug-in per the instructions, when I run it I get a pop-up window that says, "The contact has no valid address defined."

This doesn't make any sense. I tried this with 20 or 30 different contacts all of which have valid addresses. I got the same error message for each and every contact. I also checked the validity of my addresses by going to Google Maps directly and typing in the address from my Microsoft Outlook contact list. In each case, Google gave me a map of the correct location.

Fortunately, I set a restore point before I installed this plug-in, so I will be going back and removing the plug-in. Too bad it didn't work for me; I had high hopes.

If you could make any suggestions in terms of what I could do to correct the problem I would greatly appreciate it.
—Ken W.

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This plug-in sounded great. I'm a big fan of Google Maps -- especially the printable version of directions. I downloaded the Google Maps plug-in and was able to install it easily.

When I tried to use it, I got the following error message: "There was no correct address for this contact." I tried another address and received the same error message. I tried another and another, still no map, because somehow the address was incorrect. I uninstalled and reinstalled the plug-in with the same results.

I thought perhaps something was formatted incorrectly, so I checked all the address fields (#, Street, City, State, Zip, etc.), but the information was correct and in the respective fields.
—Tom K.

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Thanks to everyone who wrote in about the problems you were having, specifically the error message: "The contact has no valid address defined."

I went back and tried out the plug-in again. I began receiving the same error quite consistently, and could not find a way to fix it on my own. Possibly, Google Maps may have changed their services in such a way that the plug-in is no longer sending valid, formatted data. Since the plug-in hasn't been updated in some time (and I doubt it will be, frankly), it looks like the best thing to do would be to switch to something else.

Member Guy A. mentioned the Windows Live Local plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, which has many of the same features and more. I'm going to tentatively recommend this as a replacement, and also take a look at the plug-in itself for a future tip in this category.

Once again, thanks to everyone who wrote in, and I do apologize if the CMC plugin fell short for you.
—Serdar Yegulalp, tip author


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