How to get a short link from a Google Maps location

The Google Maps interface has changed, and it’s hard to tell how to share a location from a dropped pin or a business you want to find.Perhaps you’d like to make an easy short link to your house that you can share with people again and again. It just took me five minutes of Googling to figure it out, and even then it was too complex. I’m putting this post out there so that I can remember it myself!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Search for the location you want to find.
  2. Now, look in the bottom right hand corner where you see this: Screenshot 2015-06-04 15.29.58
  3. Click on the little gear so that this window pops:Screenshot 2015-06-04 15.28.04
  4. Click “Share or embed map” at the top.
  5. You’ll see this little popup in the middle of the screen:Screenshot 2015-06-04 15.31.33
  6. Click the “Short URL” box to get a short URL that is reusable and shareable!

Which JSON library should I use in my Android and Java projects?

JSON.org is where you start; this is the prepackaged JSON found in Oracle and Open Java Development Kits. The home page is a useful resource to see all the different JSON libraries out there for all different languages.

GSON is most useful for converting Java objects into their JSON representation. The Google libs can also convert a JSON representation into a Java object; this can be a game-changer for dealing with inheritance.

FlexJSON has a serious strength in web development. Because you can specify deep or shallow copies of objects, you can speed up transmission of information from backend Java code to your front end and client-facing architecture.

Jackson is almost certainly
the fastest JSON parsing library out there; it’s an active project, and has speed and flexibility to recommend it. I have started using it by default. Most useful is the fact that you can switch between a tree model and object mapping at will. It has a JSONFactory method that is extremely useful when parsing and manipulating JSON representations that need to be read, processed, and rewritten to provide data to an Android app.

JSON-lib is mostly focused on translation. Need to translate objects and data back and forth between Java objects, beans, servlets, and DynaBeans? This is the lib to use. Notably, it’s a bit heavy, as you might expect from a translation-centric library, so it’s probably best used when you’re managing legacy code or are a one-woman-shop.

Google Wave, Google Wave–wherefore art thou gone?

Google Docs Gets A Dose Of Gmail Features

At least Google Docs is getting some love and integration with more useful features. Given the inherent nature of shared documents, and now that Google Wave has waved bye-bye, we all need a document collaboration tool that is more efficient than attaching text to emails and losing track of them in the process.

I use Unfuddle to track version control for project notebooks and store repositories for various code trunks, and I cheerfully pay for those features. $9 is ridiculously tiny for the level of configuration and service provided by those kind folks, but on an every day level, we all have a document (a contract, a business letter, a memo, or a price estimate) that needs to be passed back and forth between a small group of people for changes and editing about five or
six times until it’s ready. Google Wave was the absolute best way to get that done; without it, the new Google Docs–which I’ve been lovingly poring over–is the new best way to share and edit a document so that people aren’t waiting for their ‘turn’ in the email chain.

It also means that the last person on the email chain doesn’t unwittingly delete or re-add elements to a document which have been carefully excised or composed for reasons they can’t see at the moment. Google Docs isn’t Wave yet, but it’ll do for now.

And in the meantime, I’m planning on creating a VPS and hosting my own Wave server. Cuz it’s fun. And nostalgic.