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I'm wondering if it's possible to use gmaps pretty much as a type of input. Normally for location a user has to enter:

  • street address
  • town/city
  • state/province
  • postal code
  • country

This seems too clunky to me, does anyone here know of a more elegant process?

My perfect address-entering interface is a gmaps search bar with a map under it. When the user clicks a marker instead of a speech bubble containing location information they get one containing a submit button or equivalent.

I'm not sure anything like this has been implemented before.

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1 Answer 1

You could use IP to Location services such as MaxMind which is very fast since the database is stored on your local file system. Determine the Postal code of the visitor, then use Google Maps API to display a map set to a zoom level 1 or 2 higher than city level assuming the postal code may not be 100% accurate. This lets the visitor see a map of their general location.

They would still need to zoom in from this point to nearly street level to see addresses on the map, you can then possibly use their API to auto fill a form based on a Point on the map. But what happens if an address isn't available on the map?

Here's a jquery plugin which fills forms from Google Maps http://code.google.com/p/jzipcode/

JzipCode autofill address fields, requesting only Zip Code or any other address information

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Are you assuming that the only location the user would ever enter is their current location? –  Gareth May 1 '13 at 22:24

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