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jrcchicago

mac (Archived) Location Search

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It appears that there is no way to search notes by location. What's the point of storing the location where notes are created if you can't then search by location?

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This is kind of ugly, but you could save a search using the Latitude and Longitude ranges.

Here is one I use for the general Minnesota area

latitude:45 -latitude:46 longitude:-97 -longitude:-89

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On the iPhone, we allow you to zoom into a map and then view the notes on that map. This performs a query like what jbenson2 showed, but automatically.

We plan to add similar functionality into the Mac client at some point in the future, but it's a little easier on the iPhone where map functionality is built into the OS. On the Mac, we'd need to bundle some sort of global map collection that would allow you to use this functionality even if you were on an airplane.

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Thanks, Dave. It does work well with the iPhone client, but a desktop search would be great. Glad to know it's at least on the "someday" list.

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@jbenson2 - thanks, that's a good suggestion. I can see how storing 3-4 long/lat searches would cover a good part of what's missing.

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@jrcchicago

What's the point of storing the location where notes are created if you can't then search by location

You're absolutely right, but I'll up you one :wink: :

What's the point of storing the location where notes are created

It can be a very good thing: If I've just walked out of a fabulous restaurant where I've had a wonderful diner, I only need to snap a picture with Evernote for iPhone for Evernote to create a geo-tagged photo note. Great for when I want to revisit. :D But now I'm in Los Angeles and my business partner tells me about this great noodle place in Hong Kong where I'll be going on next week's business trip, I want to be able to make that note including the correct location (HK that is, not LA). I also want to be able to enter that location very easily, e.g. by typing the address, or zooming and clicking/tapping a map, not by finding out some awkward lattitude / longtitude notation. :evil:

@engberg

but it's a little easier on the iPhone where map functionality is built into the OS

The functionality may be built into the OS, but the actual map data still needs to get to my phone via data download (WiFi, UMTS, GPRS). Since many users will turn off data roaming in their phones when visiting abroad, due to outrageous data roaming costs, the map will simply not show up in this case without WiFi connection. The industry needs to come to its senses and become much more user friendly and globally oriented. :roll:

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But now I'm in Los Angeles and my business partner tells me about this great noodle place in Hong Kong where I'll be going on next week's business trip, I want to be able to make that note including the correct location (HK that is, not LA). I also want to be able to enter that location very easily, e.g. by typing the address, or zooming and clicking/tapping a map, not by finding out some awkward lattitude / longtitude notation. :evil:

Absolutely. I just finished telling someone in the general forum how to do this. It requires seven steps, none of which would be necessary if Evernote allowed location information to be entered using address as well as longitude/latitude. The Google maps API accepts either format.

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I've been working on a few AppleScripts that connect Google Earth with Evernote and I've been trying to decide the best way to implement a search using location data.

Let me ask you all this -- Would it be better for everyone if there were some sort of way to select a "search radius", or would people prefer a script that ran without asking questions but relied upon whatever value was hard-coded in there as "close"?

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Would it be better for everyone if there were some sort of way to select a "search radius", or would people prefer a script that ran without asking questions but relied upon whatever value was hard-coded in there as "close"?

Somewhat difficult to answer without knowing what the scripts are going to do. I'm assuming you're going to make it possible to invoke a custom Google map that works the same way the map function works on the iPhone and will display icons representing notes that are geotagged within the map that's currently displayed.

That functionality would be quite useful, since Evernote doesn't currently have it.

Beyond that, the usefulness of any specific implementation of proximity searches will depend on what the script does. If you're going to allow a user to search for a geographic location, and then display those notes that are geotagged within the map that corresponds to that location, then a selectable search radius is probably more hassle than it's worth, since the Google maps interface makes zooming in and zooming out extremely easy. My inclination would be to select an intermediate view that covers a neighborhood (e.g., a mile by a mile) and let the user use the Google interface to adjust it from there.

If you're thinking about providing some other functionality, you're going to have to describe it further.

Incidentally, there are two functions that I would love to see in a Google maps-Evernote script. First, it would be quite useful to be able to easily translate between an address and the coordinates accepted by Google maps, and required by the Evernote interface. I can imagine a script that prompts the user for an address, passes that address to Google maps and displays the resulting map. If the address corresponds to a single unique location, the script could ask the user if this is the desired location, and, if so, create a note with the longitude and latitude coordinates passed back by Google as corresponding to that address. If the address does not correspond to a single location (i.e., address is ambiguous), the script could display the query screen used by Google to parse ambiguous requests, allow the user to choose among the options based on the Google maps interface, then display the result chosen and translate that to longitude/latitude coordinates as described above.

Similarly, it would also be nice to allow a user to do the same thing based on clicking on a location in a Google map. Less complicated in that there's no need to worry about ambiguous locations, but probably more complicated (I think) in that it requires the script to interact a bit more with Google maps.

Second, and more ambitious, it would be very cool to have a script that would create a geotagged note based on an address in a web site or document. The user could, for example, be prompted to highlight an address within the text, and the script could proceed as above. So, if the user were reading restaurant reviews, he or she could decide that a particular restaurant was worth trying, then invoke the script, which would call Evernote, import the review (probably using the clipper function), identify the address (either automatically or by having the user highlight it), then map the address as described above, and automatically create a note. This would, for example, allow the user to easily create a notebook of restaurants to try that could be pulled up and mapped on an iPhone when the user is in a particular neighborhood.

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We have general plans to add some sort of location-search UI into the clients which would let you zoom in on a map to limit the set of notes to those that would fit within the viewable area. This is a bit of a hassle since this type of mapping behavior isn't free, and things like Google Maps don't work when your laptop is offline. But it's on the long-term roadmap, and is a particular topic of interest for our CEO.

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Jeff:

CEO Wishlist = Automatic "Level Up"!

JQP + Other Posters:

Let me tell you what I've done so far -- and throw out some ideas that I had for future AppleScripts...

Much like @worldshooter, @jqp, and probably everyone else on this thread, I travel. Being able to assign location data to my notes makes them much more useful -- and getting this functionality together was my top priority.

So first off, I wanted to come up with a way to quickly assign location data from a street address to notes while working on my Mac. SInce Evernote currently doesn't have that capability, I came up with a way to use Google Earth and AppleScript to do so. I've placed that AppleScript in the Veritrope.com Code Library tonight so that you guys can take a look and, if it meets your needs, can start using it right away.

Here is the direct link to that project page:

http://veritrope.com/code/set-location-of-evernote-items-with-google-earth/

Once there, you'll see the source code and also details of how it works. Should you have any comments or suggestions for improving the script, please make them on that page -- not here.

What's Next?

Google Earth is scriptable and opens up the door to any number of interactions, potentially including things like finding notes within a certain radius of a selected point or highlighting address text in an Evernote item and then using Google Earth to apply coordinates to that note in the background (either via AppleScript or a Snow Leopard Service).

But even more than being a scriptable app -- Google Earth also utilizes a custom XML schema that is ripe for creative exploration. It's called KML and I've begun looking at ways to use it in conjunction with my Evernote data.

Here's one "use case" idea:

Let's just say you had a friend who was going on a trip and you wanted to share your notes about a particular place with them.

What if you could export Evernote items into a KML file that they could view as points on a map in Google Earth -- expanding those placemarks into readable HTML-based notes with a simple click?

Here's a quick mock-up I did of how an item could look:

Google%20Earth%20Mockup%201.jpg

If and when Evernote improves note sharing and "linkability", you could even embed cickable URLs in there to connect it back to the original note. But the nice thing is, you can share that data with them now -- even in the unlikely event that they aren't Evernote users! :D

And with KML, that's really just the start. It's possible to make whole "guided tours" from Evernote data if you were inclined to do so where you could "fly" through your notes like a movie, stopping to show certain things.... anyhow, you probably get the idea. (see http://code.google.com/apis/kml/documentation/ for more of what's possible)

So what do you think? Any of this seem appealing to you, too?

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Justin,

I'll play with the script and let you know what I think.

The Google Earth applications you're suggesting sound interesting, but my main interest in location information is being able to access that information from my mobile device, which is an iPhone. I doubt there's any easy way to invoke Google Earth from the Evernote iPhone app (in fact I suspect it's currently impossible). That being the case, it's not clear to me how Google Earth could be integrated with Evernote for use on the iPhone. I suppose it would be possible to use the iPhone's web browser, rather than the Evernote app, but that seems like a lot of overhead and I'd really have to be convinced that it would work as quickly on the iPhone as the Evernote-Google maps integration.

So, if you have some way for your suggested applications to work on the iPhone, I'd definitely be interested in hearing about it, and I could probably make some suggestions about features I'd like to see. If it only works on the desktop client or the web, however, it seems like it would be a lot less valuable.

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Actually, it's pretty easy to upload the KML notes to your Google Account. Once there, they are available in both the iPhone Google Earth App and the Web-based Maps (see pics below):

photo.PNG

GMap_Web.jpg

But even if the KML-based aspects aren't of interest to you, the script that I published tonight will allow you to quickly assign coordinates to existing items in Evernote. Those items are then, of course, able to viewed and searched through the Evernote iPhone/iPads superior Location-Aware Client interface.

This is something that, from the sound of it, you'll be a fan of!

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The Google Earth applications you're suggesting sound interesting, but my main interest in location information is being able to access that information from my mobile device, which is an iPhone.

This thread is really generating some awesome ideas, and I really appreciate all your visionary thoughts :idea: but without wanting to sound condescending I couldn't agree more with quoted remark. So, if I may gentle steer everybody back on my original track about location information in Evernote's notes? :)

To me Evernote is an application that is intended to enable me to make quick notes while on the road, meaning (currently) with my iPhone and (possibly in the near future as well) with my iPad. If I make a note on Evernote with my iPhone, it'll put in the iPhone GPS location of where I am at that moment. Problem is, this may not correlate at all with the content of the note and what's even worse, I'm not able to edit it in the iPhone app! It's only when I'm able to run my Evernote for Mac application that I can edit the location data (which currently have an awkward lat/long format, but that anomaly is already being very thoroughly discussed in this thread).

But... this is the Evernote for Mac forum, and maybe I simply should bark up the other tree over in the iPhone/iPad forum. :roll:

Kind regards, Peter

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Absolutely. I just finished telling someone in the general forum how to do this. It requires seven steps, none of which would be necessary if Evernote allowed location information to be entered using address as well as longitude/latitude. The Google maps API accepts either format.

@jqp:

Could you please post a link to your explanation?

I did do an advanced search on all of the Evernote's forums for author jqp, but could not (yet) find this particular piece of information.

I did read with interest your discussion on red pushpins and green arrows, and any inconsistencies that are apparently appearing in the various map APIs.

Thanks in advance, much appreciated!

Best regards, Peter

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@worldshooter:

I believe the post with the instructions @jqp was referring to is here:

http://forum.evernote.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=18917&p=78003.

There has also been a discussion of iPhone Location Editing in the iPhone Forum here:

http://forum.evernote.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=14966&hilit=location&start=25

I agree that a way to edit location data on iPhone/iPad without having to use Lat/Long would be very useful and, whether you make those comments here or in the iPhone Forum, I'm sure that the Evernote people will see them. Sounds like they're working on it.

Just to make sure that this didn't get lost in the mix of my KML daydreams, the AppleScript that I released will:


  • [*:rr2k8sev]Allow you to type in a street address, city name, landmark name in Google Earth;
    [*:rr2k8sev]Select a note or notes in Evernote;
    [*:rr2k8sev]Press a button and have that Location Data applied to every selected note

For example, I was able to select notes for a recent trip and change all of their location data to the city I was visiting in just a few seconds.

It may not be location editing on the iPhone, but it is fast -- and available now.

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@Veritrope

Hi Justin!

Thanks for providing those links. I quickly glanced through them, looks promising, but I need a little more time to grasp it all (only have time for a quick in 'n' out now) :)

I agree that a way to edit location data on iPhone/iPad without having to use Lat/Long would be very useful

Thanks! Then at least we're in this together :D

and, whether you make those comments here or in the iPhone Forum, I'm sure that the Evernote people will see them. Sounds like they're working on it.

Let's hope so. Your comments are reassuring. Although fairly new to Evernote, I already like it a great deal. Proper geotagging would be a deal clincher for me!

It may not be location editing on the iPhone, but it is fast -- and available now.

Thanks for putting your effort into developing those Applescripts. Like I said, when I have a little more time shortly, I'll dive straight into them!

Thanks once more for your reply and support. Wow, lots of friendly people here! That's really nice :D

Best regards, Peter

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Just to make sure that this didn't get lost in the mix of my KML daydreams, the AppleScript that I released will:

* Allow you to type in a street address, city name, landmark name in Google Earth;

* Select a note or notes in Evernote;

* Press a button and have that Location Data applied to every selected note

I've tried this out and it works. Definitely makes entering location information easier, at least from the Mac. It would be nice to have this invokable as a button from within Evernote, without having to separately open Google Earth and run the script, but that's obviously beyond what can be done with a script.

One comment: I suspect about 95% of Evernote users have no idea how to run an Applescript. Neither your website nor the Evernote page make any attempt to explain this, or, if they do, I couldn't find it. My guess is the vast majority of people reading this will have no idea how to get from the script on your webpage to something that they can actually use. I'd advise including a short tutorial laying out each necessary step.

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Glad it works for you -- and thanks for the feedback! :D

I have actually been preparing a post with a more detailed walk-through of setting Keyboard Shortcuts to launch AppleScripts -- hope to finish it very soon. Based on your feedback, I may also do something a little more "basic" for people who are absolute beginners to AppleScript.

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Can anyone help - I've been trying the location search workaround described above (latitude:51 -latitude:52) in the hope that this would filter my notes to those created and geotagged in the London area. But it doesn't work - it doesn't filter out any of the notes, and I've tried other numbers and combinations etc. I'm on Evernote version 2.2 Beta 1 for Mac. Thanks!

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It looks like this still hasn't been addressed other than using the map on the places tag. Why is that when you type in a location in the All Notes tab that it produces no results? I'm using the iPhone 5 currently and was hoping this was an easy fix but since people have been talking about it since 2010, I'm guessing that it's not?

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