Web Browser Wednesday

Google Maps is hands down my favorite online mapping service because it has a simplistic design, which in the end makes it load extremely fast. Not only that but they offer features not found on other mapping services, including Street View, Wikipedia integration, and even walking directions.

Naturally when there is a great web service people will start making Firefox extensions that take full advantage of it, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Google Maps. Below we’ve got our top 5 Firefox extensions that push Google Maps (and some other mapping services) to the limits.

–CyberSearch (Homepage)–

CyberSearch is the advanced Google Search extension that we’ve created, and one of the services it supports is Google Maps. What this gives you is full access to the Google Maps database right from the Firefox 3 address bar. When searching for a location it will also provide the address and phone number right there in the title, and clicking on a result will take you to the Google Maps page.

cybersearch local.png

–GDirections (Homepage)–

This extension is pretty simple because all it does is provide a context menu entry to pull up a highlighted address on Google Maps. Just select an address on the screen, right-click on it, go to GDirections and choose the map option. You can also go into the preferences and customize up to three default home/from addresses so that you can get quick directions.

Note: This extension also works with Yahoo! Maps.


–All Your Maps Are Belong To Us (Homepage)–

Not much to see here. This extension pretty much does everything in the background without you ever noticing. Anytime it recognizes a URL pointing to another mapping service (like Yahoo!) it will automatically reroute the links to point to Google Maps. There’s no list of what services it supports, but Yahoo is definitely one of them.

–Mini Map Sidebar (Homepage)–

Do all of your mapping right from the Firefox sidebar with the Mini Map extension. This has an incredible interface setup to navigate, search, and obtain directions all from the comfort of your Firefox sidebar. Plus mapping an address is as simple as dragging and dropping it into the dropzone located below the maps.

Note: This extension also works with Yahoo! Maps.

mini map.png

–Locator (Homepage)–

This is actually very similar to the Mini Map extension mentioned above, but instead of opening in the sidebar it opens in either a new tab or new window. I actually prefer to have the map open in a new tab so that I have a much larger viewing area available to me, and that’s the primary reason I’ve chosen to use this extension over Mini Map.

To get a map of an address all you have to do is highlight the address on the page, right-click, and then use the “Locate on Google Map” option to have it open a map for you.



As you can see there are a variety of different extensions available that put the full power of Google Maps right at your fingertips. Plus the fact that they make getting a map just a click away can save you a ton of time.

If you’ve got a favorite Google Maps extension be sure to let us know in the comments!