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How to create a link for all mobile devices that opens google maps with a route starting at the current location, destinating a given place?

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I rather thought this would not be so hard to find out but appearantly it is not easy to find an awesome cross device article, like you’d expect.

I want to create a link which opens either the mobile device’s browser and surf to google maps OR open a maps app (Apple Maps or Google Maps) and directly starting a route, i.e.: start at the current location, end at a given point (lat/long).

I can test on two devices (beside browserstack), an Android and an iPhone.

The following link works only on the Android:

<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?daddr=lat,long&amp;ll=">Take me there!</a>

Clicking this link in iPhone’s Chrome, this weirdly opens Google Maps in desktop version with ads on the mobile app…

This one only works on iOS, opening Apple Maps asking me to enter a start location (i can pick “Current Location”) and start the route = desired behavior. Clicking this link completely fails on Android:

<a href="maps://maps.google.com/maps?daddr=lat,long&amp;ll=">Take me there!</a>

Notice the maps:// protocol.

Is there an elegant cross device way of creating such a link? One link that works on all main mobiles?

Thanks

UPDATE: Solution found (kinda)

Here is what I’ve come up with. It’s not quite what I imagined, though it’s working.

var ua = navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase(),
    plat = navigator.platform,
    protocol = '',
    a,
    href;

$.browser.device = ua.match(/android|webos|iphone|ipad|ipod|blackberry|iemobile|opera/i) ? ua.match(/android|webos|iphone|ipad|ipod|blackberry|iemobile|opera/i)[0] : false;


if ($.browser.device) {
    switch($.browser.device) {
        case 'iphone':
        case 'ipad':
        case 'ipod':
            function iOSversion() {
              if (/iP(hone|od|ad)/.test(navigator.platform)) {
                // supports iOS 2.0 and later: <http://bit. ly/TJjs1V>
                var v = (navigator.appVersion).match(/OS (\d+)_(\d+)_?(\d+)?/);
                return [parseInt(v[1], 10), parseInt(v[2], 10), parseInt(v[3] || 0, 10)];
              }
            }

            var ver = iOSversion() || [0];

            if (ver[0] >= 6) {
              protocol = 'maps://';
            }
            else {
                protocol = 'http://maps.google.com/maps';
            }
        break;

        case 'android':
        default:
            protocol = 'http://maps.google.com/maps';
        break;
    }

a.attr('href', protocol + href)

the maps:// protocol is the url scheme for the apple maps app, which will only start working on ios 6 or higher. There are ways to test if gmaps is installed and then chose what to do with the url, but that was kind of too much for what I intended. So i just ended up creating a maps:// OR maps.google.com/ link, using the above parameters.

** UPDATE **

sadly, $.browser.device don’t work since jquery 1.9
(source – http://api.jquery.com/jquery.browser )

Answers:

Uhmm, I haven’t worked much with phones so I dunno if this would work but just from a html/javascript point of view could you just open a different url depending on what the user’s device is?

<a style="cursor: pointer;" onclick="myNavFunc()">Take me there!</a>

function myNavFunc(){
    // If it's an iPhone..
    if( (navigator.platform.indexOf("iPhone") != -1) 
        || (navigator.platform.indexOf("iPod") != -1)
        || (navigator.platform.indexOf("iPad") != -1))
         window.open("maps://maps.google.com/maps?daddr=lat,long&amp;ll=");
    else
         window.open("http://maps.google.com/maps?daddr=lat,long&amp;ll=");
}

Questions:
Answers:

Interestingly, http://maps.apple.com links will open directly in Apple Maps on an iOS device, or redirect to Google Maps otherwise (which is then intercepted on an Android device), so you can craft a careful URL that will do the right thing in both cases using an “Apple Maps” URL like:

http://maps.apple.com/?daddr=1600+Amphitheatre+Pkwy,+Mountain+View+CA

Alternatively, you can use a Google Maps url directly (without the /maps URL component) to open directly in Google Maps on an Android device, or open in Google Maps’ Mobile Web on an iOS device:

http://maps.google.com/?daddr=1+Infinite+Loop,+Cupertino+CA

Questions:
Answers:

just bumped in this question and found here all the answers
I took some of the codes above and made simple js function that works on
android and iphone (it supports almost every android and iphones).

  function navigate(lat, lng) {
    // If it's an iPhone..
    if ((navigator.platform.indexOf("iPhone") !== -1) || (navigator.platform.indexOf("iPod") !== -1)) {
      function iOSversion() {
        if (/iP(hone|od|ad)/.test(navigator.platform)) {
          // supports iOS 2.0 and later: <http://bit.ly/TJjs1V>
          var v = (navigator.appVersion).match(/OS (\d+)_(\d+)_?(\d+)?/);
          return [parseInt(v[1], 10), parseInt(v[2], 10), parseInt(v[3] || 0, 10)];
        }
      }
      var ver = iOSversion() || [0];

      if (ver[0] >= 6) {
        protocol = 'maps://';
      } else {
        protocol = 'http://';

      }
      window.location = protocol + 'maps.apple.com/maps?daddr=' + lat + ',' + lng + '&amp;ll=';
    }
    else {
      window.open('http://maps.google.com?daddr=' + lat + ',' + lng + '&amp;ll=');
    }
  }

The html:

 <a onclick="navigate(31.046051,34.85161199999993)" >Israel</a>

Questions:
Answers:

This works for me on all devices [ iOS, Android and Window Mobile 8.1 ].

Does not look like the best way by any means… but cannot be more simpler 🙂

<a href="bingmaps:?cp=18.551464~73.951399">
 <a href="http://maps.apple.com/maps?q=18.551464, 73.951399"> 
   Open Maps
 </a>
</a>

http://jsbin.com/dibeq

Questions:
Answers:
if (navigator.geolocation) { //Checks if browser supports geolocation
navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(function (position) {                                                                                            
 var latitude = position.coords.latitude;                    //users current
 var longitude = position.coords.longitude;                 //location
 var coords = new google.maps.LatLng(latitude, longitude); //Creates variable for map coordinates
 var directionsService = new google.maps.DirectionsService();
 var directionsDisplay = new google.maps.DirectionsRenderer();
 var mapOptions = //Sets map options
 {
   zoom: 15,  //Sets zoom level (0-21)
   center: coords, //zoom in on users location
   mapTypeControl: true, //allows you to select map type eg. map or satellite
   navigationControlOptions:
   {
     style: google.maps.NavigationControlStyle.SMALL //sets map controls size eg. zoom
   },
   mapTypeId: google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP //sets type of map Options:ROADMAP, SATELLITE, HYBRID, TERRIAN
 };
 map = new google.maps.Map( /*creates Map variable*/ document.getElementById("map"),    mapOptions /*Creates a new map using the passed optional parameters in the mapOptions parameter.*/);
 directionsDisplay.setMap(map);
 directionsDisplay.setPanel(document.getElementById('panel'));
 var request = {
   origin: coords,
   destination: 'BT42 1FL',
   travelMode: google.maps.DirectionsTravelMode.DRIVING
 };

 directionsService.route(request, function (response, status) {
   if (status == google.maps.DirectionsStatus.OK) {
     directionsDisplay.setDirections(response);
   }
 });
 });
 }

Questions:
Answers:

Well no, from an iOS developer prospective, there are two links that I know of that will open the Maps app on the iPhone

On iOS 5 and lower: http://maps.apple.com?q=xxxx

On iOS 6 and up: http://maps.google.com?q=xxxx

And that’s only on Safari. Chrome will direct you to Google Maps webpage.

Other than that you’ll need to use a URL scheme that basically beats the purpose because no android will know that protocol.

You might want to know, Why Safari opens the Maps app and Chrome directs me to a webpage?

Well, because safari is the build in browser made by apple and can detect the URL above. Chrome is “just another app” and must comply to the iOS Ecosystem. Therefor the only way for it to communicate with other apps is by using URL schemes.

Questions:
Answers:

I found that this works across the board:

<a href="https://www.google.com/maps/place/1+Fake+Street,+City+Province/State>Get Directions</a>

For desktops/laptops the user has to click Directions when that map loads, but from my testing all mobile devices will load that link in the Google Maps app without difficulty.

Questions:
Answers:

Based on the documentation the origin parameter is optional and it defaults to the user’s location.

... Defaults to most relevant starting location, such as user location, if available. If none, the resulting map may provide a blank form to allow a user to enter the origin....

ex: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/?api=1&destination=Pike+Place+Market+Seattle+WA&travelmode=bicycling

For me this works on Desktop, IOS and Android.