Re: Other Mapping Programs available besides Google?

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I have an address field in my table that I would like to have go live while using my mobile device to help me quickly find an address.

Some Examples:

  1. My Phone Number field allows me to text or call directly from that field.
  2. My Link field allows me to invoke my browser or FB or IG app directly from that field.
  3. My Email field allows me in invoke my default mail program and compose.

I would like my “address” field to invoke my apple maps app on my phone and show me the location!

I understand my address field is simply a long text field used in this special way, but how about AT programming an address field to work in this fashion!?
Too much? Any ideas?
Thank you in advance

4 Replies 4

The three examples you cite are native iOS features that are dependent on custom protocols. For example, phone numbers are magically transformed into tel://212-555-1212 under the covers. There is no such protocol for address → geolocation for a number of reasons and the biggest is the encoding cost. Imagine if every we b page on the web and every address had to be geo-encoded; services that do this would be swamped.

Doing this for a narrow band of customers (like Airtable) would also be massive and only a small fraction of the users would want every address displayed to be geo-encoded. This leaves it up to you to create solutions where your addresses behave this way and it is possible.

You can easily fabricate a formula field that transforms an address into a link that looks like this.,+st+george,+UT

The outcome of that URL is a map, and it can be done with Apple Maps too.

Hello Bill,
Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the behind the scenes magic that happens in those fields. I will do more research on the formula you proposed and see if I can get that to work. It will be pretty darn cool if it does!
Thank you again,
Best regards

Hello Bill,
I did notice that AT has a map Extension/Extensions by Airtable/Data Visualization, that mentions to one needs a working Google API key to use the extension. Is it possible to acquire an Apple Maps Server API key for the same purpose?
I am totally unfamiliar with this Application Programming Interface stuff!
Thank you

Probably not for the same purpose and by that, I assume you mean in the existing Airtable Maps extension. The maps extension is Google-maps-specific and wouldn’t know what to do with an Apple Maps API key.

But, there are many ways to build map applications; just not trivial and generally not code free. The closest you can get to a no-code mapping solution embedded in Airtable is to build something in MapBox Studio and then use the rendering URL in the Airtable Embedded extension. I believe it may also be possible to pull Airtable data into MapBox Studio, so that would allow you to create maps based on your data, geo-encode it, and display it inside your Airtable solutions.