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Trip Planning with MindManager and Microsoft Virtual Earth

I’ve got something pretty cool in the labs to show you.  Ever since I came back from Mashup Camp, I have been thinking of a practical Mashup application for our devoted MindManager users and I came up with one when I was starting to plan a family vacation with my wife (and of course, MindManager).

Microsoft Virtual Earth, like Google Maps and Yahoo Maps can be used to plot trip routes, but the process that we usually go through is many steps: Open Google Maps..copy and paste the start location into the web site, copy and paste the end location into the web site, get the driving directions, print them out.  And then the itinerary changes and you have to do the process all over again for each leg of the journey.

So I created a short MindManager Macro and website that works with it to help with that process.

  • Create two topic with addresses or place names in the topic text, like “1160 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA” or “SFO”
  • Draw a relationship from one topic to the other, with the arrow specifying the direction of the route.
  • Select the relationship, right-click and select Get Route from the context menu.
  • In a few seconds, a callout topic will appear with a hyperlink to the Microsoft Virtual Earth map and the driving directions in the notes.

I don’t think that this is something that will get anyone to buy MindManager, but just seems to be a cool add-in:  Here is what a few early testers had to say about it:

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