Search for Google MyMaps

When looking for something in Google Maps, sometimes it’s nice to browse.  Say you’re looking for a campground in a certain area, or all of the restaurants in a city, or the location of the nearest amusement park or apartments nearby.  Or say you’re curious about all of the nuclear waste repositories in the world or the locations of all cities that have hosted the Olympic Games or all of the locations with free Wifi in Wisconsin.

Google MyMaps allow users to organize locations into collections and share them with the world.  To search for MyMaps that fit what you’re looking for, go to Google Maps, click the link for “Show Search Options” and select “User-created maps” from the menu.  Have fun!

Google Public Data Visualizations

I was thinking to myself this afternoon that it’d be wonderful to have a Google Maps or Google Finance  -style view of economic data.  What have unemployment numbers looked like recently and historically, for instance?  Well, boy was I happy to find that there is exactly such a thing.

Google Public Data provides an interface into some interesting statistics about the US and the world.  Zoomable graphs and animations that show how data changes over time gives you a chance to hone in on the information you need.

While the actual number of datasets available at this point are limited (just 15 at this point), it’s a cool tool that I hope will be expanded to include even more value information.

Google Chrome AutoRefresh Tabs

There are a number of plugins for Firefox that I use regularly to schedule regular refreshes on pages like Google Finance that I like to keep current throughout the day.  In its infancy, Chrome does not have a built in way of doing this.

I found a nice solution here on a forum, posted by user gl0rfindel.  Create a bookmark pointing to the url:

timeout=prompt("Set timeout [s]");
function reload(){
  fr4me='<frameset cols='*'>n<frame src=''+current+''/>';

Clicking the bookmark will let you specify how regularly (in s) to refresh the current active tab.

Power Chrome: Keyboard Shortcuts and Omnibar Info Commands

omnibarIn addition to the extensions described in the previous post, Chrome includes functionality for a few helpful keyboard shortcuts and diagnostic/status information about browser operations.

Keyboard Shortcuts: Many of these are well known but they are all incredibly helpful

  • CTRL-F6 or ALT-d: 
    • Select the URL in the address bar
    • New incognito window
  • SHIFT-ESC:  
    • Open Chrome Task Manager
    • Open recently closed browser tab
  • CTRL-Click on a link: 
    • Open this page in a new background tab
  • CTRL-SHIFT-Click on a link: 
    • Open this page in a new tab and switch to this tab
  • CTRL-TAB: 
    • Switch to the next tab
    • Switch to the previous tab
  • CTRL-#: 
    • Switch to this tab

(Full listing available at: Explore Google Chrome Features)

Omnibar commands:

The Omnibar is Chrome’s address bar and search bar rolled into one thing.  Typing a URL goes to that site, typing a search query looks up results in Google Search.

In addition to those operations, Chrome allows access to some valuable information about the browser’s inner workings.

  • ?
    • search the item in Google
  • type a web address then hit TAB+
    • allows searching of the query on that url’s domain
  • about:memory
    • chrome process memory usage
  • about:stats
    • load times for Chrome, Javascript
  • about:network
    • behind-the-scenes network info
  • about:dns
    • dns info, time, stats
  • about:version
    • version, user-agent, etc.
  • about:plugins
    • installed plugins
  • about:cache
    • cached content
  • view-cache:[URL]
  • view-source:[URL]
  • about:crash
    • crash the tab (just for fun!)

Power Chrome: Chrome Extensions

chrometopThis is the first in a series of several posts outlining ways to take advantage of lesser-known Chrome features.

To try out the most recent development version of Chrome, you will need to make a few easy changes to your installation.

(img src:


  1. download the Chrome channel switcher here
  2. after installing and running the program, select the ‘Dev’ channel
  3. to enable plugins, right-click your chrome shortcut and select properties.
  4. in the ‘Target:’  field, add  ‘–enable-extensions’  to your path.  (e.g. ‘”” –enable-extensions’)

This developer channel might be a bit buggy but it gives you the chance to try out the newest Chrome release.  A few notable features at the writing of this post:

  • ability to edit starting page thumbnails
  • support for extensions (.crx files)
  • support for video tag

Info about current releases on each channel can be found on the updates blog for versions: stablebeta, and dev

Available Chrome extensions include:

Additional flags for adding functionality: (turn them on just as you did –enable-extensions)

  • -omnibox-popup-count=10
    • specify the number of suggestions Chrome gives when typing in the omnibar
  • -remote-shell-port=10
    • change the port for remote shell
  • -single-process
  • –process-per-site
    • run a separate chrome process for each site (2 google tabs will be within the same process)
  • –process-per-tab
    • run a separate chrome process for each tab
  • –enable-extensions  
    • turn on support for extensions (.crx)
  • –proxy-server=PROXYSERVER:PORT
    • specify a proxy server
  • –enable-user-scripts
    • turn on support for user scripts
  • –enable-user-scripts –user-data-dir=”pathtoyourprofile”
    • specify the directory for user data
  • –enable-logging
    • turn on logging for developer use
  • –enable-greasemonkey
    • enable greasemonkey (place scripts from in the C:scripts directory)
  • –auto-spell-correct
    • enables fixing of little spelling issues automatically

GMail Search Tips and Keywords

This comes from Techflock.  There are a bunch of tricks available in gmail for finding certain types of messages such as unread, those from a specific user, date, label, or those accompanied by attachments.

There are a few keywords that you can use in the search box at the top of the page


For the above, you could provide the following options as below


from: {email address}
from: {name}


to : {email address}
to : {name}


subject: {subject}


after: {date in any known format} – For example : March 25, 10/10/2006, etc


before: {date in any known format} – For example : March 25, 10/10/2006, etc


in: inbox (Searches Inbox)
in: chat (Searches Chat)
in: drafts (Searches Drafts)
in: spam (Searches spam)
in: trash (Searches Trash)
in: anywhere (Searches All the Mail including Trash & Spam)

is: starred (Searches Starred Mail)
is: sent (Searches Sent Mail)
is:read (Searches Read Mail)
is:unread (Searches Unread Mail)


has:attachment (Checks for mail with Attachment)


label: {label_name} (Checks in mail with Label name)

Other general options include

{search_keyword} and – {search_keyword} which means search for {search_keyword} or doesn’t have {search_keyword} in your mail

Find all mail which was addressed to techflock before 19th Dec 2006 and After 1st November 2006 and has networking but not basic in the mail with IMP as label

Your search query would be

before:2006/12/19 after:2006/11/01 to:techflock label:IMP in:anywhere networking -basic

Forwarding St. Olaf email to Gmail Accounts

Saint Olaf College’s new email system, RoundCube, is a pretty classy upgrade from the previous SquirrelMail interface in use until this year. Unfortunately, the new software is still in beta and unreliable. I personally have found it much easier all along to have all St. Olaf email forwarded to my Gmail account where I know I can access it anywhere, at any time alongside my regular gmail account messages.

How it’s done:

1. To set up forwarding from your St. Olaf account to Gmail:

  • Go to
  • Log in with your St. Olaf username and password
  • Click “Set Up Forwarding or Vacation Replies”
  • Enter your Gmail email address under “Forwarding Address”
  • Uncheck “Deliver mail to your inbox” unless you want things showing up both in the st. olaf email client and Gmail.
  • Scroll down and change the value of “Expires” to “never”

Your email should now be successfully forwarded to your Gmail account.

2. Once you’ve got a gmail account setup and you’re logged in:

  • Go to Settings in the upper right corner
  • Click Accounts
  • Add another email address (under send mail as)
  • Enter a Send As name and the email address, click next
  • Click “Send Verification”
  • Log into the email account you’re trying to add
  • You will have received an email with a link to verify this email address. Click the link and you should now be able to send email from this address from within your Gmail account.

One word of caution. Gmail sends your replies to email received as part of an alias from your gmail account by default. Manually change the sender when you’re composing the message to prevent potentially confusing the recipient on the othe end.