Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Mapping Outlook


By Diane Poremsky

One useful but often forgotten feature of Outlook's Contacts is the ability to map the contact's address using MapPoint on CD or through a Web site if MapPoint is not installed.

When you need a map of a contact's address, open a contact and press the Display Map button, which is identified with a yellow road sign icon, to connect to a Web-based mapping service. If MapPoint is installed, the yellow icon is replaced with a pushpin and map icon and it uses MapPoint to map the location. When MapPoint is installed, you can create Web-based maps by disabling the MapPoint Com addin by open Tools, Options, Other, Advanced Options, Com Addins and remove the check from the MapPoint Addin.

Outlook originally used maps on the Expedia website and Microsoft recently redirected the URL to However, Outlook 2000 does not redirect properly and users are unable to use the external mapping service. If you use Outlook 2000 and don't have MapPoint installed, you can edit the registry to enable another web-based mapping service.

To edit Outlook 2000's registry, from the Start menu, Run command, type regedit and press Ok. Navigate to the following key:


Right click in the right pane and choose New, String Value. Enter MapScriptURL for the string value name. You have at least three choices for the data value.

To use MapQuest, use this URL as the data value:


For MapPoint, use:


and for Yahoo Maps, enter this URL:


Now when you select the map button, Outlook brings up the internet map of your choice.

Of course, as always when tinkering with your registry, back up first and use caution. If you do something wrong, you could cause damage. So if you're not comfortable with registry hacking, don't do it. And if you break something, don't come cryin' to us.

Outlook 2002 uses MapPoint by default, but if you want to use Yahoo Maps or Map Quest with Outlook 2002, you can use this registry key as well. Don't forget that Outlook 2002's version is 10.0 when navigating to the proper key. However this registry key doesn't appear to work with Outlook 2003.

To use other Web-based mapping services, you'll need to know the URL that is sent back to the server. Once you have that, replace the street field with &lt;0s&gt;, the city field with &lt;1s&gt;, state with &lt;2s&gt;, zip code with &lt;3s&gt; and country with &lt;4s&gt;. Some map services may want the fields twice, once to lookup the map and again to create the text on the map identifying the location.