Here I present some tips on how to find the FID of a POI in Google Map Maker when you only know the Google+ Local or Google Maps CID. I also explain how to find the CID of a Map Maker POI if you only have a Google+ Local page URL.
It is important to have the FID of your Google Map Maker POI (GMM POI) for a few reasons. If something ever went wrong with your Google Plus Local page, or it disappears out of thin air, like has happened to me, you may need to reference the FID version of the GMM URL to recover it.
“…once the Place page is suspended, it invalidates the CID for the MM URL. A recoverable MM URL that has been deleted will [contain the FID.] Even if the corresponding Place page is deleted, anything with the FID is still good, no matter what the state of the MM URL.”
In addition to the other Google Places Dashboard information, Dan recommends that you keep track of four pieces of information which are “critical for the survival of the listings”:
- the Google+Local URL
- the Google Places (Google Maps) URL
- the GMM POI CID
- the GMM POI FID
He goes on to say:
“The most critical is the MM FID. If you have that URL, you can recover almost any POI by reverting the deletion status. Other than that there’s no tricks that I know of (or rather, tools) to recover deleted POIs in MM, although I’m sure Google has some advanced search tools to recover deleted URLs.”
Finding a Google Maps CID
If you don’t know the CID version of the Google Maps / Google Map Maker URL, I will take you through the process of discovering how to track down the FID of a GMM listing from the Google + Local page.
If you already know the GMM CID URL version, you can skip to the section below called: “Tricks to Find the FID of a Google Map Maker POI.”
First, you would start by locating the Google Plus Local page.
You then click the ‘Edit business details’ link on that G+ Local Page. That URL can then be transposed into a Google Maps (Google Places) URL such as in this example:
- visit a Google+ Local page, such as: https://plus.google.com/109929267125901378263/
- click ‘Edit business details’ on the G+ Local page
- copy the first part of the URL on the page that appears after clicking on ‘Edit business details’.
- paste the URL into a text file and you end up with a URL similar to this (but longer): https://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=4851990417008427082&mode=edit [...]
- remove the text: /place … and remove anything after the CID # (meaning: remove ‘&mode’ and anything after it)
You end up with a Google Maps URL such as this, which you can bookmark for reference sake: https://maps.google.com/maps?cid=4851990417008427082. You would then finish the process by doing this:
- copy the part that says cid=################### and paste it after this partial URL: www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=90&
- the result is a Google Map Maker URL such as: www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=90&cid=4851990417008427082 (I call that the ‘gw 90′ GMM POI URL.)
However, it is often useful to have another version of the URL in the format of: www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=. (I call that the ‘GW 39′ or the ‘FID’ version of the GMM POI) such as this: www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x8804fe4c222357a7:0x692b02e73b5dc33b
Tricks to Find the FID of a Google Map Maker POI
You can find the FID URL version of a GMM POI in a few different ways of which I am aware… but you first have to FIND the POI by searching for it in various ways:
1. In the CID version (GW 90) of the POI: Hover your mouse cursor over the POI title, right-click (on a Windows computer) and copy the underlying URL (if you see the FID version in the status bar, that is)
If that doesn’t produce a URL with the FID in it try the second method:
2. Search for the POI by name and/or address. Hover the mouse cursor in the same manner as above.
If that doesn’t produce a URL with the FID in it try the third method:
3. Use the Browse function to locate the POI on the map. Click the POI ‘dot’ and the POI’s bubble appears. Click ‘details’ within the popup bubble. That brings you to the POI with a different a dot beside the title instead of a regular location marker with a letter in it. Hover over the mouse cursor in the same manner as method #1.
I have found that, even though I can see that a POI exists on Map Maker, searching by name doesn’t always show the POI in MM search results.
I have also found that trying to browse for a POI does not always work. There are times when I know the POI exists, because I have the CID version of the POI URL… but I simply can’t find it via the Search nor Browse methods!
Do you have any more tricks to find an FID of a Google Map Maker POI? Please let me know in the comments!
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