How to get GPS coordinates of a point from Microsoft Maps app

Sometime it useful to get the GPS coordinates of a point on a map or to find a place knowing them.

In this post we will see how to do using the Maps app available for free in all Windows 10 devices (PC/tablet/smartphones …):

  • Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates
  • Get GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map
  • Get your current position GPS coordinates

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Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates

The second issue it is very easy: you only need to write latitude, longitude directly in the search place input. In the following you can see the screenshots taken from a Windows 10 PC/tablet and from Windows 10 Mobile smartphone. I have to stress that Maps app is an UWP app (Universal Windows app)  that is it is the same for all Windows 10 devices and so it dynamically changes its interface depending on the windows size/device type: so you can get a user interface very similar to the smartphone one, simply reducing the dimension of the app running on your PC!

Note that you have to search o point writing the GPS coordinate (latitude, longitude) comma separated and using the point for decimals (UK notation), for example 45.105911, 7.674172 as done in the following screenshots:.

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates - PC/tablet (1)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates – PC/tablet (1)

Once got the pushpin in that location, you can then delete it simply clicking on X in the associated upper tab:

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates - PC/tablet (2)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates – PC/tablet (2)

If you are using a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone (or set the Maps app window sufficiently small on you PC), here is the user interface you get:

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates - smartphone (1)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates – smartphone (1)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates - smartphone (2)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates – smartphone (2)

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Get GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map

You can get GPS coordinates of whatever point on the map, simply adding a (temporary) pushpin on the map and then looking into its detail.

So, right click on the desired point, choosing “Add a pushpin” from the popup menu. A pushpin will be shown in that position and in a window will be available all details, including the GPS coordinates that you want to know!

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) - PC/tablet (big window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) – PC/tablet (big window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2 - PC/tablet (big window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) – PC/tablet (big window size)

Again, if you don’t need anymore that pushpin, you can delete it clicking on X in the upper bar.

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (3) - PC/tablet (big window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (3) – PC/tablet (big window size)

If you have Maps app in a window sufficiently small, being a UWM app, its interface will adapt to better shows information on the available size: you have to click on the bottom bar associate with the created pushpin to get a full detail page on that position:

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) - PC/tablet (small window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) – PC/tablet (small window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) - PC/tablet (small window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) – PC/tablet (small window size)

Maps on a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone looks similarly:

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) – Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) – Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (3) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (3) – Smartphone

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Get your current position GPS coordinates

We see how to get GPS coordinates of whatever point on the map but, how to get your current position GPS coordinates?

If the localization feature is set to ON in the settings, there is already on the map a circle showing your current position but, strangely, if you click on it to see its details, those do not shows neither the GPS coordinates nor the accuracy of that detection!!      😦

The only way I found to let the current GPS coordinates be shown (other than creating a new pushpin nearby the already available circular icon!) is to share my current position and then look at the link provided in the shared text:

So, on the My current position details window, click on Share icon and choose, for example the Mail sharing. A new email will be created that include a text with a link to your current position: right-clicking on that link you can see an URL that shows both your current GPS coordinates and the precision of that detection (e.g. 272 ft; 457 m)

GPS coordinates of your current position (1) - PC/tablet

GPS coordinates of your current position (1) – PC/tablet

GPS coordinates of your current position (2) - PC/tablet

GPS coordinates of your current position (2) – PC/tablet

On the smartphone it look like the following:

GPS coordinates of your current position (1) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (1) – Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (2) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (2) – Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (3) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (3) – Smartphone

 

Pubblicato in Review e test, Windows, Windows Phone/Mobile | Lascia un commento

Fetch files available on your PC from OneDrive site

I already wrote a post on the new useful files on-demand feature (ex place-holder) since the Windows 10 Fall Creator OneDrive. In the current post I will give some information about a furthermore new feature now available in OneDrive, that is the capability to possibly access and fetch from the OneDrive site, all files from a PC connected to Internet … without installing anything.

This is a feature different from either the Remote Assistance (*), to let someone you trust take over your PC and fix a problem, or  the Remote Desktop Connection, to let someone connect to a computer running Windows from another computer running Windows that’s connected to the same network or to the Internet: in fact this feature allows you only to get files from every your remote PC from the OneDrive site … but it is very simple to set and use!

The detailed description of this feature can be found in this page of the Microsoft Support site and in the following I will give you only few glimpses …

To let this feature possible, you first have to check the Allow to use OneDrive to fetch file from this PC in the Setting windows available right clicking on the OneDrive icon available in the toolbar:

Then, going on your OneDrive from a browser, clicking on the left menu to the PC item, you will find a list of all the PCs where you set the previous feature on (e.g. PC name: HP-Enzo)

If you  click on your computer name, only the first time you will be asked to access with an access code that can be sent to you  with one of several options:

Once received the security code and inserted it in that browser page, you can browse inside te folders of your PC, possibly downloading some files locally on the PC you are using or uploading them in your OneDrive, so they can be possibly edited with Office online. Note that you cannot delete files/folders but you can see their properties.

 

Pubblicato in Aziendali, Review e test, Windows | Lascia un commento

How to let an app be displayed in mirror mode, so that you can see through a mirror (i.e. HUD) the image in the “right” way

How is it possible to let an app be displayed in mirror mode, so that you can see through a mirror (i.e. HUD) the image in the “right” way? It would be nice if you could set some option in Window 10/Windows 10 Mobile, but the available orientation “landscape flipped”  just rotates the screen and it does not produce a mirror view …

I saw the following image in a post that shows how it was possible in Windows 7 (http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f25/solved-desktop-screen-viewed-in-mirror-image-687706.html; http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=122558&d=1361596944…), but in more recent versions, it seems to be no longer available for the time being and only the flip option remained in the display setting page!

Mirror view was allowed fromWindows 7 settings

Only flip option are available in Windows 10 display settings page

Note that even the Maps app does not have, among all the options of (e.g. even when setting the navigation), one that allows to use that app with a Head Up Display … and it seems very strange and bad to me 😦

And this is really a pity especially now that HUD will be used more and more in vehicles, even the very cheep ones (about 20€) with a semi mirror glass that reflect the smartphone screen!

Head Up Display (1)

Head Up Display (2)

Head Up Display (3)

Anyway, if you have to do it necessarily internally to any app, from code , what APIs can be used (possibly in C#… even thought there are some in C++)?  In Java there is the AffineTransform method that can help … but what about UWP?

In the following some suggested solutions.

From Windows Dev Center forum :

You can apply a Projection to flip the base element on your page 180 degrees:

<Grid.Projection>
     <PlaneProjection RotationY="-180" /> 
</Grid.Projection>

See the following page for more information on transforms:  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/design/layout/transforms#span-id3-dtransformsspanspan-id3-dtransformsspanspan-id3-dtransformsspan3-d-transforms

Another interesting suggestion comes from stackoverflow forum:

Pubblicato in Review e test, Windows, Windows Phone/Mobile | Lascia un commento

How to let Outlook 2016 be opened when you click on a new email notification from the Notification Center

By default, when you click on a new email notification from the Notification Center, that email is opened using the Mail app. However, if you have Outlook 2016 locally installed, you may want to use it instead.

Notification Center: received e-mails

Changing that behavior is a matter of setting the predefined association in Setting -> Predefined App and you can easily reach that setting page searching to predefined app and selecting the option related to the e-mail case.

Search for “Predefined App” and choose the e-mail case

Settings -> Predefined Apps

Settings -> Predefined Apps – Select Outlook 2016

May be, the new setting should have effect only after some time (as it happened to me) or possibly after a reboot.

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Note that there is also another settings option page related to what app is associated to every file extension type,: here you can find by default set to Outlook 2016 the following file extensions: .vcs .vcf .pst .oft .ics .hol .eml … and no one to Mail app.
But this settings is not related to the subject of this post, …  even though it can confuse!

 

P.S. This method doesn’t work to me (anymore?) … I am a bit confused, so I asked help to the Microsoft Community forum : let’s wait for some replies :-/

Someone suggested me to check the property “Make Outlook the default program for E-mail, Contacts, and Calendar” from the Outlook settings (following the steps on this link) … but it was already checked!

Some other good guy suggested the following workaround to turning the notifications on for the Outlook app, following the steps below:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click System then Notifications & actions.
  3. Click on Outlook 2016.
  4. Check if Notifications is On and set the Show in action center switch On.

The issue still persisted, so I tried also to turn Mail app notifications off instead:

  1. Open Mail app then click Settings (gear icon on the bottom).
  2. Select Notifications.
  3. Turn off Show notifications in the Action Center to stop showing new emails in the Action Center.

However things continue not to work properly. As you can see from the following screenshots, now I succeeded to have ONE Outlook 2016 notification in the Notification Centre side bar (only the first one … then, for the following received emails, I did not receive anymore notifications in the Notification Center but only the temporary popup right bottom window): anyway that single email notification was greyed and clicking on it did not opened the related email with Outlook 2016, but simply disappeared from the Notification Bar, to appear again after a while, closing and re-opening the Notification Center side bar, always grayed and with the same strange behavior.

Waiting for some more suggestions … 😦

 

I even did the quick repair of Office 2016 but nothing changed in the behavior: as I said, each email notification is shown in the Notification center side bar but it is greyed and clicking on it only close that notification and does not open the email with Outlook 2016 …

Therefore I believe that there should be a missing integration of Outlook 2016 with the notification center. It is the only application I see having a notification grayed!

Pubblicato in Aziendali, Windows | Lascia un commento

Come contattare Amazon telefonicamente, via chat o via email (e.g. per chiarimenti su un reso)

Talvolta può essere necessario contattare il personale Amazon ad esempio per chiedere delucidazioni su un articolo o per un reso: ovviamente non sempre risulta necessario contattare un assistente per rendere un prodotto ricevuto e risulta sufficiente agire dal sito nella sezione degli ordini apposita relativa al prodotto … ma talvolta può risultare utile chiedere alcuni chiarimenti, soprattutto quando il venditore non agisce in modo corretto.

Il servizio Amazon è sicuramente tra i più efficienti, ponendo sempre al centro gli interessi del cliente, ma può non essere immediato trovare nel loro sito come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un loro dipendente. Una volta trovata la sezione giusta, le procedure proposte sono molteplici e chiare, sicuramente di esempio per un qualsiasi portale che desideri offrire alla sua clientela un buon servizio di assistenza.

La modalità che ho trovato più agevole per trovare la sezione di contatto desiderata è andare nella sezione Aiuto (ultima voce del menù in alto), ricercare “contattaci” e quindi, nella pagina dei risultati, cliccare il tasto “Contattaci” presente nella sezione sinistra:

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (1)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (1)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (2)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (2)

Verrà presentato l’ultimo ordine effettuato, per cui, se la richiesta di aiuto è relativa ad un altro ordine precedente, può essere necessario ricercarlo premendo il pulsante Scegli un altro ordine:

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (3)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (3)

Una volta selezionato l’ordine di interesse, si può quindi specificare il motivo per cui si desidera avere assistenza e quindi selezionare la modalità con cui si preferisce contattarli: sicuramente quella telefonica può risultare la più idonea e più agevole, prevedendo tra l’altro di essere richiamati con un tempo di attesa nullo!

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (4)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (4)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (5)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (5)

 

Pubblicato in Just for fun!, Review e test | Lascia un commento

Bots sample with speech recognition and synthesis

Some posts ago I wrote about the Microsoft Bot Framework, giving some useful links. Among others, there were the following, related to bots examples with Cortana, speech recognition and synthesis … there are not so many references online:

In this post I will give some more details related the TriviaBotSpeechSample in order to make it run and see most of the features related to speech recognition and synthesis. It is a very complex examples that make use of many features, like embed the bot in a custom UWP app, showing how to add the speech support in an app using the DirectLine channel. This channels allows to interact with the bot at a low level with specific APIs:  the library supports both UWP and C# applications in XAMARIN, to allow developers to include speech enabled conversations with bots across different platforms (native iOS, Android, Windows).

A good tutorial of that sample can be found in the bot framework portal (Speech Support in Bot Framework – Webchat to Directline, to Cortana) and the more relevant instructions to make it be deployed and see it work can be found in the instructions available in the GitHub repository of that solution. As said there, this sample contains two projects, a trivia bot (built on top of the Microsoft Bot Framework C# Builder SDK) and a UWP app (that talks to the bot using the Microsoft.Bot.Client NuGet package).

As this is a combined client/sample demo, there is a bit of setup required and in the following I will improve the available instructions available there, with some screenshots I did during the test I did together with a friend, … that possibly can help you! 😉

At the end , you can talk to the sample bot in multiple ways, all of which support speech input and output … I succeeded to make it run with all of them:

  1. Using the TriviaApp (UWP app) included in this sample and  simply hitting F5 in Visual Studio to run it.
  2. Using the bot framework emulator https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/bot-framework/debug-bots-emulator.
  3. Host an instance of the Bot Framework WebChat client: https://aka.ms/BfWebChat
  4. Enabled the bot as a Cortana Skill. Simply enable the Cortana channel and provide an invocation phrase. Then make sure you are logged in to Cortana using the same Microsoft account, and say “Ask to start a game of trivia“. Cortana should trigger that bot!

========================================================================

First of all, be sure to update all libraries used in the solution, going in Visual Studio Tools -> NuGet Packet Manager -> Manage Nuget Packeges for Solution: otherwise, especially if you will use the latest emulator version, you will have the error shown in the following screenshot-.
Note that only one library (System.IdentityModel.Tokens.Jwt) cannot not be updated to the latest version because of some dependences that require a lower version of that package.

 

In order to  link the bot of the sample, it is convenient to choose the seccond options, otherwise it will be created and registered in Azure a new “basic” bot (and then you have to download the solution and substitute it with the one of the sample … so more wotk!).

If you are trying to create a  ID/password with your MSDN subscription done by your company, you will possibly receive the following error due to insufficient privilege: because I needed that codes only for a trial and not to publish a company app, I solved the problem generating them with my personal Microsoft account.

You need to set the bot handle in order it is unique, because the URL will be realoted to that name:

  • Enable the Direct Line channel in the bot settings page, Add a new site and paste a Direct Line secret in TriviaApp\BotConnection.cs file.

  • Reference to Bing recognition API, as requested by the code and related generated error.

  • Publish the Bot as an Azure App Service, and add the public endpoint (yourhosturl/api/messages) to the Bot Framework portal settings page. Make sure to use https instead of http in the url.

  • [Optional] To improve speech recognition for your bot: on http://dev.botframework.com/ go to the bot’s settings. In the “Speech recognition priming with LUIS” section you should see a list of LUIS apps associated with the account you are logged in with. Check the new LUIS app you created for this bot and hit save. This information is used to improve speech recognition when you speak to this bot and uses the Cognitive Speech apis for speech recognition. Speech recognition priming improves the recognition accuracy for the utterances and entities defined in your LUIS app for this bot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pubblicato in Review e test, Windows, Windows Phone/Mobile | Lascia un commento

How to disable the default tracking of your position from Google

May be you don’t know that, since many years ago (let’s say at least since 2012) by default Google trace all the positions of your phone … therefore of you, because I am sure you always have your phone with you! This happened possibly after  asking you some agreements that, I am quite sure, you did not even read …

You can  find in the Google portal a page where, day by day, you can see (on a map) all the movements you did during every date, in any way (by car,  by bike,  by foot, …). There is also a section were Google states how your data will be used: I have to admit that I did not read that section … but, even though I can continue to believe in Fairies, how can I believe in what it is possibly stated there?  I am living in a real world, where knowledge is often power and power is money :-/

May be, you can think that it is not your case, so you are not traced, … but I am sure that you have an Android phone linked to your Google account (and/or Google apps that use your localization) and possibly you always leave active your smartphone GPS, even when you don’t really need it (e.g. no navigator is running).

I experimented that many friends of mine have the tracing feature set to on, without they even know the existence of that feature! So, may be it is better that even you check it, reading this post: as you will see, it is quite easy this check … once you know how to check it  … and possibly disable this unwanted feature. I don’t know if that disabling only effects the front end (i.e. you to see no more your data, but they are kept, in any case, in some Data Base, ready to be used). So, if you really care to your privacy, it is better to enable the GPS positioning ONLY when you really need it 😉

Anyway, let see how to check and possibly disable your “agreement” that your positions can recorded somewhere …

If you have a Gmail account, the easiest way is to access the Gmail site with a browser, click on you image (on the right top of the page) and access your Goggle Personal profile:

Access to your Google Personal profile page (e.g. from the icon, on the top right of Gmail Web page)

From that page, you can see the My activities section so, please, navigate into it:

My activities section on the Google personal account page

Then you have to select the Other Google activities item from the left menu:

My activities page

In Other Google activities page, you can find a sections related to your Position history, and you have to navigate in it:

Your Position history section

Your Position history section

Here you can see a map of all your places you visited and filter the year, month, day to see all your paths. In the following, there are some screenshots as an example of what you could possibly find. Selecting the proper day (e.g. selecting one bar), you can drill down and see all the paths you did in that day.

You can do the check even for years ago … and possibly you’ll be surprised how everything of your personal data is recorded!

=======================

So let’s see how to disable that “feature” that possibly you don’t want anymore (and never you wanted!): the following screenshots show the step by step procedure, but again, I don’t know if that disabling only effects you to see no more your data but they are kept in any case in some Data Base! So, if you care for your privacy, the better way is always to enable the GPS positioning ONLY when you really need it.

In setting off that function, your positioning should not be recorded anymore (but your past data remains recorded, as you can easily verify: if you want to delete (not see anymore?) past data, you can do it from another section.

Note that you have to agree twice to suspend the position history.

Possibly you would like to disable also other agreements like the recording of your Web and App activities and so on:

 

Pubblicato in Giustizia, burocrazia e malcostume, Just for fun!, Review e test, Tecnologia | Lascia un commento