google search mappart not working

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  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Acknowledged
  • (Edited)
I use the google search mappart a lot in my training. The benefits of using it inside a map are fantastic.
However, since some time the search does not return any result.

Is there a new setting that should be set?
Is it because I used to demo it in MM15 and just last week I used it with MM16?

Please help.

NOTE: The Amazon and EBay webservices are functioning as usual.
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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Posted 3 years ago

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jerry.mings

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I just ran a test to see if I could confirm the problem.  I can confirm the problem.
Something is broken.

As a temporary fix, I pulled in a Google search link.

However, that is not a solution. 

I hope someone from Mindjet and provide a solution.

Jerry
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jerry.mings

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Just checked with Technical Support.  It is a confirmed bug.  It appears that it will be fixed in version 17.  Not sure if a fix will be released in the short term.

For now, my temp solution of doing the search in google and pull the results page in the mind  may  work as a short fix.

Jerry
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I am frankly shocked at how a feature which has worked (albeit imperfectly) in MindManager since at least version 8 or 9 should suddenly stop stone dead.

I use the search part frequently in my work and it is also an essential tool in researching for my blogs. In fact I wrote a post on how to make best use of the Google search part, though this appears to be redundant now.

I have just tested the search part in versions 11, 12, 14 and 15 as well as 16 to confirm that it isn't working in any of them. Clearly therefore this is not a bug in MM 16 itself but is somewhere in the back end, which makes me wonder if this is some sort of licensing issue between Mindjet and Google (like the problems with Adobe over PDF printing).

Irrespective of what the problem is or which version or versions are affected, if the answer that Jerry reported from tech support is correct, it is also extraordinary that Mindjet would state that the response to the sudden failure of a feature in the current version is to wait for, and be forced to upgrade to, a new version which hasn't appeared yet. That is akin to saying that if the heater in my 2016 Subaru has suddenly stopped working the only remedy I have is to wait for - and buy - the 2017 model.

Not good enough Mindjet. Not nearly good enough.

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Réal Lefebvre

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Same for me... i am frankly shocked at how a feature which has worked (albeit imperfectly) in MindManager since at least version 8 or 9 should suddenly stop stone dead.
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jerry.mings

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Sad to say, I suspect that Mindjet is going to take their time.  I did ask if there would be a short-term fix for the software.  However, they are working on version 17.  Maybe if enough people flag the importance of fixing this problem, they could do something about it sooner than later.

I would agree, to have this feature in failure mode does not speak well for Mindjet.

Let's hope for a solution sooner than later.

Jerry
(Edited)
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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Thanks guys for confirming my observation... At first I thought I was going dada. Lets hope Mindjet finds the time and focus to bring it in again.

And if not please explain to us why not...;-)
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jerry.mings

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No problem.  The fact that it is broken across a number of versions tells me that there is something wrong in the code and that the code may not have been updated in version 16.  Let's see what happens.

Hope my short cut will help in the meantime.
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Bob Levy

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Like others I just ran a test creating a new map with the search and no hits. OK, Went back to my maps where it has worked in the past and (no surprise) the previously working search now produces no matches. I rely heavily on this map part and the apparent MJ response continues a long history of ignoring clients. When will 17 appear? Probably not until Fall and then they will want MORE money for a fix to a long existing capability that suddenly stopped working,  MJ should at the very least post what happened since the MJ code has not been updates since it last worked.  My GUESS is the Google API has changed.
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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@Alex  I am sure it really used to work until some weeks ago. And indeed after a certain moment it completely stopped working, also in older MindManager releases. So I doubt Mindjet changed the software. And @Bob your guess about the Google API could be right.
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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To add to this... The eBay and Amazon webservices work as they used to. The option to create a webservice myself with RSS feeds is gone, although still described in the MindManager HELP
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jerry.mings

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I think Mindjet should be releasing a "bug fix" update at least quarterly to address events like this one.  Most major software providers do.  My experience is that Google likes to change things with little or no warning.  This includes api code, dropping services, etc.  Hopefully, Mindjet will get a solution to this problem in place quickly. 
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Christopher King

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In my experience, the search function returns little or nothing if the search is initiated by clicking on the search button, whereas the old Ctl-F key combination works well. Hardly acceptable though.
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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CTRL F is just the windows search.
The Search Tab in the task pane gives  a lot more options. Like search across all maps including subfolders etc.

But these options are not related to the missing functionality of the GoogleSearch Mappart
(Edited)
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hopefully someone from Mindjet could advise in this forum on the following:
- what caused the problem;
- confirmation that the problem will be resolved in the upcoming release of V17 of MM;
- an indication whether a patch will be released to fix the problem in existing versions of MM, at least V15 and V16;
- whether there will be any improvements to the basic functionality of the Google search map part when it is restored, given that it hasn't been updated since at least V9;
- some sort of commitment that there will be better communication with MM users around these sorts of issues, should they occur again in the future.
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Bob Levy

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I agree with Alex,however, I do not have any expectations that MJ will respond.
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jerry.mings

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My experience with my call to Tech Support was:
a) they knew about the problem
b) they were working on it
c) no immediate fix was forthcoming.

I think we are stuck.
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jerry.mings

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Just filed a support ticket with Mindjet. 
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Bob Levy

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Sounds like a waste of time if they already are aware and monitor this thread...
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jerry.mings

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Ok.  Just got an answer from Technical support on why the google map search is not working.

.... google depreciated the API.

Support has asked someone from the product team to update this thread.
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Marian Kocmanek, Official Rep

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Official Response
Hi All, 

Apologies for the delay in posting an official reply on this thread. It is true that Google has deprecated the API that was used in MindManager for the Google Search Map Part.  We researched our options and concluded the Map Part would be to be completely rewritten using Google's new API. As a result, we have decided to pull the current Map Part from the upcoming release of MindManager 2017 (Fall 2016 timeframe) and will not be releasing a patch from MindManager 16 and earlier versions. 

As Alex Gooding mentioned above, the Google Search Map Part has remained unchanged since it was first introduced in MindManager version 9. I am starting a new Idea thread How Would You Improve Google Search in MindManager and would love to hear your suggestions. 

When replying to the Idea thread, please provide - 
  • Your use case (business or personal) with using the Google Search Web Part.
    and 
  • How can it be improved? (i.e. include images?).  

Thanks 
-Marian 
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jerry.mings

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Thanks for this response.

In the best interest of the many users, I would support a different strategy.

a) Resolve the current map search issues with a fix within the next 90 days so this function continues to work with the new API.

b) In parallel, the discussion can continue on new and different features around google search.

To leave the product without this feature for what could be up to a year seems a long time.

Jerry
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Hilde Weisert

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Agree strongly. This feature is not only something I use a lot but when I am showing off MindManager to colleagues it is always one of the most appealing features - a real selling point.
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Hilde Weisert

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Also - The feature just as it is (was) meets my needs and does not need enhancements - it shows the matches and some descriptive info so you know what's worth pursuing. Bringing the hits into the map as topics is invaluable for follow up, etc. Jerry's suggestion is a good one.
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Thanks Marian for posting this response and explaining the situation, as well as for the initiative to seek feedback on what an ideal Google search part would look like.

I understand that from time to time changes in third-party products over which Mindjet has no control will affect features in MindManager and other MJ software. If and when this occurs in future however it would be helpful if Mindjet could be more proactive in identifying the problem and announcing what it is going to do in response.

Also, correct me if I am wrong but I understand that the deprecation of this feature was something that Google had actually signalled well in advance. If this is the case I'm surprised that Mindjet is only now responding to the problem.

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Further to my earlier post I want to echo Jerry's concerns.

I am shocked and dismayed that there won't be a fix even for version 17. The Google map part is a critical research tool for many users including me - I use it frequently in my consulting work and blog writing and have developed and written up a detailed range of techniques on how to maximise its use. A potential delay of 15 to 18 months in releasing a rewritten Google map search part is simply unacceptable, especially if my suspicions that Google provided plenty of warning of the deprecation of the search API are correct. 

I also second Jerry's request that a patch which replicates the basic functionality of the current map part be released much sooner. At the very least a basic rewritten map part should be incorporated into V17 or if this really isn't possible in the available time then it should be released as soon as possible as a point upgrade to version 17.

(Edited)
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jerry.mings

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Last observation and then time to move on.

I did some checking and it appears the depreciation of the Google Search API was given in 2010.  So there was lots of warning notice.

You can reach more here:
https://developers.google.com/feed/forum

Jerry
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Jerry, I'm not sure of the exact date but your research has confirmed my suspicions based on some of my own digging around. Clearly, Mindjet should have had ample warning that the deprecation of this feature by Google was going to occur.

If this is correct then there are two alternatives, both equally disturbing:

  • There was some sort of comprehensive systems failure at Mindjet which somehow allowed news of the deprecation to slip by unnoticed over the past six years; or
  • Senior management were actually aware of the looming deadline for deprecation but for whatever reason decided not to address this problem.

If the latter point is closer to the mark it leads to suspicions that despite the request for input on how to redesign and improve the Google map part it may never be restored for technical or other reasons, especially if there is little "evidence" that people are really using it. I'm afraid that Mindjet have form in this regard; there have been other features that the company has tried to dumb down in previous versions (for example, in version 9 the attempt to remove the ability to send multiple appointments from MM to Outlook), supposedly based on research which shows these features are not used by the majority of users.

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jerry.mings

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The new Google API has been available for a while. 

My disappointment is Mindjet could have saved everyone some time by writing for the new Google API before the release of Mindjet 2016.  With well over two years lead time, there was not need for  this current problem. I suspect, the writing team figured time was on their side and they would have more time to address a known flaw in the current release.

My current concern is how many other problems are in the current release that will fail in the future?  Are the other search engine released notices on their APIs (amazon, eBay)?

I would like to see Mindjet provide full disclosures so I can plan how I use the product.  I don't want to utilize features that are going to fail in the very near future.  Also, I want to see bug fixes that are provided in no less than 90 days.  I don't want to wait for a new product release with the existing feature removed.

I look forward to a better solution than currently proposed for this situation.  I really want to see a bug fix issued in no less that 90 days.

Finally, while a few people may engage in this conversation, Mindjet should remember, people who don't share their thoughts on this board can often find their solutions through other boards or products. I would encourage Mindjet to take this problem seriously.

Jerry
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Bob Levy

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Like the unfortunate small number of people on this thread, I sahe the uproar on the search. 
Since I have long ago given up hope that Mindjet cares about the user community I needed to develop a workable solution.  Below is an image of my workaround. Elegant - NO, but at least it works.  Just the thought of editing my thousands of search map parts is overwhelming.
I have a feeling I will have passed on to the next world before Mindjet fixes this.  When (if) they do, it will charge me way to much money.
Bitter, yes, understanding, no!
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I know exactly how you feel.

The great thing about the MM Google search map part was that when combined with Excel it provided a comparatively easy way to simultaneously search a small group of topics with a controlled set of parameters, store the results and then repeat the exercise over time. With a bit of work the search results could also be scraped and sent back to Excel or Word as a table.

Having worked out how to do this I then used these methods extensively in my research work. Then without any warning from Mindjet, the search part stopped working - a warning Mindjet should have been able to give, as it appears that Google had flagged its intentions to change the Google search API some time ago.

It now appears that this problem won't be fixed for at least another year and I will be forced to find an alternative. Like you I have experimented with using the MM browser combined with stored search links on the map but this approach seems just too inadequate for my purposes. I will probably have to look for alternative solutions, ones which are unlikely to involve MM.

Regrettably this is part of an increasing trend for me - apart from basic planning and brainstorming I seem to be using MM less and less in my daily work. I never bought the argument that that the program had too many features for its own good, but I think there is an increasing lack of integration and attention paid to maintaining existing features as new ones are added.

(Edited)
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jerry.mings

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Mindjet 17 preview is out on the main website.  I think skipping the inclusion of the Google Search feature in the next release is not helpful given the API has been out for a while.

It would be helpful to see an update from Mindjet Development on the fix. 

Jerry