Apple’s closed ecosystem…

Part of my vacation planning is building up map bookmarks to share with my sister, so we can go off on separate adventures and easily meet up later. I have a bunch of old Google Earth/Maps bookmarks from previous trips and planning. I also have a bunch of Apple Maps bookmarks from recent planning. (why? Because Google no longer supports the standalone Google Earth app, and wants you to run it in Chrome, which logs you into your Google account so they can track you across the Internet)

Google lets you export any number of saved places to an XML file. Apple lets you share one bookmark at a time to specific applications, but only as a URL pointing to For more fun, on a Mac your bookmarks are stored as an opaque binary blob in ~/Library/Containers/, along with a cached copy of their data about the location. You can reorder this list inside the desktop Maps app, but that order will not be respected on iOS.

Extracting 35 bookmarks meant creating 35 notes in a supported app, then copy-pasting them into a text file and extracting the “q” (name) and “ll” (lat/lon) fields.

Seriously, Apple?


For future reference, to convert KML to straightforward CSV using togeojson and jq:

togeojson $kmlfile  | jq -r '
	.features[]|select(.geometry.type == "Point")
	| select(
	| [([.geometry.coordinates[1],.geometry.coordinates[0]]
		| join(",")),,.properties.description]
	| @csv'


So, you can get your Apple Maps bookmarks as a CSV file, but only by using Apple’s privacy page to request a copy of all data Apple has on you, and waiting about 5 days for them to package it up.

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