005 - Configuring "Max Radius" searches to find venues and media outlets within "x" miles of a given point

One BandMgr feature that Sugar Still uses A LOT is the "Max Radius" search to find venues within "x" miles of a specific point, let's say within 25 miles, or 50 miles, or 100 miles. This is particularly helpful when we're planning a tour, as we can quickly see how many venues we have entered within 50 miles of Phoenix, or 100 miles from Denver, or 25 miles from Chicago. Then we can email them quickly using the Email Tool and FormLetters, or we can use our PasteTool to quickly research and enter a bunch more venues if we're thin in any given region.

The Max Radius search is blindingly fast and can even search in miles, kilometers, nautical miles, or radians. Hahaha, why not, right?

The Max Radius search tool uses latitude and longitude coordinates for each contact in the Contacts file to complete its search, so one thing we needed to figure was how to get those latitude and longitude coordinates loaded in. Enter Google and the Google Maps API. As you enter new contacts you'll be able to use Google to enter the the latitude and longitude for you automatically based on the street address. It's pretty sweet, but to get it to work you need to get an API Key from Google. The key is free (up to 2500 queries a day), and if you already have a Google Mail account you can get your key in about three clicks. Here's where you go get your free key:


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Once you have your API key, copy and paste it into the BandMgr preferences screen and you're all set. BandMgr has a way to grab the latitude and longitude for each Contact record individually, and a way to loop through a whole bunch of records and update them for you unattended (as long as you're connected to the internet). If you already have a venue list, you can import it into BandMgr and let Google fill in your latitude and longitude coordinates for you overnight while you sleep, for example.

One additional thing to know about the Max Radius search is that once you've completed a search, you can then use the "constrained search" feature to find a subset of records, for example only breweries, or newspapers, or TV stations.

Here's a short tutorial video that shows you how we use the Max Radius search tool.

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