I guess most people only store the database Id inside the place and then fetch the data in the activity. If you have multiple activities active at the same time you may build a thin layer between your activity and RPC mechanism so that only one request is done for a given database id even if all active activities request it at the same time.
Sometimes people fetch the data once and then want to pass it around to different activities so they dont need to load it again. In that case you would add the database id and the data to the place and then first check if data is available and if not fetch it by using the id.
This would be a similar situation to your DTO. The reason why you would have both id and data itself in the place is that only the id is used in the Tokenizer for the place URL. You most likely don't want all DTO data serialized in the URL. Its the same as not having the whole UI state serialized in the URL. Only choose the most important parts that gives a good result when accessing the URL directly. All other UI state could be saved to local sessionStorage (e.g. scrollbar positions, specific textbox contents, whatever).
Alternatively you could also add a thin caching mechanism so you don't need to put data into the place. Just "refetch" the data by id from the local cache.
I treat the place URL as an ordinary URL for navigation so most times they simply look like: <menuitem>/<optional submenuitem>/<database id of data needed>/<coarse UI state like a Tab or a category that should be selected by default>. Something like #/employees/1/address would go to the employees screen, cause the activity to load employe with ID 1 and then show the address tab/category in the UI. Everything else would be stored in local sessionStorage.
Personally I think the only URLs that could be very long are URLs that represent a search query with lots of search criteria and you want that search query to be bookmarkable. Everything else should be fairly short, but your mileage may vary.
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