Saturday, 8th November 2008 at 2:55 pm | 6 Comments »
Version 3.0 of WP Geo is a bit of a move on from the previous version with lots of minor tweaks and some new features.
Some of the most significant new features include:
- More settings
- Sidebar widget
- Custom markers
- GeoRSS points in feeds
There have also been many bug fixes including the suppression of the alert box that appears if you haven’t entered a Google API Key.
WP Geo now has many more default settings which give you control over:
- Map type
- Where to display maps in posts/pages
- Map size
- Map zoom
- Map type controls
- Map pan and zoom controls
- Showing other controls
- Which parts of your blog should display maps
- Adding GeoRSS data to rss feeds
A new, often requested, addition to WP Geo is the sidebar widget.
The widget displays a mini-map with mini-controls and mini-markers – see below about the custom markers added in WP Geo 3.0.
The widget will show markers for all geo-tagged posts on the current page so if you are viewing a single post you will see one marker. If you are browsing a category or archive page the widget will display markers for all posts with location details on that page. If there is no location information for any posts on the page, the widget will simple not show.
Many of you will be pleased to here that the markers on the WP Geo widget are clickable to link to the relevant post! This is a feature that will be rolled out to all maps in future versions.
The widget has basic configuration settings. You can set a title which will appear above the map if your theme permits. You can set the map size – I recommend setting the width to 100% which should stretch to the full width of your sidebar in most themes. And you can set the map type.
WP Geo now uses custom marker images. The marker images are automatically copied to your WordPress uploads folder and used by WP Geo so that when you upgrade you don’t have to worry about overwriting them. A copy of these images will remain in the WP Geo plugin folder in case you need to revert to them at any time.
If you want to customise the marker images I suggest you edit the ones created in your uploads folder – they must be PNG files. Each marker consists of a marker image and a shadow image. If you do not wish to show a marker shadow you should use a transparent PNG for the shadow file.
Currently you must update this images manually and the anchor point must be the same (you can found out this information on the settings page). Looking to provide more control in future versions.
GeoRSS points in feeds
GeoRSS is an evolving standard to encode location in RSS and Atom feeds. As RSS and Atom become more prevalent as a way to publish and share information, it becomes increasingly important that location is described in an interoperable manner so that application can request, aggregate, share and map geographically tagged feeds.
The above example shows how WP Geo now uses GeoRSS-Simple encoding to include location information in your blog’s RSS and Atom feeds.
So, what do you think?
Please post your feedback on this version of WP Geo by leaving a comment below. Please also let me know if you find any bugs or theme compatibility issues.