So where does the WordPress module Maps Marker fit in, in the ecosystem of web maps? Is it a user friendly interface to the APIs or is more like Leaflet.js?
The WordPress plugin “Leaflet Maps Marker” allows you to pin, organize and share your favorite spots through your WordPress powered site easily. You can use maps from OpenStreetMap, Google Maps, Google Earth, Bing Maps or custom maps and additionally display your spots in innovative ways like through augmented-reality browsers. A full list of feature can be found here. You can download the plugin for free here.
After reading the FAQ and the Features List, it appears that Maps Marker hasn’t reached the functionality of being able in import a set of markers, but it does have the ability to export a set in a variety of different formats:
- export your markers as KML file for displaying in Google Earth or Google Maps
- export your markers as GeoJSON for embedding in external websites or apps
- export your markers as GeoRSS for embedding in external websites or apps
- export your markers as ARML for displaying in the augmented-reality browser from Wikitude
- export your markers as csv-file
Let’s give it a spin!
Ok. For this test run, I added four schools from our local school board into a map. And yes, the beautiful Stamen’s watercolour theme is not really appropriate for this particular use case, but dammit, it’s just too pretty to resist.
So, first impressions. This is a wonderful app that allows one to create, customize and tinker with the various online mapping services of Bing, Google, Mapbox and OpenStreetMap without having to know anything more of an API other than having to get a key (except for OSM).
The only real downside of this module is it’s inability to import a set of coordinates in a spreadsheet, but according to the FAQ this particular feature is being developed and will be reserved for ‘pro users’ which sounds completely reasonable to me.
Now, give me a couple more hours and I could do the data entry to add the rest of the schools into the map, and part of me thinks that maybe I should, if just to provide a more useful example of contextual mapping that the school board doesn’t provide at the moment. (Yikes! Why not have all the markers on one map instead of having separate maps for each school!)
I did some more poking around and found there is an entirely different web mapping application used for determining what school / bussing one is matched with to a given address, that I believe is using some form of GIS software for. Or maybe something else I don’t recognize. Yet.
Addendum: I’ve decided to make the full map anyway: I can’t be afraid of a little data entry if I want to make beautiful and useful maps. Here it is!
5400 Coronation Avenue, Windsor, ON, Canada
853 Chilver Rd, Windsor, ON, Canada
1093 Assumption Street, Windsor, ON, Canada
949 Giles Blvd E, Windsor, ON, Canada
|W. G. Davis|
W. G. Davis
2855 Rivard Avenue, Windsor, ON, Canada
5399 Raymond Avenue, Windsor, ON, Canada
|Dr. David Suzuki Public School|
Dr. David Suzuki Public School
6320 Raymond Avenue, Windsor, ON, Canada
3555 Forest Glade Drive, Windsor, ON, Canada
9485 Esplanade Drive, Windsor, ON, Canada
8800 Menard Street, Windsor, ON, Canada
3070 Stillmeadow Rd, Windsor, ON, Canada
1648 Francois Rd, Windsor, ON, Canada
1646 Alexis Rd, Windsor, ON, Canada
2229 Chilver Rd, Windsor, ON, Canada
|Percy P. McCallum|
Percy P. McCallum
4195 Milloy Street, Windsor, ON, Canada
|W.F. Herman Secondary School|
W. F. Herman Secondary School
1930 Rossini Blvd, Windsor, ON, Canada
Walkerville Secondary School
2100 Richmond Street, Windsor, ON, Canada
1556 Wyandotte St W, Windsor, ON, Canada
3312 Sandwich Street, Windsor, ON, Canada
3557 Melbourne Rd, Windsor, ON, Canada
1275 Campbell Avenue, Windsor, ON, Canada
Century Secondary School
1375 California Ave, Windsor, ON, Canada
749 Felix Avenue, Windsor, ON, Canada
|Hon. W.C. Kennedy|
Hon. W.C. Kennedy
245 Tecumseh Rd E, Windsor, ON, Canada
1225 Tecumseh Rd E, Windsor, ON, Canada
2500 Labelle Street, Windsor, ON, Canada
1800 Liberty Street, Windsor, ON, Canada
700 Norfolk Street, Windsor, ON, Canada
1601 Norfolk St, Windsor, ON, Canada
1355 Cabana Rd W, Windsor, ON, Canada
1100 Northwood St, Windsor, ON, Canada
6265 Rose-Ville Garden Dr, Windsor, ON, Canada
8465 Jerome Street, Windsor, ON, Canada
1376 Victoria Avenue, Windsor, ON, Canada
|John A. McWilliam|
John A. McWilliam
1901 E. C. Row Expressway, Windsor, ON, Canada
620 Cabana Rd E, Windsor, ON, Canada
4000 Ducharme Street, Windsor, ON, Canada