GmapPackage

A Wikid Google Map Engine

Created by: Will, Last modification: Tue 25 of Nov, 2008 (20:19 UTC)

Summary

This package makes including and using Google Maps on your bitweaver site a snap! You can create maps, markers, polylines, and other information with just a little pointing and clicking - no Google Maps API knowledge required! It also provides a service to other packages, to make it easy to add location data to other content. The Gmap Package also provides a universal map for viewing any of such geo-located bitweaver content on your site, so if you tag a page or article with a location you can search for that content by location and view it on a map.

Core Features:

Gmap Map Builder

Creating Custom Google Maps with Custom Markers, Polylines, Polygons, and other features

Gmap Mapping Service

Lets other packages integrate Google Maps into their features without having to do any map development. One example use that is already integrated is Google Maps can be used for easily attaching geo location data to any bitweaver cms content. Admins can select which content types can be mapped. A Small Map and Permalinks to the Gmap Content Browser can also be included on content pages for easy viewing of where a content item is on a map.

Gmap Content Browser

A universal map interface for searching for bitweaver geo located content (like pages, articles, users) and viewing it on the map.

Install Instructions

Dependencies

The R2 version of the GmapPackage is dependent on the GeoPackage. All location date, lat/lng pairs, are being managed by the GeoPackage service. You MUST also install the GeoPackage if you want to use GmapPackage.

For strict security enforcement in Gmap package you should also install LibertySecurePackage. Gmap has options for making maps and map components private. To strictly enforce those settings in all access points, particularly lists, then you will need LibertySecure. You can run Gmap without LibertySecure, but "private" content will be displayed in lists.

Configuration

You must obtain a Google Map API Key for your site.
To use the package you need a key from Google. You can sign up for a key here - it is quick and painless and best of all, Free. After you install the package and have your key, you can plugin your key value for your site in the Gmap admin preferences, which you can get to by going to http://yourbitweaversite/kernel/admin/. Or if you just point your browser to the gmap/ directory, while logged in as admin, you will get prompts how to do this.

For non-required additional configuration tips see: GmapPackage Configuration Tips

Get The Code

You can get the latest version of the package by getting module _bit_gmap from bitweaver CVS.

Development Roadmap

Bugs

  • Content Browser Map - Category options list has duplicates. (NEED HELP)
  • Content Browser Map - Content in nested categories is not found when only ancestor is selected (NEED HELP)
  • Maptype/Tilelayer/Copyright updating after edit does not work - this is really a TODO — you can store maptypes - just refresh the map to see the results. Basically the ajax callback does not work at the moment.

Next Steps

  • backside functionality to browse Marker, polyline, and polygon styles exists, need ui to display info to user while editing overlays.
  • cache page requests - including all related data
  • stuff javascript
  • Polygon drawing assistant basically works - could be nicer
  • Create custom display of polys on Gmap Content Browser page
  • Create content page versions for Polylines, Polygons, that do not require loading the whole map.
  • Clean Up gmap css
  • Integrate GxMarker and PdMarker.

  • Infinity and Beyond: see history below

Custom History

History features would be for recording changes to gmap package specific data as well as displaying liberty history data.
  • Wire in access to Liberty History records
  • Map History
  • Marker History
  • Poly History

Final Beta Prep

  • Test in various browsers

Extended Features Description

Many basic Google Map features are now fully supported and editable via a AJAX UI. Also 600+ free custom icon images, as originally listed here are also included with the package. Additionally, Marker infoWindow text can utilizes whatever text syntaxes your site supports. With all these features you can create great looking maps without writing a single line of javascript. And with its "Sets Model", the Gmap Package makes it easy to re-use map components, like marker styles, custom icons, polylines, etc, over and over on multiple maps, i.e. create once, use infinitely. More about the "Sets Model" is below.

The features of the package are supplemented by a bleeding edge AJAX editing interface. Almost all features of the map can be updated live, without a browser refresh.

About the AJAX Editing UI

The Gmap Package has a very robust AJAX based editing interface for live updating of map features. The editing UI and related AJAX transaction methods use the Mochkit library.

Sets Model Framework

The GmapPackage uses a sets model for associating markers, markericons, maptypes, polylines, polygons, and their styles with maps.

Through the use of various keychains, each object may be associated with many maps, many sets of obejcts, and many styles. Each map has a key chain which associates it with sets of markers, maptypes, polylines, and polygons. Marker Sets, Polyline Sets, and Polygon Sets in turn each have individual objects as well as styles with which they are associated. The reason for this is multifold.

One advantage of this sets model is it makes it easier to share individual markers, polyline, and polygons with various maps and sets of each object. For example a marker can be in any number of sets, and those sets can be on any number of maps. This makes it much easier to share content across multiple maps. This could be especially value where say you might want to mash up particular information like restaurants, or art events with something universal like subway stops. Once you create a set of subway stops, then you could reuse that on multple maps mixing it with other data.

The other advantage is that styles can be divorced from content. This is both valuable for customizing the look and feel of the same map data on a map by map basis, as well as optimizing the database and lightening page weight. Each set contains a reference to a style. If a new look and feel is desired for a set of markers, that set only need be duplicated and a new style assigned. However none of the actual marker or polyline or polygon data is duplicated, only the reference to that data. This thus reduces redundancy while following in the W3C ideal of seperating data from style.

This use of sets also makes for lighter db queries and page weight. For each style used that style is only delivered to the client once, each object in a set then references that one style. This is faster and more efficient than packaging style information with each object...especially as one starts to use tens to hundreds of like styled objects on one map.

References


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Comments

map and marker editing relatively stable

by mlpvolt, Fri 13 of Jul, 2007 (15:41 UTC)
The demo test site is no longer maintained. But if you check out the code from cvs you should find map and marker editing quite stable at this point.

Suggestions

by Kozuch, Sun 04 of Mar, 2007 (16:04 UTC)
Finally, I gave Gmap & Geo Packages a shot. On the first view, the work perfectly. However, I am missing few things:
  • the permision type to create and edit only own maps
  • didnt figure out how to enter the Longitude and Latitude correctly yet (didn study the Maps API yet) - maybe context help would be nice
  • didnt figure out how to create a marker, polylines and polygons - the AJAX menus are kind of weird to me

cant see nuttin

by win, Mon 03 of Sep, 2007 (08:07 UTC)
this page looks like sh*t in my ie5/win98/800x600

Woohoo!! Just started playing around w GMap...

by Bobby Richardson, Wed 23 of Jul, 2008 (06:43 UTC)
... and lemme tell 'ya, it's sweet!!

Map/Satellite/Hybrid settings work as advertised. You can even click&drag the map!!

Oh yeah, I'm using Opera 9.51 Build 10081