I made mention of this upcoming feature before and now it is complete and ready for the next release. What it will offer for everyone is the automatic background geocoding of every address input for an entry when adding a new entry or updating an existing entry. Or you can manually invoke geocoding of the address before saving the entry. This allows you to tweak the geocode by adjusting a pin using drop and drag on a map. The manual feature will be very useful in cases where Google doesn’t do such a great job at pin pointing the correct location.
As a bonus to those using the CSV Import pro add-on, every address will automatically be geocoded on import. One word of caution- Google limits geocode queries to 2,500/day unless you have one of their premium accounts. So if you import more than that, the rest will silently fail.
Geo-location search result has also been added. This feature is primarily to support the forthcoming pro add-on “Locate“, however, I did add five new options to the shortcode that will be available to everyone using Connections and they are:
- near_addr — The address provided will be geocoded and used as the search radius center. If used in conjunction with near_coord, near_coord will take priority. Although I am providing this as an option I really recommend against using it because Google limits geocode queries to 2,500/day, unless you have one of their premium accounts. So a moderately busy site could exhaust that 2,500 queries.
- latitude — The latitude center point of the search radius.
- longitude — The longitude center point of the search radius.
- radius — The radius value that an entry should be within to be shown as a search result. The default value is 10.
- unit — The unit of measure that the radius is to be calculated. The default is miles. The supported list of units of measure is quite extensive so I’m not going to list them all. Both miles (mi) and kilometers (km) are supported and those, I expect, will be the most used.
I tried to be very thorough in implementing this feature, but there is one deficiency: Any pre-existing entries that do not already have latitude/longitude will not be automatically geocoded. The only way to have them geocoded will be to manually update each entry. I don’t consider this to be a major issue as the templates that already support Google Maps will continue to geocode on the fly. However, if you use the latitude and longitude shortcode optiona, any entries without latitude/longitude will not be returned in the search results.
Awesome. Been waiting for these updates. When will it be available? Is it going to be a Paid add-on? If so, how much?
Curious if you incorporated some of the ideas we spoke of last spring… For example, I see your screenshot shows ‘Public/Private/Unlisted’ on the Address field. Is this going to allow for record-specific election for the display of addresses, either in the record and/or on the the map?
Also we talked about the Marker/info bubble container. Will it have the ability to link to the record? And have the ability to add html in the infowindow? And a really cool feature I have seen on some other mapping plugins was the ability to ‘tab’ info inside the bubble.
I know, lots of questions, but this is good stuff. I hope I am able to implement. Thanks for your hard work.
The actual geocoding will be a standard feature and the actual usage of the data will depend entirely on the template used, which is currently limited to cMap and Market, they geocode addresses on the fly … however, if the lat/lng is available they’ll use that info, which is quicker. The other benefit is that you can now use drap and drag the marker on the map to tweak where the pin is displayed. Where geocoding will really shine is in the “Locate” pro add-on which will basically transform Connections into a store locator plugin. This add on will be a paid add-on with a yet undetermined price.
The “Public/Private/Unlisted” option for addresses will control who can see the address. It will also affect which pin is displayed on the map on both cMap and Market because both those template will show the first address on the map if there are multiple addresses entered. If the first address is private and a site visitor shows the map, the will see the first available “Public” address. If they can log into the site, they will then see the first “Public/Private” address. A side note, you can control which address is the first by drag and drop the address when you’re editing an entry. Well, I hope that makes sense!
The whole info bubble thing we’ve discussed previously is still on the to do list. But when it does come you can expect it to be pretty full featured.
Ok, I think I addressed the questions … if I missed something or you have another, just let me know.
Thanks Steven. We have cmap (and about three of your other addons) :) so we’ll see how it works in that template. But we may also look at Locate when it releases just to see if we can even do more. Mapping is a real focus for us in conjunction with the directory, so we’ll want to take a look. Looking forward to it!
Is there a way to get all the organizations to show on one map on a page with the flag?