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Google maps

Google maps are a wonderful interactive tool.

Here is the world...

{"markers":[{"pos":[{"lat":40.415587,"lon":-3.707549}]}],"zoom":14,"center":{"lat":40.415587,"lon":-3.707549}}

Don't you feel like God doing the same with the whole universe? (I let it to your power of abstraction to imagine this can zoom arbitrarily to any given part of the "map"; other services, e.g., for the Milky Way, have more resolution).

Embedding on web sites

If you're interesting in embedding google maps on your own web pages (please do!), our own recommendations are as follow.

MediaWiki

We were initially using Evan Miller's Google Maps extension, but it got archived.

We now use Pavel Astakhov's MultiMaps [1].

WordPress

There were a lot of widgets already available when we were using this tool. It probably changed, and we can not offer up to date advices beyond those we knew by this time:

  • MapPress is a popular choice but a bit over-the-top for the actual services it provides. It seems to overload a lot the servers. I found out I had connexions to google maps even when posts (and that's most of them) were not containing any map.
  • Xml google maps looks pretty good with a lot of configurable options, but it has an ugly ad to link to the plugin's webpage. Also it's a bit of an overkill if you want simple things (but looks strong for more complex applications). Finally, documentation is exasperating.
  • Simple Google Map mistakes simple with simplified. Its main restriction is that it allows only one marker.

Applications

  • For the 10 000 IP hit on our web, we displayed a map with locations of visitors. You can read how we did it.
  • We have the project to make a map of our trips with a selection of our best photos.