I finally found a way to display my geotagged blog entries on a map. I had toyed with a couple of solutions – Geo-Mashup is a WordPress Plugin that is used on a "map page" to display all of the geotagged posts. A similar plugin from blogger YongFook does about the same thing. Both of these have pretty cool interfaces, especially YongFook’s, which provides a bubble with a thumbnail (if so configured) and short excerpt of the blog entry. I’ve seen some cool blogs that implement them, but for whatever reason I couldn’t get either to work here.
After much weeping, coding, and gnashing of teeth, I finally got the "ItHappenedHere" plugin from Kentucky Fried Orphan to work. This plugin shows a small map at the bottom of the blog entry with the location for that entry marked. If you click on the "It Happened Here" link, a larger Google map will open in another window. You’ll see this at the bottom of several of my entries that I have gone back and geotagged. For example, take a look at the Ace Basin entry. For this entry, I have geotagged it as if I were standing on the middle of the Liberty Bridge in Falls Park (but I’m not really there.)
While "ItHappenedHere" is a passable solution, it has some drawbacks. I’m afraid that as I add more tags and maps, the pages will start to load slower. The maps that are embedded aren’t interactive, and if you click the ItHappenedHere link for the larger, interactive map, there is no marker displayed for the actual position. One final complaint, the maps are only displayed on the main page or the page for the individual post. If you click on one of my category headings or on one of the archive links, the maps are not displayed. You have to click on the post heading to see the post by itself to see the map.
The absolute best solution would be one that combines ItHappenedHere with an aggregate map page such as YongFook’s. That plugin should be VERY EASY to install, and feature several customizable levels of interactivity. Since I can’t seem to find this solution, I’m going to look for a way to produce an RSS feed of my geotagged posts, then output that data as a KML file for Google Earth. Both are XML, so there has got to be some script out that that will do this. I’ll keep searching.
[tags]geotagging, geotags, Google Maps, Google Earth[/tags]