Return of the Google Maps

A bit of randomness recently led me to a useful site called WordPress Plugin Fu. The main attraction was an answer to a problem I’d had a while ago – how to include references to WordPress shortcodes in posts without WordPress trying to do what it’s supposed to do with Shortcodes. I’d searched all over the place, and the only answer I’d found was to use a plugin, but a post made a few weeks after I’d done that showed me the easy way:

Escaping Shortcodes in WordPress

Yes, since WordPress 2.5, all you have to do to refer to a shortcode is type it like this [gallery] in your post and it will appear in an unexpanded text form. And to make it display those double thingies, just type three of them. Typing more may be weird, so I haven’t tried that.

Anyway, that’s a digression[1]. While I was on the site, I found something else WPGMappity, a plugin for inserting Google Maps into WordPress posts. Readers with long memories may recall me trying a few of these before, which tended to be a bit complicated to use. This looks like being a lot easier:

Note: map removed, as I no longer use this plugin

First, you need to upload and activate it in WordPress like any other plugin. Then you’ll need a Google Maps API Key – the plugin helpfully displays a link to the relevant page. All you have to do is enter the URL of your site and you’ll get an insanely long code to paste into the provided box.

Inserting a map is nicely easy. A new button is added alongside the media insertion things. Click that, and you get a box much like the standard one for inserting images, except it has a view of Google Maps which you can scroll around, zoom in and out of, choose a size and a whether you want  map, satellite or hybrid view. Nicely done.

[1] I do a lot of that