O'Reilly Radar was the first to announce the release of GeoPress, a WordPress blog engine plugin that allows you to easily add location to blog posts, embed dynamic maps, and add GeoRSS encoding to your RSS output.

There have been other geo plugins before. However, they usually required you to make your own modifications to your template and provided a fairly arcane interface. The goal of GeoPress was to make adding location as simple as possible. Once you install GeoPress (copy and unzip to a wp-content/plugins/geopress directory on your WordPress site), and activate it (on the plugins panel), your configuration is done. Then go to write a blog post and you'll see a new area with a map and boxes underneath the post.

You can enter an address, or a city, or just a country, or even click on the map to set the location. You can then add a name which will be saved and can later be used for quick reuse. If you want to insert a map into your post, just type INSERT_.MAP somewhere in your post. You can also use INSERT_.ADDRESS and INSERT_.COORDS, which will insert the address and coordinates, in appropriate adr and geo Microformats. Since GeoPress uses Mapstraction, you can switch between displaying Yahoo, Google, or Microsoft maps with just a quick select in your settings.

There are also some PHP functions for modifying your template to embed maps or post locations. Using geopress_map() you can embed a map of all your locations. the_address() can be used in your post metadata to always automatically output something like "this post was written by Bob from Waikiki, Hawaii".

Lastly, the part that will be most useful in the future, is that the locations your write about will be embedded as GeoRSS in your RSS feeds. Aggregators like Mapufacture or FoFRedux will now be able to aggregate your geographic data and allow others to easily find interesting places, and build mashups.

Please let me know what you think!

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About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.