[wp-hackers] Comments and Google Maps

Brian Lalor blalor at bravo5.org
Mon Nov 14 11:42:36 GMT 2005

On Nov 13, 2005, at 11:07 PM, Roy Schestowitz wrote:

> http://www.mapservices.org/myguestmap/
> I  assume you are familiar with MyGuestmap already, but I should   
> probably
> not assume anything. The service plots readership, not comments,  
> but these
> are technically similar.

I was not.  It looks similar to Frappr.com.  It's not doing it for  
me. :-)

> This makes you plug-in a very desirable one in comparison and  I
> think it will attract enormous interest among WordPress users,  
> particular-
> ly if it is made trivial to install.

It's nice to have an idea that others appreciate. :-) I don't think  
it's going to be simply a drop-in thing, however.  There's only one  
extension point for the comments form, and that puts additional  
fields *after* the submit button (and not very neatly, at that).   
This will probably mean that the user will have to modify or create a  
Page template (if they choose to limit this functionality to just  
Pages) to make the comments form look prettier.

I will also need to figure out how to display the map on the Page;  
perhaps I can do that via a filter...

>> of "Reader Locations", and collect on that  page, via comments,  
>> the location of the
> Will it perhaps be worth anonymising? People might not want to be  
> publicly
> bound to an IP address or, even worse, their postcode and location.  
> I sup-
> pose you speak of a temporary (intermediate) solution here.

I'm doing this in the vein of Frappr, which allows you to specify a  
post code, and it's done in such a way that the user is expected to  
*not* be anonymized.  Again, this will be the user voluntarily  
contributing their location, so it'll be up to them to give up their  
location.  I don't feel there's a need right now to hide their identity.

>> It looks like, in order to store the additional geographical   
>> information about the comment, I will have to create my own table  
>> in  the DB.  Is this correct?  Is there any existing mechanism  
>> for  storing arbitrary data about a comment?
> How about a schema for 'user'? If commenters return time after  
> time, there
> might  be plenty of duplication. If you change the database,  
> however, this
> would make the plug-in difficult to install and retract.

Oh, can arbitrary user data be stored?  I didn't realize that.

Continuing along with comments on a blog, perhaps I've lived a  
sheltered life, but I've yet to see a single WP blog that uses an  
account (or even provides a "register" link) for people posting  
comments.  That might make sense in a more closed-door community, but  
not for what I've got in mind.  For example, two different sites in  
the last week (whiteroofradio.com and motoringfile.com) have created  
Frappr maps for people to add their location if they read the site.   
That's what I'm trying to emulate.  I think there's value in being  
able to display the map and collect the data within the confines of  
WP and without sending the user to another site.

I'm unfortunately aware of the limitation of creating a new table,  
but provided I don't modify the schema of any existing tables (which  
did briefly flit across my mind), it won't really be impacting  

> How  about  changing wp-post-comment.php (not sure about the  
> filename)  to
> include  a call to a completely separate and new function which  
> does noth-
> ing but accumulate IP addresses or locational information? This  
> will leave
> everything  else unchanged. This isolation would be a healthy one  
> for rea-
> sons I described in the previous paragraph.

Ah, without the user's explicit interaction?  Not a bad idea, except  
that the ip->geo data isn't good enough.  My IP (sometimes!) shows me  
being in Chicago.  I live in Indianapolis.

Brian Lalor / blalor at bravo5.org
     Stewardess: We know you have your choice of bankrupt carriers  
and we
     appreciate you choosing us.

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