GMaps is a Joomla extension (both component and plugin) that enables you to build and manage map data from the backend admistration panels with a user-friendly interface. You can easily create markers, maps and then add those markers to each individual map. The maps can be rendered either within the body of your content using the plugin or through the front-end component.
You also are given the ability to overlay one map over another map without having to retype all of the markers. We call this a “map overlay”. This is very helpful when you have defined your maps into logical categories and then want to create a map that combines them.
The properties of the maps can be defined at the map, component or plugin level. This provides a granular control over how the map is rendered. For instance, when you create a map, you can define the default set of properties and will be used when rendering the content via the component front-end. However, when rendering the map using the plugin, you can override all default values set by the map, component and plugin by adding parameters to the tag. The parameters available for the plugin are mapid (required), showindex, indexformat, zoom, zoomtype, maptype, height and width).
GMaps includes the following:
- Database driven map data
- Back-end adminstration pages to build and maintain individual maps
- Ability to define a marker and its attributes (i.e. title, latitude, longitude, description and icon)
- Map specific properties (i.e. height, width, zoom level, zoom type, maptype, etc.)
- Ability to create multiple maps and assign markers to those maps
- Define specific icons per marker (limited list is provided)
- Create map overlays (we’ll explain that later — see below)
- Simple tag definition to include maps inside your content
- No more typing latitude / longitude information on the tag inside your content
- Front-end component that enables the user to list and view all of the available maps defined
- Flexible plugin tag (mosgmap) that enables you to specify content specific rendering properties
- Driving Directions
- Multi-tab marker pop-up windows
What do you use to render the map?
GMaps was designed to be flexible enough that it does not matter what implementation is used to render the maps. Currently, it uses the Google MAP API to render the maps. It also supports GMapEZ with some minor configuration changes (limited functionality). The extension was designed to have a clean separation between map/marker management and the portion used to render the map. We could easily “plug in” a Yahoo! map implementation and render maps using Yahoo! functionality without every changing the user interface — so long as the implementation conforms to our interface.
As of right now, we do not support rendering of Yahoo! maps; however, if demand and support are there, we will get around to plugin that into the GMaps extension.
What exactly is a “map overlay”?
Map overlay’s are a unique feature in GMaps that allow you to define individual maps with their own markers and then create a separate map that is a composite of those two. For instance, lets say that you had a map that showed all of the schools in a given community and another map that showed you all the subdivisions in the area. Now, you want to create a map that showed both. Well, rather than having to re-enter all of the markers into your composite map, all you need to do is define the new map and specify the two individual maps as overlays. Then when you select the composite map from the front-end module or using the plugin tag in your content, the markers for both the schools and subdivision will automatically be included! Nice, huh?
Is there a demo site?
Yes, click here to go to our demo site to view examples maps. You can use demo as the userid and password to access the backend adminstration pages.
The GMaps extension is made available under the GNU Public License. Currently, GMaps is FREE and available on our download site. Additional modules and plugins are only available as a subscription.