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Re: [wp-hackers] Comments and Google Maps

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


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 anything...

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@xxxxxxxxxx
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