For this tutorial, you will need an account at Mapkraft or the WP Map Editor plugin to be installed on your WordPress. For the plugin’s users, the mapping features will be enabled for the admin and for all the users with the Map Editor role.
Here is what your dashboard will look like.
In the Locations menu, you will have access to the list of your maps (Maps) and the list of your locations (All Locations). The Map Editor is the main part of the application.
The link Maps takes you to the screen below.
If you are already an user of WordPress, the system should be natural already for you. If it is not, it shouldn’t be difficult neither. Choose a Name and Add New Map. Don’t worry much about the slug, description and parent fields. They are only useful for advanced users. Once created, you can edit your maps information on the right side.
Now that you have a map, you should use the Map Editor for everything else.
There are four icons at the top. Now, we are only interested about the 2nd one (the map picker, currently it is written Japan on this screenshot) and the 4th one (+ Location). You can choose the map you have created in the map picker.
You have no locations yet, so you either import locations or jump to the next section. If you wish to import locations, Google Maps’ KMZ files are supported. At the bottom right of the screen, click on Import / Export. Get the .KMZ file you like from Google Maps (export a map). The file is actually a ZIP file so you have to unzip it. You will get a .KML file that you can use with the importer. The locations will be added to your map.
Now you can use the Map Editor naturally. Click on a location and you will get quick information in the bottom right corner. The buttons allow you to Edit, Move, Favorite and Delete.
When a location is selected, you can mouse over other locations and the approximate distance will been shown in the bottom of the screen.
Last, but not least, there are keyboard shorcuts. Key “a” will allow you to quickly add a location (if no location is currently selected) and key “e” will edit the currently selected location.
Click on the + Location or push the key “a” and the Add Location screen will slow up.
None of the fields are mandatory, you can add information whenever you want. The coordinates are not your current position but the center of the map. If you double click somewhere on the map then Add Location, the coordinates will be exactly the one you expect. It is important to understand the Status as they are a special strength of the Map Editor.
The OK status is used for a location that exists and that you didn’t visit yet. Similar to this, MUST is used for a location that you really want to visit. When a location is visited, you can change its status to CHECKED . Those three are the most important status.
Another status is DRAFT . You are still editing the information about the location. It’s a way to know that you need to check information about it. MISLOCATED means that you aren’t sure where the location actually is and the current coordinates are not reliable. The saddest status is UNAVAILABLE , it means the location has been demolished or is not accessible anymore.
Types are a bit similar in this way, they allow your to set a category for your locations for your convenience.
This is the main problem with Google Maps. You cannot see your locations in different way, you can only see the marker and icons you have chosen at first. The Map Editor uses Google Maps for the current display but it is actually independent from it. It can uses different kind of layers and icons. If tomorrow there is a better or another interesting map system, the Map Editor will include an option to switch to it.
By using the 3rd button at the top, you can change the icons which are displayed. You can either see the Status (by default), the Types or the Period (best season/time of the year to visit the place).
At the top right, there are themes for the map. You can choose a darker background or simplified maps to see your locations more easily.
We are getting advanced! For this function, you will need to create a second map and to add a few locations to it.
The 1st icon on the screen can be toggled between a Pin (default) or a World icon. When the Pin is selected, the Map Editor will let you use only one map at the time. However, if the World icon is selected, you can select more than one map. They will be loaded simultaneously. You can imagine many way of using this feature 🙂
We are getting at the end of this tutorial. The last screen we didn’t check is the All Locations link.
There, you can look through all your locations, search, modify them, write long description with images, etc. There is something also important to notice: all the locations are marked Private by default. You can change this to Publish and they will be available to the everyone from the front website (this is beta).
Something is unclear? You don’t like the icons? There is a bug? You need a feature? You have an idea? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂 Thanks for reading this tutorial.