Maps and Semantic Maps 0.3.3

BN’s blog by [RTS]BN+VS*

I’m about to release a new version of Maps and Semantic maps. Since it does not feature any mayor structural changes, it’ll be added to the 0.3.x branch, and so become version 0.3.3. This version features some small, but important bug fixes, some code improvements, and also some new features.

New features

  • GeoNames geocoding support. Since the initial release, me and Yaron have been searching for an open source geocoding service that’s completely free to use. Such a service is needed cause a lot of people do not want to use Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps cause of their licences. We did quite some searching, but didn’t find anything decent. While discussing an issue about DMS notation on one of the wiki mailing lists, Joel Natividad suggested using GeoNames.
  • Wiki mark-up support for the title and label parameters. One common request for Maps has been to add the ability to display images in pop-ups. The value of both parameters now gets parsed as wiki text, enabling you to pass along links, images and other wiki mark-up. I’ve created a to-do related to this: enable to pass along complex wiki mark-up. This is currently not possible, since Maps can not determine if a property separator (|) is part of one of it’s parser functions, or one nested in it. This makes you unable to specify the location, width, height, and other properties of an image.
Maps displaying an OpenLayers map with a pop-up containing wiki markup rendered to html

Bug fixes

  • Some very small bug (a = b instead of a == b) in a function used to determine the geocoding service. This caused the ‘default override mechanism’ that I put into place, to prevent Maps from using a licensed geocoding not together with the related mapping service when no geocoding service was provided. Cause of teh error, it always got set the the Google geocoding service.
  • Implemented missing method getName in the Query Printer handler for the map result format. The absence of this function caused some errors to be displayed on the Special:Ask page.


  • I refactored up some common functionality from the geocoder classes to the base geocoder class, after Yaron suggested doing this. Not a big deal, but still nice.
  • Yaron changed the default zoom for OpenLayers maps.

If no more small, or easy to fix bugs or feature requests trun up, the next release will be 0.4, which will feature some big new functionality, like defining custom base layers (for OpenLayers), custom overlays, lists of points next to the maps and probably also a thoroughly revised hook system.

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