A Node by Any Other Name
Joe walks us through Drupal's idiosyncratic naming conventions!
08.05.2010 Technology and Innovation
I've recently become more involved with map scripting in my work on LCREP, Save Our Gulf, Geomeridian, and a few others in the works. One commonality amongst all the projects was the need to display geocoded data on a map, a problem solved many times over. When I began work on the first of these projects this past spring, the state of mapping in Drupal boiled down to these tools.
Mapedelic is the name given to the powerful and well established duo of Location and Gmap. The former stores address and coordinates as either CCK fields or in its own schema and can geocode addresses when called upon. The latter then renders those locations on a Google map. Gmap also plays well with Views. Both these modules have large install bases and have been in use for some time.
From the project page,
I really want to love this module, as it stores geo data natively in a spatially enabled databases, PostGIS and MySql Spatial specifically. This allows for powerful and efficient spatial queries, such as, do these set of points fall in this polygon, or do these two linestrings intersect and, if so, where? It also provides support for proximity filters within Views. Unfortunately, though, I've found that it's just not ready for production, is very unstable, and difficult to work with. It has also been stuck in alpha for nearly a year, with no new releases since April. One of the challenges that Geo, or any module wanting to implement native spatial data storage, is that the Drupal schema API doesn't support a spatial datatype, although there are some work arounds.
This project integrates the Google Maps API and Google Static Maps API. It makes possible to add addresses and/or coordinates (points) to nodes through CCK fields, display these geographical informations on node pages as text or interactive map or static map and use them on GeoRSS feeds. The project provides style plugins and row style plugins for views to build both interactive and static maps. This project is an independent competitor for the Location and GMap pair (also known as Mapadelic), and this is the successor of the Google Client Geocoder project.
I have to admit that I have spent the least amount of time working with this module, but the feature set does look very promising. A couple of things that jump out.
When we began working on maps.lcrep.org, I decided that using the Mapstraction library was the best option, and in the process I took over the development and maintenance of the module and released a 2.x branch, which uses the newest version of the API and adds many other improvements.
Note that this article was originally published by Lev at http://www.levelos.com/blog/2010/08/mapping-drupal.
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