WordPress is one of the most populate pieces of CMS software. It powers businesses large and small as well as personal blogs, stores and web pages for countless organizations. One of its greatest strengths is the depth and breadth of its plugin repository. You can find plugins for just about anything, making WordPress an extensible, flexible Swiss-Army knife for web developers.
When it comes to GIS however, the repository feels a little bit light. There are currently 771 results for Google Maps, seven for GeoJSON and zero results for spatial. If you want to do anything other than display a map then there might not be a plugin to help you out.
With all the use cases for WordPress and with the growth of online GIS I’m surprised that more people aren’t at least trying to integrate their spatial data into their WordPress websites. I expect that as time goes on we’ll see more an more demand for these types of integrations and services.
Admittedly there are some hurdles. WordPress uses MySQL which has been very slow to add spatial support. Many GIS projects are proprietary or unique enough that making a re-usable plugin is difficult. In addition WordPress and GIS both have their own learning curves and until recently there hasn’t been a large group of customers or developers that needed both.
On this site I am going to discuss the use of GIS in a WordPress world. I’ll look at tools and techniques, talk about how to work within MySQL’s spatial capabilities, show examples and link to plugins or other sites that are useful.