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Google is not only a powerful search engine, it also has a formidable map function. The technology was acquired by Google in 2004. It was created by Lars Rasmussen and his brother Jens. In 2003 they formed a mapping technology company called Where 2 Technologies.
Lars is still the head of engineering at Google Maps in Sydney. Google converted the initial programming into a web application, after adding more functionality to the geospatial data visualization software and real-time traffic analyzer. It was officially launched in February 2005.
Should You Use A Plugin Or Manually Embed A Google Map?
Google Maps does offer an embed code that you can simply customize and paste into your WordPress page or post. But you need to be familiar with HTML coding to do this effectively in the text editor. And the customization options are very limited. For instance, you can’t add custom information onto the map.
By using a plugin designed to utilize all the features that Google Maps offer, you can add various interactive elements such as multiple locations, markers, directions, routes and more.
#1 MapPress Easy Google Maps
This is one of the most popular free plugins, it is very easy to use. All you need to do is type the address to add it to a page, post or custom post type. It offers you the option to embed a map automatically before or after a post. Alternatively use the short-code generated by the plugin to insert the map within a post.
#2 Google Maps Builder
The plugin offers a very user-friendly experience with great customization options. Tweak the map to suite your needs. Add locations, select a map size and pick which controls to add. It also features different map types as well as different themes.
Its visual customizer is straightforward, so you will be able to easily figure it out. To add a map to your post, simply click a button in the post editor and select the map you want to embed. You can also add custom markers. Another handy feature you can utilize, is to show people places nearby with the help of Google Places.
#3 WP Google Maps
Another great free plugin option to consider, effortlessly create a map by simply entering the address. Other features include “get directions”, setting of markers and more. The plugin also has a handy map widget that you can add to the sidebar or other widget area on your website. Plus, users can switch to street view, while still staying on your site.
#4 Basic Google Maps Placemarks
If you want to add custom placemarks on your site, this plugin is your best option. You can add a placemark with a specific address and also create categories to assign the placemarks to. With this plugin you can create various placemarks and display them all on the same map by making use of the short-codes provided. Use the categories function to create different maps to show specific locations and placemarks.
#5 CP Google Maps
This plugin is a little bit more sophisticated, it allows you to associate geo location data to a post. You can then display the map with custom images. Next you can select a custom marker to indicate a location on the map.
Unfortunately quite a few of the plugin’s features are locked, so you will need to consider the paid version if you want utilize its full potential.
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