One of the coolest areas of innovation on the web over the past several years has been in the realm of mapping and geolocation. So we're excited to introduce two new plugins for Movable Type, released just in time for this week's Where 2.0 Conference here in the Bay Area. Both enable MT users to plug location data (like latitude and longitude) right into your blog entries, and both use the Google Maps API to find locations and display them as custom maps on your blog. And both of these free plugins automatically create new template tags for your blog, making it super easy to publish geocoded RSS feeds, custom layer (KML) files for Google Earth or customized content channels for the new LightPole Mobile Publishing Platform.
If you just want to grab the code, here's the links to these two free plugins:
GeoSpatial Simple was developed by Six Apart's own Bryan Tighe, and is available for Movable Type 4.
GeoType was developed by LightPole in conjunction with Six Apart Services, and is available for Movable Type 3.3 and Movable Type Enterprise 1.5. In the spirit of Open Source, the plugin includes contributions from Jef Poskanzer of acme.com and builds on the work of Andrew Turner and the GeoRSS team.
If you haven't heard about LightPole, it's a new mobile application for smartphones from RIM, Nokia, Motorola and others that gives you easy access to real-time, geo-specific content about restaurants, shows, local history and many other points of interest. Both of the new plugins contain documentation and sample template files to help you build content channels for LightPole's map-based mobile app. You can see these new features in action on Brownstoner.com, which uses Movable Type in combination with GeoType to annotate and illustrate their posts about the Brooklyn real-estate market with dynamic maps. They're also using the plugin to develop a custom content channel for LightPole.
Bringing these new mapping plugins to Movable Type follows on March's introduction of Ben Trott's Fire Eagle for Movable Type, which allows MT to poll for your real-time location data from Yahoo's new service. All together, these new capabilities for Movable Type should really help put your site on the map!