Maps  and Semantic Maps
 0.6 are now available for download .
This is a big update, including a lot of new features, bug fixes,
security patches, and most of all, internal improvements, making both
extensions more modular and extendible (these changes are not covered
here, see the relevant change logs for more info). It is also the first
release of Semantic Maps that requires you to run the SMW update script,
as it requires a new table layout to store coordinates (more
info on this).
The important new features are:
- Maps now supports real coordinate parsing and formatting, which
allows you to input coordinates in any of the supported notations at any
point in the extension, and can also request any output to be in the
notation of your choice. This means you can now choose what format Semantic
MediaWiki shows coordinates in, such as in ask queries. The
supported notations are DMS, decimal degrees, decimal minutes and
floats. All those can be either directional or non directional. A new
parser function has been added that allows you to convert between any of
these formats: #coordinates.
- New geographical functions: #geodistance and #finddestination.
You can use the #geodistance parser function to calculate the
geographical distance between two points, from and to any of the
supported formats. The #finddestination parser function can be used to
find a destination given a starting point, an initial bearing and a
- Related to the new geographical functions is a rewritten
query in Semantic Maps. It now takes into account performance and is
scalable, which the old query was not, by using the new storage
structure for coordinates. The notation for distance queries has also
changed. Instead of using the like operator and a global distance
parameter ( like #ask:[[Property: :~coordinates]]|distance=42 ) you now
only have to specify your distance locally in the coordinate criteria
itself like #ask:[[Property: :coordinates (42 km)]]. Like you can see
you can now also specify a unit, which can be any of the supported
- Support for various width and height notations. Previously Maps
accepted width and height values is px, forcing you to use maps of
fixed sizes. Since most people want to have their complete page width
visible even on small screens, this resulted in a lot of people using
rather small maps, and so wasting screen space. 0.6 allows you to
specify the size in px, ex, em, and most importantly, in %. The syntax
is what you’d expect: width=”420px”, width=”420em”, width=”42%”.
width=”420″ will default to using px, so is backward compatible. When
using the % values, maps will even adapt their size when the screen
width or the height of the container they are in is changed after the
page has loaded.
- Not a new feature, but rather one that’s removed: OSM support. The OSM
service has been completely removed from Maps and Semantic Maps as it
was rather broken and not easy to upgrade to the internal structure of
Maps 0.6. I’m planning to add it back later on, rewritten from ground
up, in 0.6.1 or 0.6.2 or so. Note that you can still view OSM maps on
your wiki using the OpenLayers
service, which has build in OSM layers, and also allows you to define
your own layers since 0.5.5.
The most notable bugfixes are:
- Fixed conflict with prototype library that caused compatibility
problems with the Halo extension.
- Added automatic icon image
sizing for Google Maps and Yahoo! Maps
- Various security fixes, mostly preventing XSS attacks.
If no serious bugs are found in this release, a minor update can be
expected in a month or so. http://mapping.referata.com/wiki/Maps
Jeroen De Dauw
Don't panic. Don't be evil. 50 72 6F 67 72 61 6D 6D 69 6E 67 20 34 20 6C 69 66 65!