During the Automattic company meetup, Team 21* holed up in a cottage outside Québec to create a new set of features for a blog near you (literally!). Have you ever wondered where in the world a blog post was written? Where a commenter was located? If there were other WordPress.com bloggers near you? If so, hold on to your hat, because you’re going to love the geotagging and geolocation features we’re introducing.
Starting today, when you log in to write a post, you have the option of identifying your location. For browsers that support it, we can get this information automatically through the magic of 21st century technology and you just have to double-check to make sure the location is correct. You can also enter your location manually. This feature is opt-in, meaning that if you don’t want anyone to know where you were when you wrote a post, that’s okay.
In addition to geotagging posts, you can also geotag your profile. Interested in reading blogs by other people in your area? A quick search will find them, and in the future could even be used to organize local WordPress.com user meetups.
Right now, we’re only collecting and exposing geodata for posts and profiles. Geotagged posts get marked up with the geo microformat, geo.position and ICBM meta tags, and GeoRSS and W3C geodata in feeds.
This is all machine readable data: hidden from display. What good is it if it’s hidden? It tells search engines where your posts are located, and with browser plugins like Operator and Geo, you can view geo information on any web page (not just WordPress.com geotagged posts).
The machine readable data is cool and geeky, but what about something for us humans? Right now, we don’t display geo data anywhere in a human readable way. Don’t worry, though. We’ll be launching theme integration, various maps, widgets, and shortcodes soon.
This is just the beginning. Building on this platform, we’ll gradually roll out more geotagging features, such as showing the location of your commenters, the location of poll votes, a live map view of blog updates on WordPress.com, or an annual report showing you where your posts were written and where your comments came from — kind of a blogger’s version of the Dopplr annual travel report.
For now, we’re pretty psyched about the geotagging and (the upcoming) search of posts and profiles and hope you’ll all give this new feature a try! If there are other geotagging features you’d like to see built on this foundation, suggest them in the comments!
For more information, check out the Geotagging support page.
Note: We’re holding off on launching the geo search feature until we start getting some data (from you!). So start geotagging
- Nov 12, 2009 @ 11:56 pm
- New Features
Nov 13th at 1:25 am
I don’t think this is a good idea and I won’t be using it. Why would I want the internet to know my location? Especially if I’m posting potentially controversial material.
Nov 13th at 1:29 am
Wait, are we talking town/state, or does it actually give my street address? I definately don’t want that out on the internet. I’m not sure I even want my town given. (I’ve mentioned on my own blog that I’m from CT, so state doesn’t bother me.
Nov 13th at 1:36 am
Wow this is great and terrible at the same time. You guys are always doing something spectacular.
Nov 13th at 1:47 am
Cool – when you find me be sure to send supplies. And, by “supplies” I mean vodka and mixers. Ok, screw the mixers…just send vodka. Lots of vodka. And, maybe a babysitter.
Nov 13th at 1:48 am
I don’t find this very appealing, since I like my anonymity when blogging about controversial topics. I don’t really see the advantage of knowing which bloggers are close to me and where comments originate from. (shrugs)
Nov 13th at 1:51 am
WOW! Cool! <3 WP
Nov 13th at 1:56 am
Very cool. Very cool indeed. Commence the stalking. jk
Nov 13th at 2:03 am
I am going to use it like anything!
Nov 13th at 2:07 am
Brilliant Thoughts for such Great Features…
Nov 13th at 2:09 am
wow this is amazing! I probably will just tag my profile since i generally blog from home. It will be cool to see where other people are too. Any people writing travel blogs have gotta love this!
Nov 13th at 2:13 am
Love continuous improvement.
Love. Continuous improvement.
Love. Continuous. Improvement.
Nov 13th at 2:17 am
I was shifting to wordpress.org but dropped the idea! Wp.com is full of features and keeps improving almost daily. Plz let users put ads on wp.com and it will be great!
Nov 13th at 2:18 am
This is a great idea. I’m part of a growing community of WordPress genealogy/family history bloggers and I’m already imagining some possible uses for this new feature.
Nov 13th at 2:20 am
Nice…. in some years, I hope teleportation in the sidebar.
I’m just kidding: an excellent idea that incorporates a great feature.
Thanks ; )
Nov 13th at 3:05 am
totally rad!!!! =D
Nov 13th at 3:10 am
kool, love it
Nov 13th at 3:18 am
Not a great idea. If I want people to know exactly who I am and where I am I tell them myself. There’s already enough info on the web about my location. I have no wish for it to become any more specific. The joy of the internet is that we can connect with any people any where, no matter of ethnicity or location or country. I don’t want another method of separating us into areas or countries …..
Nov 13th at 3:19 am
excellent feature. I will try it out.
Nov 13th at 3:24 am
How do you do geotaging?
Nov 13th at 3:26 am
Nov 13th at 3:32 am
Nov 13th at 3:40 am
Awesome! Already set it up on my blog and one of my posts! Interesting!
As I was entering “My location,” I suddenly realized the privacy issues associated with providing a very specific location. Yikes!
On a related note: Am working on geotagging my photos. Can some of your software read the Exim data and extract the geotag? Just wondering!
Keep up the good work.
Nov 13th at 3:41 am
Nice to see. I’ve had my location identified on my ‘about’ page for some time. I found that Google’s estimate of my address was wrong and needed adjustment.
Nov 13th at 3:44 am
excelente idea adelante
Nov 13th at 4:45 am
this is good especially if you are planning meet-ups… cheers to this new feature!
how about a new theme?
Nov 13th at 4:53 am
Great ideas – wordpress is full of them! This is a fab feature that many will love using.
Nov 13th at 5:15 am
About later plans to allow location of commenters:
Will the commenters have to decide every time they comment whether they want their comment geotagged?
Or will the blogger have to set and announce some sort of blanket policy – yes or no to geotagging – and therefore alienate forever those commenters who find the whole idea quite creepy and a boon to stalkers?
Nov 13th at 5:27 am
I don’t want google mapping me and I don’t want WordPress to do it either. Data mining is happening 24/7………..why do we insist on handing over so much personal information in public venues and having no idea who is picking that info up?
Nov 13th at 5:56 am
…whoah..i’m not into this so hope i’d be a good beginner….thanks a lot!!!!!
Nov 13th at 6:02 am
The magic of tecnology
Nov 13th at 6:05 am
can it work in my country?
Nov 13th at 6:10 am
If you don’t travel a lot I find this new ‘thing’ useless. What I would really, really, REALLY like you to work on is to let all kind of HTML be shown in my blog. For example wp.com does not allow my photo slide show from Picasa, does not allow my photo slide show from Picnik and it’s very annoying.
Nov 13th at 6:41 am
I just use it, thanks!
Nov 13th at 6:48 am
Nov 13th at 6:55 am
Lol. It is as if Matt looked at my Google map that has the location of all my blog posts :).
Great work as usual from the WP team.
Nov 13th at 6:57 am
Nov 13th at 7:08 am
very nice indeed
Nov 13th at 7:21 am
I love the idea that general location is available. It’s part of the fun to know where your readers are! And I am happy for folks to know that I am here in Ireland.
I already have ClustrMaps on my blog (have you come across this widget?) and I get a kick out of checking the red dots. Although I think what you (wonderful) guys are proposing is something more specific?
Nov 13th at 7:29 am
Nov 13th at 8:04 am
I was wondering: when I create a new post, do I have to press ‘find adress’ again (and then save the post when I’m ready to publish it) or will the geotag info automatically be inserted once I activate it in the ‘users’ section (and I set it to public)?
Nov 13th at 8:16 am
Hmmm, not really a feature I’m interested in. Unless your blog is about your local area, I don’t see the appeal of this.
Nov 13th at 8:36 am
Just another super wordpress-feature… Ihr seid genial!
Nov 13th at 8:55 am
Geotag. I like it.
Nov 13th at 8:56 am
I really do not like this whole geotagging hype. Everything from cameras to blogging platforms seem to have some sort of geotagging feature built in these days. With credit card info, security cameras, electronic plane and train tickets, the possibility for IP-tracking, cell phone triangulation and whatnot, I involuntarily and inevitably give away far to much information about my whereabouts as it is.
However, props to the WordPress people for making it op in.
Nov 13th at 9:44 am
great! will try it!
Nov 13th at 10:05 am
This is fantastic stuff! I think we’re gonna see a lot of sites copying this feature in future!
Nov 13th at 10:47 am
Nov 13th at 11:07 am
“so nice” and its great ideas.
Nov 13th at 12:23 pm
Nov 13th at 1:39 pm
Certainly looks useful to me. Though I may have to start listing an email address for questions and queries. Part of living in a “destination”.
Nov 13th at 2:07 pm
One of the weaknesses I’ve seen in this feature is to assign locations by five-digit zip code. In my case that’s Silver Bay, MN. I live 12 miles northeast at Little Marais, which is a place name in atlases. Can you do 9-digit zip codes?
Nov 13th at 2:46 pm
Great Feature, I’ll try it.
Nov 13th at 3:16 pm
Is there any way to see where our visits/hits are coming from, too (no just comments)? Sorry if you already have this in place somehow…
Also, is there a way I can opt out of Geotagging my own location, but allow commenters if they want to still use this feature?
Nov 13th at 3:36 pm
Jane, we run three hyper-local news operations on WordPress, and love it. Thanks, first, to all there for a great product.
We’re less interested in geo-tagging post locations (they’re all written out of the same office, and so geotag info relating to it is of little help to our readership) than we are in geo-tagging where the news happened or will happen (accident scenes, municipal meetings, the church craft sale, the sewer pumping station.) Right now we accomplish the task by embedding Google Map links.
If Team 21 can address this (or has already and, if so, please advise), we would be supremely grateful. Thanks again.
Nov 13th at 3:52 pm
Very brilliant idea I must say although I doubt whether I would want people to know my exact location. They already know my name and certainly I don’t want anyone to hunt me down from the telephone directory!!
Nov 13th at 3:54 pm
This can be nice for some situations, but my little non-techie brain is puzzled — big time. For quite some time, on WordPress blog sites and on other web sites, I see this map thingy with all sorts of red dots on it, showing where the readership is from….. Then, under the map it reveals my location and the time I went on that web site or blog….. As far as I can figure out, I have not opted in or out of anything — and have no clue what I can do to opt in or out of anyone’s ability to know where I live.
So, if these “other” location indicators already reveal my location, without my permission, what good does it do for the WordPress geotagger to have an opt out / opt in option?
This might keep me awake at night.
Nov 13th at 4:59 pm
Sounds great for me, I sometimes get threatening comments about some of the stories I post about in my blog. It would be nice to be able to send a copy of the comment with the location the comment was made from to LEO instead of just deleting it as spam.
Nov 13th at 5:00 pm
What feature I want to see most in WP is the ability to use the blog to make money. I want to use ad in my blog. Can you tell me, when you plan to give the bloggers opportunity to monetize their blog?
Nov 13th at 5:41 pm
Nov 13th at 5:42 pm
Seems like a very cool idea,I’m on my way to have a look see….
Nov 13th at 6:10 pm
Great idea. Most welcome. Road to further improvement & establishing relationship.
Nov 13th at 8:15 pm
Nov 13th at 9:03 pm
Nov 13th at 9:18 pm
Nov 13th at 9:42 pm
One of the coolest things about blogging was that nobody knows where are you bloggin from.
Nov 13th at 10:06 pm
wow awesome…i need to try it…
Nov 14th at 12:31 am
Cool. But I don’t really think I will be using this, I just don’t feel comfortable telling other people where I post…
But I’ll check it out and see what works!
Nov 14th at 12:41 am
Nov 14th at 1:10 am
I introduced myself in my blog that I am Sydney-based to help others appreciate why at times, I write something Australia-specific. Do I want to know where my commenters are from? No, that’s not important. What’s important is what they think, and *** not *** where they live.
Nov 14th at 1:25 am
How insanely cool : D
Nov 14th at 2:17 am
wild! will need to learn more–like can we geotag some posts and not others?
Nov 14th at 4:37 am
Interesting idea. I’m glad you’ve made it opt-in. I’d advise those using it to make it as generic as possible – i.e. town or city rather than street address. I can see how it might not matter anyway unless you blog about local issues, but it’s sometimes interesting to see the general area where one of your particular favorite bloggers hangs their hat.
Those worried about blogging about controversial topics – in the West I don’t think I’d be too concerned with that, there are more than likely a host of people that share your same views. But since WordPress has a global community, there are definitely some users in certain countries that wouldn’t want their location broadcasted, particularly if they’re talking about local political issues. So keep it opt-in.
It does seem like a cool feature to me. I don’t know how it helps my blog traffic in the big picture, but nifty as an option.
Nov 14th at 5:55 am
Do you know how dangerous this is for many young kids on here who don’t think about their privacy and safety? They already have to fear about their safety when purchasing a domain and I’ve told many women to go elsewhere and buy a domain that offers the privacy feature and their personal information will kept off of public record. You see many young kids on all social networks saying their real names, address, and which school they go to. Now WordPress??
Nov 14th at 5:58 am
yah its good unless I complain about my landlord or neighbors, then they’ll know whose doing it LOL
Nov 14th at 7:22 am
Nov 14th at 8:03 am
WOW! This is so awesome! Thanks WordPress!
Nov 14th at 1:57 pm
It is deliriously hard to find bloggers from my locality. I guess this new feature is going to end this hardship! Thank you for your hard work.
Nov 14th at 3:32 pm
Sounds good, but is it a good thing for bloggers who blog on topics and subjects which are politically charged and attracts positive and negative views?
I guess like also new tools, its up for reviews once its been tested.
Nov 14th at 3:54 pm