A Blog Near You
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