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Drupal's built-in data presentation tools offer several ways for web designers to clearly and attractively package their data. In Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data, Tom Geller explains how Drupal handles data so users can set up intelligent structures and implement them with Drupal's Content Construction Kit. Tom also shows how a data-driven web site can improve its interactivity by using geographic data to connect real-world addresses to maps. Exercise files accompany the course.
In a previous video, we showed how to convert street addresses, such as, one main street into latitude and longitude components. Now comes the fun part, actually, mapping those points. First, we'll set up the GMap module so it has the dimensions and behaviors we want. Then we'll tell it we want all locations of households to appear in that map. I've taken the liberty of filling up all the houses so to speak, by connecting the other households with people. You might want to do the same by adding some nodes of the content type Household or you could import this course's exercise file.
We've already downloaded the GMap module from Drupal.org/Project/GMap and we've installed it. To turn it on, go to Administer > Site building, and Modules. Then scroll down to the Location group. You'll notice a few extra modules here. There are four at the top. We'll only turn on GMap and GMap Location. GMap Macro Builder allows you to create text strings that specify how the map is going to appear. The GMap Taxonomy Markers module lets you show maps that only have nodes in them with a specific taxonomy term. For example, you could set up a map that only showed friends or pets. But we'll just leave those alone and go to the bottom and click Save configuration.
Now, we have to go back and actually enter some information we already entered again. Now, I'll show you another way to find administrative pages. First, we go to Administer and then click on By module. Once there, I'm going to search for location. So I hit Command+F on the Mac or Ctrl+F on the PC and search Location. Hit Command+G or Ctrl+G to go to the next one. Eventually you'll find it. Then I'm going to go to the Location configuration. From there, I go to Geocoding and scroll all the way down to United States. You might remember that that's the only one that we turned on, since we're only going to have people in the United States. Once you're down there, click on Configure parameters. That has your Google Maps API key. Click in that area and select all, on Mac that's Command+A, on the PC it's Ctrl+A, and copy it.
Now, I'll go back to Administer > By module, and then hit Command+F or Ctrl+F and find GMap. I'll just close out that little Find box at the bottom. Scroll down a little bit more and start configuring your GMap. Here, you'll enter your API key again, by simply pasting what you just copied, and then scroll to the bottom before you make any other settings. We'll go through several of these settings, but not all of them. Click on Save configuration. Now you can start to see a map here in this Preview area. In the GMap configuration page, there are a lot of settings, way more than we could discuss here. However, I do want to discuss three changes that I generally always find myself making.
The first is to increase the size of this map. It starts out quite small, as you can see, 300 pixels x 200 pixels. I'm going to change that to 600 x 600. Then if I scroll to the bottom, and click on Save configuration, we immediately see the change. That's a much better sized map. Scrolling down further, we see that we can set where it's centered by default, the default zoom level and so forth. If we're doing some advanced mapping with strokes, we can set Line default style. If we're showing areas, Polygon default style, that would be to indicate the area that you're showing, and you can change the size of some of the controls and how they appear.
Scrolling down further, you can also decide whether your users will first see the standard street map or a satellite image or one of those other things. I'll leave it on the default. You can also take away some of those capabilities from your users, so they're not allowed to see the satellite version. Again, I'm going to leave it as it is. But there is one change that I want to make down here in Map Behavior flags. That's auto-zoom. You'll see why when we're done. The last change that I'm going to make on this page is down at the bottom with Marker action. When you click on a marker on the map, I want it to actually open an Info window, and show the information that we're going to put in there.
We'll scroll to the bottom and click Save. I know we skipped over a lot there. If you'd like more help with the settings on that page, go to the GMap Project page or just go to Drupal.org and search for GMap. So there is the basic GMap settings. We've also turned on another module called GMap Location, which ties in data you entered via the Location module with Google Maps displays. Now we'll take a look at all the locations that are contained within that Household content type. But first, we'll configure GMap location. To do that, go to Administer > Site configuration and GMap Location.
The options on this page are divided into three sections. The first is this map/user. If you have a multi-user site and you have people entering locations of where they are in their user profile, you can actually create a map of all your users. We're not going to do that, so we'll scroll to the next section. This is the part that is interesting to us. The Node Map at map/node. We'll leave the Macro as it is. Again, you could change this and that will change the default setting when people first go to the map. You could change the header and the footer; we'll leave it as it is.
Scroll down a little bit further, and now we get to the third section. What kind of marker do we want for each content type? Well, as it turns out, only one content type has been location- enabled and you can tell that because the others have this text underneath that says that they're not. You might remember we had locations in our household. I'm just going to change this Marker type so it looks a little bit better. We'll change it to the little Purple marker. The Drupal marker is that little Drupalicon head that you'd see up here in the corner. It's cute, but it's not really what we're looking for.
I'm going to go down and click Save configuration. Now let's see what that map looks like. I'll click here and remove everything after our domain. Go to map/node and there it is, a map of all of the nodes that have location information. In our case, that's all of the households. If we click on any of them, we get a little bit more information, specifically, which you remember was the street address followed by the city and the location information along with this custom field that we have, the residence of that location. It is, in fact, the easiest way of adding an interactive map to your site.
Because Location and GMap are integrated with Views, you can do much, much more. We'll show you how to do that in the video about integrating GMap with Views.
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