I know this is probably plugin territory but was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on expanding the location function. We would like to make it easier for users to be able to interact with others in a close physical locality to others. We want to introduce a medium to allow people to be able to meet offline where they are but with the current functionality of location it’s only a text field so anyone could put anything in and without asking you don’t know if the person you are talking to online is near you or not.
Hope that makes sense
Can you expand a bit with a few actual use cases?
We run a forum for guys who want to lose weight. We have a number of initiatives running one of which is a number of football leagues around the UK - we encourage the guys to post away in the forum however unless the create or participate in a topic about that particular league many would not know where they are based.
Secondly we encourage guys to get out there and lose weight be it running, walking, cycling etc and a lot of guys including myself prefer to do it with others however unless you have a post up for each thing that’s going on and locations mentioned again you wouldn’t know if others around you.
Difficult to explain but hope it gives you more of an idea where I am coming from. Building location into a map or something would be fantastic. Would give better visual idea where people are from. Like I said I think it’s more of plugin territory but don’t know where to start with it.
I like this idea but it is plugin territory for sure.
That would certainly be beneficial
Just thinking how this might function as a plugin:
- I think you’d want the plugin using a geocoding service to turn the value of the location field into coordinates (and then storing that in another custom user field) which can then be used for all the good stuff
- That’d be nice and simple because it wouldn’t require any changes to the existing location field, but users might be too vague and just put ‘London’, rather than ‘London, UK’ and the geocoding service might mistakenly think a user is in London, Ontario
- However, if there was a map displayed on the user profile, the user could check they’ve been specific enough
- The alternative is to replace the Location field with a map which a user can drop a pin on
- Or, I guess, there could be a mixture of both, add a map to the user preferences which updates the Location field based on where the pin is dropped (using a reverse geocoding service) and have the map update if the Location field is updated
But however it happens, having each user’s location stored as a co-ordinate, rather than just a name, I think is the key to creating the good stuff like maps, or displaying users within 10 miles of me, or so on.
Completely agree it would be educating the users on how to input the data so as to correctly map it. I guess having field for town and seperste option for country would be sufficient and then could map it from that?
it would be great for any type of communities that wants to have local meetups