Wordpress Geocaching

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codeI have been searching for some time for a method of posting my own geocaches. This has been particularly influenced by the introduction of the new Earthcaches.

Earthcaches are virtual caches. The geocacher finds the location, where there will be a noteworthy geological feature. Instead of a real cache, they then answer a question or two about the feature, sending the answers by email to the Earthcache designer. These caches are educational in concept, teaching relevant geological information. Unfortunately, they are evolutionary and/or old earth in concept. A number of creationist geocachers have contacted me, suggesting that we need some creationist Earth caches.

In order to process these, however, it has become apparent that we will need a new facility to service these. It strikes me that the most effective way to do this would be to create a new Wordpress Plugin. Now, I have a limited knowledge of plugins, having created a couple of simple plugins, but I have no expertise in designing more complex plugins. Therefore, I am looking to the creationist community for help. If you are experienced in PHP/MySQL coding and/or Ajax, then please join me in creating this plugin – I will contribute as much as I can. You can drop me a note through the Contact Page on this website to volunteer. I will create a repository for the development, using my account at GitHub, so that full collaboration is possible.

The plugin should at least do the following (please let me know if this list is not complete):

  1. The plugin should create a new post type, called Geocache. These Geocache posts need to be capable of being listed and searched.
  2. There probably ought to be Geocache categories.
  3. The plugin will need to create a new table for the geocaches in the Wordpress database. In fact, probably 2 tables (as there will need to be a linked table for categories). These tables should be created by the plugin installation, if they don't exist, and deleted by the plugin uninstallation.
  4. The fields required for the table can be seen by opening up a typical geocache .gpx file, which is really just an xml file, so use any text editor.
  5. The Geocache page should display the geocache entry in a manner similar to that on geocaching.com or on opencaching.us.
  6. The plugin routine will need to generate a special code for our geocaches. This could be used as the primary key.
  7. The search routine should be able to find geocaches whose coordinates are within a set distance. This might require, for the US, using Google Maps API, so that the distance of coordinates from, for example, a particular zip code can be calculated.
  8. The search element could be held within a widget, for easy availability in the website.
  9. That's it! (Unless you can think of more…)

Please get in contact with me if you want to help. Anything that I complete I will post here, so, until you see any articles here, you can assume that I have done nothing, and just get on with development!

Thanks!

3 responses on “Wordpress Geocaching

  1. Teresa

    Hi. I was wondering if you were able to make any progress in this effort. I am needing to create something similar.

    Thank you.

  2. pftaylor61 Post author

    Hi Teresa and GeoBrein. I am sorry – I have not started this project yet. Web development is something I am really not getting a lot of time for at the moment. Would either of you be interested in me putting together a GitHub project on this, so that you could share ideas? Or shall I simply add code here? I can get PHP to read a geocache file – either .loc or .gpx. I am not yet sure how to incorporate that into a plugin, to create a new page type. Perhaps I had better start small, and publish my thoughts on getting PHP to read the xml used in the two file types above. Maybe that might inspire one of you to think how to wrap those functions into a Wordpress page or post. Let me know what you think…

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