WordPress plugin to get geolocation coordinates from a visitors IP address

Hello! We recently had a requirement from a client to generate content on a page specifically based on the geolocation coordinates of the visitor’s IP address. Now this sort of mechanism isn’t totally new, however we decided to develop a WordPress plugin called Shift8 GeoIP that would obtain this information and set it into an encrypted cookie. The reason why we wanted a plugin to set your coordinates in a cookie was because the mechanism to obtain the geolocation coordinates would never need to change. We could then develop the custom content generation (i.e. finding a “store” nearest to your location) could be done directly in the WordPress theme for the particular page in question. Furthermore, we decided to ensure that the cookie data was encrypted using OpenSSL in PHP to ensure that this geolocation data could not be obtained by third parties by simply reading the cookie data. Below […]

How to create a heatmap layer on Google Maps using JQuery and PHP

Hello! There was a scenario not too long ago where we were required to create a heatmap layer on top of a Google map to plot latitude/longitude coordinates. I thought I’d share the process through which we pull the coordinate data from a MySQL database and plot it into the google map as a heatmap layer. We chose to go with a pre-built jQuery library to handle most of the work interacting with the Google Map api and drawing the heatmap layer itself. For this we chose heatmap.js. From heatmap.js’ website, it is a “lightweight, easy to use JavaScript library to help you visualize your three dimensional data!”. What we’re ultimately trying to do is build a simple PHP page that pulls all the coordinate from a MySQL table, prepares it into a json array and then plots all the points as a heatmap over top a google map location. […]