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Origin stories & coding challenges: 3 questions to Robert Harm

On this day two years ago we released the first version of Maps Marker Pro. The project has been growing ever since, we’ve been amazed by the feedback and positive response. A huge thank you to you, our users – we count ourselves lucky to be able to work on what we love!

After two years, we thought it’s time to get a little personal:
We got Robert, the founder and main developer of Maps Marker, to answer a few questions!

team-robert

Everyone loves a good origin story. What’s the history behind Maps Marker Pro?

In 2011 I attended an open government data hackathon by the city of Vienna, where my fellow developer and friend Sindre Wimberger introduced me to Javascript mapping library leaflet.js. I had been doing several WordPress projects at that time and was curious whether there was already a leaflet WordPress plugin available. I found a rudimentary one that I could build upon, to display the open government maps of Vienna, as part of the hackathon challenge.

Soon after I thought: Hey, if I can implement OpenStreetMap, this will be useful for the rest of the world, too! So I started started developing Leaflet Maps Marker. I was overwhelmed by the positive response, and the user community grew fast. It all worked out so well that, 1.5 years later, I was able to later add a higher-powered version with Maps Marker Pro, and we’ve been improving it ever since.

What are the biggest challenges in developing a WordPress plugin?

Ensuring compatibility on different hosts and different setups, that’s definitely a challenge. Because this comes up a lot, I built a plugin compatibility check that automatically warns you about known issues and tell you how to fix them quickly.

Another challenge is to keep up with latest security standards. My experience there: always think of fallback scenarios. One time I changed plugin updates to be delivered via https only – which worked fine on current servers but failed on lots of servers out there using outdated technologies or libraries, so I had to go back and work it out.

But I love what I do and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And we have a great user community: their positive feedback, constructive comments and reviews, they motivate me to always give my best.

What other projects are you working on?

I co-founded open3.at – an non-governmental network for the promotion of open data, open government and open society in Austria, and I am part of the offene-oeffis.at initiative, campaigning for open data in the Austrian public transport system.  

But not all data should be open: Personal data should always be private and securely encrypted. That’s a concept I always follow in my own projects. To promote the importance of encryption, I approach other websites and providers and help them to fix their security issues.

And last but not least, I am always trying to keep up with net politics, because I think that issues like privacy, openness and transparency are key-factors in a democratic society.


Care to meet the rest of the team? Check out our updated About Us section to see what a coffee dealer and an archaeologist contribute to the project.

Thank you for two great years of Maps Marker Pro! We happily look forward to many more!

Pro v2.4 with support for assigning markers to multiple layers & translation updates is available

I am happy to announce that Waseem Senjer who has already helped me out with coding issues in the past & who has been helping customers with custom development requirements involving Maps Marker Pro is now taking a more active role in the future development – welcome to the team! We are hoping to be able to get new releases out more quickly as a result and will have more ressources to work on features that have been on the roadmap for a long time.

Maps Marker Pro v2.4 which Waseem already led as main developer, adds the often requested feature to be able to add a marker to multiple layers simultaneously – please be aware that there are some breaking changes that need to be considered if you are using the GeoJSON output of layer maps directly outside Maps Marker Pro environment. Please read the detailled changelog for more details.

An update to the latest version is – as always – highly recommended.


Let us know what you think about this new release by submitting a review or leaving a comment below!

If you want to keep up to date with the latest Maps Marker Pro development, please follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates), on FacebookGoogle+ or subscribe to news via RSS or via RSS/email.

We would also like to invite you to join our affiliate program which offers commissions up to 50%. If you are interested in becoming a reseller, please visit https://www.mapsmarker.com/reseller


Now let´s get to the other highlights of pro v2.4:

assign markers to multiple layers

You can now assign a marker to multiple layers:

pro-feature-multi-layer-assignments

A database update will automatically be made in order to support those change – saving assigned layers as JSON encoded string in wp_leafletmapsmarker_markers instead of an integer value. Please be aware that the following APIs also have changed as result and in case you built a custom dev upon that APIs, you might need to adapt your code:

GeoJSON output for marker maps:

The output of the assigned layers for marker maps had to be changed in order to deliver a valid JSON file:

Before v2.4:

geojson-before

After v2.4:

geojson-marker

Maps Marker API:

The import/export feature now also supports adding markers to multiple layers – just add the layers you would like to assign a marker to as comma-separated values for the parameter layer in the API request (e.g. …&layer=1,2,3)

Please also be aware that the JSON which gets shown if the API request has been made, now also considers the structural changes from the GeoJSON example above.

Import/Export-feature

The import/export feature now also supports adding markers to multiple layers – just add the layers you would like to assign a marker to as comma-separated values in the column layer (e.g. 1,2,3)

option to hide link “download GPX file” in GPX panel

As requested by some customers, v2.4 adds a new option which allows you to remove the “download GPX file” link from the GPX panel. This option is enabled by default and can be found in Settings / Map Defaults / “GPX track settings”:

gpx-download-option

option to select markers from multiple layers when exporting to XLSX/XLS/CSV/ODS

The export feature now also supports selecting markers from multiple layers:

export-multiple-layers

multisite: option to activate license key on custom domains

As requested by customers using WordPress multisite, you can now select which domain you want to activate for your license key:

multisite-domain-activation

This removes the need to open a support ticket to add a custom domain to the list of valid license instances, if the WordPress sites are run on a different domain than the WordPress Multisite instance. Please also keep in mind, that after activating the custom domain, you will still need to use the “propagate license”-feature to sync the new license information with your subsites:

multisite-propagation

Other changes and optimizations

  • support for displaying MaqQuest basemaps via https (thx Duncan!)
  • add gpx_url and gpx_panel to GeoJSON output for markers and layers
  • compatibility check for Autoptimize plugin which can breaks maps if not properly configured
  • enhanced examples for customizing geolocation styling options (thx Bart!)
  • Visualead API for creating QR codes now uses secure https by default

Bugfixes

  • distorted minimap controlbox icon if CSS box-sizing was applied to all elements by themes like enfold
  • XML output for search results via MapsMarker API was not valid
  • QR code cache image for layers was not deleted via API
  • XLSX importer for marker updates: if layer set does not exist, value was set to unassigned instead of current value
  • fix compatibility for WordPress installations using HHVM (thx Rolf!)
  • unwanted linebreaks respectively broken shortcodes in popuptexts on layermaps (thanks CJ!)

Translations updates

Thanks to many motivated contributors, this release includes updates to the following new translations:

In addition, also the following translations have been updated:

If you want to contribute to translations (new Hindi translators would be appreciated!), please visit https://translate.mapsmarker.com/projects/lmm for more information.

Please note that translators are also compensated for their contribution – for example if a translation is finished less than 50%, the translator receives a free 25 licenses pack worth €149 as a compensation for completing the translation to 100%.

Known issues

Unfortunately there is currently one issue that cannot be resolved directly within Maps Marker Pro:

With WordPress 4.2, Emoji support was added. Unfortunately there is an open bug (details) which can result in frozen maps or crashes on Internet Explorer – so WordPress 4.2, 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 are affected. According to the related trac ticket, a fix is already available and will hopefully be deployed soon with WordPress 4.2.3 and 4.3.

As workaround until WordPress 4.2.3 or 4.3 is available you can only disable Emojis at the moment for maps to also work properly in Internet Explorer.

We am really sorry for this issue, but this is beyond our influence – we already contacted the guys & ladies at WordPress and hope that the fix for the Emoji/SVG bug will be available soon.

Outlook – plans for the next releases

Please understand that we am not being able to promise any release dates for new features. The roadmap for major new features gives you an idea where Maps Marker Pro is heading – anyway we just would want to keep the flexibility to add optimizations and bugfixes with rather unplanned minor releases resulting mostly from users feedback.

Please subscribe to this blog (via RSS or Email) or follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates) if you want to stay up to date with the latest development news.

Full changelog

assign markers to multiple layers (thx Waseem!)
support for displaying MaqQuest basemaps via https (thx Duncan!)
option to hide link “download GPX file” in GPX panel  
add gpx_url and gpx_panel to GeoJSON output for markers and layers  
option to select markers from multiple layers when exporting to XLSX/XLS/CSV/ODS  
compatibility check for Autoptimize plugin which can breaks maps if not properly configured 
multisite: option to activate license key on custom domains  
enhanced examples for customizing geolocation styling options (thx Bart!)
Visualead API for creating QR codes now uses secure https by default
distorted minimap controlbox icon if CSS box-sizing was applied to all elements by themes like enfold
XML output for search results via MapsMarker API was not valid  
QR code cache image for layers was not deleted via API  
XLSX importer for marker updates: if layer set does not exist, value was set to unassigned instead of current value 
fix compatibility for WordPress installations using HHVM (thx Rolf!) 
unwanted linebreaks respectively broken shortcodes in popuptexts on layermaps (thanks CJ!)
Translation updates
In case you want to help with translations, please visit the web-based translation plattform
Afrikaans (af) translation thanks to Hans, http://bmarksa.org/nuus/ 
Arabic (ar) translation thanks to Abdelouali Benkheil, Aladdin Alhamda – http://bazarsy.com, Nedal Elghamry – http://arabhosters.com, yassin and Abdelouali Benkheil – http://www.benkh.be 
Finnish (fi_FI) translation thanks to Jessi Björk – @jessibjork 
Greek (el) translation thanks to Philios Sazeides – http://www.mapdow.com, Evangelos Athanasiadis – http://www.wpmania.gr and Vardis Vavoulakis – http://avakon.com 
Hebrew (he_IL) translation thanks to Alon Gilad – http://pluto2go.co.il and kobi levi 
Lithuanian (lt_LT) translation thanks to Donatas Liaudaitis – http://www.transleta.co.uk 
Thai (th) translation thanks to Makarapong Chathamma and Panupong Siriwichayakul – http://siteprogroup.com/ 
Uighur (ug) translation thanks to Yidayet Begzad – http://ug.wordpress.org/ 
updated Czech translation thanks to Viktor Kleiner and Vlad Kuzba, http://kuzbici.eu
updated Galician translation thanks to Fernando Coello, http://www.indicepublicidad.com 
updated German translation
updated Japanese translations thanks to Shu Higash 
updated Latvian translation thanks to Juris Orlovs, http://lbpa.lv and Eriks Remess http://geekli.st/Eriks 
updated Norwegian (Bokmål) translation thanks to Inge Tang, http://drommemila.no 
updated Romanian translation thanks to Arian, http://administrare-cantine.ro, Daniel Codrea, http://www.inadcod.com and Flo Bejgu, http://www.inboxtranslation.com 
updated Russian translation thanks to Ekaterina Golubina (supported by Teplitsa of Social Technologies – http://te-st.ru) and Vyacheslav Strenadko, http://poi-gorod.ru 
updated Spanish translation thanks to David Ramí­rez, http://www.hiperterminal.com, Alvaro Lara, http://www.alvarolara.com, Victor Guevara, http://1sistemas.net, Ricardo Viteri, http://www.labviteri.com and Juan Valdes  
updated Spanish/Mexico translation thanks to Victor Guevera, http://1sistemas.net and Eze Lazcano
updated Swedish translation thanks to Olof Odier http://www.historiskastadsvandringar.se, Tedy Warsitha http://codeorig.in/, Dan Paulsson http://www.paulsson.eu, Elger Lindgren, http://20x.se and Anton Andreasson, http://andreasson.org/ 
Known issues
Internet Explorer can crash with WordPress 4.2 to 4.2.2 due to Emoji conflict (details) – planned to be fixed with WordPress 4.2.3 & 4.3, workaround until WordPress 4.2.3 & 4.3 is available: disable Emojis

show previous changelogs

How to download / update

The easiest way to update is to use the WordPress update process: login with an user who has admin privileges, navigate to Dashboard / Updates, select plugins to update and press the button “Update Plugins”. The pro plugin checks every 12 hours if a new version is available. You can also manually trigger the update check by going to Plugins and clicking on the link “Manually check for updates” next to “Maps Marker Pro”:

manual-update-check

If you do not see the link “Check for updates” and are using a version below 1.7, please update manually once by downloading the current package from https://www.mapsmarker.com/download-pro and overwritting the existing plugin files on your server via FTP. This might be needed on several hosts, which use outdated SSL libraries, which prevent Maps Marker Pro from making a secure connection to retrieve the update package from mapsmarker.com. Pro v1.7 includes a workaround for those kind of servers and the following updates should work again as usual. If you are affected and need help, please open a support ticket.

How to verify the integrity of the plugin package

SHA-256 hash value:

de88406fe2822dea7921f5946b6b51f0ce10d7cdff113010c0fb79aed20b9f24

Click here for a tutorial on how to verify the integrity of the plugin package (recommended if the plugin package for a new installation was not downloaded from https://www.mapsmarker.com – verification is not needed though if the automatic update process is used)

Additional update notes for beta tester

No additional action on plugin update required.

Pro v2.4-beta1 with support for assigning markers to multiple layers is available

I kindly invite all interested users in testing v2.4-beta1 and reporting any issues by using the helpdesk, leaving a comment or using the contact form.

The highlight of the upcoming release is support for assigning markers to multiple layers, so I kindly ask beta testers to take a special focus on that new feature:

layers-assignment-demo

Updated translations have not been included yet but will be extracted from https://translate.mapsmarker.com/ shortly before the final release.

The final release v2.4 with more detailed release notes is planned to be released within the next week, depending on issues reported by beta testers.

Please see the end of this post on how to update to v2.4-beta1.

Preliminary changelog

assign markers to multiple layers (thx Waseem!)
support for displaying MaqQuest basemaps via https (thx Duncan!)
option to hide link “download GPX file” in GPX panel  
add gpx_url and gpx_panel to GeoJSON output for markers and layers  
option to select markers from multiple layers when exporting to XLSX/XLS/CSV/ODS  
compatibility check for Autoptimize plugin which can breaks maps if not properly configured 
multisite: option to activate license key on custom domains  
enhanced examples for customizing geolocation styling options (thx Bart!)
Visualead API for creating QR codes now uses secure https by default
distorted minimap controlbox icon if CSS box-sizing was applied to all elements by themes like enfold
XML output for search results via MapsMarker API was not valid  
QR code cache image for layers was not deleted via API  
XLSX importer for marker updates: if layer set does not exist, value was set to unassigned instead of current value 
fix compatibility for WordPress installations using HHVM (thx Rolf!) 
Translation updates
In case you want to help with translations, please visit the web-based translation plattform
Afrikaans (af) translation thanks to Hans, http://bmarksa.org/nuus/ 
Arabic (ar) translation thanks to Abdelouali Benkheil, Aladdin Alhamda – http://bazarsy.com, Nedal Elghamry – http://arabhosters.com, yassin and Abdelouali Benkheil – http://www.benkh.be 
Finnish (fi_FI) translation thanks to Jessi Björk – @jessibjork 
Greek (el) translation thanks to Philios Sazeides – http://www.mapdow.com, Evangelos Athanasiadis – http://www.wpmania.gr and Vardis Vavoulakis – http://avakon.com 
Hebrew (he_IL) translation thanks to Alon Gilad – http://pluto2go.co.il and kobi levi 
Lithuanian (lt_LT) translation thanks to Donatas Liaudaitis – http://www.transleta.co.uk 
Thai (th) translation thanks to Makarapong Chathamma and Panupong Siriwichayakul – http://siteprogroup.com/ 
Uighur (ug) translation thanks to Yidayet Begzad – http://ug.wordpress.org/ 
updated German translation
Known issues
Internet Explorer can crash with WordPress 4.2 to 4.2.2 due to Emoji conflict (details) – planned to be fixed with WordPress 4.2.3 & 4.3, workaround until WordPress 4.2.3 & 4.3 is available: disable Emojis

how to update to 2.4-beta1

Warning: it is not recommended to install 2.4-beta1 on production sites and it is advised to backup your site regularly (which is advised anyway)!

In order to be able to update to 2.4-beta1, you first have to set beta-testing in settings / misc to enabled:

beta-testing-setting

As next step after saving your settings, navigate to Plugins and click on the link “Manually check for updates” next to Maps Marker Pro:

manual-update-check

update-now

Finish by clicking on the link “Update now”.

feedback and suggestions?

Please use the helpdesk for bugreports, feedback or suggestions or leave a comment – any feedback is welcome!

Help funding bigger servers for a growing OpenStreetMap

support-osmIt’s upgrade time! OpenStreetMap is growing, servers are projected to hit capacity by mid 2015. OpenStreetMap is a global community of dedicated and resourceful people, giving their time to make the best map of the world. Those mappers’ contributions are the largest part of the project. However, contributors need infrastructure such as a repository to share their contributions and services that help them make the map and talk to each other. We are raising funds to keep these services running and improve them, so that everyone else can continue making an amazing map.
– The Operations Working Group

Please help OpenStreetMap to fund new servers by donating at http://donate.openstreetmap.org/server2015/

Pro v2.3.1 with support for bootstrap tabs & security fixes is available

As Maps Marker Pro runs on your server, delivering a secure product is very important to us.

24 hours ago, we were contacted by Akamai who performed a intensive security review of Maps Marker Pro and found 3 potential XSS vulnerabilities. Although the exploitability was reported to be pretty low, we immediately started working on this release, fixing these issues. Many thanks especially to Chad from Akamai for the responsible disclosure!

An update to the latest version is – as always and in this case particularly – highly recommended.


Let us know what you think about this new release by submitting a review or leaving a comment below!

If you want to keep up to date with the latest Maps Marker development, please follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates), on FacebookGoogle+ or subscribe to news via RSS or via RSS/email.

We would also like to invite you to join our affiliate program which offers commissions up to 50%. If you are interested in becoming a reseller, please visit https://www.mapsmarker.com/reseller


Now let´s get to the other highlights of pro v2.3.1:

add support for displaying maps in bootstrap tabs

Maps are now also displayed properly when loaded in bootstrap tabs (as well as jQuery UI tabs which is already supported since v1.1.2).

Other changes and optimizations

  • optimized install- and update routine script (less database queries needed)

Bugfixes

  • 3 potential XSS vulnerabilities discovered by Akamai – many thanks for the responsible disclosure!

Translations updates

Thanks to many motivated contributors, this release includes updates to the following translations:

If you want to contribute to translations (new Hindi translators would be appreciated!), please visit https://translate.mapsmarker.com/projects/lmm for more information.

Please note that translators are also compensated for their contribution – for example if a translation is finished less than 50%, the translator receives a free 25 licenses pack worth €149 as a compensation for completing the translation to 100%.

Known issues

Unfortunately there is currently one issue that cannot be resolved directly within Maps Marker Pro:

With WordPress 4.2, Emoji support was added. Unfortunately there is an open bug (details) which can result in frozen maps or crashes on Internet Explorer – so WordPress 4.2, 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 are affected. According to the related trac ticket, a fix is already available and will hopefully be deployed soon with WordPress 4.2.3.

As workaround until WordPress 4.2.3 is available you can only disable Emojis at the moment for maps to also work properly in Internet Explorer.

We am really sorry for this issue, but this is beyond our influence – we already contacted the guys & ladies at WordPress and hope that the fix for the Emoji/SVG bug will be available soon.

Outlook – plans for the next releases

Please understand that we am not being able to promise any release dates for new features. The roadmap for major new features gives you an idea where Maps Marker Pro is heading – anyway we just would want to keep the flexibility to add optimizations and bugfixes with rather unplanned minor releases resulting mostly from users feedback.

Please subscribe to this blog (via RSS or Email) or follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates) if you want to stay up to date with the latest development news.

Full changelog

add support for displaying maps in bootstrap tabs
optimized install- and update routine script (less database queries needed)
3 potential XSS vulnerabilities discovered by Akamai – many thanks for the responsible disclosure!
Translation updates
In case you want to help with translations, please visit the web-based translation plattform
updated Norwegian (Bokmål) translation thanks to Inge Tang, http://drommemila.no
updated Russian translation thanks to Ekaterina Golubina (supported by Teplitsa of Social Technologies – http://te-st.ru) and Vyacheslav Strenadko, http://poi-gorod.ru
Known issues
Internet Explorer can crash with WordPress 4.2 to 4.2.2 due to Emoji conflict (details) – planned to be fixed with WordPress 4.2.3, workaround until WordPress 4.2.3 is available: disable Emojis

show previous changelogs

How to download / update

The easiest way to update is to use the WordPress update process: login with an user who has admin privileges, navigate to Dashboard / Updates, select plugins to update and press the button “Update Plugins”. The pro plugin checks every 12 hours if a new version is available. You can also manually trigger the update check by going to Plugins and clicking on the link “Manually check for updates” next to “Maps Marker Pro”:

manual-update-check

If you do not see the link “Check for updates” and are using a version below 1.7, please update manually once by downloading the current package from http://www.mapsmarker.com/download-pro and overwritting the existing plugin files on your server via FTP. This might be needed on several hosts, which use outdated SSL libraries, which prevent Maps Marker Pro from making a secure connection to retrieve the update package from mapsmarker.com. Pro v1.7 includes a workaround for those kind of servers and the following updates should work again as usual. If you are affected and need help, please open a support ticket.

How to verify the integrity of the plugin package

SHA-256 hash value:

0a182d9736c28763819daf006cc236408a18482c1653bfc9bc8f9522a249a7ef

Click here for a tutorial on how to verify the integrity of the plugin package (recommended if the plugin package for a new installation was not downloaded from https://www.mapsmarker.com – verification is not needed though if the automatic update process is used)

Additional update notes for beta tester

No additional action on plugin update required.

Pro v2.3 with geolocation enhancements and compatibility fixes is available

We aim at offering a sustainable service as well as stable and secure products to all of our users. As a result we were focusing on improving backend services and infrastructure as well as operational processes during the last 2 months and had to delay the regular developments as a consequence.

Nevertheless v2.3 is now finished and includes not only compatibility fixes but also new features regarding geolocation and enhancements especially for developers and integrators.

An update to the latest version is – as always – highly recommended. Please read below for more details.


Let us know what you think about this new release by submitting a review or leaving a comment below!

If you want to keep up to date with the latest Maps Marker development, please follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates), on FacebookGoogle+ or subscribe to news via RSS or via RSS/email.

We would also like to invite you to join our affiliate program which offers commissions up to 50%. If you are interested in becoming a reseller, please visit https://www.mapsmarker.com/reseller


Now let´s get to the highlights of pro v2.3:

geolocate enhancements

Within Settings / Map defaults / “Geolocate Settings” you will find a new option called Autostart:

autostart-geolocate

By default this setting is set to false. If set this option to true, geolocation will automatically start on all maps. If you only want to start geolocation on selected maps, please proceed to the next highlight of v2.3:

new javascript variable for developers/integrators

With v2.3 the new javascript variables mapid_js and mapname_js were added to the source code of each maps. This eases the re-usage of javascript-function from outside Map Marker Pro´s framework.

Let´s say for example you want to start geolocation for all maps displayed within your blog archive only. In order to achieve this, you have to add the following javascript code to your template file (usually archives.php, but this may be different based on the theme you are using):

<script type=”text/javascript”>
eval(‘locatecontrol_’+mapname_js).start();
</script>

This change gives you also the flexibility to more easily call direct leaflet.js API commands from outside the plugin framework, e.g. adding a button within your theme which changes the zoom level.

The full reference of the leaflet API can be found here.

new tutorial for MapTiler

With MapTiler you can turn images into interactive map layers that can be displayed with Maps Marker Pro by configuring them as custom basemap or custom overlay.

Matthew Sangster now created a tutorial on how to create custom basemaps using MapTiler – many thanks for that!

new 3d logo for Maps Marker Pro

The guys & ladies from cgi-branding.com created a new 3D logo for Maps Marker, which is now also used in all our products and services:

mapsmarkerpro-logo

many thanks for the great work!

new Slovenian translation

Thanks to Anna Dukan, http://www.unisci24.com/blog/ Slovenian has been added as available translation number 36.

If you also want to contribute to translations (in exchange for a pro license), please visit https://translate.mapsmarker.com/projects/lmm for more information.

Other changes and optimizations

  • use CSS classes instead of inline-styles for recent marker widgets to better support overrides (thx Patrick!)
  • updated customer area on mapsmarker.com as well as switching to PHP 5.6 – please report any issues!

Bugfixes

  • GPX tracks using UTF8 with BOM encoding do not show up in Google Chrome (thx José!)
  • SiteOrigin fixed a plugin conflict by releasing Page Builder v2.1
  • Removed unset() for validate_local_key() as it could cause the second validation of the local key after refresh to fail
  • issues with license API calls on servers where SSLVerifyClient directive is set to “required” (thx Ron!)
  • custom default icon was not saved after “add new marker”-link was used a second time (thx Cyrille!)
  • custom PHP separator settings for floatval() could result in broken maps (thx Tamas!)
  • broken layer edit link on marker edit pages after publish- or update-button has been clicked
  • check for PHP Suhosin patch led to whitescreens on special server configurations if phpinfo() was blocked

Translations updates

Thanks to many motivated contributors, this release includes updates to the following translations:

If you want to contribute to translations (new Hindi translators would be appreciated!), please visit https://translate.mapsmarker.com/projects/lmm for more information.

Please note that translators are also compensated for their contribution – for example if a translation is finished less than 50%, the translator receives a free 25 licenses pack worth €149 as a compensation for completing the translation to 100%.

Known issues

Unfortunately there is currently one issue that cannot be resolved directly within Maps Marker Pro:

With WordPress 4.2, Emoji support was added. Unfortunately there is an open bug (details) which can result in frozen maps or crashes on Internet Explorer – so WordPress 4.2, 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 are affected. According to the related trac ticket, a fix is already available and will hopefully be deployed soon with WordPress 4.2.3.

As workaround until WordPress 4.2.3 is available you can only disable Emojis at the moment for maps to also work properly in Internet Explorer.

We am really sorry for this issue, but this is beyond our influence – we already contacted the guys & ladies at WordPress and hope that the fix for the Emoji/SVG bug will be available soon.

Outlook – plans for the next releases

Please understand that we am not being able to promise any release dates for new features. The roadmap for major new features gives you an idea where Maps Marker Pro is heading – anyway we just would want to keep the flexibility to add optimizations and bugfixes with rather unplanned minor releases resulting mostly from users feedback.

Please subscribe to this blog (via RSS or Email) or follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates) if you want to stay up to date with the latest development news.

Full changelog

new option to automatically start geolocation globally on all maps (see changelog on how to start geolocation for selected maps only)
added javascript variables mapid_js and mapname_js to ease the re-usage of javascript-function from outside the plugin
new tutorial: how to create custom basemaps using MapTiler
new 3d logo for Maps Marker Pro :-)
use CSS classes instead of inline-styles for recent marker widgets to better support overrides (thx Patrick!)
updated customer area on mapsmarker.com as well as switching to PHP 5.6 – please report any issues!
GPX tracks using UTF8 with BOM encoding do not show up in Google Chrome (thx José!)
SiteOrigin fixed a plugin conflict by releasing Page Builder v2.1
Removed unset() for validate_local_key() as it could cause the second validation of the local key after refresh to fail
issues with license API calls on servers where SSLVerifyClient directive is set to “required” (thx Ron!)
custom default icon was not saved after “add new marker”-link was used a second time (thx Cyrille!)
custom PHP separator settings for floatval() could result in broken maps (thx Tamas!)
broken layer edit link on marker edit pages after publish- or update-button has been clicked
check for PHP Suhosin patch led to whitescreens on special server configurations if phpinfo() was blocked
Translation updates
In case you want to help with translations, please visit the web-based translation plattform
Slovenian (sl_SL) translation thanks to Anna Dukan, http://www.unisci24.com/blog/
updated French translation thanks to Vincèn Pujol, http://www.skivr.com and Rodolphe Quiedeville, http://rodolphe.quiedeville.org, Fx Benard, http://wp-translator.com, cazal cédric, http://www.cedric-cazal.com, Fabian Hurelle, http://hurelle.fr and Thomas Guignard,http://news.timtom.ch
updated German translation
updated Latvian translation thanks to Juris Orlovs, http://lbpa.lv and Eriks Remess http://geekli.st/Eriks
updated Norwegian (Bokmål) translation thanks to Inge Tang, http://drommemila.no
updated Romanian translation thanks to Arian, http://administrare-cantine.ro, Daniel Codrea, http://www.inadcod.com and Flo Bejgu, http://www.inboxtranslation.com
updated Russian translation thanks to Ekaterina Golubina (supported by Teplitsa of Social Technologies – http://te-st.ru) and Vyacheslav Strenadko, http://poi-gorod.ru
updated Spanish translation thanks to David Ramí­rez, http://www.hiperterminal.com, Alvaro Lara, http://www.alvarolara.com, Victor Guevara, http://1sistemas.net, Ricardo Viteri, http://www.labviteri.com and Juan Valdes
updated Swedish translation thanks to Olof Odier http://www.historiskastadsvandringar.se, Tedy Warsitha http://codeorig.in/, Dan Paulsson http://www.paulsson.eu, Elger Lindgren, http://20x.se and Anton Andreasson, http://andreasson.org/
updated Vietnamese (vi) translation thanks to Hoai Thu, http://bizover.net
Known issues
Internet Explorer can crash with WordPress 4.2 to 4.2.2 due to Emoji conflict (details) – planned to be fixed with WordPress 4.2.3, workaround until WordPress 4.2.3 is available: disable Emojis

show previous changelogs

How to download / update

The easiest way to update is to use the WordPress update process: login with an user who has admin privileges, navigate to Dashboard / Updates, select plugins to update and press the button “Update Plugins”. The pro plugin checks every 12 hours if a new version is available. You can also manually trigger the update check by going to Plugins and clicking on the link “Manually check for updates” next to “Maps Marker Pro”:

manual-update-check

If you do not see the link “Check for updates” and are using a version below 1.7, please update manually once by downloading the current package from http://www.mapsmarker.com/download-pro and overwritting the existing plugin files on your server via FTP. This might be needed on several hosts, which use outdated SSL libraries, which prevent Maps Marker Pro from making a secure connection to retrieve the update package from mapsmarker.com. Pro v1.7 includes a workaround for those kind of servers and the following updates should work again as usual. If you are affected and need help, please open a support ticket.

How to verify the integrity of the plugin package

SHA-256 hash value:

238F109F0057EBBACBE0984B01AFFBA2C52E81B93C767F53A28668CFB7F7EFA5

Click here for a tutorial on how to verify the integrity of the plugin package (recommended if the plugin package for a new installation was not downloaded from https://www.mapsmarker.com – verification is not needed though if the automatic update process is used)

Additional update notes for beta tester

No additional action on plugin update required.

Pro v2.2 with security improvements and fixes is available

Maps Marker Pro v2.2 focuses on security by fixing one medium-critical security vulnerability and by providing security improvements to the update process amongst other improvements.

An update to the latest version is – as always – highly recommended. Please read below for more details.


Let me know what you think about this new release by submitting a review or leaving a comment below!

If you want to keep up to date with the latest Maps Marker development, please follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates), on FacebookGoogle+ or subscribe to news via RSS or via RSS/email.

I would also like to invite you to join our affiliate program which offers commissions up to 50%. If you are interested in becoming a reseller, please visit https://www.mapsmarker.com/reseller


Now let´s get to the highlights of pro v2.2:

Map Icons Collection now hosted on mapicons.mapsmarker.com

The Map Icons Collection is a set of more than 700 free icons to use as placemarks for your POI (Point of Interests) locations on your maps. The project was originally created by Nicolas Mollet and thanks to many contributors it has become a central ressource for free map icons on the internet over the years:

mapicons-screenshot

Maps Marker Pro has also been configured to work out of the box with those icons (you can even use the integrated upload feature to easily enhance the default icon set shipped with Maps Marker Pro).

Unfortunately the Map Icons Collection suffered many server issues lately. In the end the former hosting provider decided to block the website as they considered the usage was against their hosting policy (more details here).

In order to help Nicolas and to deliver a more reliable hosting for all users of the Map Icons Collections (including Maps Marker Pro users), I agreed with him to host the project website on https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com (thx to my hosting provider twosteps.net for quickly helping out here!)

The project rules and usage conditions of the Map Icons Collection will not be changed through this hoster change: Nicolas will continue to lead the project and icons are still available under the Creative Commons 3.0 BY-SA license.

If you have any questions about the Map Icons Collection project, please read the according FAQ or use the contact form to get in touch with Nicolas.

mobile version of mapsmarker.com launched

As Google will begin ranking mobile-friendly sites higher starting April 21, we prepared a new mobile-friendly version of www.mapsmarker.com. If you access our site with your mobile device, you should from now be automatically redirected, example screenshot:

mapsmarker-mobile-website

In order not to run into any issues with the payment process, some pages like pricing, store or customer area are initially excluded from the mobile version of the framework.

If you run into any issues on your mobile device, please let us know!

support for plugin updates via encrypted and authenticated https connection

With Maps Marker Pro v1.6 I already tried to introduce plugin updates via https – unfortunately I was not aware of the issues I would run into as there are a significant number of servers out there which do not support https properly – with a result that updates could not be loaded at all. This was why I switched back to http for updates – until now :-)

Starting with the next release, Maps Marker Pro plugin updates will be fetched from mapsmarker.com via encrypted https connections. This helps ensure the integrity of the package and the authenticity of the sender, making the overall update process more secure and trustworthy.

For customers with outdated https configs on their servers I added a fallback to deliver update packages via http. Anyway if you see that the next update after v2.2 is loaded via http only, I would advise talking to your hoster and asking to verify respectively update your servers security configuration.

show warning message in dynamic changelog if server uses outdated and potentially insecure PHP version (<5.4)

Many servers hosting WordPress still use old PHP versions (which is not directly an issue for Maps Marker Pro as the minimum requirement is PHP 5.2), but as the support for PHP 5.3 was discontinued recently, still using a version below 5.4 is potentially insecure for your whole site and an update to 5.4 (or better even higher) is highly recommended.

To address this issue, a new project called wpupdatephp.com by Coen Jacobs was started, with the aim to make end users aware of this issue.

To support this project, Maps Marker Pro now displays a warning message in the dynamic changelog section if you are using a PHP version below 5.4 with details on how to upgrade respectively what to tell your hoster, if you are not managing your server by yourself:

outdated-php2

fix for admin-authenticated SQL injection vulnerability

Within the codebase of a widely used SEO plugin a vulnerability was discovered recently which allowed authenticated SQL injections. We used that info to check our code for vulnerabilities of the same type. As a result we found and fixed a medium critical vulnerability that only allowed admin-authenticated SQL injection (in contrast to the SEO plugin where author, editor or admin roles were affected).

The one sentence explanation for the not so technical user: a logged-in admin user could save a special command in the recent marker widget which could change the database. This vulnerability does not allow mass hacking of installs as it requires access to an admin account.

Although hackers (respectively crackers) having access to a compromised admin account will most likely use more direct and easier ways to change the database or even files (which was not possible with the vulnerability now fixed), this vulnerability was considered as a serious issue and working on a fix was started immediately after it was discovered.

Why we didn’t catch it? Well…unfortunately this issue was not caught in one of our external security audits and our regular internal reviews did not catch it either. The values were escaped using esc_sql, which one would expect would prevent SQL injection. It did not in that special case, as the SQL query for the recent marker widget needed stricter sanitization. Not an excuse but it’s a good lesson to learn for other developers too and for the future.

Other changes and optimizations

  • improved sanitising of GeoJSON, GeoRSS, KML, Wikitude API input parameters

Bugfixes

  • PHP undefined index warnings when adding new recent marker widget

Translations updates

Thanks to many motivated contributors, this release includes updates to the following translations:

If you want to contribute to translations (new Hindi translators would be appreciated!), please visit https://translate.mapsmarker.com/projects/lmm for more information.

Please note that translators are also compensated for their contribution – for example if a translation is finished less than 50%, the translator receives a free 25 licenses pack worth €149 as a compensation for completing the translation to 100%.

Outlook – plans for the next releases

Please understand that I am not being able to promise any release dates for new features. The roadmap for major new features gives you an idea where Maps Marker Pro is heading – anyway I just would want to keep the flexibility to add optimizations and bugfixes with rather unplanned minor releases resulting mostly from users feedback.

Please subscribe to this blog (via RSS or Email) or follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates) if you want to stay up to date with the latest development news.

Full changelog

Map Icons Collection now hosted on mapicons.mapsmarker.com
mobile version of mapsmarker.com launched
support for plugin updates via encrypted and authenticated https connection (with fallback to http if server uses outdated libraries)
show warning message in dynamic changelog if server uses outdated and potentially insecure PHP version (<5.4) – supporting wpupdatephp.com
improved sanitising of GeoJSON, GeoRSS, KML, Wikitude API input parameters
admin-authenticated SQL injection vulnerability
PHP undefined index warnings when adding new recent marker widget
Translation updates
In case you want to help with translations, please visit the web-based translation plattform
updated Czech translation thanks to Viktor Kleiner and Vlad Kuzba, http://kuzbici.eu
updated German translation

show previous changelogs

How to download / update

The easiest way to update is to use the WordPress update process: login with an user who has admin privileges, navigate to Dashboard / Updates, select plugins to update and press the button “Update Plugins”. The pro plugin checks every 12 hours if a new version is available. You can also manually trigger the update check by going to Plugins and clicking on the link “Manually check for updates” next to “Maps Marker Pro”:

manual-update-check

If you do not see the link “Check for updates” and are using a version below 1.7, please update manually once by downloading the current package from http://www.mapsmarker.com/download-pro and overwritting the existing plugin files on your server via FTP. This might be needed on several hosts, which use outdated SSL libraries, which prevent Maps Marker Pro from making a secure connection to retrieve the update package from mapsmarker.com. Pro v1.7 includes a workaround for those kind of servers and the following updates should work again as usual. If you are affected and need help, please open a support ticket.

How to verify the integrity of the plugin package

SHA-256 hash value:

FC67620FEC5C021035CF72C662A6B2202790B14167483331AC7BDE2B6A300A7F

Click here for a tutorial on how to verify the integrity of the plugin package (recommended if the plugin package for a new installation was not downloaded from https://www.mapsmarker.com – verification is not needed though if the automatic update process is used)

Additional update notes for beta tester

No additional action on plugin update required.

Map Icons Collection now hosted on mapicons.mapsmarker.com

mapicons-logoThe Map Icons Collection is a set of more than 700 free icons to use as placemarks for your POI (Point of Interests) locations on your maps. The project was originally created by Nicolas Mollet and thanks to many contributors it has become a central ressource for free map icons on the internet over the years.

mapicons-screenshot

Maps Marker Pro has also been configured to work out of the box with those icons (you can even use the integrated upload feature to easily enhance the default icon set shipped with Maps Marker Pro):

Unfortunately the Map Icons Collection suffered many server issues lately. In the end the former hosting provider decided to block the website as they considered the usage was against their hosting policy (more details here).

In order to help Nicolas and to deliver a more reliable hosting for all users of the Map Icons Collections (including Maps Marker Pro users), I agreed with him to host the project website on https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com (thx to my hosting provider twosteps.net for quickly helping out here!)

The project rules and usage conditions of the Map Icons Collection will not be changed through this hoster change: Nicolas will continue to lead the project and icons are still available under the Creative Commons 3.0 BY-SA license.

If you have any questions about the Map Icons Collection project, please read the according FAQ or use the contact form to get in touch with Nicolas.

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile version of mapsmarker.com launched

As Google will begin ranking mobile-friendly sites higher starting April 21, we prepared a new mobile-friendly version of www.mapsmarker.com. If you access our site with your mobile device, you should from now be automatically redirected, example screenshot:

mapsmarker-mobile-website

In order not to run into any issues with the payment process, some pages like pricing, store or customer area are initially excluded from the mobile version of the framework.

If you run into any issues on your mobile device, please let us know!