Location Category Markers Update

Store Locator Plus® was updated with a small, but important, change to how location map markers are displayed when users are interacting with the category selector.   Users of the Professional level offering have the ability to create location categories.   Locations can belong to more than one category, for instance a location can be both a “Retail” location and a “Service” location.    Some locations will be only “Retail”.

Category Map Markers

Each location category can also be assigned a unique map marker.   All yellow map markers are retail, and blue markers are for service.     For those locations where they offer both retail and service , Store Locator Plus® would always display the yellow map marker based on the default “marker is the first category, chosen by alphabetical order”.

While there are some caveats to this general rule, there were some confusing results.    If you created a map with a category filter that allowed users to pick “either retail” or “service” locations and the user selected “service” they could see a map with both yellow and blue markers.    How is that happening when all service locations are supposed to be showing blue markers?

The answer — those dual-purpose locations that are in both the retail and service category.   Prior to the late-September update, the marker for the location would ALWAYS pick from the “highest ranked” category which would default to “retail” by the alphabetical rule noted above.    All locations that were service only would be displayed alongside a handful or retail-and-service locations.

Multiple Categories Marker Change

In the late-September update that went online today, IF a user is filtering the list of locations by a SINGLE category, the map marker that is displayed will be filtered as well — in essence filtering out the yellow “retail” marker if the user has elected “show only service location” with the blue marker.     With this update only blue markers will appear.

For another description of how this works along with an “explainer” video, check out our Categorical Location Markers article on the documentation site.

Still using the legacy WordPress plugins?   This feature is part of the Power 5.5.7 release.

Where Is Toronto, Ontario?

If you are in North America you may be asking where is Toronto, Ontario. Depending whom you ask, the answer can be slightly different. It turns out that asking Google Maps Canada yields a different answer than if you pose the same question via Google Maps API.

We’ve touched on this disparity in a prior post about Google Maps returning inaccurate results. Today we’ll discuss a specific example for Toronto, Ontario.

And if you are wondering — our vote is that Toronto, Ontario is at

43.65320000 , -79.38320000

Where Is Toronto, Ontario? 43.65320000 , -79.38320000

Google Maps API Returning Inaccurate Results

Google does not openly advertise the fact that they have different location data for different users. However there is good anecdotal evidence an hearsay that Google Maps API returning inaccurate results may be by design.

The evidence is most prevalent in the geocoding of locations. The latitude and longitude Google assigns to different addresses is not “set in stone”. It is an interesting anomaly given the fact that places on earth should not move with regard to their latitude & longitude outside of plate tectonics.

The team at Store Locator Plus® has long held a theory that Google intentionally subverts accurate location data; quite likely to gain competitive advantage for their own products and services.