Check out the newest plugin on the scene: BuddyPress Maps. It is a BuddyPress core component that will save location markers set by the user and display them on a map. It also includes a options to save/edit a location marker in the user’s profile and display a map with all users’ locations in groups. Please note that the plugin FAQ states that this is an Alpha release for testing only, though if it does what you need it to, it might give you a good starting point for your mapping functionality. This component requires BuddyPress 1.2-rc.
The installation instructions didn’t seem very clear to me, so I’m going to provide a little outline for how to get maps working on BuddyPress profiles, as shown here:
1. Download BuddyPress Maps and Install
Dashboard >> Plugins >> Add New >> BuddyPress Maps >> Activate
2. Get a Google Maps API key for your site
This plugin requires you to to sign up for a Google Maps API key: http://code.google.com/apis/maps/. You will then enter the key it generates in the options for the plugin: BuddyPress >> Maps. Here you can also set the options for the map size, zoom, navigation control, and the number of markers available to the user.
3. Enable the Profile Map Options
Dashboard >> BuddyPress >> Maps >> Profile Map
As you select the profile group and save, it will open each successive option after you save your selections, allowing you to select the profile field where you want the map, the fields used to suggest the location, and the option to enable the maps for group pages.
4. Add a Map to Your BuddyPress Profile
Login to your site. On the front end go to Profile >> Edit Profile. You should see the option for you to add a marker for your location. Select “Add Marker.” Give it a title and then type in an address and click search. It should put a marker for you on the map. At this point you can determine privacy options for how the map is displayed to users, based on whether or not they are visitors, members, or friends. When you’re satisfied with your settings, click save and view your profile. You should see a map on your profile the same size as you selected for display in the dashboard options.
Allowing users to add maps to their profiles is a great way for people to start putting a face with a place and find out who their neighbors are. This would greatly benefit a dating site, a hyperlocal site, a business directory, or any other type of community where a member’s geographical location is of interest. I like this plugin because the privacy settings allow users to customize the visibility of their maps with the full confidence that random visitors will not be given information they don’t want them to have. Check it out and leave a comment if you have any issues installing it, since getting it set up can be a little tricky, as it’s still an alpha version.