Block for Apple Maps: our latest free, open-source WordPress plugin

Apple Maps Gutenberg Block

Block for Apple Maps is our latest free WordPress plugin that enables site owners to easily create, configure, and display embedded Apple Maps on web pages and posts. The plugin adds a new Apple Maps block to the WordPress block editor, also known as Gutenberg.

We’ve been tinkering with embedded Apple Maps since Apple announced the MapKit JS API in 2018. Following some major improvements to their Maps service, and with some clients interested in evaluating alternatives to other popular solutions (for reasons ranging from API pricing to privacy policies), we thought we’d use Apple’s annual WWDC conference this week as an excuse to finish up our work and bring our Block for Apple Maps plugin to life.

With Block for Apple Maps, site owners can embed a responsive Apple Maps component on any page or post that uses the WordPress block editor.

The block offers several customization options, including:

  • Changing the map’s center point by looking up a location
  • Adding markers to annotate specific point of interests
  • Selecting the satellite, hybrid, standard, or muted standard map type
  • Showing or hiding controls, including the compass, zoom, and rotation
  • Setting the map height

Block for Apple Maps

Apple MapKit JS API Key

Per Apple requirements, you will need to ensure you have access to their MapKit JS API before you can utilize the Apple Maps block. You’ll need to:

  1. Create an Apple ID
  2. Sign up for the Apple Developer Program
  3. Create your Maps identifiers, keys, and tokens

We have provided step-by-step instructions to help you generate the Private Key, Key ID, and Team ID needed to configure the plugin and gain access to the MapKit JS API in GitHub and on the plugin page in the WordPress plugin repository.

The Plugin Roadmap

Ultimately, we want to keep this plugin relatively simple and lightweight. As we look to the future, we see a few opportunities in our roadmap that improve our solution while staying true to that goal:

  • Displaying directions alongside a map
  • Displaying an indoor map
  • Providing the ability to search for nearby points of interest alongside a map
  • Building a setup wizard to streamline and simplify the plugin setup process

We welcome bug reports and code contributions on GitHub. If you want to join a company that cares about open source, makes amazing tools for WordPress, and works with major tech and media companies, household brands, nonprofits, and universities, come work with us!

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