Basic Google Maps Placemarks


BGMP creates a custom post type for placemarks (markers) on a Google Map. The map is embedded into pages or posts using a shortcode, and there are settings to affect how it’s displayed. You can create markers that will show up on the map, and set their icons using the Featured Image meta box. When a marker is clicked on, a box will appear and show the marker’s title and description.


  • Each map marker can have a unique custom Installation icon, share a common custom icon, or use the default icon.
  • Options to set the map type (street, satellite, etc), center location, size, zoom level, navigation controls, etc.
  • Setup unique maps on different pages with their own placemarks, map types, center locations, etc.
  • Placemarks can be assigned to categories, and you can control which categories are displayed on a individual map.
  • Marker clustering for large numbers of placemarks
  • Extra shortcode to output a text-based list of markers for mobile devices, search engines, etc.
  • Lots of filters so that developers can customize and extend the plugin.
  • Use HTML, images, etc inside the information window.
  • Compatible with WordPress MultiSite.
  • Internationalized (see Other Notes for a list of supported languages)

Live Examples


I’m happy to fix reproducible bugs, but don’t have time to help you customize the plugin to fit your needs. There’s also plenty of documentation and community support available. Check out the ‘How can I get help when I’m having a problem?’ question in the FAQ for details.

If there isn’t a translation for your language (or it is incomplete/inaccurate) please consider making one and contributing it to the plugin. You can learn how by reading Translating WordPress and How to Create a .po Language Translation. The .pot file you’ll need is inside the languages directory in the plugin’s folder. Once you’re done, just start a thread on the support forum with links to the .po and .mo files, and I’ll add them to the next release. You can also subscribe to the BGMP Translators e-mail list to be notified when updated versions have new strings to translate.

Known conflicts

How you can help with the plugin’s development

  • The thing I could really use some help with is answering questions on the support forum. I don’t have a lot of time to work on the plugin, so the time I spend answering questions reduces the amount of time I have to add new features. If you’re familiar with the plugin and would like to help out, you can click the ‘Subscribe to Emails for this Plugin’ link to get an e-mail whenever a new post is created.
  • Translate the plugin into your language. See the Localizations section above for details.
  • Volunteer to test new versions before they’re officially released. Sign up for the BGMP Testers e-mail list to be notified when new release candidates are available for testing.
  • If you find a bug, create a post on the support forum with as much information as possible. If you’re a developer, create a patch and include a link to it in the post.
  • Send me feedback on how easy or difficult the plugin is to use, and where you think things could be improved. Add a post to the support forum with details.
  • Send me feedback on ways the documentation could be more clear or complete. Add a post to the support forum with details.
  • Review the code for security vulnerabilities and best practices. If you find a security issue, please contact me privately so that I can release a fix for it before publicly disclosing it.
  • Check the TODO.txt file for features that need to be added and submit a patch.


I do this as a way to give back to the WordPress community, so I don’t want to take any donations. If you’d like to give something, though, I’d encourage you to make a donation to Doctors Without Borders or the WordPress Foundation.


If you need to customize BGMP and a solution isn’t already available in the forums, the best thing to do is to hire a developer. Your local WordPress Meetup is a great place to meet one, or you can also check out

If you make customizations that could be beneficial to other users, please start a thread on the support forum with a description of them and a link to the source code.


  • Custom marker icons on the map and a text list of markers below the map
  • Marker clusterings and custom map icons
  • The Placemarks page, where you can add/edit/delete map markers.
  • A example placemark.
  • The Categories screen.
  • The map settings.


Installation Instructions

For help installing this (or any other) WordPress plugin, please read the Managing Plugins article on the Codex.

Basic Usage:

  1. After activating the plugin, go to the ‘Basic Google Maps Placemarks’ page under the Settings menu. Enter the address that the map should be centered on.
  2. Create a page or post where you’d like to embed the map, and type [bgmp-map] in the content area.
  3. Go to the Placemarks menu and click ‘Add New’. Enter the title, address, etc.
  4. Click on ‘Set Featured Image’ to upload the icon.
  5. Click on the ‘Publish’ or ‘Update’ button to save the placemark.

Advanced Usage:

Multiple maps with different locations, zoom levels, etc:

  1. Just add the extra parameters to the [bgmp-map] shortcode. Here’s an example of the different ones you can use:

[bgmp-map categories=”parks,restaurants” width=”500″ height=”500″]

[bgmp-map placemark=”105″ center=”chicago” zoom=”10″ type=”terrain”]

Multiple maps with different placemarks:

  1. Go to the Placemarks menu and click on Categories, and add a category for each set of placemarks.
  2. Edit your placemarks and click on the category you want to assign them to.
  3. Edit the place where the map is embedded and add the category parameter to the shortcode. For example: [bgmp-map categories=”restaurants,record-stores”] or [bgmp-map categories=”parks”]. Use the category’s slug, which is displayed on the Categories page in step 1. Separate each slug with a comma.
  4. You can add the [bgmp-map] shortcode to multiple pages, each time using a different set of categories.

Setting the stacking order of overlapping markers:

  1. Choose which placemark you want to appear on top and edit it.
  2. Enter a number in the Stacking Order meta box in the right column that is greater than the other placemark’s stacking order.

Adding a text-based list of placemarks to a page:

  1. Edit the post or page you want the list to appear on.
  2. Type [bgmp-list] in the context area.
  3. Click the ‘Publish’ or ‘Update’ button.
  4. (optional) You can specifiy a specific category or categories to pull from. e.g., [bgmp-list categories=”record-stores,parks”]
  5. (optional) You can add “View on Map” links to each item in the list, which will open the corresponding marker’s info window. e.g., [bgmp-list viewonmap=”true”]

Using [bgmp-map] in a template file with do_shortcode():

For efficiency, the plugin only loads the required JavaScript, CSS and markup files on pages where it detects the map shortcode is being called. It’s not practical to detect when do_shortcode() is used in a template, so you need to manually let the plugin know to load the files by adding this code to your theme:

function bgmpShortcodeCalled()
    global $post;

    $shortcodePageSlugs = array(

    if( $post )
        if( in_array( $post->post_name, $shortcodePageSlugs ) )
            add_filter( 'bgmp_map-shortcode-called', '__return_true' );
add_action( 'wp', 'bgmpShortcodeCalled' );

Copy and paste that into your theme’s functions.php file or a functionality plugin, update the function names and filter arguments, and then add the slugs of any pages/posts containing the map to $shortcodePageSlugs.

That won’t work for the home page, though. If you want to target the home page, or any other pages with conditional tags, you can do it like this:

function bgmpShortcodeCalled()
    global $post;

    if( ( function_exists( 'is_front_page' ) && is_front_page() ) || ( function_exists( 'is_home_page' ) && is_home_page() ) )
        add_filter( 'bgmp_map-shortcode-called', '__return_true' );
add_action( 'wp', 'bgmpShortcodeCalled' );

Before version 1.9, you needed to use the bgmp_map-shortcode-arguments filter to pass shortcode arguments when calling do_shortcode() from a template, but that is no longer necessary. You can simply pass the arguments in the do_shortcode() call, like this:

do_shortcode( '[bgmp-map center="Boston" zoom="5"]' );

Check the FAQ and support forum if you have any questions.

How do I use the plugin?

Read the instructions on the Installation page. If you still have questions, read this FAQ and look for answers on the support forum. If you can’t find an answer, start a new thread on the forums.

How can I get help when I’m having a problem?

Don’t e-mail me, unless it’s a security issue. I automatically delete any support requests that come in over e-mail. Follow the steps below instead.

  1. Read the the Installation page.
  2. Read the answers in this FAQ.
  3. Look through the support forum, because there’s a good chance your problem has already been addressed there.
  4. Check the Other Notes page for known conflicts with other plugins.

If you still need help, then follow these instructions:

  1. Disable all other plugins and switch to the default theme, then check if the problem is still happening. If it isn’t, then the problem may actually be with your theme or other plugins you have installed.
  2. If the problem is still happening, then start a new thread in the forum with a detailed description of your problem and the URL to the page on your site where you placed the map. Please copy/paste any error messages verbatim. Screenshots can be very helpful, too. And please be respectful.
  3. Check the ‘Notify me of follow-up posts via e-mail’ box so you won’t miss any replies.

I often don’t have time to provide support, but if I can’t there’s still a chance that another user will be able to help you. If not, I’d recommend hiring a developer. See the Customization section on the Other Notes page for more info on that.

Does the plugin support [feature]? / How can I get the plugin to do [feature]?

All of the features that the plugin supports are documented on these pages. If you don’t see a feature mentioned, then that means that the plugin doesn’t support it. You’ll need to write the extra code yourself if you want to add that feature to the plugin, or hire someone to do it for you (see the Customization section on the Other Notes page). There are filters throughout the core code to support customization. If you need a hook or filter that doesn’t currently exist, add a post to the support forums to request it and I’ll add it to the next version.

You can also try searching the support forums in case others have already worked out a way to do it.

If you do get it working with your custom code, please share it on the support forums so that others can benefit from your work.

Why do I get an error saying I need an API key?

Sometimes Google requires you to obtain an API from them in order to use the Google Maps and Geocoding services on your site. You can go to the Settings screen for instructions on how to get them.

Developers can also use the bgmp_maps-api-url-parameters and bgmp_geocoding-api-url-parameters filters to programmatically assign keys.

What does the, “That address couldn’t be geocoded, please make sure that it’s correct” error mean?

There are several possible causes for this error, but they generally fall into two different categories.

  1. Google Maps didn’t recognize the address you entered.
  2. The plugin couldn’t connect to the Google Maps API to geocode the address.

If the error is followed by something similar to the example below, then the problem was with connecting to the Maps API:

Geocode response:

stdClass Object
    [results] => Array
    [status] => OVER_QUERY_LIMIT

If the problem is with the address, you can try entering it in a different format. For example, instead of “5th Ave and Blanchard St, Seattle”, try “2124 5th Ave, 98121”. You can also try using latitude/longitude coordinates to bypass the geocoding process entirely; see the other FAQ answers for details on that.

If the problem is with the connection, some of of the possible reasons for that are:

  1. Google Maps places a limit on how many geocoding requests it will serve per day. If you’re using shared hosting, there could be other sites on your server or netblock that are also making requests, and you’ve hit the limit for the day. If this is the problem, you’ll probably need to ask your web host to move you to your own VPS, or just wait until tomorrow and try again.
  2. There could be problems with your network or server that are interfering with the connection. If this is the problem, your web host can help you troubleshoot it.
  3. Google could be blocking requests from your server’s IP address or netblock due to abuse or violations of their terms of service. The violations could be caused by your site, or another site on your server/netblock. If this is the problem, your web host can help you troubleshoot it. After they remove the problem then it might start working again after a delay (probably 1-7 days), or they may need to contact Google to ask that the server be removed from the blacklist.

You can also try using latitude/longitude coordinates to bypass the geocoding process entirely; see the other FAQ answers for details on that.

The page says ‘Loading map…’, but the map never shows up.

Check to see if there are any Javascript errors by opening the JavaScript console in your web browser. An error caused by other plugins or your theme can prevent BGMP from working. You’ll need to fix the errors, or switch to a different plugin/theme.

Also, make sure your theme is calling wp_footer() right before the closing body tag in footer.php.

The map doesn’t look right.

This is probably because some rules from your theme’s stylesheet are being applied to the map. Contact your theme developer for advice on how to override the rules.

Can I use coordinates to set the marker, instead of an address?

Yes. You can type anything into the Address field that you would type into a standard Google Maps search field, which includes coordinates.

If the plugin recognizes your input as coordinates then it will create the marker at that exact point on the map. If it doesn’t, it will attempt to geocode them, which can sometimes result in a different location than you intended. To help the plugin recognize the coordinates, make sure they’re in decimal notation (e.g. 48.61322,-123.3465) instead of minutes/seconds notation. The latitude and longitude must be separated by a comma and cannot contain any letters or symbols. If your input has been geocoded, you’ll see a note next to the address field that gives the geocoded coordinates, and the plugin will use those to create the marker on the map; if you don’t see that note then that means that your input was not geocoded and your exact coordinates will be used to place the marker.

If you’re having a hard time getting a set of coordinates to work, try visiting Latitude and Longitude of a Point and use the coordinates they give you.

None of the placemarks are showing up on the map

If your theme is calling add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' ) and passing in a specific list of post types — rather than enabling support for all post types — then it should check if some post types are already registered and include those as well. This only applies if it’s hooking into after_theme_setup with a priority higher than 10. Contact your theme developer and ask them to fix their code.

Also check the Other Notes page for known conflicts with other plugins.

Can I change the default icon?

Yes, if you want to use the same custom icon for all markers by default, instead of having to set it on each individual placemark, you can add this to your theme’s functions.php or a functionality plugin:

function setBGMPDefaultIcon( $iconURL )
    return get_bloginfo( 'stylesheet_directory' ) . '/images/bgmp-default-icon.png';
add_filter( 'bgmp_default-icon', 'setBGMPDefaultIcon' );

The string you return needs to be the full URL to the new icon.

How can I set the default icon by category or other condition?

If you only want to replace the default marker under certain conditions (e.g., when the marker is assigned to a specific category), then you can using something like this:

function setBGMPDefaultIconByCategory( $iconURL, $placemarkID )
    $placemarkCategories = wp_get_object_terms( $placemarkID, 'bgmp-category' );

    foreach( $placemarkCategories as $pc )
        switch( $pc->slug )
            case 'restaurants':
                $iconURL = get_bloginfo( 'stylesheet_directory' ) . '/images/marker-icons/restaurants.png';

            case 'book-stores':
                $iconURL = get_bloginfo( 'stylesheet_directory' ) . '/images/marker-icons/book-stores.png';

                $iconURL = get_bloginfo( 'stylesheet_directory' ) . '/images/marker-icons/pin.png';

    return $iconURL;
add_filter( 'bgmp_default-icon', 'setBGMPDefaultIconByCategory', 10, 2 );

Here’s another example to uses the placemark’s ID:

function setBGMPDefaultIconByID( $iconURL, $placemarkID )
    if( $placemarkID == 352 )
        $iconURL = get_bloginfo( 'stylesheet_directory' ) . '/images/bgmp-default-icon.png';

    return $iconURL;
add_filter( 'bgmp_default-icon', 'setBGMPDefaultIcon', 10, 2 );

The string you return needs to be the full URL to the new icon.

Can I embed more than one map on the same page?

No, the Google Maps JavaScript API can only support one map on a page. You can have different maps on separate pages, though. See the Installation page for instructions on making different maps have different center locations, display different sets of placemarks, etc.

How can I override the styles the plugin applies to the map?

The width/height of the map and marker information windows are always defined in the Settings, but you can override everything else by putting this code in your theme’s functions.php file or a functionality plugin:

function setBGMPStyle()
    wp_deregister_style( 'bgmp_style' );
        get_bloginfo('template_url') . '/bgmp-style.css'
    wp_enqueue_style( 'bgmp_style' );
add_action('init', 'setBGMPStyle');

Then create a bgmp-style.css file inside your theme directory or a child theme and put your styles there. If you’d prefer, you could also just make it an empty file and put the styles in your main style.css, but either way you need to register and enqueue a style with the bgmp_style handle, because the plugin checks to make sure the CSS and JavaScript files are loaded before embedding the map.

I get an error when using do_shortcode() to call the map shortcode

See the instructions on the Installation page.

How can I force the info. window width and height to always be the same size?

Add the following styles to your theme’s style.css file or a child theme:

    width: 450px;
    height: 350px;
Can registered users create their own placemarks?

Yes. The plugin creates a custom post type, so it has the same permission structure as regular posts/pages.

I upgraded to the latest version and now something’s broken

If you’re running a caching plugin like WP Super Cache, make sure you delete the cache contents so that the latest files are loaded, and then refresh your browser.

If you upgraded other plugins at the same time, it’s possible that one of them is causing a JavaScript error that breaks the entire page or some other kind of conflict. Check if BGMP works with the default theme and no other plugins activated.

If you’re still having problems, create a detailed report on the support forum (see the ‘How can I get help when I’m having a problem?’ question above), and then download an older version to use until the problem is fixed.

Also, keep in mind that professionals don’t just install plugin updates on their live website and then get angry when they inevitably run into a situation where an update crashes the site. The right way to do it is to have a staging server where you test all updates and code changes, and then push them to the production server once you’re satisfied that everything is working properly. If your website is mission-critical, then this is what you need to be doing. If you’re not capable or willing to do it yourself, then you need to hire a developer to manage the process for you. If you don’t do those things, then you don’t have anyone to blame but yourself when things go wrong. You can subscribe to the BGMP Testers e-mail list to be notified when new release candidates are available for testing.

Is this plugin secure?

I’ve done my best to ensure that it is, but just in case I missed anything I also offer a security bounty for any vulnerabilities that can be found and privately disclosed in any of my plugins.

Are there any hooks I can use to modify or extend the plugin?

Yes, I’ve tried to add filters for everything you might reasonably want, just browse the source code to look for them. If you need a filter or action that isn’t there, make a request on the support forum and I’ll add it to the next version.


Just the baseline I needed

Great plugin if you want to start of customising one. I am using it to display mapped areas for a local orienteering club, and with some customisation it does exactly that – both a category page to show different types of areas on one page and with using the clustering feature, whilst also using it as I am displaying a single page with descriptions for each area itself.

I have added category specific placemarks, and adjusted the description display instead to use excerpts, add a featured image (instead of using that as a placemark) and link to the page of the area itself. Done in two days. Thanks.

Too much codes

Too much codes for a XXI sec plugin
Nowadays is time for clicks and drags.
Enough Linux or DOS similar things.


Easy to install and maintain. Does everything you’d expect. Thank you!

Read all 47 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Basic Google Maps Placemarks” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.



v1.10.7 (8/19/2016)

  • [NEW] Added UI options and filters for entering a Google API keys.

v1.10.6 (5/16/2016)

v1.10.5 (10/1/2015)

v1.10.4 (5/1/2015)

  • [NEW] Added Russian translation. props alexgr.
  • [NEW] Added Serbo-Croatian translation. props Borisa Djuraskovic.
  • [NEW] Added Dutch translation. props mardonios.

v1.10.3 (4/23/2014)

v1.10.2 (1/8/2014)

v1.10.1 (11/25/2013)

v1.10 (3/30/2013)

  • [FIX] Fixed persistent bugs in previous 1.9.x releases.
  • [FIX] Fixed bgmp-map shortcode bug that led to conflicts with Jetpack.
  • [NEW] Added viewonmap parameter to [bgmp-list] shortcode.
  • [NEW] Added placemark ID parameter to [bgmp-map] shortcode.
  • [NEW] Added get-map-placemarks-individual-placemark filter.
  • [NEW] Added a filter to allow changing the language the map is displayed in.
  • [NEW] German translation added (thanks to Jens).
  • [NEW] Added do_action() calls to views so they can be more easily extended.
  • [NEW] Added a filter to allow disabling the Street View control.
  • [UPDATE] Attached bgmp JavaScript object to jQuery object, so it can be accessed from other scripts.
  • [UPDATE] Added category data available to JavaScript bgmpData object.

Older entries are in docs/changelog.txt