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Murmurations WordPress Plugins for open source mapping and data sharing

Wordpress Murmurations

We have now launched an updated Murmurations Node Plugin which makes it simple for WordPress users to share multiple Profiles. 

The Murmurations WordPress Node Plugin admin interface
The WordPress admin interface

Why is this useful?

Murmurations provides an open source protocol for sharing data in interoperable formats. So, by creating Profiles your data is added to a growing commons of open source data which anyone can use to build maps and directories. There are currently more than 30,000 nodes registered in the Index, which you can explore on the main Murmurations map.

The WordPress Node plugin makes it simple for WordPress Admins to create Profiles for People, Organisations and Offers & Wants, directly from the Admin interface of their site. Anyone running a different type of website can still use the Profile Generator to make Profiles but, since WordPress accounts for 42% of all the websites on the internet, our hope is that the WordPress Node Plugin will make Murmurations more accessible to more people.

Read more about how you can use Murmurations to “create a map of X in your area”, or to “map the members of our network” in our post on collaborative mapping.

Where will my Profiles be shown?

At the moment, the Murmurations map is the main place where your Profiles will be shown. We run two versions of the map: one for testing and the live map for genuine Profiles (please only publish genuine Profiles to the live Index).

However, the beauty of Murmurations is that it enables multiple maps and directories to be built from the same, distributed data set. Profiles are not stored by Murmurations, they can be saved anywhere but, once they’re registered with the Murmurations Index, they can be found and displayed by any aggregator.

The beauty of Murmurations is that it enables multiple maps and directories to be built from the same, distributed data set.

It’s already possible to use data in the Murmurations to create quick, customised embedded maps from subsets of the data in the Murmurations Index. So, by adding Profiles to Murmurations your data can be shown in multiple locations, meaning greater promotion for your Organisation and less work for you, since you only have to update to one Profile to see the changes reflected in multiple locations.

Simplified collaborative mapping

People often want to map the organisations in their sectors. But maps and directories which rely on people adding data to centralised databases are always out of date – because organisations move, change their web address or other details, and forget to update the directory.

The problems with centralised maps and directories include:

  • Large amounts of manual effort required to identify and enter the information
  • Difficulties sharing data between similar or overlapping maps and directories
  • Difficulties keeping data up to date
  • Organisations are required to update data on multiple platforms
  • Fragmented, incomplete and outdated data frequently disappoints searchers

Murmurations solves these problems by creating an open data commons which anyone can access to build highly specific maps for their needs, from decentralised, interoperable Profiles. So, as more Profiles are added to the Index the collective value of the data increases exponentially, making it more valuable and useful to more people.

The Murmurations WordPress Aggregator

Our next goal is to update the Murmurations WordPress Aggregator to make it easy for anyone running WordPress to access data in the Index, and to collect, filter, moderate and curate Profiles in order to display customised maps and directories on their sites. This is a major development because Murmurations will then provide a complete data sharing and aggregation tool-set, which can be easily accessed by anyone running one of the 455 million WordPress sites on the web.

Help grow the open data commons

The Node Plugin is currently in beta while we test and tweak to make sure it is bullet-proof before adding it to the WordPress Plugins Directory, which we will do once we have a bit more feedback. So, we encourage anyone who runs a WordPress site to install the Node Plugin and let us know what you think. If you have any issues installing or using the plugin, please contact us.

If you like what we’re building and would be interested in supporting, or collaborating, or helping to shape and steer our development Roadmap please sign up to the PLANET Pioneers project and have your say!