The attempt to build a website allowing proximity search of organisations that offer help, support, advice and/or are doing projects. The project started in July 2012 - Drupal core 7.15.

Eventually you will figure out that there are several ways of doing this:

  1. Gmap + Location
  2. Openlayers
  3. ….

I decided to stay in the middle and more by accident I worked with Openlayers. Though, it seems to turn out that this is the way ahead.
I guess I followed Openlayer because I wanted to do this without google. It has not happened yet – Google is still in there, but then not all will happen instantly.

But ....

The plan was to write up a more detailed tutorial helping me in the process to keep track of all those changes and tweaks.

Quite a few day and countless hours into the project I need to change track. - Don't worry – the tutorial is still here – further down – not finished – work in progress.

Looking back I should have written this more like the diary of a quest. Well, not too late for this – but the interesting start of the journey will be “lost” in this summary.

The starting point was to design this non-commercial, free website for people to find organisations, initiatives, projects etc. in their area that offer advice, help, support and/or are doing projects to develop alternatives for our creaking economy. Without going into the details, there are very good reasons, why our economic and closely integrated political system will fail as debt is mounting. There is no solution as money is shovelled from one hole into another with the banks in the middle taking their cut out every time in fees plus making the holes bigger by adding interest. Eventually the holes will join up and everyone will see there is nothing left. This is not the fault of the “banks” or any particular group – we all are at fault. The “banks” just follow the system. So, the system is at fault and we are in charge.

What ever the trigger will be – a sun storm taking out the internet and www communication or …. - there will be change, always has been. No idea what comes then, no particular idea what should come. Would be nice if we could work it out. As a lot of people are working on how to improve the future more and more may feel they should have at least a look. So, the idea is to run a website where people can locate initiatives near by and work out their own ideas about what should/could come next.
I joined the local time bank and support the local “gratiferia”, there are projects in and around my child’s school and so on. Along the way are lots of people supporting new ideas and lots of people wondering how it will all end. Well, it might be better to look at it as: “What is starting now!”
The www, opensource and many other initiatives are showing the way and are encouraging. Some big organisations are easier in dealing with all this – but are still stuck in the old system – like Google. Of course they cannot run their servers and services for free. They use opensource for free and here and there give something back, is it a fair deal? No idea, hard to work out.

Anyway, my initial idea was to just use opensoure, opendata etc. projects for a number of reasons:

  • to prove the point that there are initiatives and ways forward that do not depend on the “old” system
  • not to require any money to do this – just my time and that of others who might like to join in
  • to promote new systems from the start.

Sure, my skills are limited and I wanted to get going – it didn't look too difficult.
Down the line I made progress and conceded to using Google for decoding the Addressfield into the map attached to the (Content Type) node = page for each organisation (project, initiative, etc.) and for the proximity search - so easy and simple.
But then I hit the ceiling of Google's limitations during testing - Error geocoding – OVER_QUERY_LIMIT.
So, back to the starting point to develop this idea without such limitations.
It is also a reminder that I should work on this with others. And help, advice and pointers are welcome.
I used this project to get my Linux “box” going in earnest, to work with Drupal 7 and to look more into the world of geocoding ….

So, I might as well start to put this out to the world now on Drupal.

Here is the tutorial - most should work - do point out problems and forgive the limitations in the formatting as it is not easy to tranfer a well-formated document to

1. Modules:

The version details of the modules shown below are the once available at the time of writing this.
The links will get you to the proper Drupal module sometimes they may be referred to as “projects” for example in the URL. You may feel it is an inconsistency in Drupal but it is not really – because “project” is the term for all themes, modules and distributions. So the proper way to refer to a module should be project “Openlayers module”:

I now moved the rest of the tutorial to the Documentation section -
Site Building Guide
- Building the site functionality
-- Geographical data and maps
--- OpenLayers
---- OpenLayers 2.x Documentation for D7
----- Getting Started with OpenLayers in Drupal 7
------ under


WorldFallz’s picture

nice write-up-- you should really consider copying this to the doc pages for open proximity (just click on the 'read documentation' link on the project page and make it a child page).

tinem’s picture

Would be great to see an example of all your hard work A link to your map, please?

tryitonce’s picture

... understandable ... but it is all still on localhost.

And as I was working my way through the project I hit the Google limitation snag.
This morning it has disappeared - I guess I needed that break from testing as well.
Before too long I will rerun the setting up of the content type, the view(s) and maps to double check the tutorial and some of the snags found along the way.

Good luck .....
... more recent results of trying Drupal just once are -

tryitonce’s picture

... thanks, will do ...

By the way is there an offline editor allowing me to turn a well formatted document into basic Drupal html to present it well here?
I reformatted the table in a couple of steps and found that a bit tedious, though necessary to be readable.

Good luck .....
... more recent results of trying Drupal just once are -

dhercjr’s picture

I'm a 5-week old Drupal noob, so I'm reading your instructions intently, counting on your guidance. I spotted a couple spelling issues to fix, before you add it to other documentation.
" website for people to find organizations,... " and "...Would be nice if we could work it out and as a lot...".

tryitonce’s picture


don't be shy - just press "Edit" at the top and fix the spelling.

Thanks ....

Good luck .....
... more recent results of trying Drupal just once are -

dhercjr’s picture

I would have, but I don't have an Edit tab even though I'm logged in?

tryitonce’s picture

at the top of the message you should have 3 Buttons - under the headline

Openlayer Proximity Search – D7 - the background

View - Edit - Revisions
"Posted by tryitonce on August 5, 2012 at 11:09am"
When logged in you should see something like these tabs under the "Drupal" logo in the header:
Drupal Homepage - Your Dashboard - Logged in as dhercjr - Log out
Obviously you are logged in otherwise you wouldn't be able to post ....
So may be there is a probation time before these buttons turn up ... no idea.

In that case let me have the typos and I will amend ...

and if you fand an answer to the problem - do report it here for others to benefit ....


Good luck .....
... more recent results of trying Drupal just once are -

dhercjr’s picture

I only have View – Revisions right now.

In multiple places ‘organizations’ is spelled ‘organisations’, not sure if that’s an intentional Drupal thing or not because I’ve seen it in other locations as well... and the 3rd sentence of the 2nd paragraph in the But.. section should read “Would be nice if we could work it out and as a lot...". I’m pretty sure that one’s not intentional.

tryitonce’s picture

apology - I did not scroll back up to read your earlier post - you did point out the correction there.

I corrected and actually amended the text a little around the second misspelling you pointed out.

The first one is down to where you are - in the UK "organisation" is mostly spelled with an "s" instead of "z".

I realise now also that my earlier comment refers to another section in This is a forum contribution and they remain personal - so, only I can edit. But part of the initial posting here went to the documentation section, where everyone can help out and update postings. That's the answer to that.

BTW. once a comment has been responded to by someone else it can no longer be edited by the author it seems ....

All the best ...

Good luck .....
... more recent results of trying Drupal just once are -