Great Circle Mapper

I love the maps that Karl at Great Circle Mapper makes available. Now I’ve made it easier to embed them in a blog post on WordPress. Added bonus: It automatically includes the links back to Karl’s site per the notes in the FAQ page. Simply install the (very lightweight) plugin and you get a new shortcode to use on your site: [gcmap].

Currently available for download via the wordpress plugins repository here.


The following parameters are available in the Great Circle Mapper plugin:


(Required) This is the route you want mapped. It is required. If it is not specified then a small error message will display rather than the map. Use the typical formatting (e.g. “EWR-LAX” or “las-den-nrt” or “lax-cdg;lhr-sfo”).


(optional) Determines the width of the image displayed. Default is 600 pixels which should work well in most themes.


(optional) Determines the height of the image displayed. Default is 300 pixels which should work well in most themes.


(optional) Determines the width of the line used in drawing the maps. Default is two pixels.


(optional) Determines the color of the path drawn. Default is blue. Available options are:

  • blue
  • red
  • violet
  • black
  • green
  • white
  • cyan
  • magenta
  • yellow
  • orange
  • navy


(optional) Determines which background is used for the map. Default is bluemarble. Available options are:

  • bluemarble – NASA Blue Marble maps
  • light – Light background line map
  • plain – default line map
  • facebook – Facebok heatmap
  • night – Nighttime light pollution map


(optional) Determines what “tag” is placed at the dot where each airport is. Default is iatacity. Available options are:

  • none – no tag
  • iata – IATA code
  • city – City Name
  • airport – Airport Name
  • iatacity – City Name + IATA code


(optional) Want to see ETOPS “no-go” zones on the map? This is the parameter to set. Default is 0. Available options are:

  • 60
  • 75
  • 90
  • 120
  • 138
  • 180
  • 207
  • 240
  • 330


In between the [gcmap] and [/gcmap] tags you can enter a caption. This is optional and will be inserted using the WordPress tags. The proper attribution for the maps will be included on a separate line after the caption. Note that if you do NOT include a caption and [/gcmap] tag then you must “close” the tag with a “/” inside the main Error generating route map; please alert the site admin.

Background map

Change the background to the “normal” line map: [gcmap path=’ewr-lhr’ bgcolor=’plain’][/gcmap]

Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.


Airport names & Caption

Show the airport name rather than the city name: [gcmap path=’ewr-lhr’ dottag=airport]What is that airport called??[/gcmap]

What is that airport called??
Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.


ETOPS & Caption

Let’s put an ETOPS 138 overlay on the map and a caption, too: [gcmap path=’gru-fra’ etops=138]Can we make it all the way there??[/gcmap]

Can we make it all the way there??
Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Multiple routes

Lots of flights coming up: [gcmap path=’bcn-mad-bkk;hkg-syd;syd-dfw-jfk’ dottag=iata]Round and round we go![/gcmap]

Round and round we go!
Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Want to see something else?? Leave a note below and I’ll try to come up with an answer.

Found a bug? Report it below or in the plugin homepage.

5 Responses

  1. Mike (The #hustle Blog)
    Mike (The #hustle Blog) 7 February 2014 at 7:22 pm |

    Beautiful! This is going to come in handy for lots of bloggers. Can’t wait to test it out.

  2. ADE
    ADE 9 February 2014 at 11:00 am |

    All I got was this: PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10) : Unable to find End of Central Dir Record signature
    Can you help?

  3. Mike (The #hustle Blog)
    Mike (The #hustle Blog) 12 February 2014 at 12:05 am |

    Any way to choose different colors for each path?


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