This tutorial covers the steps to creating a physician finder with MetaLocator.  Physician finders utilize many of MetaLocator's features since they can involve a complex search.  Here we'll cover all the steps needed in detail.

Before we jump in, let's look at the end result, click the image to show a larger preview.

You can download the data used in this demo here.

This example includes the use of images, a contact link, hours, custom fields and categories among other features.

Let's start by examining the data file.  Aside from the basic location information, the data file includes Practice Area and Specialty fields.  These fields contain the data that gets included in the drop-down lists.   It contains the specialty of each physician and a general practice area.  These fields include comma-separated values indicated a multi-valued attribute.   For example, the first record includes the following as the specialties:

Pediatrics, Mental Health, Kinesiology 

This indicates the specialties of that physician in that row.  MetaLocator will find the unique values of this field and build the drop-down list accordingly.

We have also included an image for a handful of the physicians for illustrative purpose.  You may or may not have pictures for each record.  Note that the image field contains a URL to the photo for that physician.  This image can be uploaded to MetaLocator, or it can be referenced from an external link.   You can see this data by scrolling down to row 192 in the demo data.

Once your data is in order, you can import your spreadsheet in the usual way.

After your data is imported, we need to specify the parent-child relationship between the Practice Area and Specialty.  Specialty is a"child" of Practice area, meaning that when a Practice Area is selected, the system will filter the Specialty field to contain only the values of Specialty that correspond to the chosen Practice Area.  This is commonly called a drill-down search.  To establish that relationship, we edit the fields, under Fields. Edit each field to achieve the following:

Here we've set the Parent of Speciality to Practice Area and the Child of Practice Area to be Specialty.
 Now that our fields are set correctly, we can set up our Interface.

Create or edit a new Interface in the usual way, by clicking Interfaces, then New.

First we'll add specialty and practice area as custom search fields under Form Settings and Search Form Format.  See this simple tutorial to add those fields to your search form.

Next we should add the image field to our Directory Item Template as shown here.

We added some CSS to align the image nicely, the CSS can be added to the CSS setting under Style & Color Settings. This ensures they are all the same size and alignment.


.line_item.image img{
width: 105px;
float: left;
margin-right: 5px;

Additionally, we need to show the Practice Area and Specialties in the Map Popup Template.  We do that by adding the fields and providing a label.  First, add the field to the Map Popup Template by picking the field from the field chooser.

Then add the label for each field:

Then we can also add the hours while we're here:


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